Is The Golden Cocker Retriever Really A Good Hybrid?

Golden Cocker Retriever

The Golden Retriever is a dog that many dog lovers immediately think of when looking for one of the more popular breeds. The puppies are some of the cutest around and the adults are gentle, loving family members that want to share their life with you.

The problem is that these dogs often grow to be bigger than some expect. They are good-sized dog, with the diet and exercise needs to match, and are certainly no good in a small apartment home.

That is why we often find breeders that take the Goldie and breed it with smaller dogs for a similar breed, but a smaller build.

One such mix is the Golden Cocker Retriever – (Golden Retriever mix with the Cocker Spaniel). This may be hard to imagine at first, but there are many fans of this alternative Retriever cross.

In this guide to the Cocker Spaniel Golden Retriever mix we will look at some of the most important information that all prospective owners need before buying or adopting one of these pups.

We will start by looking at the breeding and the different names for these dogs , including a section on the increasingly popular miniature Golden Retriever and its relationship to this cross. From there, we will look at some of the physical traits of this dog , such as the size and coat.

We will also look at some of the pros and cons with the personality of the dog and its suitability as a family pet.

Finally, we will take a closer look at the choice between breeders and shelters when finding a pup to take home.

Golden Retrieve Cocker Spaniel mixGolden Retrieve Cocker Spaniel mix – Image Source

What is a Golden Retriever Cocker Spaniel mix called?

This is an important question for anyone looking for pups and breeders because there are a number of different names allocated to these dogs.

[thrive_text_block color=”note” headline=””]Some call them the Golden Cocker Retriever, others the Golden Spaniel – although these suggests a pure Spaniel with a Golden coat. Then there are those that call it a Cogol – which makes no etamological sense at all and merely confuses matters.

Other confusing names come from the specialist breeders that work with a very particular cross of genes and essentially create their own brand. This is what happened with the Dakota sports Retriever. These dogs all come from the same American breeders and are distinguishable because of the mix of 50% Golden Retriever, 25% English Cocker and 25% American Cocker. Some see this as close to being a breed in its own right, although it is not recognized as such.[/thrive_text_block]

Some dog lovers will also be aware that there are some breeders that use the Cocker Spaniel when working with miniature Golden Retrievers. This is one way of creating a smaller dog with many of the looks and traits of the pure Goldie. However, many breeders are against this option and prefer to use a Golden and Poodle mix. The reasons for this will be discussed further as we look at some of the negative traits of this hybrid.

What can owners expect when it comes to the Golden Retriever Cocker Spaniel mix size?

Because this is bred to be a smaller version of the Golden Retriever, it is understandable that this dog will be a little smaller in its height and general build.

Still, there are variations in the hybrid depending on the dominance of certain genes and the gender of the dog.

[thrive_text_block color=”red” headline=””]The average Golden Retriever Cocker Spaniel mix weight is said to be 30 to 45 pounds, but larger males with stronger Retriever genes can be closer to 60 pounds.

The height is usually 15 to 17 inches, so less variation here. [/thrive_text_block]

Golden Cocker RetrieverGolden Cocker Retriever – Image Source

What about the looks of a Golden Retriever and Cocker Spaniel mix?

We can get a decent idea of what this dog will look like from the many Golden Retriever Cocker Spaniel mix images online.

Again there are some variations in the shape of the head and general build, although many will show a broad skull. A common trait is the longer drooping ear than that of the Retriever.

One of the clear ways to tell this cross from other Golden hybrids is with the tail. Some carry that long and straight like a Retriever, but others have them curled over the back. This changes the look and line of the dog quite significantly and offer a unique look.

golden retriever spaniel mix dogsSpaniel Retriever Mix Dogs – Image Source

What about the coat and Golden Retriever Cocker Spaniel mix shedding?

This shedding issue is another reason why some prefer the Poodle when creating the ideal miniature Golden.

The Poodle has the potential for that low shedding hypoallergenic coat, which isn’t an option here. Instead this dog has a long coat of wavy fur with the likelihood of that second undercoat to deal with as well. This can be a problem for those with allergies and those that want a low maintenance dog.

This length and coat type also means that they will need plenty of grooming to keep the hair looking at its best.

Are there any important health care concerns?

There is always the chance that some of these hybrids will inherit some of the health issues associated with their parent breeds.

It all depends on their linage and the efforts of the breeders to rule out any major issues.

The Dakota sport cross, for instance, comes with plenty of claims about healthy pups that amateur breeders may not be able to promise themselves.

Potential issues include joint and eye problems, heart disease, hypothyroidism and weight issues.

[thrive_text_block color=”note” headline=””]Also, we need to ask ourselves about the life expectancy of Golden Retriever Cocker Spaniel mix. Many cross breeds live longer because they are smaller or because of hybrid vigour. In this case, this hybrid could live up to 14 years, maybe more with a good health care regime. [/thrive_text_block]

Home life with a Golden Retriever Spaniel mix

As this is a cross between two active breeds – a fun loving Spaniel and an energetic Retriever – there is no doubt that these cross will need a lot of exercise and playtime with their owners.

A long walk will help to keep them fit and tire them out, but playtime and games of fetch also help. This is why it is best that these dogs are at home in a property with a yard where they can play and have enough room.

Remember that just because they are a smaller dog than the Retriever, this doesn’t mean that they are a small breed. There are also some keen owners that say that these pups make great watchdogs, alerting owners and barking at intruders and strangers.

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What can owners expect from the behavior of this Cocker Spaniel and Golden Retriever mix?

As with all cross breeds, there are some positive elements to the Golden Retriever Cocker Spaniel mix temperament and some negative ones.

It is easy to assume that this is a lovable, loyal, family oriented dog from many of the positive reviews for the breed. Many of these dogs do inherit the fun loving nature of the Spaniel, the gentle side of the Retriever and a strong sense of devotion to the pack.

[thrive_text_block color=”red” headline=””]However, many guides neglect to mention the sensitivity of the Cocker Spaniel and the risk that this will be passed onto its offspring. This sensitivity can cause some anxiety when the dogs are startled, which can also turn into aggressive tendencies.

There are reports of Cockers nipping and lashing out when upset. This is an understandable response in many ways, but not something that you want in a Golden Retriever hybrid. There are also those that say that these dogs can be a little destructive if left alone with no entertainment.[/thrive_text_block]

There are some concerns over the suitability of this dog as a family pet, but a strong training regime could help

This is why this Golden x Cocker is not recommended as viable breeding pair for a miniature Golden.

The typical mix of the Golden and Poodle is preferable for some breeders because they tend to be better behaved and better suited to family life. These potential problems with the Cocker Spaniel genes can minimize their appeal as a family pet because parents don’t want a dog that might nip at small children.

Those that work hard with the training of these dogs could eliminate this risk with good obedience and control from an early age, which could mean that these dogs do become wonderful, gentle family members. It all depends on the time and effort owners want to put in, and their confidence with training.

These dogs should be pretty smart – not as smart as those Retriever crosses with the Poodle genes, but sharp enough. They are also fairly eager to please. This means that those that undertake a strong, consistent training regime of obedience and other behavioral traits can improve with time.

The problem is that some new owners may lack the confidence or skill to provide this training in the most beneficial way. This is where guides like Doggy Dan the online dog trainer come to the rescue. This online course can be used at any place, any time, for a more comfortable training session on your terms. The instructions are easy to follow, via step-by-step guides, and cover a range of important issues.

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Finding the right Golden Retriever Cocker Spaniel mix breeder

If you have read all of this and feel that this mix is still desirable, you need to know where to find Cocker Spaniel Golden Retriever mix puppies.

Some hopeful owners will turn straight to the high-end breeders with the Dakota Sports dogs for a respectable linage and guarantee on health and well-beings. Others will look closer to home.

All new owners need to check the puppies and parents before committing to be make sure the breeder is responsible.

The choice of breeder will also have an effect on the Golden Retriever Cocker Spaniel mix price. The better the breeding and the brand, the higher the price. Avoid all those with cheap pups for sale.

dakota sport retrieverDakota Sports Retriever – Image Source

What about finding a Golden Retriever Cocker Spaniel mix for adoption?

Breeders aren’t the only option when looking for one of these dogs.

A trip to a shelter or rescue center is often one of the best ways to find a Golden Cocker Retriever full grown. This is ideal for those that don’t want the pressure of raising one of these pups themselves.

There is a good chance that some of these dogs will have been abandoned because of the behavioral issues mentioned above, but this doesn’t mean that they can’t suit the right home and owner.

Pay a visit to a shelter, meet the dog and handler and see if they may be a good fit.

What have we learned about this Golden Retriever Cocker Spaniel mix?

Hopefully all of this Golden Retriever Cocker Spaniel mix info has provided some insight into the pros and cons of owning these dogs.

There are some people that will come into ownership of this cross assuming that it’s the perfect miniature Golden, but will be disappointed to learn about its potential behavior issues and the quality of the coat.

However, just because this mix is frowned upon by breeders of mini Goldens, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t positive traits to these dogs as well. It pays to learn more about the parents and the effort that goes into raising these animals.

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Is the Golden Cocker Retriever a good hybrid for you?

If you are in the market for the best hybrid for a miniature Golden, it is best to look at the Poodle crosses and the comfort Retrievers, rather than this Cocker cross.

This is purely down to two factors: the potential that this Cocker cross wont be a great family pet and the fact that the comfort Retriever has been bred to look more like a pure Golden.

If you simply want an interesting hybrid that is a little smaller than a Golden, with all of the beneficial traits above, and you do not have a young family, this mix could be an interesting choice. There is some hard work involved here with the training, grooming and general care, but they can make the time and effort worthwhile.

Featured Image: Instagram/ralphiehubs


Passionate lover of dogs and proud owner of a friendly, mischievous and energetic golden retriever named Beethoven! I’m incredibly excited to share my experiences on how best to care for your beloved pet. The more we know, the happier we and our canine friends will be!

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