The Cocker Spaniel Cavalier mix, also called the Cockalier, is the offspring of a purebred Cocker Spaniel and pedigree Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. While both these dogs are of the Spaniel type, they actually vary quite a lot in terms of personality and appearances. What you can be confident of is that this cute hybrid designer dog will be intelligent, enthusiastic and loving. Your Cockalier will run with his head down, sniffing the ground as he hunts out the wildlife, so a good recall will be essential from puppyhood.
- Physical characteristics
- Grooming, shedding and allergies
- Temperament traits, training and exercise
- Cockalier puppy breeders
The Cockalier is a healthy dog provided they come from parents with clear health tests for some key inherited issues. Their life expectancy ranges from 10 – 14 years, and they are high shedders that need regular grooming.
Working vs Lapdog Origins
The Cocker Spaniel is believed to be a descendant of a large group of Spaniel types who hailed from Spain. Originally used for bird hunting, Spaniel dogs were not separated into their own breeds until around the 19th century after written breed standards began to take place.
There are two varieties of the Cocker Spaniel, one being the American and the other being the English. While they are both relatively similar, the American Cocker Spaniel is described as being shorter than the English Cocker spaniel, with a thinner coat and smaller head.
The Cavalier King Charles on the other hand was a favorite of nobles in Europe from before the Renaissance period, and has always been a pet first and foremost. They are clever, active and brave little dogs too, but with less prey drive and a calmer demeanor.
What Does the Cockalier Look Like?
Cockalier puppies have droppy ears, long tails and even lengthier fur coats. Their muzzles are fairly long, with a distinctive broad nostriled snout.
Since the Cockalier is a crossbreed, their size and weight are going to vary depending on which parent they take after genetically.
The Cocker Spaniel can be 13.5 to 14.5 inches tall and weigh anywhere from 20 to 30 lbs. King Charles Spaniels are smaller, standing at 12 to 13 inches and weighing around 13 to 18 lbs. Therefore, fully grown Cockalier is likely to be anywhere from 12 to 14.5 inches tall, and weigh anywhere from 12 to 30 lbs.
Cockalier Coat Types
The Cocker Spaniel has a thick, profuse coat that often has some wave or curls. Known for their long, beautiful ears, the Cocker Spaniel is a beautiful dog inside and out, with a longer body, docked tail, and wide, sensitive eyes.
Smaller than the Cocker, the Cavalier King Charles has a silky coat that lays straight and grows shorter around the face and their inquisitive brown eyes. The Cavalier King Charles also has long beautiful ears and a long tail and is famous for their coat colors, which come in four combinations.
The Cocker’s coat will grow as long as you allow it to and comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns. Among the most common are black, lemon,
The Cockalier is going to require some maintenance when it comes to grooming, considering both his purebred parents have wavy coats that tend to mat. The Cavalier King Charles doesn’t require much more than brushing two or three times a week and occasional bathing.
However, the Cocker Spaniel needs almost daily brushing and careful bathing, especially since they are prone to skin issues. Because of this, owners of a Cockalier should carefully brush and bath this crossbreed, using metal grooming combs and a high-quality dog shampoo.
During grooming, keep an eye out for any skin lesions or sore looking spots on your Cockalier’s skin. Any issues that are unaddressed or ignored could turn to painful and costly infections.
Your Cockalier will also need their nails trimmed regularly to keep them from breaking and their ears cleaned consistently to help reduce the chances of ear infection.
The Cockalier has a long wavy coat that sheds a lot. They are likely to set off an allergic response in people with dog allergies, so sadly are best avoided as pets in these cases.
Temperament and Behavioral Traits
The temperaments of both the Cocker spaniel and the Cavalier King Charles are equally gentle, intelligent, and people-oriented. Therefore, a prospective owner of the Cockalier can expect their pup to carry the same traits.
Both the Cocker Spaniel and the Cavalier King Charles are known for their playful, joyful nature. They have hunting backgrounds. It’s likely your Cockalier will chase after small animals like squirrels, rabbits, and even birds!
Are Cockaliers Friendly Dogs?
The Cockalier should get on well with children and other animals. Neither of their purebred parents is known for having an aggressive bone in their bodies.
Notoriously gentle and playful, both the Cocker Spaniel and the Cavalier King Charles make excellent dogs for children. And they also do well in homes of seniors and singles.
They are intelligent, sweet-tempered, and enjoy being around their loved ones more than anything else. So a prospective owner should keep in mind that this dog requires lots of love. And is not going to like being left alone for long periods of time.
Exercise and Training Needs
Your Cavalier Cocker Spaniel crossbreed is a mix between two active, athletic spaniels. They require a certain amount of exercise to stay happy and healthy. Both the Cocker Spaniel and the Cavalier King Charles are athletic dogs who enjoy walks and outdoor play. A daily walk and romp in the yard should suit them just fine.
However, keep in mind that the Cocker Spaniel especially can be prone to obesity. Proper exercise and a healthy diet will be key to keeping your Cockalier in shape.
Training your Cockalier should be a snap since both parent breeds are intelligent and eager to please! Keep in mind that this is a sensitive crossbreed who will do best with a positive rewards-based training system, so we recommend lots of treats and lots of praise!
You may also want to implement early socialization and obedience training during puppyhood to ensure your Cockalier is well rounded and can adapt to all kinds of situations.
Cocker and Cavalier Health Issues
When dealing with any crossbreed, it’s important to keep in mind that like a purebred your Cockalier could be predisposed to the same genetic health issues as their purebred parents. For this reason, many doggy owners opt to get their crossbreeds health screened.
Early health screening is a great way to gather insight into what health issues your dog may face in the future.
This information could give you a leg-up on how to either prepare for or even avoid Cocklier health problems. Now, let’s see what your Cockalier could be prone to by looking at the lifespan and health issues of their purebred parents.
Cocker Spaniel Health
The Cocker Spaniel lifespan of 10 to 14 years and the breed is prone to the following health issues:
- urinary stones
- ear infections
- otitis externa
- hip dysplasia
- phosphofructokinase deficiency
- cherry eye
- liver disease
- heart issues, like congestive heart failure
Cavalier King Charles Health
The Cavalier King Charles also has a life expectancy of 10 to 14 years and is prone to the following:
- early-onset mitral valve disease
- hip dysplasia
- vision issues
- hearing loss
- patellar luxation
The Cockalier is likely to live somewhere between 10-14 years, just like their parent breeds.
It’s essential that you find a puppy whose Cavalier parent have had a recent heart check and have clear of Syringomyelia (tested via MRI) at over two years of age.
Keep in mind that a healthy lifestyle including a high-quality diet and proper exercise can play an important role in your dog’s health and longevity, regardless of the breed!
Are Mixed Breeds Healthier?
Crossbreeding is not a new practice, but its popularity amongst breeders over the last twenty years has brought up a bit of a debate amongst experts and dog lovers alike. For instance, many are scratching their heads and asking, “what makes a crossbreed any different from a mutt?”
Well, if you ask a supporter of crossbreeding, they’ll tell you the answer is simple. Crossbreeds are purposefully created by breeding specific purebred dogs. Mutts are accidental mixed breeds with a largely unknown lineage of dogs in their bloodline.
As most of us are aware, purebred dogs tend to suffer from genetic health defects as a result of over-breeding. As the gene pool shrink but breed standards remain the same, the likelihood of a purebred passing a genetic disease down to their offspring becomes higher.
As with any big decision, we recommend doing plenty of research and ensuring you buy your dog from a responsible, reputable source you can trust.
Adoption fees typically range from $50 to $100, and shelters will usually cover the initial cost of a vet trip to ensure your Cockalier dog is healthy and ready to go home with you!
On the flip side, if you would like to take a look at Cockalier breeders, prepare for the Cockalier price to be significantly higher. We’re talking in the $500 to over $1000 range, especially if the purebred parents are show quality.
Remember that reputable breeders health screen their dogs to ensure they are free of any of the heritable health problems.
Lynn Graham says
I have a 4 year old female and as a trainer she is one of the best dogs for affection and will make you smile every time you look at their face. She is a certified therapy dog and is absolutely the best I’ve witnessed! On the health side these dogs have a tendency for bladder crystals so make sure they are hydrated and fed a low fat dog food. Their coat is crazy! It is beautiful but her hair mixture between breeds makes her difficult to groom. Overall this is one of most magical and fun dogs I have ever owned!
Marie-Sophie WERY says
I am interested in purchasing a female Cockalier (2 colors: or Ruby or Golden with white).
I live in Belgium. I do not know how to get one and where.
Could you help me ?
Pamela Todd says
I have a 8 year old cockalier that we adopted.. She is overweight..She weighs 38 lbs. Can someone please tell me how much she should be fed and how many times a day? Thank you
Christina Hall says
My 12 year old Cockalier was heavier around that time in her life. I supplimented half of her food for green beans at each feeding time. Also, deaily exercise helped.
Sarah Eblet says
Hi we are looking for a Ruby Cockalier with little white also maybe on head. Any help would be appreciated.
Cathy Mulcahy says
I am interested in purchasing a cockalier,female, Blenheim coat. Thank you Cathy Mulcahy
Debbie Diehl says
I love my cockalier..his name is Ralphie and he is our baby! Ralphie is six years old and the last 2 years he has had 4 seizures, just wondering it does not say but are they prone to have seizures…vet want me to give him Phenabarb…but I have read that it is hard on their liver…any suggestions or comments Please….
My guy is about the same age and after ruling out any possible causes for seizure (via MRI, spinal fluid tap, etc) I had to give in and put him on med. They tried keppra (i think was the name) first bc it is easier on the dog but it only works on about 50% of patients. We had to go with phenobarb. Start on smallest dose possible and monitor. We do a blood test every 6 months (even though vet only suggested once a year) to check his levels and make sure kidney/liver function is remaining good. As long as it is within what they term therapeutic range his med will stay at that dose. I was hesitant for phenobarb but neurology at a vet teaching hospital assured me with level checks every 6 months it would be best to do the med rather than allow seizures to continue as they were becoming morw frequent – one every couple months and becoming longer in duration.
Bob Donovan says
Was fortunate to adopt Digger, my Cockalier. Have had many dogs over the years and am now a senior. Digger is everything you describe. I could not as for a better companion!
Michelle Smith says
I have an almost 4 month old and she is quite the bitter. Not sure how to get this under control. She also has her times where she seems to go just wild and runs around the house in a race track pattern. She is very fast! Any suggestions on the bitting?
Hey I can’t tell if my puppy is a Cockalier or not, how old he is, or if he’s small for his size. Do you think you could help?
Hi I’m looking for a cockalier
Solid ruby red with maybe little white mostly red 2 healthy young dogs or puppies can you help me?
I just read your post, did you find a reputable cockalier breeder? Still searching, thanks!
Sharyn Harbison says
Hello, I am looking for a Cockalier for my Mother In Law. Im looking for a dog thats between 2 and 3 years of age. And preferably tan and gold in color.
I live in Murrieta California.
We are interested in a dog sooner than later 🙂
Please call me with any information.
Thank You, and Happy New Year!