Mini Cocker spaniel – Teacup Cocker Spaniel facts and care

The Mini or Teacup Cocker Spaniel is a shrunken-down American or English Cocker Spaniel version. This miniature dog weighs between 7 and 15 pounds and stands between 9 and 12 inches but is still high maintenance. 

Teacup Cocker Spaniels have dark-brown eyes and silky coats that many find cute and appealing. But apart from their great looks, they are gentle, affectionate, and playful family dogs.

However, these dogs are not for everyone. Stick around to learn if he’s fit for you.

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Miniature Cocker Spaniel information

There are two types of miniature Cocker Spaniels;

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

They may look similar in appearance and personality traits but have slight differences. But none of them 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 well with children, making great playmates for them.

So, how do breeders miniaturize this dog? There are three main methods used, namely;

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

Let us look at each method in more detail.

1. Repeated breeding of runts

Sometimes, you can find one or more puppies smaller than the rest. They are known as runts.

Runts cannot compete for their mother’s milk and other puppies; hence, they grow up smaller than the standard Cocker Spaniels. The mother may also reject a runt, which puts it at an obvious disadvantage.

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

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

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

With that in mind, the repeated breeding of Cocker Spaniel runts for smaller offspring is highly discouraged.

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

However, there are cases where reputable breeders have developed a line of Teacup Cocker Spaniels using this method over time.

Breeders may choose to use this method as the appearance and personality 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 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).

As I mentioned earlier, dwarfism can occur 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 with smaller puppies.

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, it needs to retain most Cocker Spaniel characteristics.

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

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

You may be interested in the Miniature German Shepherd guide.

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 but can be stubborn at times.

The Cocker Spaniel Toy Poodle mix

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

The English Toy Spaniel Cocker Spaniel mix

The Cocker Spaniel and English Toy Spaniel are two 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 may be the best way to create a Miniature Cocker Spaniel without compromising his health or overall appearance.

This means that the puppies will be much smaller than the Standard Cocker Spaniel, have an almost similar appearance, and, most importantly, be 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 Spaniels may be smaller, but they are still super bright.
  4. They are good at hunting.
the Miniature Cocker Spaniel

Mini Cocker Spaniel Characteristics & Appearance

Mini Cocker Spaniel summary table
Height9-12 inches
Weight7–18 pounds
Lifespan12 to 15 years 
Breed TypeMixes and more
PurposeHunting and family dog
Suitable ForApartment dwellers
Grooming requirementsHigh
Color VariationsBlack, brown, blue roan, orange roan, lemon and white, black and tan, silver, and tricolor
Health concernsHip Dysplasia, Epilepsy, Progressive retinal atrophy and cataracts
TemperamentSociable, 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 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

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 make this dog prone to chasing 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 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?

Teacups or mini Cocker Spaniels are great family dogs that get along with all family members, 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; therefore, you should keep them clean by grooming them.

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This can be done through;

  • Brushing the coat at least three times a week. This will help remove 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.
  • Visiting 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 very active and need adequate physical and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy.

Exercise will also prevent some of the behavioral issues caused by insufficient 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
Minutes30 to 45 minutes
Number of walks2 (15 minutes each)

3. Feed your Teacup Cocker Spaniel on the correct diet

Cocker Spaniels are not known as fussy eaters but tend to overeat. This means that if they don’t watch their diets, they could easily get overweight, which is bad for their health.

To prevent this, feed your Mini Cocker Spaniel on the right diet.

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

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

Teacup Cocker Spaniel Daily Food Consumption
Guide300 to 500 calories
Cups of Kibble1 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 about 30% 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 high places or during rough play with young children. During rough play, children can easily step on this dog or do anything that may injure 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 must train him consistently and from an early age.

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

Leash training will also be needed due to this dog’s high prey drive. This will come in handy when taking this miniature dog for walks and visits to the 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 frequently taking these dogs to the vet is important to catch some of these issues early on.

Miniature dog summary

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

These dogs need daily exercise, diet, and socialization to make them great family dogs.

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

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