Combining the herding skills of the Shetland sheepdog with the trustworthiness and loving nature of the Cocker Spaniel gives you the perfect family pet: the Cocker Sheltie.
Always seeking validation from its owners, this gentle and confident breed loves to play and have fun.
In this guide, we will talk you through its dietary requirements, grooming needs and the amount of daily exercise your Cocker Sheltie will need to keep its heart content.
You will also get to know more about its sweet and endearing nature as well as its ideal weight and height.
Additionally, we will help you settle on a trustworthy breeder and tell you how best to maintain the health of your dog so that it may lead to a long, happy life with you and your family.
The Cocker Sheltie – Before You Buy…
Before choosing the Cocker Sheltie as your new companion, you must be well equipped to answer questions such as:
- Can I meet the expenses of a Cocker Sheltie?
- Will I be able to find a trustworthy breeder?
- What exactly does it mean to live with a Cocker Sheltie?
Worry not, for we will hold your hand and guide you through all of these puzzling thoughts.
What price is the Cocker Sheltie?
Being a mixed breed, they are priced on the high end of the spectrum, and any breeder who may try to sell you a Cocker Sheltie in high figures is probably ripping you off.
Its daily food cost would be around $1.20 to $1.40, with a monthly average cost of $34 to $52, depending on the amount and quality of food that you decide to provide it with.
How to find reputable breeders for the Cocker Sheltie?
The ideal way to get your Cocker Sheltie is through rescue homes and local adoption centers.
You may also ask around your social circle for any love-children between Cocker Spaniels and Shetland Sheepdogs that your friends or family may be finding a new home for.
Another option available to you is the Internet, where sellers in your local area may have posted advertisements for Cocker Shelties.
You may also find helpful reviews on these breeders by actual buyers and personalized photos of the dog you want to make your new best friend.
Keep in mind that a good breeder will not let a puppy below 8 weeks to be separated from its litter, so as to allow it the proper time to be socialized.
Also, ask for OFA health certificates for the parents in order to ensure that the pup you receive is healthy.
Do not get your Cocker Sheltie from a breeder who seems unconcerned regarding the health and grooming of the dog, since this type of breeder is likely to not have spent much time on the dog’s care and training, and may just be in it for the money.
3 Little-known facts about the Cocker Sheltie
- The Cocker Sheltie is a high maintenance breed
The secret behind the smooth, shiny coat of the Cocker Sheltie is simple: daily brushings.
This high maintenance dog needs a lot of care and attention in terms of its hygiene and grooming, with daily brushings of its coat required to remove dead hair and to keep it from losing its signature shine.
- Dental hygiene is very important for them
The Cocker Sheltie has very sensitive teeth, which often have tartar build up on them. Hence, you need to brush their teeth several times a week with canine toothpaste to keep their gums healthy.
- Their long ears are often a hassle
Although cute to look at and lending an innocent look to their faces, their long ears can often prove to be a source of sickness for them.
They tend to develop a yeast infection, which can be spotted if your Cocker Sheltie is tilting its head to try to shake off something from its ear or rubbing their ears.
However, flushing the ear out with water and then using a solution of water and apple cider vinegar to act as an anti-flaming agent can help calm down their yeast infection.
Debris and earwax also tend to collect in their ears, so be sure to keep some earbuds handy, as they require weekly ear cleanings.
Physical Traits of the Cocker Sheltie
A Medium-sized dog with warm eyes, droopy ears, and a kind expression, the Cocker Sheltie is truly a graceful dog. Its muzzle is long, dark and narrow.
Due to its mixed parentage, it may take up physical traits of either of the parents, with either a tapered head like a Shetland sheepdog or a plump one like the Cocker Spaniel.
Its tail is also of a medium length like the rest of its body.
It has a dense and long coat with straight hair. The breed usually has a double coat, which helps keep it warm, and comes in a range of colors such as brown, black, white or sable. Occasionally, a tri-color Cocker Sheltie can also be found.
It is prone to high shedding, especially in the seasonal shedding seasons, as inherited from both of its parents that have high shedding rates of their coats.
A curious and alert expression is this mix breed’s trademark.
How big is a full-grown Cocker Sheltie?
The height of a Cocker Sheltie male is an average of 14-16 inches and its weight is approximately 25-35 pounds, which is similar to its female counterpart.
Generally, females are lighter than male Cocker Shelties by a few pounds.
What is the life expectancy of the Cocker Sheltie?
Being a medium-sized dog, its lifespan is usually between 10-13 years, depending on its health and diet.
If you maintain an active lifestyle and balanced diet for it, the Cocker Sheltie may prove to be your companion for a long time!
Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Cocker Sheltie
The Cocker Sheltie is a friendly and inquisitive breed that inherits herding instincts from the Shetland sheepdog. Therefore, don’t be surprised if they try to herd you by nibbling on your ankles!
They also have the tendency to run off after other animals, or even a biker passing by in front of them, so be sure to invest in a good leash and carry it with you on your daily walks with it.
A social and alert animal that is good with adults and children alike, if socialized to live with them at an early age, the Cocker Sheltie is eager to please and a quick, obedient learner.
They are sweet, elegant, and soft beings that crave attention and love from their owners. They are ideal family pets as well as show dogs as they excel at obedience training.
This breed does not have an independent or dominant streak and prefers instead to live as a family and satisfy its owners. Their hunting skills are not very sharp and their aggression level is usually very low, thanks to the calm natures of both their parents.
Their warm, soft coat is stunning to look at and their gentle, intelligent eyes make your heart flutter with affection for them.
Cocker Sheltie Diet
The Cocker Sheltie is a medium-sized dog, hence requires an average of 2.5 to 3 cups of food daily divided into two meals.
Its food intake must be balanced with its daily exercise so that it does not become obese or malnourished.
These dogs also enjoy a treat as a reward for a job well done, so be sure to keep some in your bedside drawer for your little best friend!
How much Exercise does a Cocker Sheltie need?
The simple answer to this is a lot.
The Cocker Sheltie has high energy levels and an enthusiasm that can match no other. As both of its parent breeds cannot cope well with heat, you must make sure to keep it in the shade during your daily runs.
It requires a regular average of 9 miles of walking per week and at least an hour of daily activity. This may consist of daily walks in the local park, morning jogs, runs, or even hikes.
This child-friendly dog is always up for a game of fetch or Frisbee with kids in the yard. It also loves to play with other canine friends as it makes friends easily.
Hence, you must allow this dog to stretch its paws once in a while so that it can release its pent-up energy and practice its herding skills inherited from the Shetland sheepdog.
Keep in mind that exercise is a vital part of its happiness and wellbeing, so you should never slack on giving your buddy some playtime in the outdoors.
The Cocker Sheltie Health and Conditions
The Cocker Sheltie, like all mix breeds, inherits the genetic predisposition to diseases of both its parents and can suffer from diseases such as:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Cataracts – clouding of the lens and eventual blindness, which may be treated with medications or surgery.
- Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) – a disease caused by high blood pressure, which may cause permanent lung damage.
- Dermatomyositis – an inflammatory disease
- Von Willebrand’s disease – a genetic disease caused by platelets deficiency in the blood leading to bleeding.
Apart from these major concerns, the Cocker Sheltie may also have hypothyroidism, atopy and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). They also get an occasional diagnosis of deafness.
Hence, it is recommended that you conduct occasional tests, such as:
- Hip X-rays
- Skin Biopsy
- Electromyography (EMG)
- Eye Examinations
- Complete Blood Tests
- Thyroid Panel
Although it is not necessary to take so many tests, as it is a mixed breed and its inherited genes cannot be predicted, it is better to be on the safe side.
My final thoughts on the Cocker Sheltie
This designer hybrid dog is sweet, caring and highly active, and will serve as an ideal family pet.
The Cocker Sheltie will be your companion through thick and thin.
Their positive energy and eagerness to learn will amuse you and their friendly temperament will warm everyone in the household to them.
They are apartment-friendly and are suitable for both the first-time as well as experienced dog owners.
With a little socialization, they will get along well with other dogs. However, due to the herding instinct inherited by their Shetland sheepdog parent, it may be difficult for them to live with cats.
They do require a lot of grooming and care, and their distinctive loud bark may be annoying to some people.
The Cocker Sheltie inherits its craving for attention and friendliness from both of its parents, and is a perfect combination of the two, with the intelligence of the Shetland sheepdog coupled with the willingness to please of the Cocker Spaniel.
Keep in mind that they are not easy to take care of in terms of their grooming and exercise needs.
You would need to devote an ample amount of time daily to their physical needs, like daily jogs/walks, vacuuming the floor due to their shedding, brushing their coats to keep them glossy, and cleaning their ears and teeth.
However, they do not drool a lot, so that’s one thing crossed off the list that you need to clean!
Extremely social, family-friendly and confident, the affectionate and passionate Cocker Sheltie is obedient, easy to train and has low levels of aggression, so it’s difficult to annoy.
It is not very independent and needs a lot of love and cuddles from its human family to stay happy.
So, if you think you can manage this little pup and devote your time and attention to it, get ready to welcome your lively and intelligent Cocker Sheltie into your life.
We hope that you found this guide to be helpful with your decision and cleared any doubts regarding the Cocker Sheltie.
Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 3 dogs; Chew Barka, Cooper & Nelson, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she’s not nerding out on dogs, you’ll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in PetAware, Dogtime, and ModernDog.
- The Cocker Sheltie – Before You Buy…
- Physical Traits of the Cocker Sheltie
- Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Cocker Sheltie
- Cocker Sheltie Diet
- The Cocker Sheltie Health and Conditions
- My final thoughts on the Cocker Sheltie