What Is A Golden Retriever Cocker Spaniel Mix? (Hybrids 101)

When you take a golden retriever and mix it with a cocker spaniel, the outcome is a truly adorable golden cocker retriever, also known as a Dakota sport retriever or a cogol.

These hybrid dogs are called forever puppies because they maintain a puppy-like look to them even when they are fully grown.

The golden cocker retriever is a hybrid or designer dog intentionally created to combine the best qualities of the cocker spaniel and the golden retriever together.

The golden cocker retriever maintains the look of the golden retriever in a smaller package with longer hair.

The golden cocker retriever is an excellent family dog, provided you can meet its needs.

The golden cocker retriever wants to be part of everyone’s day, all the time, everyday, so expect a clingy but playful dog.

Read on to find out if the golden cocker retriever is the dog for you.

Golden Retriever Cocker Spaniel Mix

Parentage Of The Golden Cocker Retriever

When mixing two breeds together, like the golden retriever and the cocker spaniel, there is no guarantee of exactly how each puppy will look and behave in every litter.

This is why it’s important to understand both of the parent breeds.

Understanding the history and personality of both parent breeds will also give you an idea of how your golden cocker retriever will behave later on in life as it develops its personality as an adult.

The Golden Retriever

Parentage Of The Golden Cocker Retriever

The golden retriever as we know it today, originated in Scotland in the mid to late 1800s and early 1900s.

The golden retriever was bred to be a sporting dog with a soft mouth. Its job was to chase down prey, usually waterfowl, after the owner had shot one down.

Once the dog located the prey, it would gently pick it up in its mouth and bring it back to the owner.

The area in which they had to do the retrieving was often marshy, so the dogs were bred to have warm coats and be excellent swimmers.

For a more detailed look at how the golden retriever came to be, check out our dedicated article on their history.

Golden retrievers are highly loyal, dedicated, easily trainable, and loving dogs.

It is important to note the golden retriever is also very high energy and requires a lot of mental and physical stimulation.

The Cocker Spaniel

Cocker spaniels originated in Europe as sporting and hunting dogs. They were used to flush out birds from bushes and low lying brush for the hunter to shoot them down.

There are many different types of spaniels, but the cocker spaniel was so named because that specific breed specialized in hunting woodcocks.

Cocker spaniels were popularized by the Disney movie Lady and the Tramp and U.S Vice President Nixon’s adorable dog named Checkers who enjoyed the limelight.

The cocker spaniel is an easily trainable dog who loves spending time with the family in all activities.

However, they are high energy pups who require a lot of time and effort from their owners in order to stay happy.

The Golden Cocker Retriever

The golden cocker retriever takes on the best of both breeds and looks a lot like a shrunken version of the golden retriever with the long floppy ears of the cocker spaniel.

The golden cocker retriever is a very high energy dog and will require a lot of energy from you as well.

The golden cocker retriever stands at 20 to 24 inches and weighs 30 to 45 pounds on average. This makes them a medium-sized dog.

What Is The Golden Cocker Retriever Like?

Let’s dive into what the golden cocker retriever is like in terms of its personality, trainability, and what health concerns you might expect from thk hybrid.


What Is The Golden Cocker Retriever Like?

The golden cocker retriever is a fun-loving dog who wants to be in everyone’s business all the time.

They are inquisitive dogs who love being involved with their humans and their environment.

Golden cocker retrievers are great dogs to have if you have children.

They love the company and energy small children bring to the home and will get along with them very well.

Golden cocker retrievers are incredibly affectionate and will accept love and cuddles 24/7.

The golden cocker retriever is an intelligent dog which will require mental as well as physical stimulation from you in order to be happy.


Thanks to both of the parent dogs, the golden retriever and the cocker spaniel, the golden cocker retriever takes to training very well.

They are intelligent dogs that enjoy the effort it takes to learn tricks and tasks.

Daily training should be incorporated into their routine as this will help mentally stimulate them and ‘tire them out’ so they do not become destructive.

Training should be consistent and based on positive reinforcement as the golden cocker retriever takes harsh words and negative punishment to heart.

Health Concerns

Golden cocker retrievers are a mixed breed, which means they have a wider genetic pool to draw from.

This means they are genetically healthier than either of their purebred parents.

However, because the golden retriever and cocker spaniel share some common health concerns, they can appear in the golden cocker retriever too.

Be on the lookout for:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Entropion (eyelid condition)
  • Hypothyroidism

Taking your golden cocker retriever to the vet every year for a check up and their vaccines is incredibly important.

Prevention is always better than treatment.

Your vet can catch small issues developing in the early stages and provide preventative care before the problem becomes life threatening or painful for your dog.

Is A Golden Cocker Retriever The Dog For Me?

The golden cocker retriever seems like an ideal medium-sized dog for any family.

However there are some care needs you need to consider to determine if this is the dog for you or not.

Can I Keep Up With Their Exercise Requirements?

The golden cocker retriever is an incredibly high-energy dog.

They require a minimum of an hour of exercise a day, preferably split over two sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

Physical exercise can take the form of play sessions with you, walks, going to the dog park, swimming time, hikes, obedience training, and playing fetch.

If you have trained your golden cocker retriever well, taking them to an off-leash dog park and allowing them to run around and explore all the different sights and smells is an excellent way to stimulate them.

Golden cocker retrievers need mental stimulation during the day, which is separate from their physical exercise.

Toys, slow feeders, lick mats, snuffle mats, and puzzle games are all excellent options to boost their mental stimulation.

Do I Have The Time For Their Grooming Needs?

The golden cocker retriever has a beautiful coat that sheds a lot thanks to the golden retriever and cocker spaniel parents.

They will need to be brushed every second or third day depending on the individual dog.

If your golden cocker retriever loves swimming, their coat will need to be dried and brushed after every swim.

You will need to clean your golden cocker retriever’s ears at least once a week to ensure there is no dirt building up, which could lead to a bacterial infection.

FAQs About The Golden Cocker Retriever

What is the difference between the American cocker spaniel and the English cocker spaniel?

There are two different kinds of cocker spaniel, the American and the English. Both kinds can be crossed with a golden retriever to make a golden cocker retriever.

The biggest difference between the two cocker spaniels is their size.

The American breeders focused on producing small, sleek companion cocker spaniels, while the English breeders focused on breeding larger cocker spaniels with longer legs.

Therefore, the English cocker spaniel is taller and slightly broader than the American cocker spaniel.

Let’s have a last look at the differences between the golden retriever and the cocker spaniel and see how they mix together to create the golden cocker retriever.

Parent BreedHybrid DogParent Breed
CharacteristicsGolden Retriever
(larger parent)
Golden Cocker RetrieverCocker Spaniel
(smaller parent)
Height21 to 24 inches20 to 24 inches13 to 15 inches
Weight55 to 65 pounds30 to 45 pounds20 to 30 pounds
Lifespan10 to 12 years10 to 12 years10 to 14 years
Coat colorGolden, dark golden, light goldenAny combination or the two parents, but usually golden or blackBlack, white, brown, buff, red, silver, brown roan (plus combinations)
Good with childrenVeryVeryVery
High energyVeryVeryVery
High prey driveModerateModerate to highHigh
Good with other dogsVeryVeryVery

Wagging Away On The Golden Cocker Retriever

The offspring of a golden retriever and cocker spaniel mix is the golden cocker retriever.

This forever puppy is a high energy, family-loving, bundle of joy who will fill your heart and home with laughter and love.

What do you think about the Golden Cocker Retriever?

Do you have or want this mixed breed?

Tell us about your experiences in the comment section below.

Written By

Wendy is a self-employed beauty therapist, mother of two, life-long pet parent and lover of dogs who somehow manages to squeeze in the time to satisfy another of her loves - writing. Wendy is the founder, main contributor to and editor of TotallyGoldens.

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