Best brushes to use on a Cocker Spaniel
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Best Brushes For Cocker Spaniels

The best brushes for Cocker Spaniels are the ones that won’t break or damage your Cocker’s coat. The Cocker Spaniel ranks #29 on the AKC’s list of most popular breeds, so many pet parents are loving this thick-coated breed.

If you plan to show your Cocker Spaniel, the types of brushes you use may change. Check with an experienced Cocker Spaniel groomer or breeder to determine what types of brushes are best.

However, if you are looking for the best brushes for Cocker Spaniels along with the best combs and grooming tools, we’ve got you covered.

If you want to groom your Cocker Spaniel at home, read our post on that topic. We walk you through step-by-step with images and video examples. I do a “sporting cut” or “puppy cut” on my Cockers, which means I don’t have them in a full coat. It’s easier, too.

Here are the best brushes and grooming tools for Cocker Spaniels with links for you to shop for each item listed.

Puppy cut cocker spaniel
Dexter in his puppy cut.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Best Brushes For Cocker Spaniels and Grooming Tools

  1. Brush for Cocker Spaniel Puppy
  2. Cocker Spaniel Slicker Brush
  3. Undercoat Rake
  4. Metal Comb
  5. Flea Comb
  6. Tick Key
  7. Metal Pin Brush
  8. Nail Clippers
  9. Longer Coat Brush
  10. Cocker Spaniel Hair Dryer
  11. Tear Stain Remover
  12. Tangle Remover
  13. Between Bath Touch Up Spray
  14. Mat Remover

Brush For Cocker Spaniel Puppy

A soft bristle brush is my favorite tool to use on a Cocker Spaniel puppy. The bristles aren’t strong enough to penetrate deep into her coat. However, you want to get your Cocker pup used to being handled, brushed, and groomed on a regular basis. A soft bristle brush is perfect.

This bristle brush will also give her coat a nice shine. As she gets a bit older and is used to being brushed, you can move on to some of the other tools and brushes mentioned in this article.

Cocker Spaniel Slicker Brush

A high-quality slicker brush is a must-have item for every Cocker Spaniel. It features thin metal wire tines that are slightly hooked at the ends. The tines are set into a foamy or rubbery base for some “give” so you don’t exert too much pressure on the brush.

Always use a gentle motion so you don’t cause slicker burn or damage your Cocker’s skin. I use slicker brushes on a regular basis on my Cockers. It helps to give the coat a shine as well as remove dead hair and untangle knots or mats. You can also use the slicker brush after the pin brush, so this is an ideal next-step brush for puppies.

Pro Tip: The slicker brush is good for ears, armpits, and fluff your Cocker’s feet as well as all over-brushing.

Undercoat Rake

Undercoat rakes feature special teeth that strip your Cocker’s dead hair and shedding undercoat while leaving her topcoat undisturbed. Use a deshedding rake prior to baths to help reduce the shed. It also saves your wrist if you have carpal tunnel issues or arthritis.

Our favorite deshedding rakes are the Andis Pet Deshedding Tool and the Mars 20 Blade Coat King Rake.

The Kenchii undercoat rake take features carefully designed rounded end blades glides through coats without skin irritation. We love the handcrafted wooden handle with a rubber grip for comfort.

how to brush your cocker spaniel

Metal Comb

A 7-1/2-inch steel comb is essential for Cocker Spaniel grooming. I use this comb frequently to stimulate skin and hair follicles and remove loose hair and dirt.

If you groom your Cocker at home, you’ll be back-combing frequently to fluff the hair up and run the clippers over the coat. Not all combs are created equal, and some are heavy. Avoid this with our favorite, the Andis 2-inch steel comb.

Flea Comb

A high-quality flea comb effectively removes fleas and debris and detects skin problems in the early stages. Use this on your Cocker after she is properly brushed so as not to tug on her hair or skin.

I use the Safari flea comb every day during flea and tick season. Also, the flea comb is perfect for removing dried dirt or poop from puppy fur.

Tick Key

The original tick key is something every Cocker parent should own. Keep one in your grooming area, one in the car, and one in your to-go bag. I even carry one in my pocket on walks.

By fully extracting attached ticks as soon as possible, the risk of contracting tick-borne pathogens.

Metal Pin Brush

There are a lot of pin brushes on the market, but none comes close to the Kenchii Oblong Metal Pin Brush for our Cockers. The pins penetrate deeper into the coat to remove loose or dead hair. You can also use it to comb out the thick undercoat of your Cocker, too.

Just be careful not to go too deep or you may scratch your Cocker’s skin.

Nail Clippers

If you really have your heart set on learning to clip dog nails at home and are willing to put in the practice work, then read our How to Clip Dog Nails at Home post.

Our favorite Cocker Spaniel nail clippers are the medium orange handle Millers Forge. We use a headset magnifier to amplify the nail so we don’t cut the quick. Keep a bottle of styptic powder on hand.

Longer Coat Brush

A high-quality styling and detangling pin brush is perfect for a Cocker Spaniel with a longer coat. One that comes highly recommended by many Cocker enthusiasts is the Bass Brush with Bamboo Handle.

It is nicely priced, a staple for Cocker grooming, and used and recommended by professional groomers worldwide. Use this brush to finish brushing and after blow-drying. Be sure to dry the brush itself well when you are done. The bamboo handle is great for tired wrists, too.

Hair Dryer for Cocker Spaniels

There are many dog-specific hair dryers you can use. There are a few types of dryers for dogs: 

1. Low-pressure dryers that blow warm air at low intensity and are mounted on a cage or freestanding;

2. Forced air dryers that blow cold air at high velocity. They don’t dry but get the water off of the dog’s coat.

3. Handheld dog dryers that are lightweight and rely on very hot air.

My favorite Cocker Spaniel hairdryer is the same one I use on my own hair. The Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer is costly but worth it. It helps prevent heat damage, is very fast dryer, not loud, and has a high-velocity airflow.

From a more affordable but effective standpoint, we like the B-Air BA-FM-1-GN Fido Max 1 Dog Hair Dryer. This dryer is forced air that will not emit heat but gets the job done.

If you want a more traditional hairdryer, a portable human hairdryer can work. One that many Cocker moms and dads use is the INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR 1875 Watt Salon Performance. Just be sure you don’t burn your dog or use high heat. Keep the dryer moving.

Tear Stain Remover

Give your Cocker a spa day with the luxurious scent of fresh blueberries and vanilla. Some Cockers get tear stains, especially if they are blonde or have a white face.

SPA by TropiClean Lavish Tear Stain Remover Facial Cleanser gently removes tear stains when used as directed.

Tangle Remover

I am very fussy about what goes on my Cocker Spaniel’s skin and coat. If you are, too, check out Kenchii Pets’ Professional Pet Grooming Spray For Puppies And Dogs.

It is a premium detangler that nourishes your pet’s coat, repels dirt, and conditions the fur to keep your dog looking clean and smelling fresh. Use is before grooming to smooth out your Cocker’s coat and detangle any mats. It is anti-static and contains no parabens or alcohol.

A favorite detangling spray used by groomers is The Coat Handler Anti-Static Detangler Dog Spray. It contains no silicones, lanolins, or additives that can cause build-up in the coat.

Between Bath Touch-Up Spray

Looking for an awesome between bath touch-up? The Chris Christensen Just Divine Brushing Spray protects each strand from styling damage and helps your dog look like never before.  One of the highlights of this product is that it repels dirt.

Your pet may get dirty and this dirt may make residues and this will be alarming for its health. Chris Christensen’s dog spray won’t let that happen.

Mat Remover

Mats don’t stand a chance against Cowboy Magic. My Cockers rarely get mats because I brush and groom them regularly. However, mats happen, especially under the armpits.

Put Cowboy Magic on the mat and work it through your fingers. Work the mat out with a slicker brush. It contains no water or alcohol and will not dry hair. I love that it leaves my dog with a soft texture.

Bonus Items For Cocker Spaniel Grooming

In addition to the items above, there are a few other items you may want to consider adding to your Cocker’s grooming toolbox.

Even if your Cocker sees a professional groomer, these tools and products are helpful to have on hand to use in between bathing and grooming sessions:

Les Pooches Mat Zapper: This brush head is very firm and the bristles are aligned in straight rows, which allows you to go through any mats. Used by pet parents and groomers along with Cocker Spaniel show folks.

iGroom Magic Detangling Dog Conditioning Spray: One of the top names in dog grooming is iGroom. Helps eliminate tangles and adds moisture to your Cocker’s coat.

Why I Don’t Use a Furminator On My Cocker Spaniel

The Furminator should not be used on non-shedding breeds, and most Cockers are not heavy shedders.

The main reason I don’t use a Furminator on my Cockers is because of something my first Cocker’s groomer told me many years ago.

She told me the Furminator is basically the base of a 40 blade affixed to a handle. It rubs along the dog’s coat and can damage the guard hairs on a Cocker Spaniel if used too much. Think of it as rubbing coarse metal across the dog’s smooth hairs.

How To Brush A Cocker Spaniel

Dirty hair collects mats. Use a pin brush and grooming spray and blow your Cocker dry in between professional grooming sessions.

There is a wrong way and a right way to brush a Cocker Spaniel. If you plan to show your dog, the instructions are different.

  1. Comb your Cocker Spaniel daily. Every three days is okay at a minimum, but every day brushing keeps the coat soft, oils stimulated, and tangle free.
  2. Don’t comb through mats or tangles. Use the products mentioned above.
  3. Gently run a slicker brush through your Cocker’s coat, paying close attention not to damage her skin.
  4. Work in the direction of the hair growth so you aren’t pulling her skin.
  5. Take one section of hair at a time: Back, legs, head, etc.
  6. If your Cocker is shedding at all, use the de-shedding tool next all over her body. Work across her head, body, down the legs, and the tail. Praise your dog and let her know what a good girl she is.

How To Get a Cocker Puppy Used To Grooming

If you just got a Cocker puppy, you’ll want to start her early with the grooming process.

  1. Work with your puppy when she isn’t wound up, such as after she plays.
  2. Touch her paws, ears, face, mouth, and different parts of her body. Praise.
  3. Keep the session short and sweet and end with praise.
  4. Start with the soft bristle brush and get her used to it one body part at a time. Reward, praise, treat her like the queen she is.
  5. Use an electric toothbrush to simulate the sound of the clippers you or your groomer will use later. Gently touch the toothbrush on her face, feet, and ears to get her used to the sound.
  6. Increase the time you spend brushing and then work into grooming. You may need to start with one paw or one nail at a time.
  7. Never scold a dog or yell at your dog for not cooperating. You will destroy her confidence and can make her fear brushing and grooming.

Bonus Cocker Spaniel Grooming Tips

Don’t stop now. Read our other Cocker Spaniel grooming posts and tips below:

Grooming A Cocker Spaniel at Home: Tips and Tricks

How to Find a Good Cocker Spaniel Groomer

Cocker Spaniel Shedding: How to Manage It

best brushes for cocker spaniels

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