Cocker Spaniel Rottweiler Mix: Truly the Best of Two Breeds?

Have you ever seen a dog that you thought was a Rottweiler, but it had fringes of long hair or feathers on its ears?

If it was smaller and had a rounder, softer face than a Rottie with perhaps some white on the toes and chest, it could very well have been a Cocker Spaniel mix.

The Cocker Spaniel Rottweiler mix, or Cockweiler, is a medium-large designer dog. Typically sporting a vibrant black and tan coat, the Cocker Spaniel Rottie mix matches its striking good looks with a charming personality.

Combining the gundog’s good-natured easy-going disposition with the working dog’s calm level-headed approach to life, the Cockweiler is friendly, alert, intelligent, and highly trainable.

It is a great family companion for intermediate or experienced dog owners who like to stay active and have time to dedicate to training and exercise.

Pros and Cons of a Cockweiler

No consideration of any dog breed is complete without knowing the reasons against and for acquiring it. A pro and con list is an excellent way to summarize a potential dog’s qualities right at the start of your research.

Reasons Not to Get a Cocker Spaniel Rottweiler Mix

A Cockweiler is not fit for everyone. Although the mix makes an excellent family pet, there are a few challenges that may give you a reason to consider an alternative breed.

  • Not a purebred dog – you cannot register your dog with the AKC, or other major registries, and she cannot participate in nationally recognized conformation shows
  • Not ideal for first-time owners – both the Cocker Spaniel and Rottweiler can have pushy and domineering personalities
  • Need a lot of exercises
  • May exhibit dog aggression
  • Have high socialization needs – can struggle with aggression or fearfulness if you do not thoroughly socialize your dog as a pup
  • The suppressed immune system as puppies – can struggle with parvovirus and demodectic mange
  • Potentially high prey drive

Reasons to Get a Cocker Spaniel Rottweiler Mix

  • Friendly and outgoing
  • Loyal and affectionate
  • Fearless and unflappable
  • Not usually as large as a purebred Rottie
  • Easy to train if you are a confident dog owner
  • Fur can be soft and somewhat silky
  • Easy to groom
  • Active and engaging companion dog

Background of Cocker Rottie Mix

The attributes of both the Cocker Spaniel and Rottweiler stem from a working background. If you wonder about the exact origins of the Cockweiler mix, they are not so clear.

The first half of the equation is the American Cocker Spaniel which originated from the English Cocker Spaniel.

Spaniels are among the older groups of sporting dogs, perhaps arriving in England as early as the 30s BC. English Cockers were derived from generic spaniels in Britain and were used for hunting by the 1300s.

Originally utilized to drive games to within gunshot range and classified solely based on size, Cockers became refined over time.

They soon specialized in flushing and subsequently retrieving birds and rabbits for the hunter. Breeders selected more traits that separated Cockers from Springer Spaniels and made them woodcock specialists.

American hunters developed their Cocker Spaniels for the variations in the landscape between Europe and the US and for the smaller size of the American woodcock.

Formal separation of the Cocker and Springer Spaniel based on more than size occurred in 1902. The AKC separated the English and American Cocker Spaniel in 1946.

Rotties are an ancient breed, its ancestors traveling with Roman legions over the Alps during 75 AD into an area of Germany where they established the town of Rottweil.

These dogs served to drive the live food supply, cattle, and protected both animals and people against predators and human rustlers.

Later, Rotties would drive cattle and haul meat to market, guard homes, and protect valuables. After the railroad arrived in the 1830s, Rotties proved their worth in the police force and army. They joined the AKC in 1931.

Appearance, Personality, Coat and Colors, Lifespan, and Traits of a Cocker Spaniel Rottweiler Mix

Cocker Spaniel Rottweiler Mix Appearance

You can never predict the appearance of a mixed breed dog with 100% accuracy, but you can often come close.

Hybrid puppies do not always inherit equal genes from each parent. Therefore, you can rarely get a Cockweiler that looks like a purebred Cocker Spaniel or Rottweiler.

However, we will focus on the 75% of puppies that receive almost an equal amount of DNA from both parents.

The Cockweilers is a cross between the smallest sporting dog and one of the largest working dogs.

They can range from 17 to 24 inches tall at the shoulders and weigh 35 to 125 pounds. Most of them will be 19 to 21 inches tall and will weigh 40 to 75 pounds.

A common blend has a somewhat round and balanced head with hanging ears of a medium set and length. The muzzle is deep and broad, slightly rounded and shorter than that of a Rottweiler.

A Cockweiler’s eyes are mostly round with a slight hint of an almond slant, and they are dark brown.

You will notice a medium-long, well-arched, powerful neck and laidback shoulders (shoulder blades are at a 90-degree angle to the forearm to enhance foreleg reach).

The forelegs are sturdy and strong, and the hindlimbs are powerful with moderate angulation at the stifles.

A Cocker Rottie mix is very slightly longer than tall, combining the short-coupled spaniel with the somewhat rectangular trotting dog.

The Cocker Spaniel and Rottweiler both usually have docked tails in the US, but the Cockweiler more often has a natural tail. It will be in line with a level croup, and your dog will tend to carry it high and sometimes in a slight curve.

  • About the size of small GSD
  • Tail held higher than a Cocker, not as curled as a Rottie
  • Square jaws, muzzle rounder than a Rottie
  • Fewer furrows in brow than Rottie
  • A little longer in the body than a Cocker
  • Head-on the face will look more triangular and the eyes larger than a Rottie

Cocker Spaniel Rottweiler Mix Personality

Cockweilers have pleasant personalities. They are active, energetic, and stable. A well-socialized puppy will turn into a confident and courageous dog with a calm demeanor.

Active and willing to please, Cockweilers expect leadership and self-assuredness from you. The Cocker Rottie mix is loyal and openly accepting of all family members. Cockweilers should also be outgoing and friendly to your guests although they can sense danger and will alert you.

This mix is good with kids as they are playful and bombproof to chaos. Larger crosses can be too rambunctious for toddlers and smaller children.

Cockweilers are generally social with other dogs. Make sure there is not a large size discrepancy and test your dog’s personality idiosyncrasies. Even socialized dogs may not get along with certain individuals, and Rottweilers can exhibit dog aggression.

You may notice that your dog exhibits a few differences from either of the purebred parents.

  • Less suspicious of strangers
  • More watchful than a Cocker
  • More easy-going and more tolerant of loud noises than a Rottie
  • Mouthier than a Rottie

Cocker Spaniel Rottweiler Mix Coat and Colors

Your mix’s coat will likely be broken, meaning it will consist largely of the medium-length double coat of the Rottweiler with feathering on the ears and tail.

Some dogs will have more feathering than others, and it may extend to the backs of the legs and the belly. The base coat can be straight, wavy, or slightly curly.

The mix has moderate shedding year-round with a small increase in the fall and spring.

Cockweilers have some protection against the heat and the cold. They do best in moderate conditions between 85 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Smaller dogs are more susceptible to wind and moisture.

The overwhelming majority of Cocker Spaniel Rottweiler mixes will be black and tan. You will see a base color of black with tan markings on the chest, under the tail, above the eyes, on the lower legs, and the cheeks, chin, and throat.

Some dogs are liver with tan points or solid liver, black, or gold. Many Cockweilers of all colors have white markings on their chest and feet.

Cocker Spaniel Rottweiler Mix shows a rather heavy coat but is still typical of a Cockweiler. Probably most like a setter’s fur, the base is a wavy medium length with feathering on the ears, legs, chest, belly, and tail. Note the dog’s black and tan coloration with a white patch on the chest and rear toes.

Cocker Spaniel Rottweiler Mix Lifespan

The Cocker Spaniel and Rottweiler each live the expected amount of time for their respective size classes. A Cocker has a lifespan of 12 to 15 years, and a Rottie typically lives 8 to 10 years.

You can expect a lifespan of about 10 to 14 years for your Cockweiler.

 

Cocker Spaniel Rottweiler Mix Puppies for Sale

At one time you would have only been able to find a Cocker Spaniel Rottweiler mix at a shelter or from an accidental litter at your neighbor’s house. With the persistent public interest in different kinds of designer dogs, mixed breeds like the Cockweiler are becoming more available and from reputable sources.

In the interest of producing healthy puppies, breeders supply the demand for certain mixes while still providing information about the parents and certifications. Some health screenings that are appropriate for any parents of Cockweiler puppies for sale are the following:

 

  • OFA or PIN hip certification
  • Ophthalmologist exam
  • OFA elbow certificate
  • Heart evaluation

Grooming Your Cocker Spaniel Rottweiler Mix

Cockweilers have moderate brushing needs. Most of them will do fine if you brush them two or three times a week. The curlier the coat or the longer the fur, the more often you should brush it.

If your dog has extensive feathering, you may need to brush these areas daily because they are prone to tangling. Other than brushing, your Cockweiler has the same grooming needs as other dogs.

  • Trim or Dremel nails every 4 to 8 weeks
  • Check the ears every couple of days for redness, odor, or discharge – swab them every week
  • Bath – every 4 to 8 weeks
  • Wipe face daily or every other day

Cocker Spaniel Rottweiler Mix Health Problems

Although there is a lot of discussion about whether mixed breed dogs suffer fewer health problems than purebreds, your Cocker Spaniel Rottweiler mix can inherit common issues from either its Cocker or Rottie parent.

Health challenges might have a lower rate of occurrence in hybrids because of a larger gene pool.

  • Hip or elbow dysplasia – growth abnormality of joints that can cause great pain and a loss of function; prevention is aimed at controlling weight gain, discouraging overnutrition of large-breed fast-growing puppies, and not overexercising pups when the growth plates have not closed
  • Cranial cruciate ligament (CCL or ACL) tear – needs surgery depending on the severity of the injury and the weight of your dog
  • GDV – gastric dilatation and torsion (stomach swell with fluid or gas and twists) – causes life-threatening fluid loss, electrolyte imbalances, and heart arrhythmias
  • Cardiac disease – most common in Dobermans, dilatative cardiomyopathy can also be a genetic problem of other large breed dogs and Cocker Spaniels; the disease involves weakness of the heart muscles and a corresponding enlargement from ineffectual chamber emptying; you can see arrhythmias or congestive heart failure
  • Progressive retinal atrophy – the retina loses function over time, eventually leading to blindness; different means of inheritance in various breeds
  • Glaucoma – Cockers inherit a condition whereby the drainage angles for ocular fluid becomes too narrow, causing acute pressure buildup and potentially sudden blindness
  • Cataracts – can occur in older dogs, but a genetic form affects juveniles (dogs under two years old)
  • American Cocker Spaniel is prone to ear infections
  • Rottweiler puppies frequently have a suppressed immune system (more so than other breeds) – mix may be more susceptible to parvovirus as it takes longer to build immunity from vaccination; also vulnerable to Demodex, a naturally-occurring skin mite that overproliferates in compromised pups causing mild to severe hair loss and secondary bacterial infections and systemic illness
  • Rottweilers particularly susceptible to early-onset bone cancer

Cocker Spaniel Rottweiler Mix Food Requirements

Like any dog, a Cocker Spaniel Rottweiler mix requires proteins and fats in its diet. The top source of amino acids should be meat. Fats are ideally animal-sourced as well, but high-quality plant oils are more commonly used in commercial dry kibble.

There are many forms of premium diets on the market, including raw and fresh food options.

If you choose to make your dog’s food at home, consult your veterinarian to ensure you are including the correct balance of vitamins and minerals.

Your dog will require approximately one to one and a half cups of kibble for every 25 pounds of body weight daily. If you are feeding a raw diet, your dog should eat 2.5% to 3.5% of her body weight each day.

For example, a 50-pound Cockweiler would get 1.25 to 1.75 pounds of raw food every 24 hours.

Puppies and working dogs may need two to three times as much food as an adult and seniors half as much.

They may eat four to six portions in 24 hours. Feed your adult dog two or three times a day to avoid bloat or GDV.

Cocker Spaniel Rottweiler Mix Exercise Requirements

Your dog should get 90 to 120 minutes of daily exercise. Some of the exercises can center around walks, but your dog will also need an outlet for his energy. You can satisfy a significant portion of your dog’s exercise requirements with training.

Puppies should obtain a lot of exposure to other animals, unfamiliar people, and various settings before the age of three months.

Since a puppy this young will still not be fully vaccinated, you must be conscientious of safe venues for exposure.

One appropriate place to socialize your pup is a puppy class where other participants will be screened for signs of illness and will be on a similar vaccination schedule as your pet. You can talk to your veterinarian about other options for socializing your puppy.

Otherwise, limit your pup to five minutes of exercise per month of age once or twice daily.

Do not push a young growing puppy beyond that as they will play as hard as they want on their own. Overworked pups are susceptible to growth plate injury. Limit jumping from high surfaces.

Cocker Spaniel Rottweiler Mix Training

Cockweilers tend to be willing if not eager to please and relatively straightforward to train.

Because your dog may inherit some dominant traits from the Rottie and manipulative tactics from the Cocker, you must be assertive, confident, and consistent in your teaching methods.

Once your dog feels like she can push you around or becomes spoiled, it becomes very difficult to untrain ingrained habits.

Once your dog matures and gets basic obedience under her belt, she is likely to excel at agility, Shutzhund, and tracking. Training advanced activities will keep your dog fit, reinforce your bond with your pet, and provide mental engagement.

Dogs that lack training or socialization can become destructive, fearful, or aggressive.

Cocker Spaniel Rottweiler Mix and Families

Cocker Spaniel Rottie mixes are excellent family companions. With proper socialization, your dog should establish bonds with all family members although she may have a favorite person.

Cockweilers make great watchdogs, announcing activities that happen near the home but warming up to guests where there is no threat.

Some members of this mix are a little more protective than others, especially if you have a second-generation dog whose Cockweiler mother or father was bred back to a purebred Rottweiler.

Cocker Rottie Mix and Other Pets

The Cockweiler is amiable enough to get along with household cats and other dogs he grows up with.

Your dog may have an enhanced prey drive concerning birds, rabbits, squirrels, Guinea pigs, lizards, gerbils, and hamsters.

You should also exercise caution with unfamiliar cats as your dog may want to pursue them aggressively.

Judge your dog with other animals based on body language and recognize the breed has a combined background of herding, aggression, and hunting.

All of these can affect your pet’s predatory instincts and her ability to live or have play outings with other dogs.

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