How to clip a cocker spaniel

Updated April 17, 2017

Cocker spaniels were originally bred to hunt with their masters, flushing foul and other small animals from bushes and grasses so they could be shot. These loyal dogs are now much more commonly known as loving lapdogs with short tails, floppy ears, and a long, curly coat that needs consistent grooming. Save money by learning to clip your dog's thick coat at home.

Start by grooming your dog's face and head. Use the shortest comb attachment on the clippers so that you can clip closely. Trim the entire top and back of the dog's head and the top half of his ears. Make sure to trim the underside of each ear as well. Continue using the short attachment to trim his cheek and jaw area.

Change to the longest blade attachment and trim your dog's muzzle above his nose as well as the bottom outer half of his ears, leaving the hair a little longer in those areas.

Keep the long comb attachment on the clippers and trim your cocker's chin down to his chest.

Switch to the medium attachment and clip your dog's back and sides, parallel to his tail, to create the skirt appearance cockers are famous for. If it is summer and you want your dog to feel cooler, you can continue using this blade on his legs, paws and backside.

Trim the excess hair around your dog's feet. You can also trim the hair along his belly. If there are matted areas you are unable to brush out, use scissors to carefully cut away these areas. Use the longest attachment to blend the cut hair into the longer fur.


Your dog should be clean before trimming, but make sure he is thoroughly dry as well. Trim your dog outdoors, or place a tablecloth or sheet on the floor to collect the trimmed fur.

Things You'll Need

  • Clipper set
  • 3 differing lengths of comb attachments
  • Dog brush
  • Scissors
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About the Author

Tricia Goss' credits include Fitness Plus, Good News Tucson and Layover Magazine. She is certified in Microsoft application and served as the newsletter editor for She has also contributed to The Dollar Stretcher, Life Tips and Childcare Magazine.