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Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel: What You Need to Know

Lovable Cocker Spaniels are popular as companion dogs with strong bird dog instincts. This cheerful dog will be a great addition to any family as it loves snuggling on the couch with its humans, playing with them, and enjoying play sessions. 

The Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel is one of the most popular coat patterns, but is it considered a subspecies? How can you keep the coat in perfect condition? Keep reading to learn more about this dog breed and color pattern.

What is a Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel?

The blue roan is a coat color and pattern and not a subspecies of the Cocker Spaniel. Cocker Spaniels are highly trainable and adaptable dogs that can thrive in small apartments or enjoy a happy life where they spend most of their time in the backyard. 

This blue roan color is actually a shade of gray. But from a distance, it appears blue, giving the color pattern its famous name. 

Cocker Spaniel: Overview

This is the smallest dog in the sporting group, as recognized by the AKC, and it’s loved and adored by various dog owners because it’s known for its affectionate and lovable nature. As a matter of fact, Lady in Lady and the Tramp was a Cocker Spaniel, as this dog is known to be a spoiled pet. 


Cocker Spaniels are adored for their soft temperament, easygoing character, and flowing wavy coat. The small size of the Cocker Spaniel makes it an excellent choice for apartment owners, and its intelligence and good temperament will allow you to train it for different tricks and even championships. 

This dog is popular for conformation show rings but can also compete in agility competitions. Moreover, people usually train these smart dogs to be field or therapy dogs. 


Long ago, the English Cocker Spaniel and the  American Cocker Spaniel were considered one breed. However, several dog enthusiasts noticed the differences between the two species, and the AKC identified this dog as a separate breed in 1946


  • Because this is a popular breed, it’s in high demand. This means that you should do some research to ensure that you’ve picked a reputable breeder to get your dog. 
  • The Cocker Spaniel belongs to the sporting group, so it retains some of its hunting instincts and might chase birds, cats, and smaller pets in the house. 
  • Proper socialization is essential because this dog can be shy and nervous around strangers.
  • This dog is fond of running and playing outside, but your backyard should be fenced to protect it from danger.
  • The Cocker Spaniel tends to bark more than other dog breeds. 
  • The dog’s floppy ears should be inspected regularly for infections.

The Cocker Spaniel Coat

The Cocker Spaniel has a beautiful long and usually wavy coat that requires daily grooming and brushing. The coat tends to be shorter on the head and back but longer on the belly, ears, chest, and legs and should be inspected and checked regularly to maintain its health. 

Daily brushing and grooming are essential to maintain the coat’s health by distributing the natural oils that keep hair healthy and shiny. You’ll also have to take your Cocker Spaniel to a professional groomer once every six weeks for grooming and bathing. 

This dog’s coat is lots of work, so if you’re looking for a breed that doesn’t require regular breeding, then the Cocker Spaniel won’t work for you. Some dog owners prefer to cut the coat short so it becomes easier to maintain and groom. Still, you’ll require frequent professional grooming to keep it in shape. 

Since this dog has long ears, some homeowners prefer to put a snood on their ears. This will protect his long ears from getting soiled while the dog is eating or drinking. 

Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel

The blue roan is a standard coat pattern in Cocker Spaniels. It’s also common in other dog breeds and different animals, including horses, cats, cattle, and antelopes. 

This coat’s color is an even mixture of black and white, and it tends to fade out and become grayer as the animal ages. 

Blue roan dogs are also called tickled and mottled. This coat pattern is common in various dog breeds, including Field Spaniels, German Shorthaired Pointers, Brittanys, English Setters, and Border Collies, in addition to American and English Cocker Spaniels. 

In dogs, this color pattern manifests in the unpigmented areas of the coat. They’re originally white, and then they start to fill in with the blue roan pattern, which gets darker with time. 

There’s no clear information on what causes this pattern in dogs, but it’s probably due to a genetic mutation. Breeding two dogs that possess this gene will result in a blue roan litter. 

Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel Coat Issues

Having a dog with a long coat like the Cocker Spaniel requires special grooming and attention. Unless you have the time and energy to maintain your dog’s coat the way you should, then the Cocker Spaniel won’t be the right breed for you. Here are some problems you might have to deal with if you have a blue roan Cocker Spaniel. 

Grooming Expenses

It’s best to have your Cocker Spaniel professionally groomed once a month, but some dog owners wait for six or eight weeks. Therefore, regular grooming sessions represent a recurring expense that you need to consider if you’re planning to adopt a Cocker Spaniel. 

You can expect to pay between $50 and $100 per session to have your dog bathed and groomed. Some groomers are more specialized, so you should find a reputable groomer to deal with your dog

Groomers tend to charge higher prices for grooming this beautiful dog because its thick and luscious coat requires patience and attention. Moreover, Cocker Spaniels aren’t known to handle grooming sessions well, so your dog might not be cooperative. 

This is why it’s essential to familiarize your dog with the groomer’s office and the process itself, as this will help it feel less anxious. 

Matted Hair

Dogs that have long coats, like Cocker Spaniels, can have matted hair because of a lack of grooming or how they sit and sleep. Matted hair refers to compact patches of hair where the dog sits, so it might have matted hair on one hip, depending on how it prefers to sit. 

Mats can ruin the look of your dog’s hair, and the tangles and knots become painful to remove. In addition, cutting matted hair to remove knots and tangles will affect the look of the coat in the long run, so it’s best to avoid having mats by paying attention to the coat and maintaining it regularly. 

Brushing the hair to remove knots as soon as they form works best. However, this should be done gradually to make sure that you won’t hurt your dog. 

A special fine metal comb to remove loose hair will prevent matting and tangling without cutting the hair. The fine comb will also allow you to part the hair and see the skin to detect any issues. Be gentle around the ears because a comb can easily injure their sensitive skin. 

Make sure that you use a special soft brush to brush your dog’s coat, addressing only a small section at a time. Push the coat with your hand and brush gently without pulling the hair. Pat the brush on the coat and use it to gently lift the hair off the dog’s skin. 

If matting is too stubborn to remove, you can use a gentle detangling product that can help you tackle knots and tangles without pulling the dog’s hair. However, in some cases, you won’t be able to remove matted hair by yourself. In this case, you should hire a professional groomer who might have to clip the hair

Brittle and Dry Hair

A dog’s coat is supposed to be shiny but not greasy. So, if your dog has brittle and dry hair, this might be a sign that it’s suffering from other health issues

The dog’s coat will become dull, dusty, brittle, and dry if your dog has a nutrient deficiency. A lack of Omega-3 fatty acids will make the dog’s skin dry and will affect the look of the coat. 

Since these fatty acids are essential for the health of the dog’s eyes, brain, and heart, the body steals them from other areas of the body. So the skin becomes dry, and the coat becomes brittle because the body doesn’t get enough nutrients. 

Bald Patches

The Cocker Spaniel’s luscious coat might show bald patches to indicate that your dog is suffering from a more significant problem. If you notice that your dog is losing hair from different parts of its body or a certain area, this is an indication that you should do something to restore your dog’s physical and emotional well-being. 


Cocker Spaniels are prone to various allergies that affect the look of the coat. They also indicate that there’s an internal inflammation that affects the dog’s body. 

Your dog might be allergic to pollen if it tends to play outside the house. Pollen allergy can also lead to ear infections, eye infections, and yeast infections affecting different skin parts. 

The dog starts licking its body to relieve pain and discomfort. It might start rubbing its face on rugs and furniture pieces to relieve itching. Your vet will prescribe topical treatments and medications to help alleviate this condition. 

Contact allergies like reactions to flea powder, dog shampoos, and bedding material can cause allergies. So, if you notice that your dog is losing its luscious coat after introducing a new item into its crate or care routine, it might be the culprit. 

Food allergies are also common in Cocker Spaniels, but these are harder to detect. Unless you’ve introduced a new dog food to your dog’s diet, you should start eliminating food types to be able to identify the allergy-triggering component. 

Pressure Sores

These refer to the bald patches on the dog’s elbows and other areas of pressure. Although these sores are more common in big breeds, you might also see them in old and sick Cocker Spaniels. 

These sores happen when the dog doesn’t hold itself upright, so the body rubs against different surfaces, leading to hair loss. If your dog has mobility issues, seeing these bald patches might help you detect the problem early. 

So, you might notice that your dog has more bald patches on one side of their body to show that they’re learning against one side. 

Cushing’s Disease

Seeing bald patches on your dog’s coat can help you early detect a case of Cushing’s disease. This disease usually affects medium-aged and older dogs, but it might affect your Cocker Spaniel if both parents suffer from this condition. 

It’s caused by a hormonal imbalance that leads to an increase in the production of cortisol. It leads to hair loss, increased eating and drinking, frequent urination, thin skin, and frequent skin infections. If a tumor in the adrenal glands causes the disease, removing the tumor will be necessary. 


Stress can greatly affect the sensitive Cocker Spaniels, leading to various health issues. One of them is hair loss, which might happen because your dog is too sad, feels neglected, and doesn’t receive enough attention

There are a lot of factors that can make your Cocker Spaniel stressed. For example, it might feel that it’s threatened when you introduce a new dog or another pet to the house. 

Cocker Spaniels are lovable dogs that enjoy the companionship of their humans. So, spending time alone away from the family or the departure of a loved one will make your dog lose its beautiful coat. 

Wrap Up

The blue roan is a common coat pattern that can be seen in several animals, including Cocker Spaniels. 

In Cocker Spaniels, blue roan dogs actually have an even black and white freckled coat that looks blue. This dog has a long coat and requires special grooming, so hiring a professional groomer is necessary to keep the coat in perfect shape.