You might think of Cocker Spaniels as instantly recognizable dogs. They do have a rather distinct, with their long, hanging ears covered in curly fur and some characteristic patterns that you often see. But those patterns change, and so do the colors that these dogs come in.
You might think you know Cocker Spaniels, but have you seen all 24 of these Cocker Spaniel colors and patterns? Would you ever recognize all of these pooches as Cocker Spaniels if no one told you they were? This list just goes to show what a diverse breed this really is, even if they all still share the same trademark lovable personalities and the same general physical look.
Of the 24 colors , all Cocker Spaniels are a mix or variety of these 10 main colors, some through markings and ticks, others through patterns and spots.
While many often picture Cocker Spaniels with large white markings, many of the breed are solid colored. There are four solid colors that Cocker Spaniels come in. The dog doesn’t have to be 100% that color to count as solid though. A small white patch is acceptable, such as a streak or star on the chest.
Because of the way genes work, a solid-colored Cocker Spaniel can carry the gene to create a particolored pup. However, a particolored dog cannot carry the gene to create a solid-colored Spaniel. If a dog has two dominant solid genes, they can only produce solid puppies, even when mating with a parti-color dog. But in this case, the offspring would all carry the parti-color gene, even though all of them would be solid-colored.
Dogs with a large portion of white are considered to be particolored Spaniels. These dogs are two-tone, with either the white or their base color showing as their main color. Their markings can appear in different shapes, sizes, and places, so no two particolored Cocker Spaniels have quite the same coat. They may even appear to be almost completely one color with only small splotches of a second color strewn in.
5. Black and White
6. Liver and White
7. Orange and White
8. Lemon and White
9. Red and White
Roan patterns are when one color is diluted with white hairs and made to look like a lighter color than it actually is. This requires the white hairs and colored hairs to be mixed among each other, and it results in a very unique look.
But the names of these colors are a bit misleading. A blue roan doesn’t have blue fur at all. Instead, it has black fur with many white hairs mixed in, which results in the black looking lighter and appearing as a blue. Similarly, a chocolate roan is actually a liver-colored dog with white hairs mixed among the brown until the dog appears to be a chocolate shade instead.
10. Blue Roan
11. Lemon Roan
12. Chocolate Roan
13. Orange Roan
Tan markings can appear with any other coats or colors, which means they can even produce tri-tone Cocker Spaniels. The tan markings will appear on the muzzle, eyes, legs, tail, and even the chest. They may show up in all or only some of these areas.
Red and orange roan Cocker Spaniels can also carry the gene for tan markings, though it isn’t expressed visibly in these dogs. Furthermore, since tan is a recessive gene, in order for a dog to have tan markings, they must inherit the gene from both parents.
14. Black and Tan
15. Liver and Tan
16. Blue Roan and Tan
17. Liver Roan and Tan
18. Black, White, Tan
19. Liver, White, Tan
Cocker Spaniels can also come in sable varieties, on top of the other colors we’ve already seen. Sable is a special type of color where each hair is actually two distinct colors. The base of each hair will be the dog’s main color, while the tips are all black. This can lead to a very beautiful dog that almost seems to change colors when the light hits their coat differently. Sable can also show up in a parti-color with white or alternatively, with tan markings.
21. Sable and Tan
22. White and Sable
While we’ve already covered a lot of different patterns and colors of Cocker Spaniels, there are still two more ways to classify their patterns that are worth discussing briefly.
Ticked patterns are small colored flecks in the white fur of a Cocker Spaniel with white fur, while open-marked means that the white in the dog is completely white with no ticking.
23. Ticking Pattern
24. Open-Marked Pattern
You’d be forgiven for not realizing just how diverse the Cocker Spaniel breed is before checking out these 25 different coat colors and patterns. This breed really offers it all, from solid colors, to particolored dogs, to tri-colored dogs, roans, and even more possibilities. All of them are beautiful dogs, but which patterns and colors are your favorites?
Featured Image Credit: andriano.cz, Shutterstock
- Solid Colors
- Roan Pattern
- Tan Markings
- Additional Patterns