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Border Collie Cocker (Border Collie & English Cocker Spaniel Mix): Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

border collie cocker spaniel

Height: 15-22 inches
Weight: 26-50 pounds
Lifespan: 10-17 years
Colors: Often solid black, silver, or red with white, tan, black, silver, or red markings
Suitable for: Active families or individuals, suburban or rural settings, those interested in a dog with high physical and mental stimulation needs
Temperament: Energetic, Intelligent, Responsive, Lively, Friendly, Enthusiastic, Industrious

Do you want more than just a lapdog? If you are intrigued by the idea of a highly intelligent canine companion that will relish outdoor activities and adventures with you, take a closer look at the Border Collie Cocker Spaniel!

A naturally hardworking dog, the Border Collie Cocker Spaniel has both physical stamina and an alert mind. They are extremely active dogs and need plenty of backyard space in addition to engaging time spent with their owners and families.

In the scheme of the history of dog breeding, this crossbreed has not been around for long. However, we do know a great deal about the history and development of both of the parent breeds: the Border Collie and English Cocker Spaniel.

The Border Collie was first developed in the Border country between England and Scotland. They were bred to herd sheep while working closely with their shepherds. Bored Collies are commonly acknowledged as the smartest dog breed in the world. Today they are used as herders and companions.

The English Cocker Spaniel was originally developed to hunt birds – specifically the woodcock, from which they get their name. They evolved from other Field Spaniels and are one of the oldest breeds of land or setting spaniels.

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Border Collie Cocker Spaniel Mix Puppies – Before You Welcome One Into Your Family…

Border Collie Cocker puppy
Image Credit: PeakPX


Border Collie Cocker Spaniel puppies are energetic, curious little creatures. They favor the Border Collie’s black and white coloring but have the softly contoured head and big doe-like eyes of a Cocker Spaniel. Their sweet faces will get your attention, but it is their bright, inquisitive personalities that will win your heart.

These are hearty and dynamic dogs that need a lot of exercise. And, if healthy and well cared for, they regularly live close to two decades. So, when considering the lively Border Collie Cocker Spaniel as a pet, be sure to take into account the long-term nature of the commitment you will be making.

For a so-called “designer breed” like the Border Collie Cocker Spaniel, you may end up going to a breeder. We recommend getting to know your prospective dog and the breeder before taking your new friend home. The more you know about how the breeder cares for their dogs, the better equipped you’ll be to give your pup a happy home!

3 Little-Known Facts About Border Collie Cocker Spaniel Mix

1. The Cocker Spaniel is a Famous Literary Figure

During the Victorian era, English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning had a Cocker Spaniel named Flush. He earned his place in literary fame when Virginia Woolf wrote a book about him — a fictional autobiography from Flush’s point of view!

2. The Border Collies Are the Ultimate Herders

Border Collies have been bred for hundreds of years to chase and organize other animals. They have been taught to modify predatory canine behaviors and will crouch, stalk, and nip but not injure or kill. Part of their effectiveness is the Border Collie’s use of its eyes to stare down and control livestock.

3. Border Collie Cocker Spaniels Love Learning New Things

This is a dog that not only should be trained but actually wants to be trained. Border Collie Cocker Spaniels are smart and highly active, the combination of which means that they will love to learn all manner of tricks and commands from their owners. Give this dog plenty of opportunities to participate in activities with you and they’ll love you for it!

Parent Breeds of the Border Collie Cocker
Image Credit: Jumpstory

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Border Collie Cocker Spaniel Mix 🧠

Border Collies Cocker Spaniels are enthusiastic, intelligent, and friendly dogs. Though initially wary of strangers, they warm up quickly and make friends easily. This breed is a hard worker and makes a good herder, hunter, or companion. They are devoted to their family and very social.

The Border Collie Cocker Spaniel is not the type to laze around. Their high IQ means that they love having a job to do, or an activity to engage with, and can easily grow bored when under-stimulated.

Boredom is a common cause of bad behavior like excessive vocalizations, compulsive herding, and chewing inappropriate items around the house. The Border Collie Cocker Spaniel needs early training and lots of regular exercise to avoid becoming overly tense or neurotic.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

If properly trained and socialized early, the Border Collie Cocker Spaniel makes an excellent dog for a family. They will love having more people to go outside and be active with!

Though naturally friendly with children, both dogs and kids need to be taught how to appropriately interact with each other. An untrained Border Collie Cocker Spaniel may try to herd kids and can get bossy or nosey.

Foster mutual respect early in the relationship, and you will not have to worry about bullying from either dogs or kids.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

In the care of a responsible owner, this breed’s naturally amiable temperament can get along with all kinds of other animals. However, due to their herding and hunting heritage, the Border Collie Cocker Spaniel has a tendency to corral and chase.

Giving your dog plenty of outlets for excess energy, early socialization, and good training are key to starting these relationships off right and maintaining harmony.

brown and white border spaniel mix
Image Credit: Pixabay

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Things to Know When Owning a Border Collie Cocker Spaniel Mix

When deciding to add a dog to the family, there’s a lot to consider. Here we have included a basic run-down of the care and keeping of a Border Collie Cocker Spaniel to help you make an informed decision.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Active dogs like the Border Collie Cocker Spaniel mix do well a balanced, omnivorous diet that is rich in proteins and fatty acids such as omega-3s. To start them off right, we recommend a quality kibble that contains a range of whole foods. Stay away from the stuff full of byproducts ingredients and excessive fillers like grain.

A bit of variation to their diet can be nutritious as well as mentally stimulating. Try giving them a bit of vet-approved fruits, vegetables, or lean proteins in addition to their kibble once in a while!

Exercise 🐕

The high stamina and energy of this breed means that they require a lot of exercises. Provide your Border Collie Cocker Spaniel with multiple opportunities throughout the day to go outside and at least one long walk a day.

These dogs are not just physically athletic either — their keen intelligence needs some exercise too. Agility courses, swimming and retrieving, and learning tricks are things that the Border Collie Cocker Spaniel excels at.

We do not recommend these pups to individuals with a rigid work schedule that keeps them away from home for long stretches of time. Loneliness and boredom can lead to a high strung, anxious canine.

If you must leave them alone for more than a few hours, give your furry friend access to a large fenced-in yard. You can also try a variety of puzzle toys that will engage them mentally.

border collie cocker spaniel
Image Credit: PxHere

Training 🦮

With a smart cookie like the Border Collie Cocker Spaniel, training them is not optional — they demand it! Their intelligence and high work drive translate to a deep desire to work for and with their owners. A bored, untrained Border Collie Cocker Spaniel is a recipe for an unhappy and compulsive dog.

Though this breed is eager and easy to train, while getting to know each other you may even find your own intelligence is tested by these keen minds.

Grooming ✂️

Border Collie Cocker Spaniels usually have a double coat, like the Border Collie. Their fur is medium in length, smooth or wavy, and requires daily brushing to reduce shedding and prevent mats from forming.

Their ears are often long like the Cocker Spaniel parent and can pick up all manner of burrs and ticks. Clean the hair around their ears as well as the inside regularly to prevent infections, dirt and wax build-up, mats, and parasite carried diseases.

Check their nails and teeth from time to time, too. These high energy dogs may wear their toenails down by themselves, but the occasional trimming might be necessary.

Regular teeth cleanings will keep your dog’s gums healthy and their breath sweet… or at least less stinky!

Health and Conditions ❤️

The Border Collie Cocker Spaniel, like most hybrid dog breeds, are generally healthier than their purebred parents. However, there are still a few health concerns to watch out for.

Minor Conditions
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
  • Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD or OD)
  • Allergies
  • Deafness
  • Luxating patellas
  • Hip dysplasia
Serious Conditions
  • Heart disease
  • Seizures
  • Familial nephropathy (a fatal kidney disease)

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Male vs Female

The differences between male and female Border Collie Cocker Spaniels are mainly physical, as personality is different on a dog-by-dog basis. The male dogs grow larger in size and are more liable to engage in sexually aggressive behaviors like marking territory with urine or humping. Females, on the other hand, are smaller and often more reserved.

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So, is the Border Collie Cocker Spaniel the right dog for you?

If you make a long-term commitment to care for and teach a high-energy dog, and are interested in an adventurous canine companion who will surprise you again and again with their intelligence and enthusiasm — you might just have found your match!

Featured Image Credit: PxHere

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