The Cocker Spaniel is a very loving, smart, and beautiful dog breed that makes a great family companion because of its loving temperament. It can give birth to up to 4-6 puppies at a time.

All the puppies go through the same developmental process. The only difference is, small breed hits maturity faster compared to the large-sized breed. In this article, you will learn about the development process of your Cocker Spaniel and its behavior during different stages.


When the Cocker Spaniel puppy is born, it is unable to see, hear, and is toothless. However, it has a sense of smell and it uses it to get to the mother. The puppies are unable to regulate their own body temperature, so the mother keeps them warm. All the littermates pile up against the body of the mother which keeps them cozy. A puppy separated from the warmth of the mother has a high chance of dying due to hypothermia.

The first sensation of touch the puppies get is when the mother licks their body to clean and stimulate them pee and defecate.

Newborn Cocker Spaniel puppies
Newborn Cocker Spaniel puppies.
Image Source: Twitter-@Cocker puppies

Neonatal Stage (0-2 Weeks)

The Cocker Spaniel has the sense of smell and touch from birth although their other senses are not developed at the time of birth. Using the sense of smell of the scent-marked breast, the puppies get to the mother. They should only be fed with the mother’s milk as it is rich in colostrum which protects them from any kind of fatal health problems. Make sure the bitch is nursing her puppies every 2 to 3 hours.

For the first 2 weeks of the puppy’s birth, all he does is eat and sleep. It helps in the development of the body and brain. You will see the progress at the end of the second week when the puppy is double its birth size. The newborn puppies cannot carry the weight of their body, so they crawl toward the mother using the front legs which provide enough exercise and help them develop muscles.

Transitional Stage (2-4 Weeks)

The transitional stage is one of the important periods for any puppy’s life. It will see and hear its mother for the first time since the birth. In about 14 days, you will see your Cocker Spaniel puppy opening eyes although the vision is not clear. It will start hearing in about 16 days making them hear the sound of the mother and the littermates for the first time.

The puppies will form their own vocabulary by yelping, barking, whining to communicate with each other. By the end of the third week, you will see your puppy standing on its own feet and doing its wobbly walk. They start playing with the littermates and sample solid food from the bowl of their mother. The baby teeth start to erupt and they want to chew anything due to the itch on their teeth. So, invest in chewable toys to avoid the destruction of valuable stuff in the house.

Cocker Spaniel puppies resting on the bedCocker Spaniel puppies resting on the bed
Cocker Spaniel puppies resting on the bed.
Image Source: Zim Family Cockers

Socialization Stage (4-12 Weeks)

The socialization stage starts following the transitional stage and last for about 12 weeks. It is a critical stage as the Cocker Spaniel puppy’s interaction with others increases and at this time they form an attachment that lasts for their lifetime. Expose them to their outside world and socialize them with different people and dogs. While introducing them to strangers, make sure they do not accept them as a part of the family.

Start basic training as soon as your Cocker Spaniel puppy gets 6-8 weeks old. Potty train them and also give them obedience training with some extra tricks. The puppies are quick at learning things at this age, so it is a perfect time to start training your dog.

Juvenile Stage (3-6 Months)

At this stage, the Cocker Spaniel looks very much like the miniature version of its adult self. They start learning rank, submission, and dominance. The puppies start showing teething and chewing-related issues which will last for few weeks. They can hold longer in between toilet breaks, so potty training becomes easier.

Cocker Spaniel puppy playfully biting its master
Cocker Spaniel puppy playfully biting its master.

The Cocker Spaniel needs a high quality puppy food divided into three portion. Their body growth is almost completed where as their mental and emotional growth takes place till they are fully grown into an adult. Continue their basic training for 6 months and after that its time for the advance training.

Adolescence Stage (6-12 Months)

When the Cocker Spaniel gets 6 months old, the female experienced her first heat and she is able to mate and breed. The male also starts showing interest in females and they are also ready for mating. However, breeding at such a small age will affect the health of your dog, so wait till they are 16-18 months old.

It is a right age for your Cocker Spaniel to get in advance training. So establish a leadership and train them with a patience. Change their meal to 2 meals a day and from puppy food to adult dog food.

Vaccination Chart for Cocker Spaniel

6 to 8 WeeksDistemper, parvovirus
10 to 12 WeeksDHPP (vaccines for distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, and parvovirus)
16 to 18 WeeksDHPP, rabies
Every 1 to 2 YearsDHPP
Every 1 to 3 YearsRabies (as required by law)
Vaccination Chart For Cocker Spaniel.

Vaccination cost for Cocker Spaniel

The cost for the DHPP vaccinations is between $75-$100 and the cost for rabies vaccination is between $15-$20.

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