Among the irresistible miniature dogs taking the canine community by storm, one seems to steal the spotlight with its effortless gorgeous appearance — the miniature Cocker Spaniel.
However, just like other miniature breeds, mini Cocker Spaniels seem to have underlying issues due to selective breeding. Many critics say they should be banned for being extremely unhealthy and unstable.
If you are interested in knowing more about these adorable mini Cocker Spaniels, you’ll love this nifty guide. Here, you’ll learn plenty of facts about the mini Cocker Spaniel, including its health, appearance, costs, and more!
What Is a Mini Cocker Spaniel?
The mini Cocker Spaniel, sometimes called teacup Cocker Spaniel, is a tinier version of the American or English Cocker Spaniel. This hybrid dog has a height and weight that is almost half of the standard Spaniel. Mini Cockers are among the most well-loved miniature dog breeds in the canine world.
Since the standard American Cocker Spaniel and English Cocker Spaniel only slightly differ in appearance, their miniature counterparts also look almost identical.
They also have elegant appearances, including the breed’s silky hair that could either be straight or wavy.
Due to many similarities, we will refer to both the mini American Cocker Spaniels and mini English Cocker Spaniels as simply miniature or teacup Cocker Spaniels throughout this guide.
Currently, these dogs are not recognized by any of the major kennel clubs in the country.
According to critics, mini Cocker Spaniels are yet to be recognized because of how they are produced and the health issues associated with them.
Mini Cocker Spaniel Size and Weight
Miniature Cocker Spaniels typically stand between 9 and 12 inches tall while weighing 7 to 15 pounds.
Their height is just around half that of a standard Cocker Spaniel, which measures 13.5 to 15.5 inches in height and 20 to 30 pounds in weight.
These tiny dogs usually mature at the age of 9 to 12 months, and they are expected to become fully grown once they turn 18 months old. However, some could still gain a few inches and pounds until they turn two years of age.
Mini Cocker Spaniel Appearance
Mini Cocker Spaniels exhibit the same features as the standard ones, but they have a smaller stature and body mass.
They sport long and lustrous hair that could be straight or wavy (which a lot of people find most appealing). They also inherited the long floppy ears of the standard Cocker Spaniel.
Although small, teacup Cocker Spaniel dogs have sturdy bodies. They also have a slightly pointed muzzle, round head, fluffy ears, and well-rounded paws. Their alluring eyes could be amber or brown in color.
Purebred miniature Cocker Spaniels sport all of the possible coat patterns and colors of their standard Cocker Spaniel siblings.
Meanwhile, the mini Cocker Spaniels produced by crossbreeding may come in a wider variety of patterns and pigments.
Some of the colors that a mini Cocker Spaniel may exhibit are black, brown, buff, red, silver, blue roan, cream, golden, and sable.
How Are Miniature Cocker Spaniels Bred?
Some mini Cocker Spaniels are naturally born smaller than the standard ones due to genetics. Others, on the other hand, are a product of selective breeding and crossbreeding.
In this section, you’ll learn three different ways miniature Cocker Spaniels are bred.
Introduction to the Dwarfism Gene
A Cocker Spaniel born with the dwarfism gene will have stunted growth, making it look miniature even when full-grown.
Dwarfism can be caused by a decrease in the production of hormones in the pituitary gland, which are vital for growth and development. Hence, when there is an anomaly in hormone production, the growth of a dog is hampered.
The canine community gravely condemns this kind of breeding process because it significantly affects the dog’s quality of life.
Dwarfed mini Cocker Spaniels are more vulnerable to certain diseases, so they cannot live that long.
Breeding Runts Together
Another method that produces mini Cocker Spaniels is runt breeding. For starters, runts are the weakest and smallest puppies in the litter. These runts, when bred together, result in puppies that are smaller than normal.
This breeding process also has its fair share of drawbacks. When breeders use runts, their size is not the only trait passed down to their puppies.
Their weak immune system and other vulnerable characteristics are also inherited by the resulting litter.
Hence, if both parents are Cocker Spaniel runts, the health of the puppies is compromised. They aren’t ideal if you want a tiny Cocker Spaniel to stay by your side for a long time.
Breeding Cocker Spaniels With Other Smaller Breeds
Miniature Cocker Spaniels can also be produced by breeding standard Cocker Spaniels with smaller dog breeds such as Dachshunds, Toy Poodles, and English Toy Spaniels.
However, this process is tricky as it is difficult to predict the puppies’ appearance.
We can only say that this process is successful if the puppies inherit most of the characteristics of their Cocker Spaniel parent.
Aside from appearance, miniature Cocker Spaniels born out of crossbreeding will also have varying temperaments, personalities, and health conditions.
For instance, Cocker Spaniel Dachshund mixes are known to be loyal dogs. However, most of them also inherit the stubborn attitude of their Doxie parents.
Meanwhile, Cocker Toy Poodle mixes are said to be happy-go-lucky and lively hybrids. However, these dogs may result in curly puppies.
Among the possible mixes, crossbreeding with an English Toy Spaniel is arguably to be the best way to produce a miniature Cocker Spaniel due to their similarities in terms of appearance and health condition.
Do Kennel Clubs Recognize Miniature Cocker Spaniels?
Miniature Cocker Spaniels are not recognized by any major kennel clubs because no such size category exists in the standard.
Nevertheless, those that are naturally small in stature but fall within the size and weight cut-off of the breed standards may be registered as purebred Cocker Spaniels.
In addition, even if you have successfully registered your purebred miniature Cocker Spaniel, you won’t still be able to enlist your dog in canine sporting events or conformation shows because their size is considered faulty.
If you really want your dog to be acknowledged, register them in the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC). This organization also stages events where your little pooch can participate.
Mini Cocker Spaniel Temperament and Personality
Miniature Cocker Spaniels are sweet, intelligent, and loyal pooches. They love being around their family and are also known to be gentle with young children. If you are looking for a family pet, they make a good candidate!
One thing to be aware of is that they can easily get anxious and bored when left alone.
When this happens, they would likely resort to destructive behavior to ease their stress and boredom. They always demand their owner’s attention and love.
Most owners also observe that these miniature dogs tend to chase small animals around the house. This trait can be traced back to their past as hunting dogs. However, they can still get along with other pets.
Miniature Cocker Spaniels that are socialized and trained at an early age will behave well around other dogs.
They would also treat other pets in the house as part of their family if they grew up alongside them.
Around strangers, miniature Cocker Spaniels exhibit a friendly demeanor while keeping a vigilant eye for possible danger. They are open to unfamiliar people but won’t hesitate to protect their families if they sense danger.
For miniature Cocker Spaniels that were produced through crossbreeding, they surely inherited distinct traits.
For instance, those with Dachshund blood tend to be sweet yet stubborn, just like their Doxie parents. Meanwhile, miniature Cocker Spaniels created from Toy Poodles are just as lively and lovely as their Poodle parents.
Mini Cocker Spaniel Lifespan and Health Issues
The average lifespan of the miniature Cocker Spaniel ranges between 10 and 15 years. Some even exceed the average life expectancy through proper maintenance and lifestyle.
Unfortunately, not all miniature Cocker Spaniels can live to reach this ideal lifespan. Many dogs pass away earlier than expected because of a number of health issues.
Here are the common health issues that miniature Cocker Spaniels are prone to:
- Epilepsy: Epilepsy is a neurological condition that affects the normal function of the brain, often accompanied by involuntary muscle movements. This condition is commonly characterized by seizures or convulsions.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): This ailment affects the vision of miniature Cocker Spaniels. It is a degenerative disease that destroys the cells in the eye, which could lead to blindness. Usually, miniature Cocker Spaniels with unattended PRA eventually lose their total vision after one to two years.
- Von Willebrand’s Disease: Miniature Cocker Spaniels with this disease usually experience hemorrhage in their nose, mouth, urinary bladder, and vagina. They would also likely bleed continuously after surgery or an injury, leading to severe and critical conditions.
- Ear Infections: Miniature Cocker Spaniels inherit ear diseases from their standard Cocker Spaniel parents. Typically, mini Cocker Spaniels with ear infections exhibit redness in the ear canal, itchiness, excessive wax build-up, and an unpleasant smell.
Most of these common health issues are preventable and treatable. To ensure your miniature Cocker Spaniel is healthy, you must voluntarily provide them with a proper diet, an active lifestyle, and regular vet visits.
How to Take Care of Your Miniature Cocker Spaniel
If you are determined to own a miniature Cocker Spaniel, you should make yourself knowledgeable about the basic skills needed to maintain one. Proper feeding, grooming, and training are just a few of your duties.
Here are some of the tips for taking care of a miniature Cocker Spaniel:
Food and Diet
Miniature Cocker Spaniels are playful and active dogs. Hence, you should feed them with quality kibble that could provide the energy they need.
The rule of thumb is to feed a dog 30 calories for every pound of its body weight. Since teacup Cocker Spaniels weigh between 7 and 15 pounds, they need around 200 to 450 calories a day, roughly one to two cups of dog food.
Aside from quality kibble, you can also give your miniature dog healthy treats such as diced veggies and sliced fruits for extra nutrients and minerals.
Cleaning and Grooming
Similar to their standard siblings, miniature Cocker Spaniels require regular grooming and cleaning since they are double-coated. They should be brushed frequently to remove loose fur and dead skin.
You should also bathe your dog once a month to keep its coat fresh and clean. It is not advisable to use human shampoo in bathing them as it may cause skin irritation. Hence, buy soap and shampoos that are specifically formulated for pets.
The mini Cocker Spaniel’s ears should also be regularly cleaned to prevent wax build-up and infection.
Meanwhile, trimming of their nails should be done once a month. Their teeth should also be brushed thrice every week to reduce plaque accumulation.
Watch this Cocker Spaniel enjoy a professional grooming service:
Training and Exercise
A lot of breeders and owners would argue that training miniature Cocker Spaniels is easy because of their innate intelligence and desire to please their owners.
You should train and socialize your teacup Cocker Spaniel dog as early as possible. This will help them develop better social skills and behave well around other people, pets, and children.
As for exercise, these active little dogs require at least a 30-minute playtime or walking activity every day. They are very energetic, so you must give them something to vent out lest they resort to destructive behavior.
How Much Does a Mini Cocker Spaniel Cost? Puppy Prices & Expenses
Typically, teacup Cocker Spaniel puppies cost around $700 to $2,000, depending on the dog’s gender, health condition, puppy documents, as well as the breeder’s reputation, location, and health guarantees.
Aside from the price of the puppy, below are some other expenses you should also be mindful of when owning a mini Cocker Spaniel:
|Type of Expense||Cost|
|Food and Treats||$30 – $80|
|Bowls||$10 – $30|
|Toys||$20 – $30|
|Beds||$30 – $200|
|Collars and Leashes||$15 – $50|
|Crates and Carriers||$30 – $200|
|Grooming Essentials||$50 – $150|
|Initial Vet Visits||$100 – $500|
|Initial Vaccine Shots||$50 – $300|
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications||$40 – $300|
|Neutering or Spaying||$50 – $500|
|Microchipping||$40 – $60|
|Dog License||$10 – $20|
|Other Essentials||$20 – $50|
|Total Initial Cost||$495 – $2,470|
The expenses listed above include the starting supplies that you need to purchase before taking your puppy home.
If you are unsure which products are the best for your dogs, ask other fur parents and breeders for recommendations. They might even give you some money-saving tips!
Places to Find Mini Cocker Spaniel Puppies for Sale or Adoption
Searching for reputable breeders could be a daunting task because of the increasing number of untrusty puppy mills and backyard breeders.
Once you’re ready, check out the following sources where you may find reputable miniature Cocker Spaniel breeders:
- Toybox Cockers – Since 1984, Toybox Cockers has been breeding champion Cocker Spaniels. Their dogs are great founding parents for miniature Cocker Spaniels. If you purchase a puppy from them, they’ll provide you with your dog’s full health documents and registration.
- Max Cockers – This breeder holds an American Kennel Club Breeder of Merit, ensuring that their kennel facility follows an excellent and ethical breeding process. Their healthy puppies come from a bloodline of show-ring champions, which can be used as parent breeds for miniature Cocker Spaniels.
- Happytail Puppies – The breeders hosted on this platform boast of the excellent temperament and health condition of their miniature Cocker Spaniel puppies. They also assist new fur parents by teaching them proper feeding, grooming, and training.
Meanwhile, if you prefer adoption, here are some of the rescue centers where you can find a miniature Cocker Spaniel for adoption:
- Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue Inc. – This rescue center operates around New York and takes in Cocker Spaniel dogs regardless of age, gender, and health condition. Since its inception in 2003, they have already saved more than 4,500 Cocker Spaniels. Occasionally, there are miniature Cocker Spaniels living in their care.
- Second Chance Cocker Rescue – Through the help of volunteers, this animal welfare organization tirelessly rehabilitates Cocker Spaniels across California. They provide rescued dogs with shelter, food, and medical care. Since they rescue all kinds of Cocker Spaniels, you might be lucky to find a miniature Cocker Spaniel in their facility.
- Florida Cocker Spaniel Rescue – Since 1997, this rescue facility has been dedicated to rescuing abandoned and surrendered Cocker Spaniel dogs. They take in Cocker Spaniels, whose owners can no longer take care of them. On their website, you’ll find available Cocker Spaniels of different sizes, colors, ages, and gender.
If you want to ace your dog adoption application, make sure you do enough research and that you follow the requirements of the rescue or shelter correctly,
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Mini Cocker Spaniels Shed?
Mini or teacup Cocker Spaniels are moderate shedders, just like their regular Cocker Spaniel siblings.
Moreover, Cocker Spaniels shed more heavily during the fall and spring seasons. This means they need frequent grooming during these seasons, as well.
Are Mini Cocker Spaniels Hypoallergenic?
Unfortunately, mini Cocker Spaniels are not hypoallergenic. The same is true for standard Cocker Spaniel dogs. That said, these miniature dogs are not ideal for people who suffer from pet allergies.
However, many pet fanciers claim that Cocker Spaniels generally produce relatively less dander than other popular dog breeds.
If this is the case, the mini Cocker Spaniel may be suitable for mild allergy sufferers.
Do Miniature Cocker Spaniels Bark a Lot?
Mini Cocker Spaniel dogs are also notoriously known to be barkers. Their barking behavior is an active and natural response to the stimulus in their surroundings. Usually, they will bark whenever there is danger.
Despite their small size, miniature or teacup Cocker Spaniel dogs surely have big hearts for their families, especially young children. Their loyalty and affection for their pack members are unquestionable.
However, they also come with drawbacks. Since some miniature Cocker Spaniels are bred in unethical ways, they become prone to various health problems and genetic conditions.
Nevertheless, you can assure that your miniature Cocker Spaniel will live a happy and long life by providing it with proper nutrition and showering it with unconditional love.
So, are you getting one of these adorable dogs soon? Let us know what you think about the mini Cocker Spaniel in the comments below!