Cocker Spaniel Colors: Rarest to Most Common

Cocker Spaniel walking in the snow
© SincereFox/

Written by Larissa Smith

Updated: August 23, 2023

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Cocker Spaniels are intelligent, loving, and affectionate. They have long bodies, soft and silky hair, dreamy eyes, and adorable floppy ears you can’t resist scratching behind. Just looking at these beautiful creatures will make your heart melt.

9 Cocker Spaniel Colors - Rarest to Most Common
Cocker Spaniels are lovely no matter the color of their coats!

Do you know what captivates us about Cocker Spaniels? The many stunning coat colors these remarkable pups come in. Let’s venture into the wonderful world of Cocker Spaniel colors: rarest to most common. From solid black to enchanting blends of various colors and patterns, you’ll learn why Cocker Spaniel coats have a unique charm.

1. Merle Cocker Spaniel

Merle is not one specific color, but we can’t start this article without discussing the rarest color pattern of Cocker Spaniels. Why are they so rare? They are hard to breed, and some pups are born with health problems such as auditory defects. However, some Merle pups can cost you around $8,000.

They are solid and partly colored, with it being lighter than usual. It’s not just parts of the coat that lightens. Merle Cocker Spaniels have blue eyes. Their eyes can be solid, speckled blue, or have one blue and one green or brown eye.

A regular color Cocker Spaniel breeds with a Merle Cocker Spaniel (one that carries the Merle gene), which will create the different patterns of their coat, nose, eyes, and paw pigmentation. Blue Merle Cocker Spaniel and Red Merle are great examples of these rare patterns and colors. The Blue Merle is a black Cocker Spaniel with a Merle pattern. They have a black base coat with a blue-grey hue. The Red Merle has a brown base coat and a red-brown hue.

Small English Cocker Spaniel puppy wearing blue harness lies on the ground in sunny autumn park.

The Merle Cocker Spaniel normally has a multi-colored coat and solid blue or speckled eyes.

©Maria Sidelnikova/

2. Lemon Roan Cocker Spaniel

Now this is a beautiful and rare Cocker Spaniel. The Lemon Roan Cocker Spaniel is a cross between a White Cocker Spaniel and a Standard Cocker Spaniel. They often get confused with an Orange Roan, but the Lemon Roan is much lighter.

The coat has a white base with lemon and cream patches on it. The Lemon Roan Cocker Spaniel has dark-colored eyes, contrasting with its light-colored body. Their color isn’t the only thing that attracts buyers. They have a lively and affectionate nature, making them loyal companions.

Working Cocker Spaniel Lemon Roan standing with her tongue out in a field on a sunny day

Lemon Roan Cocker Spaniels have a beautiful white-colored coat with cream patches.


3. Liver Roan Cocker Spaniel

The Liver Roan Cocker Spaniel has a unique liver-colored shade and a roan pattern. Some refer to the liver shade as chocolate. Their unique appearance makes them medium-rare Cocker Spaniels that will turn heads.

The liver/chocolate color is the base, and warm off-white or tan hair is scattered in between. Liver Roan Cocker Spaniels have expressive dreamy hazel or brown eyes that give them a type of charm that appeals to many pet owners.

Chocolate roan Cocker Spaniel called Ted

Liver Roan Cocker Spaniels, also known as Chocolate Roan, is a rare color.

©Cherene Pearl/

4. Red and White Cocker Spaniel

Red and White Cocker Spaniels are a rare partly combination. Their base color is white with red or mahogany patches. As with the other Cocker Spaniel colors, the patches can vary in position and size. What makes this color so unique is the red sporadically distributed on the white background. The red comes in various shades of red.

Many Red and White Cocker Spaniels have warm dark eyes that complement their light color. This Cocker Spaniel color is a medium-rare color combination beloved by owners. Their color isn’t the only thing to love about them. They have a sweet, friendly nature adding to the breed’s allure.

Summer. Island. On a rocky plateau, overgrown with moss and grass, stands an English Cocker Spaniel of white and red color. The background is blurred.

The Red and White Cocker Spaniel’s coat has a white base color with red patches on it.

©Yuriy Kozak/

5. Buff Cocker Spaniel

Buff Cocker Spaniel is a light yellow-brown color but can also be yellow-red. Some may even describe the color as beige, cream, or caramel. Their charming appearance sets them apart from other colors. They are somewhat rare but popular among Cocker Spaniel owners.

Their soft appearance showcases their warmth and elegance. The base coat for Buff Cocker Spaniels is cream, and you may see varying shades thereof with white on its chest and throat. These shades are generally uniform throughout.

A beautiful Cocker Spaniel puppy playing in the fresh fallen snow

The Buff Cocker Spaniel has a beautiful cream-colored coat.

©Erica Hollingshead/

6. Black and Tan Cocker Spaniel

Black and Tan Cocker Spaniels have a black base color with patches of tan. The tan is most commonly located around their snout, eyebrow area, and often their paws. They are not as rare as a Liver Roan or Buff Cocker Spaniel but rarer than the common Black Cocker Spaniel.

Their deep-set eyes are typically complemented with painted tan eyebrows, giving this cutie a contemplative expression. Their floppy ears are covered with a curly mop of black fur with a dab of tan. These pups are ideal for families that want a traditional-looking Cocker Spaniel but with some character in their color.

litter of american cocker spaniel puppies with their mother - 6 weeks old

The tan color above Black and Tan Cocker Spaniels gives them unique-looking eyebrows.

©WilleeCole Photography/

7. Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel

The Blue Roan Cocker Spaniels are excellent hunters and swimmers. That’s not the only thing Blue Roan Cocker Spaniels are known for. Their coats are beautiful! The base of their hair is black with a silver or white overlay that gives them a grey-blue hue. This blue shade on their coat will capture the attention of onlookers.

Blue Roan Cocker Spaniels are a common color and not rare. However, you won’t likely see them often. This distinctive roan pattern makes this a truly unique pup.

blue roan cocker spaniel in front of a white background

The white overlay on the black base gives the Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel’s coat a blueish hue.

©Erik Lam/

8. Red Cocker Spaniel

There is nothing quite like common Red Cocker Spaniels. This red beauty has a solid reddish-brown coat, and its growth in popularity means it comes at a more affordable price. Red Cocker Spaniels normally have black noses and dark eyes.

Their look is the typical Cocker Spaniel that most imagine when thinking about this breed. Their friendly faces and classic look give off a charm that attracts dog owners interested in the breed. If you’re looking for a new furry friend, you can’t go wrong with a Red Cocker Spaniel.

Red cocker spaniel at home, closeup

Red Cocker Spaniels have a solid red-brown coat and dark brown eyes.


9. Black Cocker Spaniel

Black Cocker Spaniels are the most common color of the breed. It might even be the one you see the most. Their solid black fur, deep dark eyes, and nose are reminiscent of a midnight sky. Cue the traditional dog names such as Midnight, Raven, Blackberry, Shadow, or Thunder.

Solid color Cocker Spaniels, such as red and black, are significantly more common than multi-colored Cocker Spaniels. These mild-mannered pups are affectionate and cuddly. Their silky black coat and feathery, long ears remind us of royalty.

Black Cocker Spaniel dog standing on park grass

The Black Cocker Spaniel is the most common Cocker Spaniel color.


Why We Love Cocker Spaniels

Cocker Spaniels are particularly smart! They are social animals that are easy to train, so get your new best friend to sit and play catch in no time. Pay your pup with tons of kisses because they love affection. Since Cocker Spaniels are intelligent, potty training will be a breeze. In addition, they come in many colors, from solid to multi-colored and everything in between. What’s not to love about the Cocker Spaniel breed?

Summary of Cocker Spaniel Colors: Rarest to Most Common

1MerleMulti-colored coat and solid blue or speckled eyes
2Lemon RoanWhite base with lemon and cream patches
3Liver RoanLiver/Chocolate base with warm off-white or tan patches
4Red and WhiteWhite base with red or mahogany patches
5Buff CockerLight beige, cream, or caramel
6Black and TanBlack base with patches of tan
7Blue RoanBlack with a silver or white overlay that gives them a grey-blue hue
8RedSolid reddish-brown
9BlackSolid black

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About the Author

Larissa Smith is a writer for A-Z Animals with years of experience in plant care and wildlife. After years spent in the South African bush while studying Nature Conservation, she found her way to writing about animals and plants in her work. She hopes to inspire others to appreciate and care for the precious world around them. Larissa lives in Florida with her two sons, a miniature golden retriever named Pupples, and a colorful succulent garden. In her spare time, she is tending to her garden, adventuring with her kids, and hosting “Real Housewives” watch parties with her friends.

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