Cocker Sheltie (Cocker Spaniel & Shetland Sheepdog Mix)

Height: 13 – 16 inches
Weight: 15 – 30 pounds
Lifespan: 10 – 14 years
Colors: Black, brown, white, sable, tri-colored
Suitable for: Active families, families who are at home most of the day, families with young children, multi-pet households
Temperament: Loving, gentle, playful, energetic, bright, needy

The Cocker Sheltie is the marvelous mix of the Cocker Spaniel and the Shetland Sheepdog. This guy is a hybrid pooch who is a charming combination of his parent’s best traits. Both of his parents are happy, playful, friendly, and loving dogs in their own right. So, you can expect the Cocker Sheltie to be doubly so.

He is small enough to fit in most family homes but robust enough to make a fantastic doggy sibling for families with young children. He gets on well with all animals and other humans, and he is known for being an all-round friendly pup. This adaptable pooch has a lot to offer, but in return, he has a few special requests.

If you are about to embark on a Cocker Sheltie journey but need to do a little more research to make sure he is the breed for you, you’ve come to the right place. Here in this guide, we will run you through everything you need to know. By the time you’ve finished reading this mixed breed manual, we think you’ll be straight onto finding a breeder.

Let’s see what this happy and gorgeous mixed pooch has to offer.

Divider 1Cocker Sheltie Puppies – Before You Buy…

Energy
Trainability
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

Unlike some other mixed breeds out there, the Cocker Sheltie is not particularly demanding or challenging. His adaptable and easy-going nature is why he is quickly rising in popularity.

His main requests are that you spend a lot of time with him. He is a sensitive soul who needs companionship, and a lot of it. It doesn’t have to be his main master who spends all of their time with him. But as long as there is someone around, he is happy.

With this in mind, for those few hours where you do have to leave him alone, he will be quite anxious. But there is a lot you can do to alleviate this. We’ll talk about crate training and toys later on in this guide, but these are steps that you’ll need to take so that he is as happy as he can be.

For some owners, being needy is one of the only sticking points to this pup. But if you are looking for a needy dog who will want to glue himself to you, you couldn’t ask for a better dog than the Cocker Sheltie.

Having come from working dog heritage, the Cocker Sheltie will need a lot of exercise. His Shetland Sheepdog parent is a herder, and his Cocker Spaniel parent traditionally helped his hunter master to collect his catch. So, you’ll need to set aside around 1 hour every day to expel that herding energy of his.

Depending on whose jacket he inherits, he will need grooming daily or every other day. He has a pretty and voluminous coat, but it does require attention to keep it looking so lovely. You could combine a snuggle on the sofa with a grooming session, and he’ll love being pampered from head to toe (just make sure to change into your scruffs that you don’t mind getting hairy!)

What’s the Price of Cocker Sheltie Puppies?

The average price of a Cocker Sheltie will be in the region of $1,000. If you are seeking a mixed pup from an award-winning lineage, you can expect to pay much more. Cocker Spaniel mixes are very popular, and the Cocker Sheltie is a beautiful mixed pup that commands a high price.

Don’t be tempted to save a few bucks and work with an unregistered or inexperienced breeder. You’ll more than likely end up with an unhealthy pooch, or one that has mistreated and poorly parents. This will only cost you much more in the long-run, so it is not worth the risk.

Puppy mills jump on the latest puppy trends, and with the Cocker Sheltie being very popular, you can be sure that there are a lot of bad breeders out there. So, do your research and stick to reputable breeders only. Meet them and all the dogs in person, and ask to see their health clearances before you commit to them.

Divider 83 Little-Known Facts About Cocker Shelties

1. The Cocker Sheltie Might try to Herd you

His Shetland Sheepdog parent is one of the best herding dogs in the world, and you can expect that this guy will inherit some of his herding genes. This is great if you are seeking an intelligent dog. But, this does mean that he will often try to herd family members in the home, so discourage this behavior.

2. The Cocker Sheltie is one of the Sweetest Mixed Dog Breeds

Both of his parents are sweet, so if you are looking for a sickly sweet and friendly pup, this might be the breed for you.

3. The Cocker Sheltie is More Energetic Than People Think

Don’t let his small size and pretty coat fool you; this guy needs a lot of exercise to keep him happy and satisfied. He is not a quiet lapdog.

cocker sheltie
The parents of the Cocker Sheltie | Left: Shetland Sheepdog, Right: Cocker Spaniel

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Cocker Sheltie

The Cocker Sheltie is a great all-rounder, and there isn’t a mean bone in his body. He is super sweet, and with his big round eyes, he’ll melt your heart in no time. He is super loving and affectionate and will happily snooze his afternoons and evenings away with you. He makes the best duvet day buddy, so if you’re going to Netflix and chill, this boy will want in on the action.

He is also really chilled about who comes in and out of his house. He is fantastic with strangers, including your friends and the delivery guy, and he will not give anyone any trouble. Friendly with all, including any unwanted intruders. If it is a guard dog or watchdog that you are looking for, you want to keep searching, because the Cocker Sheltie is not that dog.

He comes from a working lineage, which means that despite his size, he is full of beans. This means that he is not the typical lap dog that everyone might assume he is. You’ll need to keep him entertained with brain games and interactive play throughout the day. Try hiding treats in cups and getting him to guess which one it is in is something that you could easily play with this clever canine cookie.

The Cocker Sheltie is also very fun and loves an enjoyable romp in the garden with his family. If you have young kids who would like a frolicking canine to keep them entertained, this guy is up to the task.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

The Cocker Sheltie, if you haven’t already guessed, is great for families. He gets along with everyone, from baby to great-grandma. And he will also welcome family friends and those he has never met before into the fold with open arms. He is super friendly and wants everyone to be his best friend.

Being so gentle and sweet, the Cocker Spaniel is suited to families with children of all ages. He is very patient and loving, and you’ll often find him snuggling up to the little ones.

He can live in any type of home, be that a small apartment or a large estate. He is very adaptable. The only thing that he asks is that he gets his daily exercise and that you spend a lot of time with him.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

As long as he is socialized well, this pooch will get along with other dogs and all other pets. This is another appeal of his, and multi-pet families can rest easy knowing he can fit himself straight into your family whatever the dynamics are.

Divider 4Things to Know When Owning a Cocker Sheltie:

The Cocker Sheltie is relatively easy to care for when it comes to his food and training needs. He needs a bit more effort when it comes to his grooming schedule and his exercise routine. So let’s take a closer look at his day-to-day needs.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The Cocker Sheltie will only consume between 1½ to 2½ cups of food a day. This will be entirely dependant on his energy levels, size, and appetite. Be sure to give him a high-quality kibble that will provide him with a well-balanced diet.

Dried kibble will also help to breakdown any buildup of plaque, which is essential in smaller pooches with compact mouths. Periodontal diseases are more common in smaller pooches. Because he could inherit the smaller mouth of his Cocker parent, keeping his mouth clean is essential.

For his luxurious coat to stay luxurious, he will need to eat a kibble that provides him with plenty of omega fatty acids too. Look for ingredients such as salmon, meat meals, flaxseed, and sunflower oil. These also have other nutritional benefits such as healthy brain and heart function, better digestion, and overall wellbeing.

Exercise 🐕

The Cocker Sheltie will need around 60 minutes of exercise every day. This will need to take various forms to stimulate his intelligent brain. Long walks, jogging, flyball, and agility doggy classes will all interest him. He will be able to do any exercise you challenge him with, and ultimately, this guy’s just happy to spend time with his master.

Remembering that both of his parents are traditional working dogs, so he will want to exercise whatever the weather. Many soon-to-be owners view this guy as a sweet and snuggly pooch who doesn’t need much exercise, but he does. Come rain or shine, he’ll need exercising.

Training 🎾

The Cocker Sheltie doesn’t instantly transform into a well-behaved angelic pooch without training. He needs socialization like all other pups. Socialization doesn’t just mean mixing him with other dogs. It also means exposing him to a variety of animals, unfamiliar people, loud noises, and new surroundings. It is a key process, so that he builds his confidence and learns how to be a polite pooch.

Being a sweet pooch who is particularly sensitive, he will probably sulk if you tell him off. Positive reinforcement training is always the most effective training method. Although he will love treats, he is more likely to go crazy for balls and sticks. Work out what drives him and use it to your advantage.

Crate training is going to be a must with the Cocker Sheltie. All because he is super needy and likely to become very anxious when left alone for too long. Make it comfy and warm, and he’ll soon see it as his safe-haven. Always give him a blanket to cuddle or a toy to play with, as this will take his mind off missing you.

There is a fair chance that the Cocker Sheltie will inherit the herding instincts of the Shetland Sheepdog. If he tries to herd your family or other pets in the home, this is something to be discouraged. Playing treibbball with him can decrease the need to herd his family, as well as other impulse control games.

Grooming ✂️

The Cocker Sheltie will need daily grooming, or every other day if it is much shorter than the average Cocker Sheltie. He will usually inherit a longer coat compared to the Cocker Spaniel, but shorter than the Shetland Sheepdog’s coat. A slicker brush or pin brush will likely be your best grooming weapon to tackle his wavy coat.

The Cocker Sheltie needs a bath once every 8 weeks, depending on how dirty he gets while on his woodland adventures. Be sure not to wash him more than this because you risk damaging his natural skin oils and beautiful coat. A gentle and natural shampoo would be better for this guy because his skin is known to be sensitive.

Health and Conditions 🏥

As a mixed breed, the Cocker Sheltie can inherit health problems associated with either parent. As such, it is essential to take a look at all the conditions that could affect him. Make yourself aware of all the signs and symptoms.

Thankfully, he is a relatively healthy dog who will enjoy an average lifespan of 10 to 14 years.

Minor Conditions
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Atopy
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Eye conditions
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Von Willebrands disease
  • Patent ductus arteriosus
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Male vs. Female

The main difference between male and female Cocker Shelties is that the males are usually slightly bigger than the females. Because they are small to medium dogs anyway, this probably wouldn’t have much bearing on what sex you might choose.

The most influential factor that determines their personality traits is training and overall happiness with their family and circumstances.

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Final Thoughts

The Cocker Sheltie is a sweet pooch who will bring brightness to the dullest of mornings. As long as you can provide him with plenty of company and exercise, and spend a little time on his coat, he will be very content. His requests are very reasonable, and in return, he will shower you in doggy kisses and cuddles.

Now that you’ve read this comprehensive guide, what are you waiting for? Find yourself a reputable breeder, and you will be a step closer to adopting one of the sweetest pups in the world.


Featured Image Credit: Fasp333, Shutterstock