Golden Retriever Cocker Spaniel Mix: Golden Cocker Retriever 101

If you’ve never owned a dog or have young children and are looking for a devoted breed to adore you and keep you active, you’re in luck! Let us introduce you to a breed that’s taking the Designer Dog world by storm – the Golden Cocker Retriever!

It’s no surprise that a mix between the ever-popular Golden Retriever and the devoted Cocker Spaniel has produced a pup with such a happy disposition, a gentleness with children and an endless supply of love and loyalty. This mix is known for being intelligent, active and exceptionally friendly, making this breed one of the more popular Designer breeds around.

The Golden Spaniel mix is descended from sporting dogs and while those energetic genes ever present, this mix truly shines as a companion animal to a loving family. If you’re looking for the perfect family dog to add warmth and laughter to your home, look no further than the Golden Cocker Retriever!

Parent Breeds

Designer dogs have risen in popularity in the last few decades. This practice begins with breeding two different purebred parents to create a new breed. In the case of the Golden Cocker Retriever, the parents are a purebred Golden Retriever and Cocker Spaniel.

While considered controversial in some bred enthusiast circles, designer dogs do have their benefits. The practice has opened up nearly endless possibilities of adorable new breeds but perhaps most importantly, these designer dogs are being born with overall health improvements in comparison to their purebred parents.

Because these hybrids inherit different traits from each parent, it’s hard to anticipate how a mixed breed will look and act. Learning about the more predictable parent breeds can help in understanding a Golden Cocker Retriever. So let’s take a deeper look into the Golden Retriever and the Cocker Spaniel.

Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is a wildly popular companion dog due to the warm, lively, and gentle disposition. The Golden Retriever is currently ranked the 3rd most popular dog breed by the American Kennel Club, which describes the breed as “friendly, intelligent and devoted.” This breed is a medium-to-large dog, weighing between 55 and 75 pounds. The life expectancy is 10 to 12 years and this breed will dedicate everyone one of those years to loving on and pleasing their family.

The origins of the Golden Retriever begin in Scotland in the 1800s when a Lord Tweedmouth set out to create the optimal hunting canine who could retrieve both on land and in the water. Little did Tweedmouth know, he was creating what would become one of the most sought-after breeds of dog to ever exist. Their popularity sky-rocketed in America in the 1930s and has remained high ever since due to this breed’s trainability and sweet nature.  Other popular Golden Retriever mixes include the Golden Retriever Husky Mix, and the GSD Golden mix.

Cocker Spaniel

The Cocker Spaniel, recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1946, is described as “gentle, smart and happy.” The Cocker Spaniel is a loyal and sweet pup who flourishes when they are surrounded by family. Because of their powerful attachment to those they love, and they tend to be a sensitive breed who can become easily stressed. This breed is considered a medium-sized canine, weighing between 20 and 30 pounds on average. The life expectancy is 10 to 14 years.

Descending from Spanish hunting dogs, the appearance in the United States can be traced back to the 17th century with the arrival of the Mayflower where a Cocker Spaniel was reported to have been on board. The Cocker Spaniel was considered by the AKC as the most popular breed of the 1950s thanks, in part, to the film “Lady and the Tramp” and President Nixon’s beloved Cocker Spaniel Checkers.

Golden Retriever Cocker Spaniel Mix

The Golden Cocker Retriever, like their parents, belongs to the sporting breed group and does well in competitive canine sports. Also known as a Dakota Sport Retriever, a Golden Retriever-Cocker Spaniel mix or a Cogol, this mix is recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC) and the Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC).

Not much is known about the origin of this hybrid, but the popularity has steadily risen over the past 20 years alongside many other designer breeds. Let’s take a look at what’s made a family favorite!

Appearance

Generally, a Golden Cocker Retriever will look much like a smaller version of the Golden Retriever parent. However, this mix has been sometimes called a “mystery puppy” because breeders can never be sure what they will really look like until they are fully grown.

With this in mind, you can only estimate that their tail and ears will be long, with the tail resembling a Golden Retriever and ears resembling a Cocker Spaniel. Eye color varies and can either be light shades of blue or green or, more commonly, brown. This mix has a medium-sized muzzle and generally sports a black nose.

Temperament

When it comes to temperament, the Golden Cocker Spaniel can end up with any of their parents’ wonderful traits, and there are many! Known as both loving and docile but also sociable and energetic, you really do get the best of both worlds with this breed.

Although not an incessant barker, the Golden Cocker is not considered a quiet breed and can bark occasionally at various stimuli. This mix also is an extremely loyal breed. This combination makes an excellent watchdog. However, the sweet and friendly demeanor does not make this mix a very good guard dog.

Both parents are well-established family favorites and do well with children of all ages. The Golden Cocker Retriever is no different. The breed loves children and is intelligent enough to know when to be extra gentle with the little ones and more playful with the older children. This instinct makes this mix ideal for any family with kids. The Golden Spaniel Mix loves to be around family and this mix does not bode well when they are separated from them for long periods of time.

Puppies & Costs

Litter sizes for this breed can vary, ranging from 4 to 12 puppies per litter. The number usually depends on the size of the mother, if the mother is a Golden Retriever you can expect more puppies than a litter born from a Cocker Spaniel.

Prices for this breed also fluctuate depending on breeder location, popularity and if the pup sports any distinctive traits. You’re generally looking at between 500 and 2000 dollars for a Golden Cocker Retriever puppy. Because a Golden Cocker Retriever can vary so widely in appearance, specifically in their coat colorings, it can be helpful to meet prospective pups in person. As mentioned, prices from breeders can increase if the canine possesses unique or distinct characteristics, like an unusual coat or eye color. Keep that in mind when picking out a pup.

If the price of these popular puppies seems daunting, checking your local shelters and rescues could be a great alternative. Aside from saving a life, the drop in price alone may be worth the additional research necessary to find a Golden Cocker Retriever rescue. Rescue organizations usually only require a donation fee to cover a portion of your new pup’s medical costs, saving you hundreds of dollars while also saving a life!

Training

The intelligence and cooperativeness make this mix a very agreeable breed and ideal for first-time owners without prior experience in dog training. The Golden Retriever Cocker Spaniel mix is a quick learner who loves to please. This mix enjoys mental challenges so consistently introducing this breed to new tasks and tricks can keep this mixed breed stimulated and strengthen your bond.

Positive reinforcement training and socialization should begin when they are puppies. This mix is known for sensitivity, which is inherited from the Cocker Spaniel side. Raising your voice or harsh reactions will only serve to discourage them and can even have an adverse effect. Positive reinforcement is the affirmation they crave and will produce very positive results with this breed.

Exercise & Living Conditions

The Golden Cocker Retriever is an active pup who loves to play fetch, run and even swim! If you’re looking for a pup to get you off the couch, this mix might just be the perfect motivator. Although this mix is less demanding than other high-energy breeds, they will never turn down an opportunity to get outside and get active.

This mix does well in most climates, but should not be exercised extensively in hot temperatures. A jump in the lake or ocean can be a great way for this breed to burn off energy during the summer without overheating. Playing games such as frisbee with a Golden Cocker Retriever is a great way to bond with them while also getting in some exercise.

This mix is a curious pup who can find themselves getting into all sorts of mischief if not properly worn out. This can include hunting small animals or digging in the backyard. If you want to discourage this behavior, make sure to provide at least 60 minutes of activity per day. This can be done in one long walk or broken up into two shorter walks.

Provided these exercise requirements are met, a Golden Cocker Retriever is quite adaptable to many different living situations. Although it is ideal for this breed to live in a spacious house with a backyard, responsible apartment dwellers do not need to rule this mix out.

Size

The Golden Cocker Retriever is classified as a medium-sized dog and generally weighs between 30 to 65 pounds and 12 to 20 inches tall. Which end of this spectrum this breed falls on will depend on whether they take after their larger parent, the Golden Retriever, or the smaller parent, the Cocker Spaniel.

Generally, a Golden Cocker Retriever will be slightly smaller than your typical Golden Retriever and slightly larger and broader than your average Cocker Spaniel. All in all, this mix is a very manageable size, compact enough to travel easily in a car and join in on wherever your adventures take you.

Health

The average lifespan of a well cared for Golden Cocker Retriever is about 10 to 15 years with proper exercise and a balanced diet. This last part is important, as this breed is extremely susceptible to obesity, which can cause many health problems. While this pup is a generally healthy dog, it’s important to have regular check-ups with your vet and keep them up to date on all their vaccines and immunizations to give the best quality of life.

Health concerns to be aware of are hip dysplasia, congestive heart failure, OCD, bloat, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, and cataracts. The Golden Cocker Retriever is also vulnerable to ear infections, due to their Cocker Spaniel-like ears that have poor air circulation and can easily build up bacteria.

With hybrid vigor on their side, this mix may be resistant to inherited conditions from their parents. However, understanding these conditions and looking out for symptoms is important for any responsible pet owner.

Nutrition

As mentioned above, Golden Cocker Retrievers are prone to obesity so proper nutrition is especially important for this breed. This breed loves food and must be closely monitored so this pup does not overeat.

Many dog food brands will have a feeding guide listed on their product based on size, which should help in deciding what’s right for your individual Golden Cocker Retriever. In general, 2 to 3 cups of quality, grain-free dry food per day should satisfy daily requirements.

This is just an estimate and every individual Golden Cocker Retriever will differ. It is important to speak with a vet to make sure you’re covering all essential nutrients while making sure not to overfeed them.

Coat & Colors

Perhaps the most unpredictable part of a Golden Cocker Spaniel is coat color and texture, which can take on many different forms. This mix could have a curly coat like a Cocker Spaniel or a straight coat like a Golden Retriever. Although the signature golden color of both parents is the most common coat coloring, and can also be found with cream, black, tan, red or even merle colors.

There are some consistencies, however. Their coat is usually water-resistant, medium length, and this mix generally has a dense undercoat. This mixed breed sheds a moderate amount throughout the year and is not considered to be hypoallergenic.

Grooming

Luckily for any potential owners, a Golden Cocker Retriever is relatively low maintenance. They should be bathed only when necessary. The Golden Cocker Retriever is a moderate shedder and requires weekly brushing with a solid bristle brush to keep hair at bay.

This breed’s nails should be clipped once or twice per month and their teeth should be brushed a few times a week. If you prefer, the coat can be trimmed every few months but this is not necessary. This routine should begin when this breed is just a few weeks old to avoid any negative association with their grooming routine.

This mix loves to spend time playing in the water. This is a great way to exercise and a quick way to get dirty! This breed should be bathed after every swim and the ears should be thoroughly dried. Excess moisture can lead to ear infections, which as we’ve learned are common for this breed.

As Family Pets

The Golden Cocker Spaniel is adaptable to many different families and environments. Let’s review what makes this pup so versatile:

  • Known for thier gentle and calm nature, this pup is great with kids.
  • Their easy-going temperament makes them very trainable.
  • This is a great mixed breed pup for first-time dog owners.
  • This mix is not considered to be a high-maintenance breed.
  • As such, they only require basic grooming such as occasional brushing and bathing.
  • They are friendly and outgoing with people and animals alik.
  • They won’t have a problem joining a family that already has pets.
  • Due to their loving nature, this pup is very devoted to family and forms strong bonds.
  • This is a companion dog making who is prone to separation anxiety.
  • This breed should not be left alone for long periods of time.
  • This mix is an active breed and requires a decent amount of exercise.
  • This breed is a family-oriented breed and will bond with your entire family.

Does this mix tick all your boxes? Let’s be honest, why wouldn’t it? The next step is finding your very own Golden Cocker Retriever!

Finding a Golden Cocker Retriever

Speaking with your local Golden Retriever and Cocker Spaniel clubs is a good place to start finding a breeder you can trust. Selecting a reputable, trusted breeder that operates ethically and in the best interest of their dogs is the responsible thing to do.

To help make an informed decision, I recommend requesting health certificates for the parent dogs, meeting the puppies in person, and reading reviews of the breeder. Please never purchase from puppy mills or puppy farms. Not only are they becoming illegal in many states due to inhumane practices but the dogs bred from these facilities are often unhealthy.

While it may be more difficult to find a Golden Cocker Retriever from your local rescue organizations due to their popularity, adopting is an extremely rewarding experience and may be worth your effort. Luckily online rescue sites can make this search much easier due to the site’s ability to apply breed and location parameters. Rescuing saves lives – please consider adoption!

Final Thoughts

The Golden Cocker Retriever is a mix of two of America’s most popular dogs. They have passed onto this mix many of the traits that have made them such a national favorite. What’s not to love? The Golden Retriever Cocker Spaniel mix is intelligent, loyal and loving. This breed is easily manageable for first-time owners and families with children. This versatile breed can bring endless amounts of joy to any family that’s lucky enough to have them and is willing to give the love and attention they deserve.

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