Cockalier

10-25 lbs
12-14"
Europe, United States
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cocker Spaniel
Cockalier Spaniel

An all-round wonderful dog, the Cockalier is a mixed breed we’d thoroughly recommend to anyone looking to welcome a soft, furry addition to the family. It’s not a purebred, so you may not know too much about this loveable King Charles-Cocker Spaniel combo — we’ve pulled together all the essential information, right here.

In this guide we’ll tell you about the specifics of the Cockalier, including these key takeaways:

  • The Cockalier  was a favorite dog among royalty
  • It’s the perfect pup to have around kids and other pets
  • That its main health complaints are likely to be canine glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy, and syringomyelia


Cockalier breed overview

There aren’t many cuter dogs than a Cockalier dog. Small, cuddly and affectionate, this breed is a charming mix between a Cocker Spaniel and a Cavalier King Charles. Always itching to go for a run, these adorable fellas have so much to offer any family looking for a pup; they’re just really fun, and happy dogs, to have around.

Because they have hunting DNA in them, these guys will chase after almost anything small and fast — so be aware of this when you go for a stroll in the park, so that you’re not unexpectedly racing after your Cockalier as it leaps into the air after a passing bird.



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purpose Purpose
Companion dog
history Date of Origin
Unknown
ancestry Ancestry
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Cocker Spaniel

Cockalier Health

Average Size
Male Cockalier size stats
Height: 12-15 inches Weight: 12-28 lbs
Female Cockalier size stats
Height: 12-14 inches Weight: 10-25 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Syringomyelia
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Canine Glaucoma
Minor Concerns
  • Cherry Eye
  • Otitis Interna and Media
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Patellar Luxation
Occasional Tests
  • X-Rays
  • MRI
  • Blood Tests
  • Ocular Tests
  • Full Body Physical Examination
  • Urine and Stool Analysis

Cockalier Breed History

We don’t know exactly when the Cockalier was established but it’s a relatively new breed, probably dating back to the third quarter of the 20th century. A hybrid breed always has a less detailed and colorful history than a purebred but there’s still plenty to learn about the Cockalier by way of reading up about its parents, both of whom are beloved breeds in their own right. 

The Cocker Spaniel, one of the two dogs from which the Cockalier originates, is so-called because of the ‘cock’ in woodcock. Cocker Spaniels, a breed who have roots in Spain and in the UK, were reliable at flushing out the game bird the woodcock, and for centuries they have been useful as hunting companions. The Cocker Spaniel was recognised by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1878.

A British lap dog breed, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is famous for being popular with royalty (the clue is in the name). Small, silky and eager to please, in color this dog is mainly a combination of black, tan, and white. The Cavalier King Charles was fully recognised by the American Kennel Club in 1995.

Cockalier Breed Appearance

The Cockalier is a joy to look at. Its proportions may vary depending on the dominant parent breed, but generally, a Cockalier has short legs and a stocky build — taking after the Cocker Spaniel.

It’s a relatively small dog with a medium-length, curly or soft coat. Its ears are big and floppy, and its characterful face always looks as though it’s seeking your approval (it usually is). Eyes are large in size and round in shape, and the head is chiseled.

In terms of coat color, Cockaliers come in variations of white, brown, red and black, or combinations of those colors.

Eye Color Possibilities
brown Cockalier eyes
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
black Cockalier nose
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
sable Cockalier coat
Sable
black Cockalier coat
Black
red Cockalier coat
Red
white Cockalier coat
White
brown Cockalier coat
Brown
white Cockalier coat
White
Coat Length
coat
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
coat density
pin
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
coat texture
Cockalier curly coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Cockalier Breed Maintenance

The Cockalier is a reasonably low-maintenance pup that will shed a moderate amount. The coat can vary between the Cavalier’s fine, soft fur, or the Cocker’s curlier version. If it’s the latter, brush it more regularly to avoid matting and clumping, which can happen if your dog gets wet when out and about.

Otherwise, a good brush at least once a week should suffice. Make sure you stay on top of its tooth-brushing in order to stave off tartar and decay. About once a month, make sure you give its nails a little trim.

As the Cockalier is a little dog with a big load of energy, it will need around one hour’s worth of exercise every day. And it’s a flexible pup: you don’t need to live in a huge house to give the Cockalier a happy life, you will find that it’s perfectly happy to live alongside you in a city apartment.



Cockalier health risks

Looked after well, a typical Cockalier can live to around 14 or 15 years. We hope that your pup never has any serious health complications but some conditions are more likely to crop up than others. The issues to which Cockaliers are a little more vulnerable are the following:

Syringomyelia

A painful condition to afflict your dog, syringomyelia occurs when your dog’s brain is too big for its skull. As a result, the opening at the base of the skull is blocked, preventing the flow of spinal fluid. Pockets (syrinxes) therefore form in the dog’s spinal cord, affecting the head, chest, neck and shoulders. 

Graded in severity from 0 to 2, syringomyelia can make itself known in a number of ways. Some symptoms are extreme sensitivity to the areas mentioned above; an inability to walk or play; seizures; and scratching the air a couple of inches away from the head.

In terms of treatment, cranial decompression surgery can be effective (removal of part of the bone blocking the spinal column) but some of the time the problem simply reoccurs. Medications like NSAIDs, steroids and opioids can help with various unpleasant effects like pain and swelling. Physical therapy is also useful. And, in coping with the condition rather than trying to solve it outright, you can make adjustments that will make your dog’s life less painful — replacing a neck collar with a body harness, for example.

Canine glaucoma

If you notice that your pup has a cloudy cornea, a bulging swollen eye, is avoiding the light, or is rubbing its eye with its paw, it may be affected by glaucoma. A particularly unforgiving condition, glaucoma needs to be treated that day — ideally in a few hours — if a dog is to avoid going blind because of it. 

The condition, which frequently causes both animals and humans to lose their sight entirely, occurs when the eye drains either too much or too little fluid, causing the pressure in the eye to shoot up, damaging the optic nerve and the retina.

Without surgery, most dogs don’t take long to lose vision in one or two eyes. Drops and ointments can help to lower the pressure in the eye, and various other medications help to lower or increase fluid production, control inflammation, or dehydrate the eye. 

If your dog has secondary glaucoma — the same as primary glaucoma but deemed to be the result not of genetics but something like inflammation or a tumor — a vet will want to identify and treat the cause of the glaucoma.

Three of the surgeries designed to combat glaucoma are cyclophotocoagulation (laser surgery), enucleation (the removal of the eyeball), and gonioimplantation (the use of a shunt to help drain fluid).

Progressive retinal atrophy

Another eye condition to which the Cockalier is vulnerable — you might be noticing a pattern here — is progressive retinal atrophy. A condition that, sadly, will slowly get worse until your dog loses its sight, progressive retinal atrophy is defined by damage to the eye’s retinal cells over time. Contact your vet if you notice your dog bumping into things or seeming more timid than usual; its eyesight may be deteriorating, something it might find a little scary and disorientating. Other symptoms include cataracts forming on the retina, dilated pupils, or the eyes taking on a sort of gray color.

The good news about progressive retinal atrophy is that it isn’t painful and that, because it creeps up on your dog so slowly, they can gradually adapt to life, using their other senses more than they would if they had perfect vision. 

This is a condition that you manage, not treat. The rate of the disease may be able to be slowed with antioxidants but this isn’t 100% conclusive. So be there for your pet as it adapts to its slightly poorer vision; keep things the same around the house, for example, so that there aren’t any nasty surprises to bump into.



Feeding a Cockalier — what’s the best diet?

Always give your lovely Cockalier puppy or full grown Cockalier high-quality food, just as you would any other breed. Make sure you’re giving it dog food containing as many natural ingredients as possible. Avoid giving it human food whenever possible. 

Do your research and avoid harmful ingredients and things like fillers; if you can afford it, favor brands that are transparent about how they source their ingredients and what goes into each packet. Our guide to the best dog food for one of the Cockalier’s parent breeds, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, has some great recommendations.

One thing that you ought to be aware of with a lovely Cockalier is that it can become overweight if you overfeed it slightly. 

Also, since cardiomyopathy (a weakening of the heart) is a potential concern for the Cockalier, you may want to consider a legume-free dog food that gets rid of peas and lentils, ingredients that may contribute to canine heart problems.

And, if you want comprehensive information about the best dog foods available, check out our friends at Dog Food Advisor — they have in-depth brand reviews that include ingredient analysis, so you know exactly what you’re feeding your pet.


Brushes for Cockalier
Pin Brush
Pin Brush
Slicker Brush
Slicker Brush
Comb
Comb
Nail Clipper
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
fur daily fur weekly fur monthly
Cockalier requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Cockalier Temperament

You really couldn’t wish for a better canine temperament than a Cockalier. Intelligent and easy to train, this is a breed that’s desperate to keep its pet parents happy. 

Content to both curl up in your lap and go for long walks with you, its aggression levels are extremely low and you don’t need to be too concerned about it picking fights with other animals. In fact, it typically gets along well with other household pets, especially if introduced to them at a young age. Socializing Cockalier puppies gets the best results.

Cockaliers are sweet natured and thrive as a member of the family; they’re extremely tolerant with young children, too. 

Indeed, the Cockalier is so sensitive and intelligent that it is one of the breeds used as a therapy dog. Because it is loyal and quick to learn, it’s a joy to train. As well as plenty of exercise, these dogs also love playing games and taking part in activities; scent work is always a hit (those spaniel genes).

Activity Level
low activity medium activity high activity
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
9 miles
walk mileage
Minutes of Activity Per Day
75 minutes
activity minutes

Cockalier Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
1 cups
cup per day cost
Daily Cost
$0.75 - $1.00
food bowls daily cost
Monthly Cost
$25.00 - $30.00
food bag monthly cost

Cockalier Owner Experiences

Austin
24 Months
2 People
House
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walking
Walking, playing with his toys
Walking, playing with his toys.
I had a Cavalier King Charles spaniel for 12 years before she passed away. Loved this breed! We found this Cockerspaniel/Cavalier King Charles breed up for rescue. We rescued him and he is 2 yrs old. He is very lively and lovable! He has the color of the brown and white cavalier, but looks like a cockerspaniel.We love him and he has his forever home with us!
6 years, 3 months ago
Rupert
3 Months
3 People
Apartment
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
This is our first time having a dog and we are so glad we chose to include the Cockalier breed into our family. Rupert has brought so much happiness to our lives. He has been so easy to train and responds well to learning new things. He is friendly, affectionate and always excited to make new friends on his beach walks. He is so well mannered and delightful, we couldn't be happier!
6 years, 2 months ago
Harry
3 Years
3 People
House
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walking
swimming
Fetch
sit and roll
I had never seen this breed until we came across the advert for these puppies. Harry came home, got in his bed and never made a sound. He was very quickly house trained and is very mild mannered. I can leave him alone, with family, with friends, he is so adaptable it is unbelievable. He is very much a working dog out in the field, but he loves nothing more than sitting on your lap and being rubbed, much like the Cavalier King Charles.
6 years, 1 month ago
Maizie Blue
Nine Years
3 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
We have had Maizie since March 2009. She was 9 weeks old. She is a very friendly dog who is also a foodie. She loves to go for walks and when she is in a safe place she loves to run free. She believes she is a great hunter. Always looks around to see if their are critters to chase or she has her nose to the ground picking up interesting scents.
6 years ago
Todd
2 Years
2 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
He is the joy of our life, we became part of our family when he was 8 months old, potty trained in a week, and had one or two accidents shortly after and never again! He plays amazingly with children, in fact better calmer and gentler than with adults. He loves every dog that passes by. He does like to chase squirrels and birds he sees, but there is not a mean cell in his body. Gives kisses on demand, plays catch like a champion, and is smarter than most humans I know.
5 years, 11 months ago
Mr. Peabody
5 Years
4 People
House
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
We are an older, long-married couple who love dogs (and cats) and have had many over the years (golden retrievers, shelties, airedales, scotties, cairns, poodles, britanies). We rescued this guy for a pet store when he was three months old and covered in sores, with huge patches of missing fur. We weren’t looking for a dog as we had two at the time. It was a total accident that we found him. We visited him three times before we brought him home because we were worried about having so many dogs. He was so loving and so obviously in misery we could not igore him. After treating briefly for allergies, our son who lived with us and both of us got mange. Who knew people could catch it! That’s how we discovered what was wrong with Buddy. And we had to treat our other dogs as well. We got him treated and he even grew back all of his missing fur. Three months later our 15 year old standard poodle died. She had decided I was in good hands with “Buddy”. He is the most amazing, joyful little guy I have ever known. He loved our old cairn and cared for her into her dotage, until she died at 17 last February. He is our grandson’s best mate. Since I retired, he has helped me make friends every where I travel. He never meets stranger, 2 legged or four. He is not crazy about getting in the car (maybe remembering all of those early trips to the vet), but he never wants to be left behind. He is a perfect gentleman. Don’t know what I will do when his time on earth is over. I will certainly have a broken heart. We all will.
5 years, 9 months ago
Douglas and Audrey
3 Years
3 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walking
Cuddles
Going to the Beach
love my two babies (full brother and sister) not very smart some times but havethe best attitude! they hate water!
5 years, 8 months ago
Bailey
9 Weeks
3 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Playing fetch
Cuddling
So far, so good! Super intelligent, has been great overall with crate training. Super playful with my children!
5 years, 3 months ago
Riley
1 Year
3 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walking
Running
Needs loads of attention but very caring and friendly.
5 years ago
Eamon
11 Years
1 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
He is wonderful and a love. Great Facebook Group for these guys. They love their humans and must be touching you constantly. Food - he is not really that interested. Gets mad at me and will be right in front of me.
4 years, 10 months ago
Cinnamon
4 Years
6 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Fetch
I adore Cinnamon, the only thing is that she tends to bark at other dogs and people a lot outside whenever we are on a walk. She is very affectionate once you get to know her. She knows tricks so as sit, rolling over, high five, giving her paw, laying down, and double high five. Constantly begs for human food but has some difficulty eating her own food. Only eats it if there is wet dog food or chicken but never just dry kibble. Hates baths. Incredibly playful but only when she is feeling energetic.
4 years, 10 months ago
Lunar
1 Year
7 People
House
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
going on walks
Lunar is an amazing dog who is very friendly with both dogs and people. She loves going on walks with her friend Marley.
4 years, 10 months ago
Fin
5 Months
1 People
Studio
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
We have only been together for two months. Extremely playful, loving. He thinks it is okay to be stubborn at times...we're learning.
4 years, 10 months ago
Sukie
8 Years
2 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Very loyal, cheeky, loving, cuddly answers back and asks when she needs something. Gets on great with cavalier king Charles.
4 years, 3 months ago
Bandit
7 Months
2 People
Apartment
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
He is the most gentle perfect dog for young children. He literally puts up with more craziness from my 2 yr old then im willing to. My complaint is hes too protective of her. I have to wait for days my toddler is gone to try to socialize him or else he is very aggressive towards strangers but fine when baby is gone
3 years, 12 months ago
Bobby
3 Years
3 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Best and sweetest dog you could ever meet and he is red and a bit of white on his chin he is so lovely and he is such a good Boy in the house and loves any dogs and loves children and he loves attention and loves going on big walks I really do recommend Cockalier they are very loving .
3 years, 11 months ago
Bailey
9 Months
4 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Frisbee
Long walks
training
Active lifestyle
Playing with the ball
Running
Great family dog and very quick to learn new tricks. By 4 months old he was able to roll over, high five etc. He has a lot of energy, so we walk him for at least 2 hours a day but even then he will still want to play. We don’t have any young children but he is great with little ones would definitely love to have a little one around. Beware of letting this breed of the lead though as they tend to want to chase everything in sight. Very friendly with other dogs and just generally a great breed of dog to have.
3 years, 10 months ago
Milo
6 Months
2 People
Apartment
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Milo’s just amazing and full of energy! I take him to the dog park everyday and he loves playing with other dogs and meeting new people. Never aggressive and super friendly. He was toilet trained within a couple of weeks of having him and learnt tricks super quick.
3 years, 4 months ago
H
6 Months
1 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walking
Walking, retrieving, grooming, playing, agility
Amazing nature, social and savvy with other dogs. Only barks inside when guarding his territory, never outside and he just chills and is relaxed when other dogs bark or get stressed, he either walks away as he can’t interact if a dog is barking at him or if a dog is being aggressive he tries to give it space but keeps going back submissively in his movements to gain the trust of the dog . Just an amazing dog...although yip that bird chasing sees recall go out of the window. Struggling a bit on recall as he just pelts off if he sees another dog
3 years, 3 months ago
Cooper
4 Years
2 People
Apartment
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Fetch
Walk
Play
Tug-of-war
Very affectionate, loves attention but simply naps when left alone in the apartment for a couple of hours. Very loyal to us and likes other people more than other dogs. Startles easily. Very very good lovable dog.
3 years, 1 month ago
Animal Expert Question Icon
Question - Behavior
Question

A 3 month old cockalier showed aggressive behavior to another smaller dog in the same family. Does this indicate a dog that might have aggressive tendency even when it gets older?

Answer
Animal Expert Question Icon
Question - My pet
Question

My Rusty a 14 year old male cockalier is 40lbs and is 24 inches high. Don’t know how he grew those long legs He is a beautiful mix. When he passes I would love to get another cockalier puppy

Answer
Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
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