Golden Cocker Retriever – An Ultimate Golden Retriever Cocker Spaniel Mix Guide

Golden Cocker Retriever Face
Golden cocker spaniels adore human interaction and play!

The Golden Cocker Retriever is the perfect, all-rounder for a family dog.

This lovable and playful crossbreed, resulting from a mix of a Golden Retriever and Cocker Spaniel, is a furry best-friend with lots of love to give.

As they are a crossbreed, and Cocker Spaniels have many different coat colors, they are sometimes referred to as a mystery puppy, as breeders cannot be certain what they will look like until they have fully matured.

This mystery just adds to the fun and excitement the Golden Retriever Cocker Spaniel Mix possess.

Let’s have a look at what they might look like, their typical temperament and just how easy it is to care for this charming forever puppy.

Golden Cocker Retriever Info
Size14-24 inches in height
Weight30-60 pounds (for males and females)
Lifespan11-14 years
Breed TypeMixes and More
PurposeFamily Pet/Companion Dog
Suitable ForFamilies With Young Children, Active Couples, Novice Owners
Color VariationsGolden, Yellow, Brown, Occasionally Merles And Black
TemperamentFriendly, Intelligent, Social, Active And Keen To Please
Other NamesGolden Retriever x Cocker Spaniel Mix

What is a Golden Cocker Retriever?

Playing With A Golden Cocker Retriever
A golden cocker retriever is cross between a golden retriever and a cocker spaniel

Crossbreeding two of the most popular dog breeds in the world had led to potentially the perfect family pet.

A Golden Cocker Retriever full grown, is usually slightly smaller than a Golden Retriever.

They are a friendly and sociable dog towards adults, strangers and children alike.

As they are a crossbreed, they are not recognized by the America Kennel Club, but are recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club.

Both the Golden Retrievers and Cocker Spaniel belong to the sporting dog group classification, producing a very active and intelligent crossbreed.

Despite a history of hunting companions in both parent breeds, this mix is much more suitable as a family pet due to their loyalty and friendliness.

Enjoying exercise (especially swimming) and being active outdoors, this crossbreed thrives from human play and interaction whilst exploring new outdoor spaces.

To explore why this crossbreed is so suited to first-time owners, let us first investigate what they have inherited from their parent breeds.

Breed Origin Of The Golden Cocker Retriever

What Is A Golden Cocker Retriever?

Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers originate from Scotland where they emerged to be a separate breed of gun dog used to retrieve game that was shot down both on land and in water.

This was achieved by breeding a Flat Coated Retriever and a Tweed Water Spaniel for an efficient and loyal hunting companion.

Flat Coated Retrievers were traditionally black, but a recessive gene occasionally produced a yellow one which is what was first bred with the Water Spaniel to produce a Golden Retriever.

Cocker Spaniels

The emergence of Cocker Spaniels in the US can traced back to the 17th century at the landing of the Mayflower as one of the two dogs aboard the ship was indeed a Spaniel.

First registered in 1879 the popularity of the Cocker Spaniel grew significantly during the 1930s and 1940s.

English or American Spaniels can be the sire or the dam in this cross breed; this contributes to the varying size and appearance of many Golden Cocker Retrievers.

American Cockers, known simply in the US as Cocker Spaniels, have a much weaker prey-drive than their English counterparts and are predominantly kept as companion dogs.

This lack of a hunting instinct makes them much more suitable for a family pet, though they are still very active.

Golden Cocker Retriever

The breed history and origins of this dog is not widely documented.

It is thought, this relatively new breed could be the result of the designer dog movement during the 1990s and 2000s, although this is mostly based on observations of the popular dog breeds of this time.

Regardless of their origin, this dog is a hybrid of two active, intelligent and friendly breeds, making them perfect as a family dog!

Golden Cocker Retriever Puppy

Golden Cocker Retriever Running
Golden Cocker Retriever puppies are also known as forever puppies.

For this hybrid dog, it does not matter if the Spaniel or the Retriever is the sire or the dam, this is because both dog breeds are of a similar size.

A Golden Cocker Retriever price tag can range from $800 USD to $2,000 USD.

Litter sizes often depend on the size of the mother. The general rule is the larger the dog the larger the litter size. You can expect anywhere between 4 and 12 puppies per litter.

This dog is known as the ‘forever puppy’ as they are said to maintain the look of a puppy. Having said this, it is a cross-breed and so potential owners should be mindful that appearance can vary widely.

Being a crossbreed, it can be difficult to determine expected sizes during the different stages of their development:

  • Spaniels generally mature at 18-24 months
  • Retrievers also mature physically at around 24 months

We should therefore expect physical maturity to be somewhere between 18 and 24 months, although mental maturity can take up to three years.

Based on the sizes of their parents, you can expect a seven-week-old puppy to weigh anywhere between 6 and 9 pounds.

Golden Cocker Retriever Growth Chart Based on Parents’ Weight:
Weight in Pounds (Min-Max Range)
3 months1025
6 months2050
9 months2560
12 months3070

Golden Cocker Retriever Temperament

The Golden Cocker Retriever’s sporting backgrounds allude to energetic and playful dogs who love to explore the outdoors.Loving and loyal, these dogs make ideal companions, with a naturally playful instinct to chase and fetch.

Both friendly and sociable they make them perfect play mates with older children and other dogs, whilst remaining calm and gentle when around younger children.

However, their loyal nature also means this breed form strong attachments to owners and family members so do not cope very well being left alone for long periods of time.

This breed is not suitable for people who work long hours or are away for most of the day. A busier household with human contact throughout most of the day would be more appropriate for this breed to reduce the risk of boredom and frustration behaviors induced by separation anxiety and stress.

Golden Cocker Retriever Portrait

Do These Dogs Bark?

Undesirable behaviors such as persistent barking, or howling (which is most commonly associated with Huskies), are not a trait associated with this dog.

However, the occasional excitable bark, or mouthing, when younger dogs are going through the teething stage are to be expected.

Although these small behavioral issues are bound to happen before maturity (i.e. before 24 months of age) where they start to test their boundaries.

Are These Good Family Dogs?

The temperament of this dog makes for a good all-rounder, and ticks a lot of boxes for any first-time dog owner or people with a young family.

Their ability to adapt to different situations, be it calm or playful, means they are generally suitable to be around strangers, new dogs, older and younger children.

Caring For A Golden Retriever Cocker Spaniel Mix

Woman With Golden Cocker Retriever
The golden cocker spaniel is an active and intelligent crossbreed requiring plenty of exercise and stimulation

So, if they make the perfect family pet, how easy is it to properly care for a Golden Cocker Retriever?

Caring for this dog will require you spend a long time grooming your dog, due to their longer coats.

They will also require a lot of exercise, given both Retrievers and Cockers are from sporting backgrounds and very energetic.

You do not need to be an experienced dog owner to be suited to owning this dog as they are easy to train.

Food and Dietary Requirements

Daily Food Consumption
Guide 1,000 calories
Cups of Kibble Two Bowls of Kibble Required per Day

Dry kibble fed three times a day is a good diet for the Golden Cocker Retriever and a specific large-breed kibble sometimes required for the larger mixes over 60lb.

Typical feed volumes will vary depending on the size of the dog (which isn’t always predictable with them being a crossbreed).

Generally, it is best to know the predicted weight of your dog, so you can calculate the exact amount of food they require.

Each dog is different in size, and each dog food brand differs in their guidelines depending on the contents of the food.

Typically, a 40lb dog requires between 900-1,000 calories per day which should contain around 25% protein and 13% fat.

Exercising A Cocker Spaniel Golden Retriever Mix

Daily Exercise Requirements
Minutes 60 minutes
Activity Level This is a high activity dog breed

Walks should last around 60 minutes for this active crossbreed. This can either be one long walk, or you can split them into two shorter walks a day.

The Golden Cocker Retriever’s smaller size also means they are very agile and easily play fetch and run around with children.

Due to their sociable nature, they are also great exercise companions (for humans and other dogs) effortlessly running off leash.

Their high trainability means their recall off leash is good.

As this breed is intelligent, they may benefit from some home-made agility-style obstacle courses – a great activity for children and adults alike to engage in some fun and interactive exercise with your dog.

For Golden Cocker Retrievers in particular, one walk a day (at the very least) is required as a lack of exercise can lead to hyperactivity.

Training a Cocker Spaniel Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever and Cocker Spaniel Dogs
The Golden Cocker Retriever often possess golden coats but can also be mix of different shades and colors.

The intelligence and eagerness to please, from both the Spaniel and Retriever, make for a dog which is obedient and easy to train.

Many Retrievers and Spaniels are used as working dogs:

  • Guiding the blind or those hard to hearing
  • Detection dogs for police departments

Like most puppies, this dog has a socialization period from 6 to 16 weeks. This 2-month period is vital in exposing the puppy to a variety of dogs, strangers, children of all ages and different experiences.

By experiencing many different situations, the puppy should be less nervous and fearful during new meetings and novel circumstances.

This is especially important for the development of a friendly and sociable dog.

The Golden Cocker Retriever is an intelligent crossbreed so puzzle feeders and other brain games for dogs will encourage cognitive stimulation and prevent boredom.

Their intelligence means they are highly trainable for complex tasks such as obedience in a family home.

Positive reinforcement (using food or toy based rewards) are very effective when training this dog.

Health Problems

Golden Retriever Cocker Spaniel Mix

There are some health problems which unfortunately are common in the Cocker Spaniel Golden Retriever mix, these are predominantly inherited from their purebred parents:

  • The abnormal development of the hips (i.e. Hip dysplasia) which leads to painful arthritis.
  • Cataracts, which can be inherited from either parent, caused by disease, or the result of old age can cause the clouding of your dog’s lens. This is not fatal and surgery can be carried out to remove the cataracts and prevents blindness.
  • Hypothyroidism which is a the lowered production of the thyroid hormone, leading to a dull and thinning coat, weight gain and reduced activity.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy which is the shrinking of the retina which eventually leads to blindness.
  • Liver disease can lead to a range of symptoms depending on the specific disease, including jaundice, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and weight loss. Dry food formulated for liver diseases may be recommended as part of the treatment plan to support liver function and manage symptoms.

Golden Cocker Retriever Size, Appearance, Coat and Grooming

Golden Retriever Cocker Spaniel Mix Chewing

A Golden Cocker Retriever will be slightly smaller than a typical Golden Retriever, usually weighing around 30-45 pounds and measuring between 14-24 inches.

You can typically expect a medium-sized dog, slightly smaller than a Golden but broader than Cocker with a long, smooth coat, floppy ears and a head which is slightly bigger than a Spaniels.

This medium sized breed is usually seen in their parents’ traditional golden color, however, if the parent cocker spaniel is black, brown, white or merle, this can sometimes be passed on to the offspring.

Their coat is normally medium-length and smooth with some feathered fringes around the legs, ears and stomach. These fringes will need more frequent combing on a daily basis with a finer brush to prevent matting.

Some puppies inherit more genes from the Golden and therefore have a double coat, in which case, the fur may be denser and require more thorough grooming.

Grooming Guide

Golden Cocker Retriever Lying Down
Golden cocker retrievers can make the perfect family pet.

Their coat should be trimmed (but not shaved). You should aim for your dog to be clipped to ensure a tidy coat every 3 or 4 months.

Due to their longer fur, which can be prone to matting in some areas, this dog requires a lot of grooming.

This crossbreed will require regular brushing throughout the week at the very least to ensure a smooth coat.

If they’ve inherited more Retriever phenotypes, with a thicker coat, then a more thorough groom with a slicker brush once a week may also be appropriate. Matts in sensitive areas such as the armpits, groin and stomach can just be clipped out to avoiding hurting the dog.


This crossbreed is suitable for most kinds of living situations, be it an active couple, a novice owner or a family with young children.

Their loving and devoted working nature means they form strong attachments to caregivers, making them less suitable for people who work long hours.

They require a fair amount of exercise, whether it is walking, running, swimming or playing with other dogs.

Their intelligence means they thrive from social interactions and the mental stimulation of novel experiences (providing they have been appropriately socialized as a puppy).

Whilst they require a lot of grooming, this crossbreed is not typically classed as a high maintenance dog, and looking after this dog can be enjoyed by the whole family.

Let us know what you think about the Golden Cocker Retriever in the comments below!

Other Cocker Spaniel and Golden Retriever Mixes

If you’re interested in learning about other Cocker Spaniel mixes or Golden Retriever mixes, check out the hybrid dog breeds below.

Cocker Spaniel Mixes

Golden Retriever Mixes

About John Woods 299 Articles
John Woods is the founder of All Things Dogs, member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, graduate in Animal Behavior & Welfare and recognized author by the Dog Writers Association of America.


    • I have one and he’s a great little dog. Smart, friendly-to a fault, athletic- we are in Agility training, and so incredibly cute- dog lovers all come running to meet him. He’s still a puppy and does chew….a LOT!!

  1. I had a golden retriever cocker spaniel mix. She was the very best lovable dog I have ever had and met. She was like a life like teddy bear full of love. She lived to be 16 years 3 months old. With a weight she maintained throughout her life at 24 pounds. More likely will get another dog this type of breed again.

  2. I think I have a Golden Cocker retriever. She’s adopted and came from Egypt.

    I was told she’s a golden retriever. But I’ve always though cocker when you look at her. Even her snout is lighter colored. She has long soft coats with lots of feathering, even her tail. The pictures I’ve seen, show a thin tail!

  3. We have a new puppy from the humane Shelter. Not sure her breed, obviously a mix of some sort. But I think she appears to be a Spaniel/ Golden Retriever mix. Seems to have characteristics described here. She’s really cute. Wish I could post a picture and get an opinion. She also has a unique tail with swirly stripes. Can’t figure that out!!

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