Cocker Care !!!






On this page I would like to give you some practical advice, for the overall care of your dear cocker friend !! The subjects still seem a little scattered, but as their number increases, will fall more in line later !!

 If you ever have an interesting tip yourself, please send me an e-mail, the cockers and their masters will be very happy to take advantage of it !!








The ears !!

The cockers’ ears do not have to be a problem at all !!  Every week f.i. on the same day, you could clean the outer ear very thoroughly with a baby lotion tissue, available at every chemist !! Be sure to buy the lotion ones  and not the oily ones, i.e. Natusan !! When the earflaps are a little scaly you could rub them with babyoil. Is is also possible to clean the ears with special earcleaner for sale at your Vet’s. But I would only suggest the use of this product, when your dog produces lots of earwax !! If the dog ears look clean enough, clean the outside of the ears only.  It may differ from dog to dog !! The hair on the inside ear should be kept nice and short. Whenever a very strong smelling dark brown substance is found in the inside, please be alert, in this case your dog could suffer from earmite or if your cocker shakes his head frequently scratches the ear and whines, you should visit your Vet and get a good earbalsam !!






The Coat !!


 The coat on the back is easy to treat in the following manner: you could take your iron comb and then using a rubber band, which has to be inter woven from tooth to tooth and reversing in the opposite direction !! This should be a good basic method to take off a lot of hair !! With the comb in one hand you strike, holding it slightly flat and with the other hand, it is important to keep the skin very tight while  combing !! A lot of dead hair will be found between comb and rubber band !! 

Please try to keep the coat free from being entangled by brushing it thoroughly at least twice a week and after this comb it thoroughly !!  The easiest way to do this job, is to put your dog on a table, covered with a small mat, so free from the ground. For the heavier coats of the black and tan and unicolored ones, the use of a special comb is strongly recommended !! Now and then,  check the soles of the feet, sometimes pieces of mud get stuck there and they could cause sore feet !! The easiest way to do this is when your dog is just lying down in a relaxed manner; then you could easily clip the hairs between the soles of the feet !!

Visit your groomers’ regularly, about every 10 to 12 weeks !! 

If you have a puppy, it would be best to visit a groomers’ when it is 6 to 7 months old. Be sure to ask the breeder of your puppy for the address of a specialised groomer for cocker coat and please do not wait too long e.g. till 9 months, there is a big chance your cockerpuppy is already looking like an Afghan !! Have a look at the black and tan cocker on the grooming page of this site.

If you should visit an “allround groomer’”, you will be  risking the use of a pair of clippers or scissors, which would really be a pity !! Usually the hair on top of the head and partly on the back can be stripped already. The throat, feet and tail also can be modelled already !! In this way the treatment would not be too long and exhausing for your  young cocker and they could get used to it bit by bit. A first puppy  treatment at 9 months of age would be very intensif !! Be certain to ask your groomers’ whether she picks your cocker manually !!

A castrated or sterilised cocker will  get a dramatically different coat, in most cases it is not possibe anymore to treat it in the usual way !! When medically not necessary, we strongly advise against this operation !! 

Especially when matters of behaviour are concerned or other practical matters, this will certainly not be the right solution. A cocker normally presents no character problems , he is spontaneous and very tolerant !!






Males !!


Most males suffer from dripping, this is usually caused by inflammation of the foreskin !! Owners hardly even notice it as the dog is licking himself to keep clean. Besides, the drops neatly vansih into your carpet. Some of my clients  have had good results by the use of an extra daily portion of vitamine C, which I recommend to add to the food. 150 m gr. should be sufficient. As  vitamine C is water soluble, it would not harm your dog as the surplus leaves the body in the natural way !!



Spikes !!


Spikes are  seeds of the grass, which cause a lot of distress every summer !! In the months of May and June, they come loose after  the grass has been mown  and the seeds spread themselves all over roadsides and along sidewalks !! What is it that these awful things can do to your dog? Every little seed of this grass has a very strong beard. With this beard, the spike can find its way right through the skin, after which its starts his trip, climbing up, under the skin !! So please beware of these dangerous things during  summertime !! Places where they get into the skin may vary, i.e. the ears, between the toes and in the armpits. So please check your dog after each walk. Try to avoid places where they grow.  You should never try to remove it from the auditory duct yourself, it only will get in deeper and deeper, but visit your Vet who has the proper instruments to do the trick. An extra visit to your groomers’ in this period would be very useful. She could shave the armpits and the inside of the ears and clip the feet hairs nice and short !! A Dutch saying is : Better prevent things from happening than having to cure them !!



This is a picture of Buddy, the unfortunate victim of such a painful spike !! I even heard about a 7 weeks old puppy, who by accident got a spike into his throat, which came out of his mothers coat !! Even after a regular check-up, this happened. Please pass on this information, so that hopefully a lot of distress can be avoided in future !!







Excema of the mouth pleads !!

This is an excema which spreads  a very nasty smell and can be very painful for your cocker too !!  You could treat this as a precaution when your cocker is  sensitive to it in the following way: you should shorten the hair of the mouth-pleads and wetten the pleads with betadine iodine regularly during two days. See to it that you unfold the mouth-folds very well. After this you could keep the fold greasy by using vaseline available at your chemists’. A handy tip: place a small towel near your dog’s waterbowl and make it a habit to dry off the folds on the mouth after your dog has been drinking ( if you see or hear). Preferably drip or rub with ointment for the night, so that it  could soak in during the resting period !! 

If this really not working and if your cocker really suffering from this problem, your Vet could make an adjustment to the lips by operating, which would finally solve the problem !!



Teething of the pup !!

 During the  period in which the pup sheds his teeth , which starts around the 16th week of age, it could occur that his eyes are  tearing and  the lower eyelid drops a little. This is happening very often and should not be worrying you, because teething is a quite painful process.It will be finished around the 8th month of age. It will be no use to put ointment on the eyes, because the problem is in the jaws and not the eyes.


  Tartar !!

Almost every dog suffers from tartar, there are several ways to remove it. You could brush the teeth wit a toothbrush every week, do not press too hard, be aware of the gums !! Either with a tartarscraper or a more tasteful way: buy a bone (beef) at your butchers’ and cook it for 20 minutes, your dog would be very grateful for it and enjoying it for a long time. Please be cautious  with the shape of the bone. Make certain when it has a hole in the middle, that your dog’s jaw does not get stuck in it. It should either be far too big or too small to fit his jaw in. Also little dried hoofs can get dangerous when they get smaller from chewing on it !! Make sure you take them away, when they get too small !!