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Golden Cocker Retriever: Ultimate Designer Breed Guide

golden cocker retriever

As its name suggests, the Golden Cocker Retriever is a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Cocker Spaniel. The cross breed combines the loyal and loving personality of the Golden Retriever with the cute and cuddly appearance of the Cocker Spaniel, resulting in an ideal pet for many families and homes.

Golden Cocker Retriever Origin

The Golden Cocker Spaniel, or Golden Spaniel for short, was developed in the United Kingdom within the last two decades, so it is one of the newest designer dog breeds. Golden Retrievers originated from Scotland, where they were used as gun dogs to retrieve game. Cocker Spaniels have origins in Spain as hunting dogs used for tracking down fowl.


As the Golden Spaniel is a mixed breed, they are not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Still, they have received recognition from the American Canine Hybrid Club.


Like its ancestors, the Retriever Spaniel mix is part of the Sporting Group, so it possesses natural alertness, activeness, and intelligence. The main difference between the Golden Retriever and the Golden Cocker Retriever is the size. 


A full-grown Golden Retriever reaches an average weight of 55 – 65 pounds (25 – 29 kg). In comparison, you can expect a Golden Cocker Retriever to weigh between 30 to 45 pounds (13 – 20 kg), making them a medium-sized breed. For reference, a full-grown Cocker Spaniel, which is classed as a small dog, weighs between 20 – 30 pounds (9 – 13.5 kg). These designer breed puppies can cost anything from $500 to $1500.


Although an English Cocker Spaniel Golden mix can be around 10kg lighter than a Golden Retriever, they stand around the same height, 20 to 24 inches. The weight difference comes from the length and overall build of the canine. 


Its size, floppy ears, and dreamy eyes give this hybrid breed a youthful, “forever puppy’ look. Its coat usually is medium in length with a smooth texture and possibly some fringing around the legs, ears, and belly.


While its fur is usually golden (light brown) like its Retriever ancestor, as it is a hybrid breed, this is not always the case. Its coat could be solid black, brown, white, or a mix of the above, and it’s impossible to predict what color a litter will be. 


In fact, like all cross breeds, the appearance of a Golden Cocker Spaniel can vary, including the size. One example is if it inherits more genes from the Golden Retriever than the Cocker Spaniel. This can mean the puppy has a double coat and, thus, denser fur.


Like its appearance, the personality of a cross breed often varies. However, you can get an idea of what to expect by learning about the parents’ temperament. 


Cocker Spaniels are happy, affectionate, and playful pups with high intelligence. On the other hand, Golden Retrievers are known for their friendly, gentle, mild temperament and unfathomable loyalty towards their humans. 


So when considering the personality of the Golden Cocker Spaniel’s ancestors, it’s easy to see that this pup has a winning personality. Most Golden Cocker Retriever owners describe their dogs as affectionate yet active. 


Golden Cocker Spaniels are very owner-orientated, so they love to be involved in the family. This makes them the perfect pup for a family who has lots of time for them and is willing to bring them along during day trips and vacations. 


This is not a dog that does well left alone for long periods. Moreover, this Retriever Spaniel mix loves being outdoors. Thus, they will be happiest in a home with a yard where they can run around and release excess energy. 


However, as both its parents are hunting dogs, this pup has a strong prey drive, so ensure their outdoor space is enclosed. Because of this, they may not be the best companion for a house full of cats or other smaller pets and instead do better with other dogs.


These pups have high energy levels and require a fair amount of exercise, around 45 – 60 minutes daily. Still, when a Golden Spaniel is in a relaxed mood, it will happily curl up with you on the sofa.


Mental exercise is just as vital as physical exercise for development and behavior. The Golden Cocker Retriever is one intelligent dog and thrives when given daily obedience tasks. Thanks to its genetics, this mixed breed is relatively easy to train as stubbornness is uncommon. 


Most Retriever Spaniel mix owners report that they are willing to learn and keen to please their humans during training sessions. Their trainability and high energy levels make them an excellent candidate for a game of fetch or an agility course. They usually show perfect off-leash recall, too, especially if you start training them while they are young puppies.


As the Golden Cocker Retriever is bred from two family-friendly canines, this hybrid breed usually gets on swimmingly with children and other pups. However, like all dogs, this is only the case if they are properly socialized from an early age.

Grooming and Maintenance

In terms of grooming, Golden Cocker Retrievers are not the lowest maintenance pups. You can expect moderate to heavy shedding throughout the year, so you’ll need to brush them several times a week, preferably daily, to keep it under control.


Aside from fur brushing, you should take them for a haircut every 3 to 4 months, more or less. Bathe them from time to time, too (aim for once every six to eight weeks) to prevent their fur from matting and tangling. However, if your pup spends a lot of time outdoors, they may require more frequent baths.


Don’t forget about your dog’s toenails. Most English Cocker Spaniel Goldens need their nails clipped, although the frequency will depend on their lifestyle. If they go outdoors a lot, they will likely keep their claws naturally filed, but if they spend most of their time indoors, you should check-in on their nails every two weeks.

For a Golden Cocker Retriever, you can cut their nails with clippers or file them with a dog nail grinder. Like with all grooming activities, it’s best to familiarize your pup with them from an early age.

Common Health Issues

Hybrid dogs usually inherit the health predispositions of their parents. So if you’re planning to bring home a Golden Cocker Retriever, keep an eye out for these common health issues:



With annual vet checkups and a high-quality diet, your Golden Cocker Spaniel should have a good life expectancy of 11 to 14 years. However, to ensure your new pup enjoys a long and healthy life, we recommend asking the breeder for health clearances on the puppy’s parents. If the breeder refuses to provide these, this is a huge red flag, and you should look elsewhere.

Final Thoughts

The Golden Cocker Retriever makes a cute, loving, loyal family pet. Because of their high energy levels, they make the ideal companion for active people looking for a hiking buddy. Alternatively, they are perfect for families with young kids who can keep them entertained with games of fetch.

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