Golden Cocker: A Breeder’s Guide to the Golden Retriever and Cocker Spaniel Mix

Golden CockerCombine two awesome breeds and you get the Golden Retriever and Cocker Spaniel Mix, also known as the Golden Cocker Retriever or the Dakota Sport Retriever. So what exactly are they and what makes them so special?

Well, for starters, this breed is sought-after thanks to their multitude of coat colors, which has earned them the title “mystery puppy”. This is because it will be difficult to tell what they’ll look like until adulthood in terms of coat color.

Aside from that, due to being a mix of the Golden Retriever and the Cocker Spaniel, they are going to be fun and exciting crossbreeds to play around with, especially if you are an adventurous person.

Are you planning to have the Golden Retriever Cocker Spaniel Mix as a lifetime companion? If so, read this article to find out more about this breed, We’ll tell you more about its breed specifics, what to expect when taking care of it, and if this dog is just right for your lifestyle.

About the Parents

The Golden Cocker Retriever is a mix of two popular breeds, the Golden Retriever and the Cocker Spaniel, both hunting dogs. Let’s have a look at these two first so you’ll have ideas about their mix:

Golden Retriever

Known for being the third most popular family dog in the world, especially in the United States, the Golden Cocker Retriever dates back to the 19th century Scotland where it has been used for retrieving downed game (hence its name). In some cases, it is also known as a gun dog since it is used by game hunters.

When it became popular in the American household, many dog stars of this breed rose to the airwaves, pushing its fame even further. Eventually, the Golden Retriever is now known to be a working dog and sometimes a PWD assistance or therapy dog. Many canine friends of this breed are also employed by the military and police for search and rescue operations.

Since they are sporting dogs, the Golden Retrievers are also best seen in AKC competitions or, for casual owners, just playing fetch in the backyard. Despite their vulnerability to various health problems such as elbow and hip dysplasia, as well as dog cancer, this didn’t faze the fame and attention that Golden Retrievers received throughout the years.

Cocker Spaniel

Also a sporting dog, the Cocker Spaniel is known for their sweet eyes yet intelligent and active demeanor, making them a popular breed for hunting and competitions. Originating from England, they also rose to popularity around the 19th century and are also one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. Their ancestors, the English water spaniels, were used for retrieving downed game, hence putting them in a similar history with the Golden Retriever.

Today, the Cocker Spaniel continues to become a loving breed. Although they do suffer from certain health concerns such as eye and heart problems, they are great working dogs that are also ideal for therapy and assistance due to their ease of training and learning new tricks.

Golden Cocker Retriever

So now that we know about the two breeds, how did the Golden Cocker Retriever came to be? First of all, since it is one of those designer dog breeds, there isn’t much history to tell about it. The Golden Cocker Retriever most likely became a hit around the 90s and 2000s due to the immense popularity of creating designer dogs.

However, since both these dogs were used for hunting and fieldwork, it comes as no surprise that whoever bred the Golden Cocker Retriever wanted a hard-working dog at hand.

Like most designer dog breeds, the Golden Cocker Retriever can be found in shelters and rescue groups so it’s a good idea to ask them first if you’re considering having this dog for a companion.

Physical Appearance

Height: 14 to 24 inches

Weight: 30 to 60 pounds

Categorized as a medium-sized dog, the Golden Cocker Retriever may inherit different characteristics from their parents. Since they don’t have specified size standards due to being a designer dog, it is difficult to tell what they might look like in general. That mostly depends on parental genetics.

The color variations to expect for the Golden Cocker Retriever include brown, golden, yellow, and black. Their coat is usually of medium length and they have a set of floppy ears. When compared side by side to a Golden Retriever, they are a much smaller dog due to their Corgi roots.

Temperament and Behavior

So, what can we tell about the temperament of a Golden Cocker Retriever? First of all, this breed is quite a loving dog when it comes to dealing with people, whether it is their family members, owners, or strangers. They are usually down with any activity that you give them since they have origins of being an active dog (from the Golden Retriever’s temperament).

As with most active dogs, you shouldn’t wait for them to become destructive by leaving them home alone unattended for a long time. If you want to own this breed, always make sure that you take Fido outside for a walk. For people who also want to get into shape by jogging or taking a brisk walk outside, the Golden Cocker Retriever can be your jogging or strolling partner.

Since they are part-Corgi, this mix will also like to snug indoors and cuddle with you and/or your children and family members. Bonding with your pet is very important to give them the attention and the motivation that they need every single day.

Because they have high intelligence, it is best to give them some mind-boggling tasks such as toys and games which require some skill. This is not a dog that just sits all day – they need a lot of action and training. Like most active breeds, it’s best to consider obedience training for the Golden Cocker Retriever to keep their behavior in check.

Golden Retriever Cocker Spaniel Mix Training

On a scale of 1 to 5, your Golden Cocker Retriever will have a 4 for trainability. This means that they do well with families and kids, as well as for first-time dog owners. They tend to be witty and playful so a good game of fetch will usually satisfy them.

They are generally a friendly breed but when it comes to obedience, they might need some work but not as difficult as you’d expect. Just make sure you have a lot of time and patience to train them and they will be great lifetime companions for you and your family.

Keeping your Golden Cocker Retriever stimulated throughout the day will keep separation anxiety at bay. Don’t go for this breed if your job, school, or career revolves around being too busy or frequent traveling.

When it comes to barking, the Golden Cocker Retriever is easily trainable and the barking and mouthing only happens during their puppy stage when they start teething. You would generally have less difficulty since these dogs don’t usually bark or howl unnecessarily.

Caring for a Golden Cocker Retriever

When it comes to taking care of a Golden Cocker Retriever, here’s a cheat sheet for you to support Fido throughout your dog-owning journey:

Food and Diet

The Golden Cocker Retriever with an average weight of 40 pounds should have at least 1,000 calories a day, divided into two cups or meals. However, for bigger and heavier dogs, you may want to increase that intake to 3 cups. Since the Golden Cocker Retriever is a crossbreed, it is difficult to exactly tell how much food they need since they grow up differently in terms of size and appetite depending on their parents.

With that said, your Golden Cocker Retriever should only be fed with high-quality food to keep their health in tip-top shape. Consider dog food that doesn’t contain a lot of fillers and unnecessary carbohydrates to avoid overweight issues. Instead, focus on protein-rich foods and organic sources for your dog’s food of choice.

For dogs that have specific food allergies, it may be best to consult your vet. In this way, they will recommend a different dog food brand or variety that will still give them the right nutrition despite not including the food allergens that might make them sick.


How much exercise does a Golden Cocker Retriever need? For this crossbreed, consider at least an hour of moderate to intense activities, which may include playing fetch, long walks, or other sporty and fun games they are likely to enjoy.

As a sociable breed that’s easy to train, you’ll find the Golden Cocker Retriever less frustrating when calling them back if they’re not on a leash. If you train them properly without negative yelling or scolding, they are most likely going to go back to you with absolutely no fear.

Because the Golden Cocker Retriever is much smaller than a Golden Retriever, they will be ideal for kids and are not too intimidating to play with. As we mentioned earlier that this breed can run off the leash easily, they also make great jogging partners around the neighborhood – plus points for your health and theirs.

Other activities that your Golden Cocker will enjoy include agility obstacles that you can make at home, Whether they’re a show dog or just a plain old family pet, the Golden Cocker Retriever will love these mind-bending and muscle-flexing games. This will also put negative hyperactivity issues at bay.

Grooming and Coat Care

When it comes to grooming, the Golden Cocker Retriever’s coat is quite dense so it is important to brush it daily to avoid mats and tangles. Monthly grooming via a dog salon is also a good practice to keep their luscious coat attractive. They are average shedders so you may need some effort when it comes to coat maintenance.

In the summer, always give your Golden Cocker sufficient water and keep them indoors to avoid exhaustion. The same goes for the cold months – keep them toasty with a dog coat.

Golden Cocker Retriever Health and Issues

Among the health problems to expect for a Golden Retriever Cocker Spaniel Mix include the following:

  • thyroid problems
  • cataracts, glaucoma, and other eye problems
  • cancer tumors
  • arthritis due to hip dysplasia
  • entropion
  • elbow dysplasia
  • seizures

These health problems are most likely inherited from their parents so if you want to be wary of these, ask for more information from your breeder or the shelter you got them from.

Given the right training, food quality, exercise, and proper care, your Golden Cocker will live somewhere between 11 and 14 years. You can increase this number by giving them all the love they deserve and helping to prevent health problems by providing quality dog food and sufficient physical activities.

Is the Golden Cocker a Family-Friendly Breed?

A Golden Cocker Retriever will do just fine with children and other pets you may have in the house. However, it’s best to socialize your dog as early as puppyhood to avoid getting problems in adulthood when it comes to discipline and obedience. Since the dog is still from the hunting class, it’s not a good pet for homes with birds or rodents.

This mixed breed is going to do well with kids if you are looking for a family pet. As long as they receive proper training respect from all members of the family, your Golden Cocker Retriever will grow to be a loving companion.

Finding a Golden Cocker Retriever

If you want to have the Golden Cocker Retriever as your home companion, there are two ways:

Through a breeder

Look for breeders that have a Golden Cocker Retriever will be quite tricky since they are a designer dog breed. However, if you do find one, make sure to visit their quarters, ask questions about the parents, know about the health history, and look for health certificates.

Adopting a Golden Cocker

For owners who want to save some bucks, you can adopt from a rescue. However, there aren’t breed-specific rescues for the Golden Cocker Retriever but you can try on a shelter that houses Cocker Spaniels or Golden Retrievers in particular.


I had my first litter three years later. It was by Tigathoe’s Pious Pete, a serious field competitor. After a great deal of cajoling and bribery on the part of my family members, I enrolled in an Obedience Class. At the same time, I took on my relative’s dog and went High In Trial with him.

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