Golden Cocker Retriever Guide: The Ultimate Family Pet?

Golden Cocker Retrievers are adorable, excitable and make the perfect family member.

A cross between a Golden Retriever and a Cocker Spaniel this is a very unique dog. They are people orientated and extremely friendly, and will love to be the center of attention.

They are very energetic and love to play, so if you have a laid-back lifestyle, this is not the dog for you.

If you are looking for a lively addition to the family, then this might be the perfect breed for you. Keep reading to find out more about this unique cross breed.

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What is a Golden Cocker Retriever? (Overview)

Golden Cocker Retriever

The Golden Cocker Retriever is an energetic, playful and excitable dog that needs a family that can match their lively nature.

They were first bred in the early 2000s and since then have continued to gain popularity.

Each parent breed has a long and interesting history, with both being recognized by the American Kennel Club as sporting breeds.

The Cocker Spaniel originated in Spain as hunting dogs, divided into land and water spaniels. They gained popularity in England in the 19th century, participating in dog shows and field trials. In America, they diverged into two varieties: American and English. The American cousins are shorter and have a shorter coat.

Golden Retrievers were bred in Scotland as a gun dog in the late 1800s. Extremely hard working and friendly, they quickly became every hunter’s favorite. The Golden Retriever was popular from the beginning of American history, but really gained momentum when President Ford owned one, named Liberty in the 70s.

So what does this mean for the Golden Cocker Retriever? Keep reading to find out more…

Golden Cocker Retriever Appearance

Cocker Spaniel and Golden Retriever

The Golden Cocker Retriever is commonly described as a ‘forever puppy’. Forever puppies never outgrow their adorable puppy looks. They will still grow into a mature size but will always have those puppy dog eyes.

Predicting a cross breed’s appearance is difficult – no two puppies in the same litter will look the same!

They could look more like one parent than the other, or a 50/50 divide, its potluck.

Golden Cocker Retriever Full Grown

The Cocker Spaniel weighs between 25-30lb (male) and 20-25lb (female). Male Golden Retrievers weigh between 65-75lb and females weigh 55-65lb.

So the Golden Cocker Retriever can weigh anywhere between 30-65lb, depending on the size of the parents.

As for height, the Cocker Spaniel stands at around 15 inches tall whereas the Golden Retriever stands around 23 inches. Therefore, the Golden Cocker Retriever can stand anywhere between 17-20 inches.

Females will usually be smaller than the males.

Colors and Coat

With golden in their name, you would have thought the only color they show off is the classic gold, from their Golden Retriever parents.

But genetics can complicate things as their other parent (Cocker Spaniel) has 15 official colors according to the AKCs breed standard, including dual colors like black and white, or solid black, red or brown.

Breeders who are trying to keep the Golden Retriever color will breed a Cocker Spaniel with a golden color. Gold is the most common color, next to a cream color.

But some Cocker Retrievers can be a variety of colors – it’s all down to unpredictable genetics!

Their coat is also unpredictable – they can either have a straight and flat coat (like the Golden Retriever) or, a curly coat like the Cocker Spaniel.

It will be medium length and dense with a soft undercoat and a water-resistant outercoat.

Whatever the coat type, their fur will be soft and manageable.

They won’t shed too much, just the occasional loose hair and tangles that will require brushing.

Golden Cocker Retriever Personality and Temperament

A Golden Cocker Retriever

The Golden Cocker Retriever is affectionate and friendly, and in many ways the perfect addition to a loving family.

They share a strong bond with their family but will attach themselves to one particularly member of the family. The bond you create with your Cocker Retriever will help you communicate with them as they become more empathetic with you.

This dog is extremely playful – they will love to play with their favorite humans, and will want to be part of every family activity.

With the Golden Retriever being so people friendly, the Cocker Retriever most likely will be too. They will get along well with strangers and visitors, and will want to be the center of attention.

However, the Cocker Spaniel is more hesitant with strangers, but will warm up to them eventually.

Being so people orientated means they won’t like being left alone for too long, as they can experience separation anxiety. So, if you have a busy working lifestyle, this may not be the dog for you.

The Golden Cocker Retriever does not take kindly to anything that spooks them – they will snap at anything that scares them.

It’s likely they will have a strong prey drive, as both parent breeds were originally bred as game dogs, meaning they know what to do when they see a squirrel in the distance!

The Golden Retriever is very mouthy – they love to chew things, including your shoes and furniture. So make sure to give you Cocker Retriever toys to keep them occupied.

Is A Golden Cocker Retriever A Good Family Dog?

The Golden Cocker Retriever is a great family dog. Thanks to the gentle nature of the Golden Retriever, they are good with kids.

Though as previously mentioned they have been known to snap at something if they are in pain – so make sure your children learn basic dog body language.

How to Train a Golden Cocker Retriever

Puppy Golden Cocker Retriever

Training a Golden Cocker Retriever is fairly simple, thanks to their intelligent genes and eagerness to please.

Positive reinforcement training methods are best for this cross breed, as there is less chance of unwanted behaviors developing from this technique. Always give them a treat or praise when they do something right or stop a behavior that was unwanted.

Use both vocal and hand signals together when using positive reinforcement, as this has been seen to be the most effective way of training obedience in dogs (thanks to dogs’ ability to read body language).

Strong bonds and trust are useful when training a dog like the Cocker Retriever, as they are more likely to listen to their family members than anyone else.

Do not yell or punish your pooch, as this can lead to unwanted behaviors and can cause frustrations for you and your dog.

Start training your Cocker Retriever as soon as possible, as puppies benefit the most from obedience training.

Even though this is a very docile and gentle dog, the Golden Cocker Spaniel needs socialization. Without it, dogs can become nervous and uneasy in situations that are new to them.

Introduce them to a range of people, children and dogs. Let them sniff scary appliances, like the vacuum cleaner, so they know it won’t hurt them.

The Cocker Retriever easily becomes restless when bored, chewing everything in sight, be sure to give them plenty to do.

Caring for a Golden Cocker Retriever

This pooch needs a family that can equal their energetic nature.

They are not a heavy shedder, so grooming isn’t too much of a hassle, but the occasional brush to keep them looking their best is needed.

This dog thrives in a rural environment but does not mind an urban environment. They are easily adaptable to apartments but may become restless if not taken out regularly.

They need an active family, who is able to spend lots of time with their pooch.

Golden Retriever and a Cocker Spaniel

Exercise Requirements

This is a very active cross breed that has lots of energy. They can easily become destructive if they don’t get enough exercise.

Make sure you are prepared to give them around an hour of exercise a day.

Take them to the local dog park, or beach. You can take them jogging, running or even cycling with you.

Playing fetch is literally part of their DNA, thanks to the Golden Retriever. Teach them how to play fetch and they will enjoy and possibly chew every tennis ball you throw at them.

They will enjoy anything that involves exercise and spending time with their favorite people.

Grooming and Shedding

Grooming is easy with the Golden Cocker Retriever.

With a medium length coat that does not shed too much, brushing is not a necessary chore.

You should still brush your pooch at least once a week however, as it promotes natural oils that are healthy for their coat to shine.

Only bath this cross breed when they have a particular doggy odor, or when very dirty.

Dogs that have hanging ears are more prone to ear infections, so be sure to clean their ears regularly with a damp cloth and then dry it out.

Make sure to trim their nails to avoid overgrowth, and brush their teeth at least once a week.

Feeding and Diet

Feeding any dog is not an exact science, and choosing what to feed them is a personal choice. As long as they have a balanced diet, consisting of protein, dietary fats and vitamins, they will be a happy pup.

This medium sized cross breed needs around 1.5-2.5 cups of high-quality dry food a day.

Avoid dry food with artificial ingredients and fillers, like corn syrup. Dry foods with filler ingredients can be high in carbs and are harmful to dogs.

Cocker Retrievers love their food, and are prone to obesity. So make sure to keep track of their food and don’t give them too much leftovers, no matter how cute they look.

To check you aren’t feeding them too much, use a body chart to assess their weight.

Known Health Problems

Being a cross breed, the Golden Cocker Retriever is more genetically diverse than purebreds. This means they have less chance of inheriting a genetic disorder.

That being said, they are still prone to certain health issues.

Hip Dysplasia is a problem for Golden Retrievers and could be passed down to them. Hip Dysplasia is caused by the hip socket developing abnormally.

Other health issues include:

  • Heart disorders such as congestive heart failure
  • Cataracts, glaucoma or progressive retinal atrophy
  • Kidney diseases
  • Hypothyroidism – causing skin disorders, inactivity and weight gain

How Long Does a Golden Cocker Retriever Live?

A healthy Golden Cocker Retriever will live around 10-14 years.

How Much Does a Golden Cocker Retriever Cost?

This unique cross breed will cost around $500-$1500. The more trustworthy the breeder the higher the price as it costs money to raise healthy pups.

Quick Breed Summary Table

Breed Characteristics
Size:17 to 20 inches
Lifespan:10-14 Years
Coat:Medium length double coat, straight and flat or a curly
Color:Most commonly golden or cream
Do They Shed:Low amounts
Temperament:Playful, loving, loyal and excitable
Intelligence:Very intelligent
Socialization:Good with other dogs, will still need socialization
Destructive Behavior:Will chew anything in sight if bored, lonely or frustrated
People Skills:Can be wary of strangers, but very friendly once warmed to them
Good with Children:Great with kids, patient and playful with kids
Activity Levels:Very energetic, needs around one hour of exercise a day


The Golden Cocker Retriever is best suited to an active family, who has the time to spend with this cross breed.

Before buying this puppy, be sure that it is the dog for you – they are energetic and restless if left alone for too long – this can cause separation anxiety and destructive chewing.

This cross breed is definitely for someone who wants a lively and excitable member of the family.

They need a lot of exercise (around an hour a day), so you will have to get out of the house and buy new walking shoes!

A playful and friendly companion, the Golden Cocker Retriever could be the perfect addition to your family.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below…