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Are Cocker Spaniels Better In Pairs? The Pros & Cons

Should you have one or two cocker spaniels? It’s a popular question most spaniel owners have at some point.

This article explains how cocker spaniels behave in pairs and covers important pros and cons that owners should know about first.

Are Cocker Spaniels Better In Pairs?

There’s no doubt that cocker spaniels prefer to have another dog to live with…

But it doesn’t necessarily need to be another cocker spaniel.

Having said that, as two cocker spaniels will have a similar temperament, size, and personalities, they are highly likely to get along well with each other.

In the dog world opposites don’t usually attract, and what we find is that dogs with the most similarities often get along the best.

This is why most dogs get along very well with their own breed. Though there are definitely exceptions!

The Pros of Having Two Cocker Spaniels

cocker spaniel pair

Let’s explain the positives of having two cocker spaniels.

1. They’ll keep each other company

There aren’t many breeds that truly like to be alone, and the cocker spaniel is no exception.

Having another cocker spaniel will undoubedtly help keep the first one from getting lonely, bored, and may help prevent excess stress from isolation.

Just keep in mind, this is never a good solution if owners are leaving their dogs home alone for several hours per day. That issue cannot be fixed by getting more dogs.

2. They’ll keep each other stimulated and busy

Cocker spaniels need a lot of stimulation and it can be hard for us to provide that at all times.

It’s known now that two dogs help keep each other mentally stimulated by playing, interacting, sniffing each other, and simply being around one another.

Ensuring your cocker spaniel is sufficiently stimulated is a must if you want a happy, well-behaved spaniel.

So this is certainly a positive for having two dogs over one.

3. Training two is usually easier than one

Most cocker spaniels are easily trained. But it doesn’t stop there, training two cockers together can actually be easier than training one alone!

Sounds unlikely but it’s true…

Breeds that love to appease will do so even more when in pairs. One good action performed by one of the dogs will be watched and observed by the other… And they’ll want to copy.

Of course, if training isn’t given consistently or correctly, you could have double the trouble on your hands instead. Not trying to sugarcoat anything here!

4. Cocker spaniels get on well with each other!

Choosing a second dog is not easy. You have to consider many things but most importantly their temperament, personality and energy levels.

It’s a struggle trying to find breeds that match up well with cocker spaniels. But of course, another cocker spaniel is an easy win.

Although every cocker spaniel is different, they are still far more likely to get on well together than most other breeds.

If you’re getting two pups at the same time then this doesn’t really matter all too much. But if you already have an adult cocker at home, this is definitely a head start.

5. Cockers don’t shed too much!

While some shedding is to be expected, one huge perk of owning a cocker spaniel is that their shedding is minimal.

This can’t be said for the vast majority of breeds out there!

So if you aren’t too fond if sweeping up and removing dog hair from clothes, getting a second cocker spaniel is an easy choice!

6. Double cuteness

Come on… who doesn’t want two beautiful cocker spaniels bouncing around the house!

If you love one cocker, you can love another.

Cocker spaniels make amazing family dogs. They are loyal, kind, playful and love their family to the moon and back.

So why not get another!

The Cons of Having Two Cocker Spaniels

Although in our opinion the positives outweight the negatives, it’s still crucial to consider the challenges of two cocker spaniels.

1. Double the trouble (potentially)

This mostly comes down to the owner and how consistent they are with training.

But if you know you aren’t really on top of the training game, then a second cocker spaniel could be a mistake.

Although two cockers will happily learn and follow training routines together, they will just as happily destroy the sofa and chair legs together too.

If training and being firm isn’t something you like to do then two cockers probably isn’t the way to go!

2. Initial relationship issues

Although cocker spaniels are not overly territorial, there may still be some difficulties at first.

If you are getting two puppies together this will not be an issue, but if you have an existing adult cocker spaniel, and plan to get a “new” puppy or adult, be ready for some initial challenges.

If the resident cocker spaniel is highly socialized then this may not an issue at all.

But for most, it’ll take a little while before they come to terms with the fact they now have to share everything, with your attention being what they’ll battle for.

3. Hyperactivity issues

Cocker spaniels have A LOT of energy. If owners are not on their A-game with exercise and mental stimulation, there could be hyperactivity issues.

One cocker spaniel will feed off the pent-up energy of the other, and before you know it, you’ve got two extremely amped up cocker spaniels bouncing off the walls and causing trouble.

It’s vital that the two cocker spaniels receive sufficient physical activity (90 minutes per day, split up into two sessions, morning & night) as well as mental stimulation throughout the day.

If you want a calmer household it may be better to choose a different breed.

Do Two Male Cocker Spaniels Get Along?

Two male cocker spaniels will find it hard to get along at first, due to their tendency to fight for the alpha position of the household.

Still, in the end, two male cocker spaniels can get along just fine. It just takes time.

  • This will even be the case for two females. It’s not just the males.

Whenever you have two of the same sex, the dogs will fight more readily to claim the alpha spot.

In general, a male and female cocker spaniel will come to a natural resolution much more quickly and will get along much sooner.

Resource: Pet Medical Center – Bringing Home Another Dog Info

Do Cocker Spaniels NEED Another Dog?

No, cocker spaniels do not strictly need another dog to be happy and content. So long as the owner is giving plenty of their time and attention, a cocker spaniel can be happy in a single-dog home.

However, it’s worth remembering that cocker spaniels are originally pack dogs and are used to living with other canine buddies.

So with this in mind, it goes without saying that most cockers would prefer to have another dog by their side.

Should You Get Another Cocker Spaniel?

If you’re interested in getting a second dog for your existing cocker spaniel, then the first choice should always be another cocker spaniel.

Unless you have a specific breed you really want, another cocker spaniel will usually be the best option.

Owners should just keep in mind the extra work, attention, training, and expenses that another dog entails.


Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.