The cocker spaniel's coat has weatherproofing oils that protect the cocker's fur and skin. Only bathe your cocker every two to four months unless he's dirty to avoid stripping these essential oils. Once your cocker is bathed, sit back and enjoy the smell and silkiness of this beautiful breed's coat.
Brush your cocker spaniel before the bath. Cockers are average shedders and brushing removes lose hairs prior to entering the bathtub.
Clean your cocker's face. This breed tends to tear, so wipe under the eyes in an outward motion using a cotton ball satured with only water. Do not use soap near the cocker's eyes. For stubburn tear stains, use a dog tear stain remover, which can found in most pet stores.
Place your cocker spaniel on a non-slip surface in your bathtub. A towel or bath mat can prevent your cocker from falling. Ensure the water temperature is comfortable for your dog and then saturate your cocker's entire coat with water using a sprayer or cup. Use a tear-free quality shampoo specific for cocker spaniels and create a rich lather on the body, ears, neck, tail and legs. Pay special attention to the feet and buttocks.
Rinse the coat until the water runs clear. Shampoo not successfully rinsed from the coat leaves a dull residue on the fur. A light dog conditioner is optional and is smoothed on in a downward motion starting on the cocker's back and down towards the feet. Rinse conditioner until the water runs clear.
Dry your cocker spaniel. Towel dry briskly and remove your cocker spaniel from the tub. Holding the base of the fur, brush from the tips of the fur toward the skin to remove tangles. A light leave-in spray conditioner for dogs helps if snarls are present. Drop the towel on the floor and start the blow dryer. Your cocker spaniel will help with the drying process by shaking excess water while you blow dry and rolling around on the towel. Brush the fur one more time to ensure free of tangles.
- Dress for the occasion. Cockers shake frequently during the bath and drying process, so you're guaranteed to be soaked.
- Avoid allowing water to enter the ears since cockers are prone to ear infections.
- Avoid human shampoo since its too harsh for the cocker's skin and coat.
- Ensure ears, chest and back are entirely dry before allowing your cocker outside, unless it is sunny and warm.
Melissa McNamara is a certified personal trainer who holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and communication studies from the University of Iowa. She writes for various health and fitness publications while working toward a Bachelor of Science in nursing.