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English Cocker Spaniel Vs. Shih Tzu

english cocker spaniel vs. shih tzu

English Cocker Spaniel Vs. Shih Tzu – are both outrageously adorable but suited to very different lifestyles.

english cocker spaniel vs. shih tzu

English Cocker Spaniels and Shih Tzus are two popular dog breeds with unique traits and qualities. By understanding their differences in appearance, temperament, and care needs, you can decide which breed might best fit you and your lifestyle. 

Whether you’re looking for a playful companion or a cuddly lapdog, this comparison will help you make an informed choice and find the perfect furry friend.

Comparison Table

english cocker spaniel vs. shih tzu
TraitEnglish Cocker SpanielShih Tzu
Size and WeightMedium-sized (26-34 lbs)Small-sized (9-16 lbs)
CoatFeathered, wavy or flatLong, flowing
ColorVarious colorsVarious colors
Energy LevelHigh-energyLow-energy
TrainabilityIntelligent, eager to pleaseIntelligent, stubborn
SocializationFriendly, needs socializationFriendly, needs socialization
Exercise NeedsRequires regular exerciseLow exercise requirements
Grooming NeedsRegular grooming, trimming requiredDaily grooming, regular trimming
Suitable LivingActive household, space for exerciseApartment living, smaller spaces


The most obvious and prominent difference between these dogs is their looks – the English Cocker Spaniel and Shih Tzu have distinct features that make them stand out in different ways. Let’s take a look at each breed’s coat, size, and color.

Physical Features of the English Cocker Spaniel

english cocker spaniel

Size and Weight – English Cocker Spaniels are medium-sized dogs, typically weighing 26-34 pounds, with an average height of around 15-17 inches.

Coat – One of the most prominent features of an English Cocker Spaniel is its beautifully feathered coat. The coat also requires regular grooming to keep it in good condition.

Color – English Cocker Spaniels come in various colors, including black, liver, golden red, and others. Some dogs may have a combination of colors, such as black and white or black and tan.

Get to know the American Cocker Spaniel here.

Physical Features of the Shih Tzu

english cocker spaniel vs. shih tzu

Size and Weight – Shih Tzus are small dogs weighing between 9-16 pounds and standing at around 9-10 inches in height.

Coat – Shih Tzus have a long, flowing coat that requires daily maintenance to prevent matting and tangling. The coat can be straight or wavy and is typically thick and luxurious.

Color – Shih Tzus come in various colors, including gray, white, black, liver, and many others. Some may have a solid color coat, while others mix colors or patterns.

Get a more in-depth look at the Shih Tzu here.

English Cocker Spaniel Vs. Shih Tzu: Appearance

While the English Cocker Spaniel and Shih Tzu may differ in size and weight, they both have beautiful coats and come in a range of colors. However, the English Cocker Spaniel has a longer and thicker coat that requires more upkeep, while the Shih Tzu’s coat may tangle more easily but is not as high maintenance. 

The dog’s size also plays a big role. While the English Cocker Spaniel may have a more regal and elegant look, the Shih Tzu’s small size and adorable features make it hard to resist. Ultimately, the appearance of both breeds is striking and unique, and each dog has its charm and personality that makes them a beloved pet for many owners.

Personality of the English Cocker Spaniel

english cocker spaniel
  • Energy Level

English Cocker Spaniels are known for their high energy levels. They are always ready to run, play, and explore the world around them. Active dogs require regular exercise and stimulation to stay healthy and happy.

  • Trainability

English Cocker Spaniels are intelligent and eager to please, making them great candidates for training. They respond well to positive reinforcement and enjoy learning new tricks and commands. However, they can sometimes be independent and stubborn, so patience and consistency are key when training them.

  • Socialization

English Cocker Spaniels are friendly and social dogs, but like any breed, they need proper socialization to prevent shyness or aggression. Introducing them to different people, dogs, and environments at a young age can help them develop into well-adjusted and confident adults.

Personality of the Shih Tzu

shih tzu
  • Energy Level

Shih Tzus are low-energy dogs that enjoy lounging around the house. They don’t require as much exercise as other breeds and are suitable for apartment or city living.

  • Trainability

Shih Tzus can be stubborn and challenging to train, but they are not impossible. They have a keen intelligence and can learn new commands with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement.

  • Socialization

Shih Tzus are friendly and affectionate dogs. While they generally get along well with people and other animals, they are prone to separation anxiety and may become overly attached to their owners. Proper socialization and training can help prevent this behavior.

English Cocker Spaniel Vs. Shih Tzu: Personality and Temperament

English Cocker Spaniels and Shih Tzus have distinct personalities and temperaments. English Cocker Spaniels are high-energy and social dogs, while Shih Tzus are more laid back and independent. However, both breeds are affectionate and enjoy spending time with their owners.

Ultimately, the best breed for you depends on your lifestyle and preferences. If you’re looking for an active and social dog, an English Cocker Spaniel may be the right fit. A Shih Tzu may be a better choice if you prefer a low-energy lapdog. 

English Cocker Spaniel Vs. Shih Tzu: Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons of English Cocker Spaniels

english cocker spaniel vs. shih tzu
1. Trainability: English Cocker Spaniels are generally trainable and eager to please, making them suitable for various activities and roles.1. Exercise Needs: They require regular exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and potential behavioral issues. Failing to meet their exercise needs can lead to restlessness or destructive behavior.
2. Affectionate Nature: They are known for their affectionate and loving nature, making them excellent companions and family dogs.2. Grooming Requirements: English Cocker Spaniels have a luxurious coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting and keep it in good condition.
3. Versatility: They excel in various activities, such as obedience, agility, tracking, and hunting. Their adaptability and natural instincts make them versatile and capable of participating in different tasks and sports.3. Separation Anxiety: English Cocker Spaniels can be prone to separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods. They thrive on human companionship and may become anxious or exhibit destructive behaviors when left alone for too long.

Pros and Cons of Shih Tzus

shih tzu
1. Size and Adaptability: Shih Tzus are small-sized dogs, making them suitable for apartment living or homes with limited space. 1. Grooming Requirements: Shih Tzus have a long, luxurious coat that requires significant grooming. This can be time-consuming and may require professional grooming services.
2. Affectionate and Loyal: They form strong bonds with their owners and enjoy being part of the family. They often thrive on human companionship and make excellent lap dogs.2. Health Issues: Shih Tzus are prone to various health issues, including eye problems, dental problems, respiratory issues, and joint-related concerns.
3. Temperament: Shih Tzus are generally good with children and other pets when properly socialized. They tend to be alert and make decent watchdogs despite their small size.3. Exercise Needs: Shih Tzus have low to moderate exercise requirements. Owners should be mindful of their exercise limitations and prevent obesity by managing their diet.

Exercise Needs of the English Cocker Spaniel

english cocker spaniel vs. shih tzu

English Cocker Spaniels are energetic dogs that require daily exercise to stay healthy and happy. They are known for their love of outdoor activities, such as running, hiking, and swimming. Ideally, they should get at least an hour of exercise every day, which can be divided into two 30-minute walks or playtime sessions. Due to their high energy levels, English Cockers may not be the best fit for apartment living or owners who cannot commit to regular exercise routines.

Activity level

English Cocker Spaniels have a moderate to high activity level, meaning they thrive in an active household with plenty of opportunities for play and exercise. They are naturally curious and playful, so it’s important to keep them mentally and physically stimulated to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.

Exercise Needs of the Shih Tzu

shih tzu

Shih Tzus, on the other hand, have lower exercise requirements than English Cocker Spaniels. While they still need daily exercise, they can typically meet their requirements with short walks or indoor playtime. A 30-minute walk or a few fifteen-minute play sessions throughout the day will suffice for most Shih Tzus. Due to their smaller size, Shih Tzus are better suited for apartment living or for owners who need large outdoor spaces.

Activity Levels

Shih Tzus are considered to have low to moderate activity levels, meaning they can adapt to different lifestyles and activity levels. While they may not be as energetic as other breeds, it’s important to make sure they still get enough exercise to maintain their health and well-being.

Grooming Needs of the English Cocker Spaniel

english cocker spaniel

English Cocker Spaniels have a beautiful coat that requires regular care to keep them healthy and shiny. They have medium-length wavy fur that needs to be brushed at least once a week to prevent matting and tangles. They should also have their fur trimmed every few months to keep it at a manageable length.

Aside from regular brushing, English Cocker Spaniels also need their fur trimmed around the ears, paws, and tail to keep it neat. Regular grooming also helps prevent ear infections, which are common in breeds with floppy ears.

English Cocker Spaniels must be bathed every few months or as needed. Overbathing can strip their fur of its natural oils, so it’s important to use a gentle shampoo and conditioner and to rinse the coat thoroughly.

Grooming needs of the Shih Tzu

shih tzu

Shih Tzus have a long, silky coat that requires daily care to prevent tangling and matting. They typically need to be brushed several times a week, and their hair should be trimmed every two to three months.

Shih Tzus need daily coat care to prevent tangles and matting. This can be achieved through regular brushing and combing and trimming their hair every few months to prevent excessive length.

Shih Tzus should regularly bathe every three to four weeks to keep their coat clean and healthy. It’s important to avoid using harsh shampoos or over-bathing, as this can irritate their skin and cause skin problems.

English Cocker Spaniel Vs. Shih Tzu: Care Needs

While both English Cocker Spaniels and Shih Tzus require regular exercise and grooming, their needs differ based on breed characteristics. English Cocker Spaniels require more exercise and outdoor activities due to their high energy levels, while Shih Tzus can meet their exercise needs with short walks and indoor playtime. 

Regarding grooming, English Cocker Spaniels need regular brushing and trimming to maintain their coat, while Shih Tzus require daily brushing and trimming every few months. Both breeds require regular bathing and ear cleaning to prevent infections and maintain hygiene.

When choosing between these breeds, it’s important to consider your lifestyle and preferences. An English Cocker Spaniel might be the perfect fit if you’re active and love the outdoors. If you prefer a low-key lifestyle or live in a smaller space, a Shih Tzu might be a better choice. Regardless of your choice, consistent care and affection will ensure a happy and healthy furry friend!


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How long does a Shih Tzu live?

On average, Shih Tzus have a lifespan of approximately 10 to 16 years. However, it’s important to note that the lifespan of any dog can vary depending on various factors, including genetics, overall health, diet, exercise, and veterinary care.

How much is a Shih Tzu puppy?

The cost of a Shih Tzu puppy can vary depending on several factors, including the location, breeder reputation, pedigree, lineage, and the puppy’s quality and characteristics.

On average, you can expect to pay anywhere between $500 to $2000 or more for a Shih Tzu puppy.

How much is an English Cocker Spaniel?

You can expect to pay anywhere between $800 to $2000 or more for an English Cocker Spaniel puppy.

Investing in a healthy and well-cared-for puppy from a reputable source can help ensure a better start in terms of the puppy’s health, temperament, and overall quality of life.


The English Cocker Spaniel and Shih Tzu are two breeds highly popular among dog enthusiasts. Their affectionate and loving personalities make them great pets for those who desire companionship and loyalty. 

However, when choosing between them, it’s essential to consider their differences, from physical attributes to contrasting temperaments. By understanding these differences and which suits your lifestyle better, you can make an informed decision and select your perfect furry friend.

Thank you for reading this article! Continue exploring our doggo-content and read our comparisons of the Dachshund vs. German Shepherd, Airedale Terrier Vs. Doberman Pinscher, or Affenpinscher Vs. Shetland Sheepdog.

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