Cocker Spaniels are recognized for their luscious wavy coats and droopy adorable ears, but one of their most fascinating traits is their many variations in coat color and patterns. There are very few breeds that can boast such a variety! There are 24 recognized patterns and colors; some have markings and patterns, and others have a combination of colors, markings, and patterns.
It’s understandable if you weren’t aware of the variety of Cocker Spaniel hues, but after reading this article, you will be familiar with all 24 varieties!
The 24 Cocker Spaniel Colors & Patterns
There are four solid colors that Cocker Spaniels come in. However, the dog does not need to be entirely that color to qualify as solid. A little white patch, like a streak across the chest, is allowed. A solid color can carry a parti-color but not the other way around since solid colors are dominant. Breeding a parti-color to a solid can only create solid-color puppies, all of which will be carriers for parti-color. If a solid that carries a gene for parti-color is bred to a parti-color, some puppies will be solids, and some will be partis, but all the solids will carry the parti-color trait.
Black is regarded as a solid coat color in Cockers Spaniels, and they are pretty popular worldwide. Other colors or patterns cannot match the brilliant shine of the all-black coat.
Golden is the most common coat color, and because they are so common, it makes them one of the cheapest Cocker Spaniels.
The liver color of this Cocker Spaniel is reminiscent of chocolate. It consists of a mix of shades, including black, tan, red, golden, and others. This coat contains no white.
Two recessive red genes create a red Cocker Spaniel. Normally, the skin and eye colors show through. However, certain dogs have less pigment on their noses. Compared to black or liver puppies, solid red puppies have a 30% higher chance of keeping the white on their faces.
They are not as common as Golden or Black Cocker Spaniels but also not rare.
Particolored Cocker Spaniels
Cocker Spaniels are classified as particolored if they have a significant amount of white on their coats. This means that their fur is two-toned, with the primary color either being their base color or white. Because the placement, size, and type of their markings can vary, no two particolored Cocker Spaniels have identical coats. Their coat may look like it could be almost a solid color with just a few stray specks of another color.
5. Black and White
Given their resemblance to the well-known cookies, they are also referred to as “Oreo Spaniels.” Puppies with black and white coats are blessed with the finest of both worlds. They have a dominant white coat gene and a recessive black coat gene.
6. Liver and White
White is the dominant gene, the liver is the recessive gene, and liver and white coats for English Cocker Spaniels are a far more uncommon coat color combination. The white spots are primarily found on their nose, ears, mid-back, chest, and occasionally close to their eyes.
7. Orange and White
The same recessive red gene will produce a red that appears lighter in the variation of the parti. It is then registered as orange. Like black and white Cocker Spaniels, orange and white patches have distinct white patches that occasionally lighten the orange color. This distinguishes them from English Spaniels with an orange-white tick pattern or Orange Roans. Depending on their parents’ coloring and coat genes, these puppies may be completely white or show a cream-white coloring.
8. Lemon and White
A lemon coat will be registered as red, with a liver nose. Any other coat pattern on a lemon will have “lemon” in the name when registered, like the lemon and white Cocker Spaniel.
9. Red and White
The composition of red and white hair is the same as the orange and white Cocker Spaniel, except in this case, the red gene is darker.
Roan is characterized by the base coat colors of red, black, or brown that have been made lighter by white hairs. Roan appears to be dominant to non-roan, known as open marks.
10. Blue Roan
These coat color names are a little deceptive. There is no blue fur on a blue roan, but the black fur is interspersed with white hairs, making it appear lighter with a blue-gray hue. Blue Roan Cocker Spaniels have long, floppy ears that are solid black and solid black patches on their eyes and nose. The striking roan pattern covers the rest of their body, but they could also have solid black spots.
11. Lemon Roan
A solid lemon coat is registered as a red or golden Cocker Spaniel. Any other coat pattern on a lemon will have “lemon” in the name when registered, like the lemon roan. Lemon is the most recessive of all the roans.
12. Chocolate Roan
A chocolate roan coat is liver-colored. Like the blue roan, it has white hairs interspersed throughout the brown, producing a more chocolate result.
13. Orange Roan
Orange roan Spaniels have a red undercoat that is eventually infused with a mixture of white hairs. This can occur all over their body or in specks appearing in various places. Red and white patterns and orange roans are sometimes mistaken, but the orange roan has a brighter sheen to its coat.
Tan marks can appear over the eyes, on the muzzle, on the chest, on the legs, and under the tail on any coat color or pattern. Tan is a recessive gene, and a dog that is already tan must have inherited the trait from both parents. If a dog inherits one gene from each parent and then breeds with another dog carrying the same gene, it may develop a tan without exhibiting tan markings.
The tan marking gene can also be carried in the red and orange roan Cocker Spaniels, though it isn’t very noticeable in Cocker Spaniels.
14. Black and Tan
Featuring a mix of two highly sought-after colors, Black and Tan Spaniels have an entirely black base coat with tan spots. The patches are mostly on their muzzle and around their eyes, giving them the illusion of having eyebrows. Therefore they typically do not have much tan.
15. Liver and Tan
The liver and tan Spaniel is often confused with a brown Spaniel. These Spaniels have a liver coat with tan markings and can be born to parents with various color combinations or a recessive tan gene in their bodies.
16. Blue Roan and Tan
This is a fascinating coat variation since the blue roan coat is rare on its own. The blue roan and tan coat is mostly gray-blue with spots or areas of tan markings.
17. Liver Roan and Tan
Like the liver and tan Spaniel, the liver roan and tan is more diluted and lighter and can still get confused with a brown Spaniel.
18. Black, White, and Tan
This combination of colors and markings makes a gorgeous coat. The fur is the same as a black and white Spaniel, with the addition of tan markings.
19. Liver, White, and Tan
As another beautiful combination of colors, the liver, white and tan Spaniel stands out with its tan eyebrows and dark ears.
Sable Cocker Spaniels
Cocker Spaniels can also have a variation of sable coats. Each hair in a sable coat is in two different colors, with black tips making it a unique shade of two colors. The dog’s predominant color will be at the base of each hair, but the tips will all be black.
20. Sable and Tan
A sable and tan Cocker Spaniel has a coat that is essentially sable with tan-colored markings. This adds more depth to an already fascinating coat.
21. White and Sable
A white and sable Spaniel has a lighter coat, with the sable adding slight contrast and depth. This coat can look beige or cream-colored.
22. Open Marked Pattern
A dog with an open marking won’t have roan or ticking in its coat. Clear white lines separate any openly marked spots on the dog. A roan dog can carry open markings but not vice versa.
23. Ticking Pattern
There may also be “ticking” in the coat of open-marked colors. Where the hair should have been white, there are colored flecks called ticking. When ticking occurs between patches, they are registered as color, white, and ticked.
Ash Spaniels are sometimes called “Gray Spaniels” because they have the second-rarest coat color. Instead of having a roan pattern, they have a recessive set of white genes that mix with their dominant black fur color to create the grey base. They have lighter-colored paw pads and noses, which produce a distinctive appearance.
With more colors than the rainbow and a variety of patterns, the Cocker Spaniel has a remarkable coat variation. Several color and pattern combinations may be hard to recognize at first sight, but speaking to the breeder can help you distinguish which variation it is. Some are very common and often seen, while others are extremely rare. However, whichever color and pattern variation you select, the Cocker Spaniel’s playful temperament will remain the same.
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