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English Cocker Spaniel Grooming

'Morgan' - O'Crowley


Grooming your pet English Cocker yourself can be a lot of work, but it is much less expensive than paying a groomer in the long run, and you will also be assured that your dog is treated well during this sometimes stressful process.

Please keep in mind that these instructions are for a pet groom, for the average pet owner - NOT a show groom. You should check with your breeder and find out if they are particular about how the puppy is groomed, then follow their advice.

All of the dogs pictured on this page belong to breeders, and are not shaved.

If you have never groomed an English Cocker before, it might be good to take your dog for its first haircut to a professional groomer. That way you will have a pattern to follow when you begin grooming yourself. Make sure you find a groomer that knows how to do English Cockers, not American Cockers, as they are groomed very differently.

First off you will need proper tools:
  • A good set of clippers made for grooming dogs. Oster clippers are what most ECS people I know use. I use the Oster A5, it has 2 speeds that I find come in handy. It comes with a #10 blade.
  • Three Spacing Comb attachments for the Oster clipper, 1/4", 1/2" and 1". Or a 4-F blade.

Grooming Table Set Up - Minor

  • A high quality pair of thinning scissors.
  • A good pair of straight scissors, made for cutting dog hair.
  • Miscellaneous brushes/combs - a good pin brush, a small slicker brush, a metal comb, a horse hair glove.
  • A small snood, or a big soft hair scrunchy to hold the ears up. Don't use rubber bands or coated rubber pony tail loops - your dogs ears are very sensitive!
  • A blow dryer - if you do not want to spend a couple hundred dollars on a professional dog dryer, you can buy a hand held doggie dryer called The Duck. It has 3 heat & air settings. I would not recommend using the highest heat setting, however.
  • A grooming table or some area that you feel comfortable grooming your dog.
  • Some special treats that he really likes.
  • Dog shampoo.
  • A spray on leave-in coat conditioner.
  • Towels.
  • 2 Cotton Balls.

If your breeder does not want your dog shaved, then you must strip the coat before bathing. A clean coat is much harder to strip. Check with your breeder on this process.

I know it's hard to believe, but this is the same dog! 'Raven' - Minor

Paula & pup
Minor

OK, after all your tools are in place the first thing you must do before any grooming happens is bathe your dog in a good dog shampoo. Put a cotton ball in each ear to avoid water getting in there. Rinse him well, towel off excess moisture, and blow dry. Most people use some type of leave-in coat conditioner to avoid mats and tangles. Use your metal comb & pin brush during drying to separate the hair and speed up the process. Try not to groom your dog if he has not been bathed first - it will make your clippers and scissors dull.

Keep it lighthearted & fun - I usually give my dog treats at intervals during the bath - one treat when I first put them in the tub, then another one after I wet them down, then another after getting soaped up, then another one when they're rinsed off. Keep praise low key & calm.

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