Cockalier: A Complete Guide

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There’s a reason why dogs are known as ‘man’s best friend.’ they’re loyal, lovely and the perfect companion for all situations, making them a true, important part of someone’s life.

But it’s not all fun and games; dogs are a hard, time-consuming commitment that will see a lot of your spare time consumed. But in reality, would you have it any other way?

The Cockalier is the crossbreed of a Cavalier King Charles and the Cocker Spaniel.

The Cavalier King Charles was a royal dog that King Charles II was particularly fond of, and the Cocker Spaniel was primarily a hunting dog that could work in almost any type of environment.

So what does that make the Cockalier? Well, you could say it is the knight of dogs considering its technically a royal hunter, but in reality, it’s a loyal, caring and smart dog that wants nothing more than to please its owner.

In this guide, I will inform you on all the vitals of the Cockalier, including their size, weight, life expectancy, dietary needs, behavior and more.

I will detail all of this for you to decide whether or not if this hybrid canine is the right dog for you and your current situation.

Are you interested in the kindness and loyalty that the Cockalier provides? Then read on to find more about this particularly unique dog.

Cockalier: Before You Buy

A black Cockalier's face
The Cockalier loves to snuggle up next to its owner.

When it comes to buying a puppy, it isn’t a walk in a park. Instead, it’s a race in which sees you running around obstacles and jumping hurdles.

You need to be conscious of your budget, time, schedule, household and commitment to this 10-15 year journey of raising a puppy.

Do you have time to socialize the puppy? Do you have enough room to house the puppy?

These are some of the questions that you need to ask yourself before you bring a dog home.

It’s stressful on the surface but will make your life with a dog in the future much easier.

Some of the other factors you will need to consider are:

What gender you want. It’s simple, do you want a boy or a girl? It’s up to you.

What color you want. You might not be able to get a rainbow-colored Cockalier, so maybe come to another decision on your own, or with your family.

What your preferences are on spaying/neutering. Decide if you want your new puppy to have other ones in the future. It’s an important choice, so be careful.

How much does a Cockalier cost?

As mentioned before, price is a factor you’re going to want to consider. Smaller breeds tend to be a little cheaper than that of larger dogs, so you’re looking in the right direction if you’re on a budget.

The Cockalier will cost you on average anywhere between $500-$700, which is considerably cheaper than the $1000+ price point of a Cavalier King Charles, and the $900-$1200 price point of a Cocker Spaniel.

Due to the Cockalier being a mixed breed, it tends to be cheaper than its purebred parents, providing a great alternative for buyers looking for a cost-effective spaniel-esque puppy.

How do I find a reputable breeder?

Finding a reputable breeder is a tough time. You can never look into how a breeder goes about their process, so all we have is word of mouth and our attentive judgment.

A reputable, professional breeder is vital because the decisions they make can change the physical concerns, behavioral traits and overall life expectancy of your puppy forever.

So to know you are purchasing from a breeder that is ethical and has an emphasis on quality, analyze the following factors.

A good breeder should:

Be knowledgeable about the breed. If you’re purchasing a Cockalier, make sure the breeder has extensive knowledge of this particular hybrid, as well as the Cavalier King Charles and the Cocker Spaniel.

A breeder who doesn’t know anything about these dogs, but is selling them, is most likely trying to corner a trend in the market with unethical processes, so avoid at all costs.

Have a clean, hygienic and spacious area. Dogs need comfort, space and hygiene much like us humans do, so make sure the breeder you are visiting provides this for the dog to stretch and participate in playtime.

Be social and friendly with the puppies. Puppies need attention and socialization from right when they are born, for them to assimilate efficiently into society.

If the breeder doesn’t talk to the puppy, it is most likely going to be destructive and hard to train when you take it home.

Be assistive and helpful. A breeder should care about its puppies, so they should help you with any equipment or information on the puppy’s vitals to ensure it grows properly and excels.

If you’re unsure of where to find a reputable breeder, ask around your neighborhood for recommendations.

Three little-known facts about the Cockalier

The Physical Traits of the Cockalier

A Cockalier pup laying on the ground
The Cockalier needs a lot of running.

The Cockalier is a mixed breed, and so it can contain elements of both its parent breeds.

The significant resemblance will depend on the superior genes in which the specific Cockalier contains.

More than often the Cockalier has a medium-length coat that ranges a variety of colors including red, black, white, brown and cream.

It’ll have big fluffy ears and short stubby legs, with an expressive glare in its brown eyes and a black nose.

They have around, masculine head and a stocky, chiseled build similar to that of its parent breed the Cocker Spaniel.

How big is a full-grown Cockalier?

A Cockalier is quite stocky and well proportioned for a small dog.

It usually grows anywhere between 12-14 inches, which is on the higher side than its counterparts, but smaller than the 15-16 inches of a Cocker Spaniel.

Regarding weight, it can grow up to 25 pounds, which is quite the mass of a smaller breed.

The male usually weighs more than the female, and because of this weight, it is recommended that you supervise it around babies.

What is the life expectancy of a Cockalier?

The Cockalier’s lifespan tends to be around 12-15 years, which is slightly longer than the 9-14 years of a Cavalier King Charles and the same as the Cocker Spaniel.

This is the average lifespan of most small-sized breeds. Health is a significant factor in the lifespan of canines, so keep an eye out for any problems or symptoms of health concerns.

The Temperament, Personality and Behavioural Traits of the Cockalier

A small Cockalier on a blanket
The Cockalier is the perfect dog for any type of family.

The Cockalier is a gentle, loving canine that will do anything for the acceptance of its owner, resulting in an easy to train a puppy and the perfect choice for first-time owners.

They are intelligent, good with other pets and tolerant of the behavior of small children so that they can take a little bit of rough play.

They will love training as much as they love cuddling up on the couch next to you, and love a nice game or a belly rub.

They do tend to bark at strangers, but more to alarm you of their company opposed to scare them off.

They often lick strangers to get familiar, and this bark also showcases the Cockalier’s talents as a guard dog.

What are the dietary needs of the Cockalier?

The Cockalier is not a big eater, consuming around one cup of dog food per day and costing you around $25 a month.

This is affordable and budget-friendly, as the Cockalier mainly relies on dry dog food of any brand for its nutrients.

While feeding it hefty foods such as pork or lamb are not recommended due to its size, it will appreciate foods such as fiber-based cereals.

How much exercise does the Cockalier need?

While the Cockalier loves to snuggle up next to you, it has a lot of energy to burn off.

It is estimated that you participate in 75 minutes of physical activity a day with the Cockalier, and walk around 9 miles a week.

When in public, it is important to keep the Cockalier on its leash due to its hunting instincts.

The Cockalier due to its size can live in an apartment, but it does need daily trips outside for playtime and physical activity.

The health concerns and issues of the Cockalier

The Cockalier doesn’t inherit too many serious health concerns much like other small breed dogs, but it is still important to take it to the vet occasionally for physical examinations and blood tests.

Health issues and concerns include:

  • Canine Glaucoma
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Patellar Luxation

A Good Guard Dog?

Since the Cockalier is quite a mild-natured pet, it will rarely want to fight another animal or person.

While it may serve fairly well as a watchdog that will alert its owner towards any suspicious activity in its surroundings, you cannot expect it to guard you against any intruder.

The friendly disposition of the dog, along with the highly people-oriented nature that makes it most comfortable in the presence of humans, makes it more likely to befriend an intruder rather than fight them away.

Moreover, this is also known to be a very patient pet that won’t get annoyed or suspicious too easily, which will make it easier for an unknown person to convince the dog that he or she means no harm.

This is not an aggressive canine and will thus not be intimidating enough to scare anyone away or even act as a deterrent against anyone who might want to trespass onto your property.

Therefore, if you’re looking to keep a pet for the added benefit of using it as a measure of security for your home, you might want to search elsewhere for good breeds of guard dogs.

At its best, the Cockalier will serve as a watchdog, owing to its barking tendencies.

While it may not be barking as a gesture of hostility, the sound that it makes out of the excitement of something unusual going on in its surroundings will be enough to alert you.

Measures can be taken to make use of this barking trait of your pet by training it to bark incessantly at a person or animal that is getting too close to it and is not accompanied by its owner.

Owing to its intelligence and sharpness, your pet will pick up on such training very quickly and will, in turn, serve its purpose as a watchdog.

Problems with house training

As the Cockalier is a small dog with an average size of 15 inches and a weight of 25 pounds, you will find it relatively difficult to house train this dog than a larger one.

This is partially due to the fact that the Cockalier cannot hold its bladder for too long.

This is why you need to train your pet to immediately move towards its designated spot as soon as it feels the need to relieve itself.

Having a designated spot will also reduce the time it takes your dog to go outside to relieve itself because it will not face any confusion as to where it needs to go for elimination.

Apart from this, it is crucial for you to not act too stern or angry with your dog in case it eliminates inside the house.

Now that your pet has done so, the mess is already made and scolding it won’t help the situation at all.

Instead, what this is likely to do is make your Cockalier scared to relieve itself when you are close to it. Apart from this, if you have to leave your home for a few hours, put your Cockalier inside a crate.

This will ensure that while your dog has sufficient space to spend time for a few hours, it does not feel comfortable enough to relieve itself inside such a confined space.

Lastly, it is important to teach it the right commands to help guide it regarding the time and place of relieving itself.

Cockalier ConclusionA Cockalier looking at you

Overall, the Cockalier is the perfect dog for any type of family and can adapt to any situation.

It is easy to train and will love its owner through thick and thin.

No matter what type of owner you are, the Cockalier will be the perfect companion.

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