Mini Cocker spaniel- Teacup Cocker Spaniel facts and care

The Mini Cocker Spaniel or Teacup Cocker Spaniel is a shrunken down version of either the American or English Cocker Spaniel. This miniature dog weighs between 7 and 15 pounds and stands at between 9 and 12 inches which are less than both Spaniels. 

The Teacup Cocker Spaniel may be a small version of the standard-sized dogs but is still high maintenance.

Their cute looks are appealing to many with their dark-brown eyes and silky coats that can range from medium to long.

And apart from their great looks, these canine friends are also gentle, affectionate, and playful family dogs.

There is a lot to learn about this dog including how miniaturization is accomplished and much more.

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So, let us get right into it. 

About the Miniature Cocker Spaniel

There are 2 different kinds of miniature Cocker Spaniels;

  • The mini English Cocker Spaniel.
  • Mini American Cocker Spaniel.

They may look similar in appearance and personality traits but they have slight differences.

However, none of these mini dogs is recognized by any of the major kennel clubs.

Teacup Cocker Spaniels may be small but they are still great hunting dogs that double as energetic family pets. They get along with children making great playmates for them.

So, how do breeders achieve the miniaturization of this dog? There are 3 main methods used to make Cocker Spaniel smaller namely;

  • The repeated breeding of runts. 
  • Introduction of the dwarfism gene. 
  • Crossbreeding with smaller dog breeds. 

Let us look at each of these methods in more detail.

1. Repeated breeding of runts

In some cases, you can find one or more puppies that are smaller than the rest of the puppies. These smaller dogs in a litter are known as a runt.

And because runts are not able to compete for the mothers’ milk as well as the other puppies they grow up to be smaller than the standard Cocker Spaniels.

The mother may also reject the runt which puts it an obvious disadvantage to the rest.

Notably, these dogs may also be more susceptible to health complications.

This does not always mean that runts are always unhealthier because, with proper care from the breeders and the owners, they grow up to be as healthy as the other dogs but smaller.

In minimal cases, these runt puppies also grow to reach the standard size.

With that is mind, the repeated breeding of Cocker Spaniel runts to make offsprings that are as small as the runts or smaller is highly discouraged.

This is because some of these dogs may have underlying health conditions that can be passed to their offsprings.

However, there cases where reputable breeders have been able to develop a line of Teacup Cocker Spaniels over time using this method.

Breeders may choose to use this method because the appearance and personality traits of the Cocker Spaniel are maintained but in a smaller package. 

2. Introduction of the dwarfism gene

Dwarfism is a genetic mutation that can occur in any dog including the Cocker Spaniel.

When this mutation occurs in a Cocker Spaniel, he will only have shorter legs and a smaller body but may also suffer from any of the following issues;

  • Stunted growth.
  • Bowed legs.
  • Misaligned jaws and crooked teeth.
  • Back disorder (IVDD).

And as I mentioned earlier dwarfism can occur completely naturally but can also be induced by mating a Cocker Spaniel with the dwarfism gene (carrier) with one that does not have the gene.

Doing this will introduce the gene in the resulting litter which will make the puppies in that litter smaller.

This is not only highly discouraged but also unethical.

3. Crossbreeding with smaller dog breeds

This is the third and most common method of developing Miniature Cocker Spaniels. It is also arguably the best breeding method.

But for the mix to qualify as a Mini or Teacup Cocker Spaniel, the offspring needs to have more Cocker Spaniel qualities and traits.

The most common dogs used to create Mini Cocker Spaniels are;

  • Dachshunds.
  • Toy Poodles.
  • English Toy Spaniels.

You may also be interested in learning more about the Miniature German Shepherd.

Dachshund Cocker Spaniel mix

The Dachshund Cocker Spaniel is also known as the Docker Dog or Spaniel and can reach up to 12 inches tall and weigh as much as 18 pounds.

These dogs are great family dogs that can also be stubborn at times.

The Cocker Spaniel Toy Poodle mix

This dog is also known as the Toy Cockapoo and is a low shedding and family-friendly dog that get along well with everyone.

The English Toy Spaniel Cocker Spaniel mix

The Cocker Spaniel and English Toy Spaniel are 2 very different dogs although they may have much in common.

A mix between a Cocker Spaniel and an English Toy Spaniel should weigh under 14 pounds with a height of between 7 and 10 inches.

Because these dogs have so much in common, this is the best method of creating a Miniature Cocker Spaniel without compromising on his health or overall appearance.

This means that the puppies will be much smaller than the Standard Cocker Spaniel, will have an almost similar appearance, and most importantly healthy.

4 Fun facts about the Teacup Cocker Spaniel

  1. These dogs come in a variety of coat colors and coat color combinations.
  2. Mini Cocker Spaniels are terrible watchdogs mainly due to their friendly and welcoming nature.
  3. Teacup Cocker Spaniel may be smaller but are still super smart.
  4. They are good at hunting.

the Miniature Cocker Spaniel

General Mini Cocker Spaniel characteristics

Mini Cocker Spaniel summary table
Height 9-12 inches
Weight 7–18 pounds
Lifespan 12 to 15 years 
Breed Type Mixes and more
Purpose Hunting and family dog
Suitable For Apartment dwellers
Grooming requirements High
Color Variations Black, brown, blue roan, orange roan, lemon and white, black and tan, silver, and tricolor
Health concerns Hip Dysplasia, Epilepsy, Progressive retinal atrophy and cataracts
Temperament Sociable, Easygoing, Playful, Loyal, Active, Intelligent, and trainable

Teacup Cocker Spaniel appearance

The Teacup Cocker Spaniel is a small dog that weighs between 7 and 18 pounds and stands at between 9 and 12 inches.

This dog has a rounded head, well-rounded paws, long floppy ears, a slightly pointed muzzle, and soulful eyes that can either be brown or amber.

The silky coat can range from medium to long with feathering on the tail, ears, and legs.

You should expect this coat to shed moderately through the year with two heavy shedding seasons in spring and fall.

Here are some dog shedding remedies tips.


  • Black
  • Brown
  • Blue roan
  • Orange roan
  • Lemon and white
  • Black and tan
  • Silver
  • Tricolor

Mini Cocker Spaniel Temperament and personality traits

The Miniature Cocker Spaniel is an adorable and intelligent dog with a generally endearing temperament.

Coming from a hunting ancestry, these dogs love exploring and being outdoors. These hunting instincts can this dog prone to causing after smaller pets in the house.

However, you can easily deal with this using some of our prey drive management tips

They also love being around people and love nothing more than human attention. This also means that this dog should never be left alone for extended periods.

With that said, this pooch will need to be socialized consistently and from an early age.

As pets, Mini Cocker Spaniels can range from being quiet to being excessive barkers but they are generally super active, especially as puppies.

Is the Teacup Cocker Spaniel a good family dog?

Teacup or mini Cocker Spaniels are great family dogs that get along with all members of the family from young children to other household pets.

How much does a Mini Cocker spaniel cost?

A Mini Cocker Spaniel puppy will cost anywhere between $700 to upwards of $1800 depending on the location, breeder, and time of the year.

There are also other care expenses that you may incur such as feeding, vet bill, and so on. You can learn more about the cost of owning a Cocker Spaniel here. 

Mini Cocker Spaniel

Miniature Cocker Spaniel care tips

1. Keep the dog clean through frequent grooming

Teacup Cocker Spaniels love to cuddle and it is, therefore, to keep them clean at all times by grooming them.

This can be done through;

  • Brushing the coat at least 3 times a week. This will help get rid of dead hair and debris/dirt, minimize shedding, and keep the coat shiny.
  • A bath once every month. Bathing a Mini Cocker Spaniel should not be done too frequently as this can get rid of essential coat oils and cause the dog’s skin to dry.
  • Cleaning the long floppy ears at least once every 2-weeks to prevent wax build-up and reduce the risk of ear infections.
  • Visting the groomer twice every year for a fresh coat trim.
  • Cleaning the dog’s teeth frequently.

2. Mini Cocker Spaniels will need exercise followed by rest

Miniature Cocker Spaniels will need about 30 to 45 minutes of daily exercise.

These dogs may be small but they are also very active and will need adequate physical and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy.

Exercise will also prevent some of the behavioral issues that are caused by the lack of enough exercise.

You can accomplish this by taking this dog for a walk or even through indoor dog exercises.

After this, they will also need adequate rest once they tire.

Daily Exercise Requirements
Minutes 30 to 45 minutes
Number of walks 2 (15 minutes each)

3. Feed your Teacup Cocker Spaniel in the correct diet

Cocker Spaniels are not known to be fussy eaters and they tend to overeat. This means that if you do watch their diets they could easily get overweight which is bad for their health.

To prevent this, you will need to feed you Mini Cocker Spaniel in the right diet.

A general rule of thumb is to give this dog 30 calories for every pound that he weighs.

On average this dog will need about 400 calories a day. This will translate to about 1 and a half to 2 cups of dry foods daily.

Teacup Cocker Spaniel Daily Food Consumption
Guide 300 to 500 calories
Cups of Kibble 1 to 2

Make sure that this dog gets all his nutritional needs from the diet. This will include but is not limited to vitamins, Omega fatty acids, minerals, and even proteins.

Fresh and clean water will also need to be available for this miniature dog at all times to keep him hydrated.

4. Supervise this dog’s play with young children

Teacup dogs are prone to injury.

This can happen if they jump from very high places or even during rough play with young children.

During rough play, children can easily step on this dog or do anything that may cause injuries to the Mini Cocker Spaniel.

You must supervise any interactions between this dog and young children.

5. Train this dog from an early age to prevent bad behavior

To make the Miniature Cocker Spaniel a perfect family dog you will need to train him consistently and from an early age.

Housetraining and obedience training are 2 of the most important things that you need to do for this pooch.

Leash training will also be needed because of this dog’s high prey drive. This will come in handy when you are taking this miniature dog for walks and visits to tha park.

6. Take the Teacup Cocker Spaniel for frequent vet check-ups

As we mentioned earlier, the Mini Cocker Spaniel is susceptible to several health problems such as;

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Cataracts

This is why it important to take these dogs to the vet frequently to catch some of these issues early on if there are any.

Miniature dog summary

The Miniature Cocker Spaniel is an affectionate and active dog that may also have a stubborn streak.

These dogs will daily exercise, the right diet, socialization to make them great family dogs.

If you decide to get the Mini Cocker Spaniel, you must contact a reputable breeder to reduce the risk of health problems.

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