How to Bathe a Cocker Spaniel Puppy & Clean Its Ears

Keep your puppy's ears clean to prevent ear infections.

Keep your puppy's ears clean to prevent ear infections.

A cocker spaniel puppy’s first bath can be quite an experience for both the puppy and the owner. Some puppies love the water and others try to escape during the entire experience. You may end up with water and puppy shampoo in more places than the sink, but each bath gets better.

Bath Time

Brush your cocker spaniel puppy with a soft-bristled brush to remove any tangles, dirt and debris from his coat. Tangles or knots in fur tend to tighten when they are wet. Use a de-matting comb if necessary to remove tight knots.

Fill the kitchen sink with about 3 to 4 inches of lukewarm water. Set a bottle of puppy shampoo to one side of the sink with the lid open. Let lukewarm water run into the other side of the sink. Spread a large towel on the counter top next to the sink.

Place your puppy in the warm water. Spray him with the sink spray hose to wet him thoroughly. Hold one hand on your puppy to keep him in place. Place a hand under his chest and lift him up to wet his stomach and underside.

Pour a ribbon of puppy shampoo on your cocker’s back. Lather the shampoo by rubbing it into his fur. Massage the shampoo into his fur, working from his head to his tail.

Rinse your puppy thoroughly with ample amounts of lukewarm water from the kitchen spray hose. If any shampoo remains on his skin it can cause extreme itching and discomfort. Keep rinsing until the water runs clear off him. Turn the faucet off.

Release the sink stopper and let the water drain out from around his feet.

Remove your puppy from the sink and set him on the towel. Fold the towel up around him and dry him thoroughly. He will most probably shake as soon as you quit drying him, to remove excess water. You may need to wipe excess water off the floor or nearby surfaces.

Allow your puppy to run around and roll or dry himself for a while until he settles down and is calm.

Ear Cleaning

Wash your hands with soap and water and dry them. Clean hands will not harbor bacteria that can be transferred to a puppy’s ears.

Place cotton balls, cotton swabs and ear cleaning solution on a table near a couch or chair. Sit in the chair and hold your puppy.

Pour ear cleaning solution on a cotton ball. Lift up one of your puppy’s ears. Wipe the cotton ball from the inside out along his ear to clean out any wax and debris. Dip a cotton swab into the ear cleaning solution. Hold his ear gently and wipe the cotton swab along the ridges inside his ears to clean them. Repeat this process with clean cotton balls and swabs to clear his other ear.

Give your puppy a treat, lots of praise and a hug for being patient during his bath and ear cleaning process.

Items you will need

  • Soft-bristled brush
  • De-matting comb
  • Kitchen sink
  • Warm water
  • Puppy shampoo
  • Spray hose
  • Towels
  • Soap
  • Ear cleaning solution
  • Cotton balls
  • Cotton swabs
  • Puppy treat


  • Always set up bathing and ear cleaning supplies nearby before using them on a puppy. Puppies can be unpredictable and should never be left in a sink without at least one hand on them.


  • Never insert any object into a puppy’s ear canal to clean it. This can cause hearing damage.
  • Take care not to get shampoo or water in your puppy’s ears or eyes. Excess water in his ears can lead to infections.

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About the Author

Mary Lougee has been writing for over 10 years. She holds a Bachelor's Degree with a major in Management and a double minor in accounting and computer science. She loves writing about careers for busy families as well as family oriented planning, meals and activities for all ages.

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