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Cocker Spaniel Coat FAQs (Double-Coats? Hair or Fur?)

Depending on where you look or who you ask, you often hear different answers. This leaves many owners confused about whether cocker spaniels have double coats or not.

It’s also common to hear discussions about whether spaniels have “hair” or “fur.” So let’s get to the bottom of all of it.

This article covers every frequently asked question surrounding the coat of cocker spaniels. Everything you want to know is below!

Do Cocker Spaniels Have Double Coats?

The quick answer: No, cocker spaniels do not have double coats. Both English and American cocker spaniels have single-layered coats.

Many owners, even experienced ones, claim cocker spaniels have a double coat, but this is not true.

After speaking to some of these owners myself, it seems people get mistaken by the looks of the coat. Admittedly, the coat on a cocker spaniel looks thick as if it has two layers.

What’s a Single Layered Coat?

All cocker spaniels have a single-layered coat, made up of just a single outer coat meaning they do not have an undercoat.

Double-layered coats have an undercoat, and a topcoat, comprising of two layers (hence why it’s called double).

Cocker spaniels just have a topcoat or outer coat, as some like to call it.

Why Don’t Cocker Spaniels Have Double Coats?

The most likely reason why cocker spaniels do not have double coats is due to originating in hotter climates. There simply is no need to have an undercoat.

Dogs that do have double coats were mostly developed in colder regions of the world, making it a necessity to have both an undercoat and topcoat for protection against the weather.

Do Cocker Spaniels Have Fur or Hair?

Cocker spaniels, both American and English, have hair, not fur.

Fur is often times much shorter and coarser to touch, similar to that of a jack russell.

Hair is typically longer, finer, and smoother to touch.

How can we best explain the coat of a Cocker spaniel?

Cocker spaniels have silky smooth hair that’s medium in length. It’s usually soft to touch and has a healthy shine to it when kept properly.

Extra info – Hair vs

What Color Coat Can Cocker Spaniels Have?

cocker spaniel coat colors

Cocker spaniels can have many coat colors, 24 in fact! Although this is an “unofficial” number.

Cockers range from solid coat colors, particolored, tri-colored, roan colors and more.

24 Cocker spaniel coat colors:

  1. Black
  2. Golden
  3. Red
  4. Liver
  5. Sable
  6. Blue roan
  7. Lemon roan
  8. Red roan
  9. Liver roan
  10. Chocolate roan
  11. Black & white
  12. Black, tan & white
  13. Black & golden
  14. Tan & blue roan
  15. Tan & liver
  16. Tan, white & liver
  17. Tan & sable
  18. Tan roan & liver
  19. Roan & orange
  20. White & sable
  21. White & orange
  22. White & lemon
  23. White & liver
  24. White & red

Why Isn’t My Cocker Spaniels Coat Shiny?

Cocker spaniels are supposed to have vibrant coats with a noticeable shine to them. When this isn’t the case, it usually suggests something isn’t quite right.

Check it out > 10 Ways to keep your cocker spaniel’s coat shiny

Reasons why your cocker spaniel doesn’t have a shiny coat:

  • Incorrect bathing frequency (too much or too little)
  • Using the wrong shampoo
  • Lack of brushing
  • Low-quality diet or nutritional issues
  • Dirty or dusty environment
  • Allergies
  • Skin issues
  • Other health issues

Fortunately, there are many good practices you can put into place that will ensure your cocker spaniel keeps a healthy, shiny coat.

I have a complete article dedicated to that here: 7 Tips to make your cocker spaniels coat shiny

Do Cocker Spaniels Coat Change?

Cocker spaniel puppies generally experience a light coat “change” when they lose their puppy coat and transition to an adult coat. This happens around 8-10 months of age.

Unlike many other breeds, this isn’t so extreme and the overall shedding will still be relatively low. Likely down to the fact that cockers just have a single-layered coat.

Other than this, a cocker spaniel’s coat should not make any dramatic changes, especially once they are an adult.


Let’s summarize the key points in this article:

  • Cocker spaniels do not have double coats. They have single-layered coats
  • Cocker spaniels do not have undercoats
  • Cocker spaniels can have around 24 coat colors (unofficially)
  • Cocker spaniels have hair, NOT fur

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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.