My Cocker Spaniel

Clipping the American Cocker Spaniel

By Manuel Villanueva | Published: 2003 | Updated: September 8, 2020

Grooming a black American cocker spaniel
Grooming black American cocker spaniel
Photo: iStock

There's no denying American cocker spaniels have gorgeous long coats but they require frequent grooming. At the very least, a minimal amount of grooming is required for hygiene and safety. Insufficient grooming can lead to hair matting, soiling, skin irritation from feces and urine. Cockers can slip when foot pads are covered with hair. This is especially true for cockers with joint problems.

Pet owners can rely on trusted professional groomers or do their own grooming with proper instruction. Some groomers will let the owner observe and learn how to safely groom their own pet. There are instructional cocker spaniel grooming videos available online. Pet clippers, blades and grooming supplies are available from Amazon, PetEdge, Chewy and other sources.


  • Large pin brush
  • Steel comb
  • Pet grooming clippers
  • #10 blade*
  • Slicker brush
  • Ear powder (medicated)
  • Lanolin coat conditioner
  • #7 or 8½ blade*
  • Matting comb*
  • Nail clipper(guillotine type)*
  • Scissors*
  • Thinning shears*
  • Artificial tears eye drops
Where To Use
Item Where
Large pin brush Brushing the coat
Steel comb Entire coat
#10 blade
  • about ½" around the anus (never directly on anus)
  • underneath tail
  • pelvis (navel to groin)
  • front neck
  • top upper ⅓ of ears (inside & out)
  • head
Slicker brush / Matting Comb Removing mats
Ear powder Inside of ears
Lanolin coat conditioner Entire coat
#10 or 8½ or 7 Entire back & tail (from back neck to tail)
Nail clipper Nails
  • between pads of feet
  • leg feathering
  • feet
Thinning shears
  • blending uneven hair at shoulders and hindquarters with leg feathering
  • blending uneven hair on chest
  • under chest (if necessary)
  • front legs
Artificial tears eye drops Use during and after clipping to remove any hair blown into the eyes

* Warning: Sharp instruments

The use of sharp pet grooming instruments can be potentially harmful to both your pet and yourself. Please handle these tools with care, follow manufacturer guidelines, and seek professional advice if needed to ensure safe and responsible grooming.


  • Kohl, S., & Goldstein, C. (1973). The all breed dog grooming guide. New York: Arco.
  • Maris, K. (2016). The Dog Grooming Business Course: How to Set Up and Run Your Own Dog Grooming Business. at Home. Mobile. Salon.. United States: AuthorHouse UK.