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Cockalier Dog Guide: Meet the Charming Cocker Spaniel Cavalier Mix - PawSafe

Cockalier Dog Guide: Meet the Charming Cocker Spaniel Cavalier Mix

Photo of Tamsin De La Harpe

Written by Tamsin De La Harpe

Cockalier dog

If you love both Cocker Spaniels and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, you’re in for a treat with the Cockalier. This mixed breed combines the best traits of its parent breeds into one adorable package. Think of the Cockalier as your cheerful and affectionate friend, always up for a cuddle or a game in the yard. With their soft floppy ears and expressive eyes, you’ll find it hard not to fall for this lovable pooch.

Since the Cockalier is a mixed breed, they bring a unique blend of characteristics to the table. You might notice that your Cockalier has the sturdy body of the Cocker Spaniel, while sporting the gentle, sweet-natured disposition of the Cavalier. That makes them great companions for all kinds of families. Plus, they’re often just as happy lounging on the sofa as they are tagging along on a brisk walk.

When it comes to grooming, the Cockalier’s coat does require regular attention to keep it looking shiny and to prevent mats. They might inherit the Cocker Spaniel’s love of exploration, which can sometimes mean they get a bit messy – but that’s all part of the fun with these friendly furballs. Whether you live in an apartment or a house with a big backyard, a Cockalier could be the perfect pal for you.

Coming from two well-loved breeds, the Cocker Spaniel and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, this hybrid combines the best of both worlds.

The Spaniel Heritage

The Cocker Spaniel brings energetic vibes and a long history to the Cockalier mix. Originally bred as a hunting dog, the Cocker Spaniel is known for its sturdy build and enthusiastic personality. These traits translate into a dog that loves to play and is always ready for a walk or a game.

The Cavalier Influence

On the flip side, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel adds a layer of sweetness and gentle demeanor to the Cockalier. Cavs, as fans like to call them, have a royal origin, oozing class and composure that dates back to the noble courts of England. They lend a calmness and affection that can balance out the Cockalier’s energy.

The resulting Cockalier is a pup that’s likely to be as happy lounging on a comfy pillow as they are romping around outside. With this blend, you get a picturesque pup that might just be your perfect next pet.

Appearance and Physical Traits

Cockalier dog in the rain

When you look at a Cockalier, you’ll be charmed by their medium-length coat and endearing floppy ears that hint at their Spaniel heritage. They’re a blend of their parent breeds, the Cocker Spaniel and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, which gives them a distinct and appealing look that can vary quite a bit, even within the same litter.

Characteristic Colors

The Cockalier can come in a variety of colors. You might see them sporting coats in shades like:

  • Black;
  • Brown;
  • White;
  • Tan; and
  • Combinations thereof (like Blenheim).

Their coats can come in solid colors or they could be a mixture, giving each dog a unique appearance. This diversity is one of the fun parts of meeting new Cockaliers – no two are exactly alike!

Size and Body Structure

When it comes to size, Cockaliers are considered small to medium dogs. They typically weigh in at:

  • Small: 12 to 20 pounds
  • Medium: 20 to 30 pounds

Their body structure is often well-proportioned with a slightly wavy to curly coat that feels as soft as it looks. The weight of Cockaliers can vary, but generally, they’ll stay within these ranges based on their diet and exercise.

Remember, these are general ranges and your Cockalier might fall outside of them, and that’s perfectly okay. They typically stand about 12 to 15 inches tall at the shoulder, so they fit comfortably in your lap and are a manageable size for most living situations. Their ears are one of their standout features – they’re floppy and often covered in soft, wavy hair, giving them a sweet, gentle look that matches their personality.

Personality and Temperament

Cockalier puppy brown and white on white background Cocker Spaniel Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mix puppy

The Cockalier is known for a personality that’s both loving and sociable, making them a wonderful addition to many homes. You’ll find that their intelligence and eagerness to please make them a joy to train.

Behavioral Traits

Your Cockalier is likely to display a blend of playfulness and affectionate nature. They inherit their friendly demeanor from both parent breeds, which makes them great around other pets and people. With consistent training, your Cockalier’s intelligent nature comes to the fore, allowing them to learn commands and tricks with ease. They do have an energetic side, so regular playtime is important to keep them happy and healthy.

  • Calm – During downtime, Cockaliers can be quite calm and gentle.
  • Patient – They show a patient side, especially when dealing with activities that require a mild temperament.

Cockalier & Families

Let’s talk about how your Cockalier will fit into your family. They are typically very loving and loyal, making them fantastic pets for families with children. Their gentle demeanor is a big plus, as they can play well with youngsters. Since they thrive on social interaction, your Cockalier will fancy being an integral part of your family activities.

  • Affectionate – They show a deep affection to all family members, often becoming a child’s patient playmate.
  • Protective – Though not aggressive, their loyalty can make them somewhat protective of their family.

Companion Qualities

When you bring a Cockalier into your life, you’re gaining a companion that ticks all the right boxes for a personal sidekick.

  • Playful & Energetic – They can match your energy on days out in the park and are always up for games.
  • Friendly –  Expect your Cockalier to make friends wherever you go.
  • Adaptable – Whether you’re living in an apartment or have a sprawling backyard, your Cockalier will adapt with the right amount of exercise.

In everyday life, their social nature means they’ll gravitate towards being by your side, whether it’s curling up on the sofa for a movie night or accompanying you on errands. Just remember that every dog is an individual, so while these traits are common, your Cockalier might have their unique quirks.

Health and Care 

Cocker Spaniel and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel crossbreed dog chewing on chew toy on bed

When you decide to bring a Cockalier into your life, knowing how to keep your pup healthy and happy is super important. You’ll be looking at common health problems and grooming needs, plus how long you can expect your buddy to stick around.

Common Health Issues

Your Cockalier might face a few health challenges common in both Cocker Spaniels and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Keep an eye out for:

Heart Disease

Cockaliers may inherit a predisposition to heart problems from both parent breeds. Cocker Spaniels can suffer from taurine deficiency related Cardiomyopathy, a condition that affects the heart muscle. On the other side, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are known to frequently develop Mitral Valve Disease (MVD), especially as they age. MVD is a progressive disease where the heart’s mitral valve degenerates, leading to heart failure.

Joint Diseases

This breed may also be susceptible to joint issues such as hip dysplasia and patellar luxation. Hip dysplasia involves an abnormal formation of the hip socket that can cause pain and arthritis, while patellar luxation is a condition where the kneecap dislocates out of its normal position.


Obesity is a significant health risk for Cockaliers, as it can exacerbate joint problems and contribute to other health issues. Proper diet and regular exercise are crucial for maintaining a healthy weight in this breed.

Hormonal Issues

Cockaliers may experience hormonal disorders such as hypothyroidism, where the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, leading to various symptoms including lethargy, weight gain, and coat problems.

Dental Issues

Dental health is another concern for Cockaliers, as they are prone to dental diseases including periodontal disease, which can lead to tooth loss if not properly managed. Regular dental check-ups and teeth cleaning are important.

Ear Infections

Due to their floppy ears, Cockaliers are susceptible to ear infections, which can become quite severe if moisture and debris are trapped in the ear canal. Regular ear cleaning and monitoring for signs of infection are essential for preventing complications.

Proactive monitoring and regular veterinary check-ups can help manage these health issues and contribute to a healthier, happier life for a Cockalier.

Make sure you visit the vet for regular check-ups to catch any of these early.

What is the Typical Lifespan of a Cockalier?

Expect to share your life with your Cockalier for about 10 to 14 years. Keeping up with their grooming, providing regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight can help them live a full, active life. Remember, caring for your Cockalier’s health is the best way to ensure you have as many years together as possible.

Cockalier Exercise Requirements

Close up of Cockalier dog Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Cocker Spaniel mixed breed

Cockaliers are a mix of Cocker Spaniel and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. They have a good amount of energy and need regular exercise to stay healthy. Here’s what you should know about their exercise needs:

Daily Walks

You’ll want to take your Cockalier for at least one long walk each day. This helps to keep their muscles in shape and their mind stimulated.


Aside from walks, regular play sessions are crucial. Whether it’s fetch, tug-of-war, or a fun game of chase in a safely fenced area, playtime can ensure your Cockalier burns off excess energy.

Mental Stimulation

These pups are smart and need to keep their brains busy. Try puzzle toys or training sessions that make them think.

Exercise Tips:

  • Morning or Evening: Aim for cooler times of the day to avoid overheating.
  • Consistency is Key: Stick to a routine, as Cockaliers do best on a regular schedule.
  • Watch the Weather: If it’s too hot or cold, keep exercise sessions short or play indoors.

Remember, every dog is different, so adjust the activity level to your Cockalier’s individual needs. Stay in tune with your dog’s mood and energy levels, and you’ll have a happy, healthy pup.

Training and Socialization

When you’re training your Cockalier, remember they’re typically eager to please and respond well to positive reinforcement. Socialization is just as crucial, so get your pup comfortable with various people, places, and situations early on.

Training Techniques

Start Early:

As soon as you bring your Cockalier home, begin training. They have the intelligence of the Cocker Spaniel and the willingness of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, making them generally easy to train.

  • Use positive reinforcement: This means rewarding your dog with treats, praise, or playtime when they follow a command or perform a trick correctly.
  • Be consistent: Use the same commands every time you ask your dog to do something. This consistency helps your Cockalier understand and remember what you’re asking of them.
  • Keep sessions short: Their attention span might be limited, so it’s better to have frequent, short training sessions. Aim for 5-10 minutes to keep them engaged and prevent frustration.

Commands and Tricks:

Teaching basic obedience commands like ‘sit,’ ‘stay,’ ‘come,’ and ‘down’ is essential. You can also move on to tricks as your Cockalier masters basic commands, using their eagerness to learn and impress.

Socializing Your Cockalier

Introduce New Experiences:

Take your Cockalier on different adventures to meet various people and animals. This helps them become well-rounded and adaptable.

  1. Safe encounters: Start with controlled environments where you can ensure positive interactions.
  2. Regular exposure: Frequent socialization outings reinforce good behavior and reduce anxiety or fear in new situations.
  • Puppy classes: Consider enrolling your Cockalier in a puppy class. It’s a great way to learn while interacting with other dogs, which is a key part of socialization.

Your Cockalier has the potential to make training and socialization an enjoyable and fulfilling experience for both of you. Remember, patience and consistency are your best friends throughout this process. Enjoy the journey and the special bond you’ll forge with your furry companion.

Adoption and Purchase

When you’re ready to welcome a Cockalier dog into your home, you’ve got two main routes: purchasing from a reputable breeder or adopting from a shelter. Each path has factors to consider, like the Cockalier’s lifespan and energy levels. Remember, this hybrid breed can fit well with other dogs, but they do have specific feeding and care needs.

Finding a Breeder

If you decide to buy a Cockalier from a breeder, look for one who’s reputable. Reputable breeders are transparent about the health and lineage of their pups. They should also allow you to visit and see the conditions in which the dogs are raised. When dealing with hybrid dogs like the Cockalier, checking for health clearances is crucial due to the potential for inheriting conditions from either the Cocker Spaniel or the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Check for:

  • Health clearances;
  • Good living conditions; and
  • Past customer testimonials.

Visit multiple breeders to compare and contrast.

Considering Adoption

Adoption is another heartwarming option. Shelters often have dogs waiting for a new home, and adopting a dog can be a rewarding experience. When you adopt a Cockalier, you’re giving them a second chance for a happy life. Remember to ask about the dog’s history, and be aware that the exact lineage of hybrid breeds in shelters may not always be clear.

Adoption checklist:

  • Ask about the dog’s background;
  • Inquire about health assessments; and
  • Prepare your home for your new pet’s energy level.

Adoption fees are generally lower than purchasing from a breeder, and oftentimes the Cockalier will have received their vaccinations.

How Much Does A Cockalier Puppy Cost?

When you’re looking to bring a Cockalier puppy into your home, you’re probably wondering about the cost. Cockaliers are a mix of Cocker Spaniel and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and they can be quite charming companions. Here’s what you might expect to pay for one of these adorable pups:

  • Average Price: Typically, you might find Cockalier puppies priced between $800 to $2,500.
  • Factors Influencing Price:
    • Breeder Reputation: Well-known breeders with high standards often charge more.
    • Location: Prices can vary depending on where you live.
    • Pedigree: If the puppy’s parents are show quality, the price could be higher.
    • Health Screenings: Puppies with thorough vet checks and vaccinations may come at a premium.

Keep in mind that the initial cost is just the beginning. You should also consider the long-term costs of dog ownership, which include food, grooming, vet visits, and perhaps pet insurance.

Here’s a quick breakdown of initial supplies you’ll need and their rough costs:

  • Crate: $40-$120
  • Bedding: $30-$100
  • Food and Water Bowls: $10-$50
  • Collar and Leash: $20-$50
  • Toys: $20-$100
  • Initial Vet Visits and Vaccinations: $100-$300

Remember, adopting a dog is a significant financial commitment. Make sure you budget not just for the puppy itself, but for all the supplies and care they’ll need to thrive with you.

Cockalier Maintenance

Caring for your Cockalier includes a blend of daily routines, a balanced diet, and regular health check-ups. Proper maintenance ensures your pup stays healthy, happy, and full of life.

Daily Care Routines

Your Cockalier needs daily brushing to keep their coat free of mats and tangles. Set aside time for exercise like a brisk walk or play session; it’s crucial for their physical and mental well-being. Don’t forget about crate training — a cozy crate serves as their personal space and helps with house training.

Nutritional Needs

Feed your Cockalier high-quality dog food that meets their energy requirements. Typically, an adult Cockalier needs two meals a day. Younger, more active dogs might need more calories, while older ones might need less. Always have fresh water available.

Health Check-Ups

Regular vet visits are important to catch any health concerns early. Keep an eye out for signs of ear infections, a common issue in both parent breeds. Ensure your Cockalier is up-to-date with vaccinations and preventative treatments for parasites.

Remember, your Cockalier thrives on attention and playfulness — engage with them often for their happiness and mental stimulation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When you’re considering adding a Cockalier to your family, you likely have a few questions about this breed. Here are some answers to the most common inquiries.

How big do Cockalier dogs usually get?

Cockalier dogs typically reach weights of 12 to 30 pounds and stand about 12-15 inches tall at the shoulder. Their size can vary, depending on which parent breed they take after more.

Can you recommend some reputable Cockalier breeders?

I can’t personally recommend specific breeders, but it’s important to look for ones who health-test their breeding dogs and offer good socialization practices. Always visit the breeder in person and ask for references.

How much would I typically spend on a Cockalier puppy?

The average price for a Cockalier puppy ranges from $800 to $2,500. Prices can vary based on the breeder’s reputation, the puppy’s lineage, and your location.

What are some of the key temperament traits of Cockaliers?

Cockaliers are known for their affectionate and friendly nature. They are typically outgoing and get along well with children and other pets, making them excellent family dogs.

How does the Cockalier compare to the purebred Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in terms of behavior and size?

Cockaliers often exhibit the gentle and affable nature of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, but they may be slightly more energetic due to the Cocker Spaniel influence. In terms of size, they can be similar or slightly larger than purebred Cavaliers.

Final Thoughts

When you’re considering a furry addition to your family, the Cockalier might just be what you’re looking for. This mix between a Cocker Spaniel and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel can bring a lot of joy with their affectionate and playful nature.


You’re looking at a medium-sized buddy, perfectly sized for both apartment living and homes with a bit more space.


Their coat is silky and might come in various colors. Remember, regular grooming will keep their fur shiny and tangle-free.


You’ll have a friend who’s both eager to please and easy to train. They’ve got a lot of love to give and they’re great with kids and other pets, making them fabulous family dogs.


While generally healthy, it’s important to keep up with their vet checkups. This way, you catch any potential health issues early.

Now, don’t forget to make sure your Cockalier gets enough exercise. They love their playtime, and it keeps them happy and healthy. Plus, you’ll have fun too!

Just remember, every dog is unique. So while you might expect these traits, your Cockalier will have their own special quirks that make them your one-of-a-kind pal. Enjoy every moment with your pup!

Meet Your Experts

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Tamsin De La Harpe


Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.