Golden retriever cocker spaniel mix: Essential Guide

Have you seen the miniature looking retriever?

After surfing the internet for hours upon end researching about these dogs, I’ve finally managed to put together a good resource of information about them.

Today I’m going to share everything there is to know about the golden retriever cocker spaniel mix.

I’ll be taking you through age, temperament, health concerns, and training.

image of golden retriever cocker spaniel mix dog jumping

If your on the fence about buying this dog or just looking for some more information on them, then keep reading to find out everything there is to know!

What is a golden retriever cocker spaniel mix?

First things first let’s go through exactly what a golden cocker retriever is. We all know what the favorite golden retriever is made up of and for those of you who don’t know just to give you a brief breakdown.

The Golden Retriever is bred from the Tweed water spaniel which is now extinct and was bread in the early 1900s.

The other dog that played a part in the Golden Retriever was the yellow retriever back in the 19th century.  The reason that a Golden Retriever was bread was to serve lord Tweedmouth and his fellow royalty in retrieving shot waterfall during outdoor water games.

The Golden Retriever has become one of the household favorite dogs in the United States, taking their place as the 3rd favorite in the country.

Are golden retrievers temperament to describe in a nutshell is simply intelligent, fun, loving, caring and just simply wants to serve their family and parents well.

These dogs can grow to anywhere between 21 to 24 inches tall on average with a weight expectancy of 55 to 65lbs.

cocker spaniel mix retrievr 4

Life expectancy

A Golden Retriever in this current climate can live anywhere between 10 to 12 years long. Over the years due to changes in the world, this has been diminished year in and year out, but I’ll save that for another story.

A Golden Retriever is genuinely a healthy dog but in recent years, it has come to the forefront that they’re being attacked by some of the worst diseases known to mankind.

Hip dysplasia is one of the most common whilst cancer is another that has become a big problem for Golden Retrievers in the new millennium.

Where does the American cocker spaniel come from?

I’m not sure you’ve heard this before but there are two different types of cocker spaniel. Yup! just to make things a little more confusing. The two dogs consist of an English cocker spaniel and an American cocker spaniel. Both appear to look almost identical for the most part.

When you breed the two of those dogs you actually get a breed called the Colonial cocker spaniel.

The reason I give you both of the cocker spaniel breeds is that you may find that a Golden Retriever cocker spaniel mix has either of the two as a mix.

Either way, you’ll find that they’re both referred to as a Golden cocker spaniel in most cases.

Difference between an American cocker spaniel and an English?

The first thing that you may find, is the difference in the visual appearance of the cocker spaniels when compared. The English Cocker Spaniel can grow to heights of around 15 to 16 inches tall. Whilst the American will grow to 13 to 14 inches tall.

The next difference is Weight. You can find the American favorite weighing of around 20 to 25 lbs whilst the English Cocker Spaniel can weigh anywhere between 26 to 32 lbs. The heritage of the two dogs may differ as well.

The American Cocker Spaniel was originally bred from the English Cocker Spaniel and the English were bred from a dog called the land cocker spaniel. Confusing right? Or maybe not so much…

These dogs date back to the early 1800s of where their main purposes are similar to hunting and retrieving birds.

When it comes to the colors of the dogs then again they are very similar in this area. They may be small minute differences but overall you can find them in the colors of brown, white, red, cream or black.

Both have a medium-ish thickness in a fur coat. Next, we’ll take a look at the size and weight of the Golden Retriever cocker spaniel mix.

cocker spaniel mix retrievr 5

Size & Weight

Fully grown cocker spaniel golden retriever mix can grow of heights up to 13.5 to 24 in tall. And throughout ranging from the males to the females you can expect a weight of around 20 to 60 pounds heavy alright if you want to put it in that way.

It’s really interesting when you look at the numbers as the ranges are so wide. This is because there is no determination as to whether the dog will take the side of the Golden Retriever which stands very tall at 24 inches. 

On the other hand, there is no determination in actual fact as to whether the dog will take the smaller jeans or 13.5 inches tall.

Again, you will find the same scenario with when it comes to the color of the cocker retriever. There are many different colors that they come in and from my research, I can see that there is some of the following that is most common:

  • Blue
  • Black
  • Brown
  • White
  • Golden

Do not take any of the above colors as a definite exact match. As the cocker spaniel retriever could come out with a mixture of the two.

Whether it be in two different tones or just a dilution of a random two colors. A great way to determine what potential colored they could come out is to take a look at their immediate parents. 

The same goes for temperament and how I tend to approach it. But we will talk more about that later in this post.

Appearance: Cocker spaniel retriever mix

Let’s talk a little about the appearance of the Golden Retriever cocker spaniel Mix and what you can find them to look like.

To describe what they look like in a nutshell is a miniature golden retriever.

That’s right, they just look like a small little golden retriever with a nice wavy medium-thick coat.

Whether all of us would determine order find them in this way may be very subjective. 

But that’s how I tend to see them and how I think or assume you will see them too.

These dogs are very small as mentioned with big flop down is that you usually find reacts to their emotions. They tend to take the larger eyes from the cocker spaniel in most of the mixes I’ve come across.

They have big wide eyes that look up at you and endearingly with lots of love and lots of care. The next topic we can bring to this question is some of the health concerns that you may need to consider before they are ringing and buying a golden cocker spaniel mix. 

Health Concerns

I would definitely say there are few health concerns that you may need to look out for. If you look at the immediate parents it will give you a good indication as to whether you can expect anything to go wrong with them.

We can look at the generic breed information but that doesn’t always give you the best answers. But if we do look at some of the common similarities of problems with both the Golden Retriever and the cocker spaniel.

Then we can get a little indication as to some of the potentials that can go wrong with this dog. Two of the main health concerns that I have seemed to find through my research is epilepsy and joint dysplasia.

The joint dysplasia can come in two different areas which are either the elbow or the hip. This is very very common and golden retrievers as you may find that I discuss in a few of my recent posts.

Dealing with this can be quite difficult and to maintain this type of problem is life-changing for you and your puppy. A friend of mine who is also an author on this website has written a fully comprehensive post about dealing with dogs with hip dysplasia. 

cocker spaniel mix retrievr 8

Uncommon Health problems

Another common problem found between the two is glaucoma and cancerous tumors.  Whilst these are not as common as the above-mentioned they are still potential problems that can occur. Golden retrievers, in particular, has been experiencing a shortening of lifespan over the last decade.

One of the main reasons for that is down to cancer becoming a lot more apparent in the vast majority of Golden Retrievers. Whilst the statistics are still not through the roof, it is surely still something to definitely be aware of.

On the bright side of things, you can find that both parents have a long life expectancy so you can expect this dog to live at least 10 years Plus. Which is a great bonus, as you can spend a large majority of your life with them.

How long have they been around for?

Well, I can tell you I have done to the deepest part of the internet and to the deepest part of my research. And in doing so it was very tiring and monotonous. I couldn’t actually find any factual information as to how long these dogs have been around.

One thing we can look at is how long the parents have been here and easily we can see that the Golden Retriever has been here from the early 1900s.

However, the cocker spaniel can date back to the early 1800s. If we take a logical approach to this scenario then we can see that the Golden Retriever cocker spaniel mix could date back to around the mid-1900s.

As there were many purposes for dogs during the mid-1900s it is safe to say that there were many dog breeders privately breeding during those periods.  It was the AKC see that then publicly announces or registers a dog during those times.

So if they had not recognized it then it may not be something that is apparent or can be backed with data or statistics during that time.

Grooming & Maintenance

When we talk about how often these dogs shed then it is defined by being moderate. You do not have to worry if you have these dogs in the house quite a lot.

Because they have straight hair it is highly recommended that you brush them down there in a day out.

This will help to reduce any tangles in their hair as well as help remove debris or dirt out of their fur.

For the most part, I’d still recommend that you take your dog to a professional groomer every 4 to 6 weeks. To prevent tartar build-up I suggest you brush their teeth on a daily basis and clipping nails every two to three weeks as well. And that’s really about it in regards to maintenance.

But if we take a little look at the food then you can expect them to eat around 2 or 3 cups of kibble per day. I know what you’re thinking, what a big eater for such a small dog. I was thinking the same thing, don’t you worry.

Let’s take a look at how these dogs use all of that food and turn it into the energy throughout the day.

How energetic is a golden retriever cocker spaniel?

There is no doubt about it that any dog you mix with the Golden Retriever is usually going to have a high-energy rate. And you guessed it the golden cocker retrievers right at the peak of the scale when we talk about energy.

You can expect to be taken them out for daily walks of around 60 minutes per day covering around 11 miles a week on average. Whilst these dogs are very small and the minute is still highly encouraged that they go to very active households.

cocker spaniel mix retrievr 3


If you are the type to go out for a run in the morning then this is the perfect dog for you. If you are the type to relax at home and sit in the backyard, then maybe you want to be looking at a different choice of dog.

Whilst you may be sitting in the backyard, it is also just as important you have one for this type of dog when you are home.

I recommend that you allow them to go out and play for around 45 to 60 minutes per day, maybe twice a day if possible too. If your lazy and like to sit at home, then there may be still an option for you.

Make sure that your backyard is also fenced, as this dog loves to escape and run down the street. Talking about running around let’s talk a little more about the temperament of this breed and what you can expect.


I’m always singing the same old song when it comes to this topic. You and I can look at generic information from the breed, but it’s also important to look at the immediate parents to identify the behavior of your dog.

If you breed an aggressive dog with a nice loving and caring dog then it is highly likely your dog can still come out aggressive. Even if the common way of the breed is not found to be so.

This is the same problem that you may face with a Golden Retriever as they are still some that can be quite aggressive. even to the point of biting people or other dogs.

This is why it’s highly important that you look at the parents and you buy from a genuine breeder that you know the history of. It’s important to buy from credible breeders as you do not know what type of spanner they can throw in the works to get your money.

How to prepare for this dog

The cocker retriever puppy requires a lot of time and energy delegated to them throughout the day. they love to feel part of the family and accepted in a group. 

You may find that you’re sitting on the sofa and they come over several times to be stroked or rubbed.

Not in an annoying way but more so because they want to feel loved. It’s great to know that the Golden Retriever cocker spaniel is also good with other dogs.

They genuinely get along with any type of other breed and also new friends and family too.

You may find on the odd occasion that they bark at random is walking past.  but in the early stages of any dog in a new environment then it is common for them to do so.

It’s highly recommended that you get them into some early training from as young as 8 weeks old. Obedience training is one of the most effective ways of determining how they will behave in their adult years. let me tell you a little more on training…


As with most breeds you’re going to need some good obedience training at the start. Its the only way to make sure your dog represents your commands and gets into the groove of learning and adapting to your home.

A great way to start is to get an online training program, the one I recommend is called brain training for dogs.

Its a course I took myself a while back and it literally improved my dog’s behavior tenfold. I wrote a review on how the course went for me that you can check out here.

How to buy this dog

You can find this dog on the AKC official website as a registered dog with breeders that will be available in your home town.

You can also go down the route of a private breeder but just make sure that if you do, you make sure that they have all the registered paperwork and your dog has had their jabs too.

For more on what to ask or look out for with a private breeder, scroll to the bottom of the page and check out the related post for finding the best breeders.


Whether you’re looking for a new companion or just an addition to your outgoing household. Then I’m sure the Golden Retriever cocker spaniel mix will be an ideal choice for you.


Related Post: Finding the best breeders for mixed breeds, Husky goldens

Rachael Summers

Rachael Summers

Rachael Summers is the Founder and Senior Editor at Dig Doggy. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! Rachael also loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!

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Rachael Summers

Rachael Summers

Rachael Summers is the Founder and Senior Editor at Dig Doggy. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! Rachael also loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!

About Dig Doggy

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