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Cock-A-Tzu (Cocker Spaniel & Shih Tzu Mix): Pictures, Guide, Info, & Care!

Cock-a-Tzu Breed
Height: 11 – 14 inches
Weight: 25 – 35 pounds
Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Colors: White, gold, black and white, black, brown, biscuit
Suitable for: First-time dog owners, apartment living
Temperament: Sweet, intelligent, loving, loyal

A Cock-a-Tzu is a sweet, fun-loving, and adorable mix between a Shih Tzu and a Cocker Spaniel. They are usually small in size but have the potential to grow up to 20 pounds.

One of their most notable features is their big round eyes, making them seem like little children who just want someone to love them! They are great for first-time dog owners because they are so easygoing and don’t require as much exercise or attention as other dogs.

They’re actually known as “the lazy man’s dog” because they will sleep all day long if you let them!

If you’re looking for a new pet to add to the family, then Cock-a-Tzu might be just what you’ve been searching for. This crossbreed between two of the most popular toy breeds has become a sensation in recent years and is now one of the most sought-after pets in America!

Read on to learn more about this adorable dog breed that will make your home feel complete.

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Cock-a-Tzu Puppies – Before You Buy…

Energy:
Trainability:
Health:
Lifespan:
Sociability:

What’s the Price of Cock-a-Tzu Puppies?

There are many ways you can go about getting a Cock-a-Tzu, and the cost will vary depending on where you visit.

You can purchase them from breeders for an average of $350-$600 per pup. Be sure to know about the breeder’s reputation beforehand and do your research as well.

Another option is adopting your puppy from a shelter or rescue organization for way cheaper, sometimes free, though you’ll need to be willing to fill out the adoption forms and wait on the adoption papers.

Some Cock-a-Tzu breeders will allow you to buy their dogs at varying prices based on how much time they spent caring and socializing with the dog.

Doggy Essentials

Regardless of your decision, the adopting fee won’t be the only thing to budget for. Once you bring your new friend into their new home, you’ll need to have all the doggy essentials ready for them.

The first thing you’ll need to do is purchase a new collar and leash, which you can find at just about any pet store for as little as $15-$20. Next up are food bowls, water bowls, grooming tools such as clippers or scissors, shampoo, brush (for when they get older), bedding for nighttime, and a cage. You can expect a grand total of $200 to $400 for these expenses.

All in all, you can get a best friend for life at the bargain price of $1 000. That’s a pretty sweet deal!

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3 Little-Known Facts About Cock-a-Tzu

1. The Cock-a-Tzu’s parents are from very different countries.

Cock-a-Tzus are designer dogs, meaning they are a mix of other breeds. In this case, the parents are Cocker Spaniels, originally from Spain, and the ferocious Shih Tzu, originally from Tibet.

Cocker Spaniels are gentle, while the Shih Tzu has a reputation for loving and affectionate. The result was a brilliant and docile pet that has been loved by many.

2. The Cock-a-Tzu almost never happened.

With its parent breed being the Shih Tzu, we came very close to never even meeting the Cock-a-Tzu. After the Empress of China visited her daughter in Tibet, she brought a Shih Tzu back to England, leading to the inevitable mixture of Asian and European dogs.

The Empress started a breeding program that ended with her death in 1908. Without the breeding program, Shih Tzu numbers dwindled to a measly 14 individuals. Seven males and seven females. Thankfully, that was enough to save the entire race. Half a decade later, the Cock-a-Tzu was born!

3. The Cock-a-Tzu is not hypoallergenic.

Unlike the Shih Tzu, who is completely hypoallergenic, the Cock-a-Tzu is not. The Cock-a-Tzu can produce dander, which could be an issue for those with allergies, although it is not as bad as other dog breeds.

Proper grooming can eliminate a lot of these problematic particles. While it’s not an automatic fix. Other solutions include washing your hands after petting your animal, not sleeping with it, and allergy pills.

Shih Tzu Cocker Spaniel Side by side
The parent breeds of the Cock-a-Tzu | Left: Shih Tzu (rachnelson, Pixabay); Right: Cocker Spaniel (AnsKlatt, Pixabay)

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Cock-a-Tzu

Cock-a-Tzus are mostly known for their incredible intelligence. Combined with their temperament, this intelligence makes them one of the most popular dogs in show competitions.

Cock-a Tzu’s also tend to bark less than other breeds, which is great for anybody with ears. In addition, they don’t have as much energy as other breeds, making them great for apartment living. When they find a game they love, however, they are often eager to play.

While their reduced energy might require less playtime, they do need affection and attention regularly. They are very social and love being in the spotlight.

Cock-a Tzus can also be stubborn at times – this is mostly when it comes to food or toys. When you try to take away their toy, for example, they will often fight back with all their might! It must be the hunter instinct of the cocker spaniel kicking in!

Finally, Cock-a Tzus are excellent watchdogs, meaning you can teach them to bark when somebody comes to the door or if a stranger suddenly appears in your yard. They’re also really observant and usually notice things before you do, like an intruder or anyone suspicious nearby.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?👪

Most small dogs are a perfect fit for families, and the Cock-a-Tzu is no exception. They’re very loyal and loving, but they do require a lot of attention.

Cock-a Tzus will only need about 15 minutes of physical activity per day in addition to at least one long walk per week – preferably twice! They really enjoy playing fetch with their favorite toy, so it’s great if you can play ball as well. Younger kids usually love the way this teddy-bear looking pup runs around.

It’s important for Cock-a Tzu owners to make sure these dogs get enough mental stimulation, too, since they love problem-solving puzzles and other games like hiding and seek.

Their size means they’re not suited to living outdoors, and it’s best if they can spend time inside with the family. Luckily, they are tiny and do not take up a lot of space. So even if a family is living in an apartment, this little furry friend will fit in the living space just fine.

Cock-a Tzu’s are very active and love to play, but they’re also extremely affectionate! They’ll always want to be close by and will love cuddles on the couch or wherever you may be. Cock-a Tzus really enjoy their human companionship so much that it’s not uncommon for them to follow their owners around the house all day long.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Sociability is a trait that is usually taught during a pet’s formative years. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to get your Cock-a Tzu as an older pup that has been around other animals and people for the first few months of its life.

Cock-a Tzus are known for being very social with humans and even enjoy getting along well with other pets in living situations (if you happen to have any). They do, however, keep remnants of their Spaniel heritage.

They have a strong hunting instinct and may chase around anything smaller than they are. For this reason, they get along great with cats because they are roughly the same size, but you should be wary of anything smaller.

Interactions between your Cock You should supervise a Tzu and animals like rabbits, ferrets, hamsters, or reptiles at first.

If you have a Cock-a Tzu at home with another animal in your house that is smaller than it, try giving both pets time inside the other pet’s carrier so they can get used to each other’s smell without any pressure! This may help them become friends over time.

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Things to Know When Owning a Cock-a-Tzu:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Cock-a-Tzu are small dogs, so they must eat a balanced diet.

You should feed them two to three meals per day, which can consist of dry dog food or canned wet food to maintain their weight and dental health.

To ensure the right portions are served, you should know your dog’s weight and follow the instructions on the food bag or can’s label. You should also weigh your dog regularly and adjust their food intake if they gain or lose weight.

Exercise 🐕

Cock-a-Tzu dogs are small and somewhat energetic, so it’s important to make sure they get regular exercise. The Cock-a-Tzu breed prefers shorter walks than long ones. Two 15-minute walks should be enough for an active Cock-a-Tzu.

They can also participate in agility training and socializing with other pets for increased playtime. Due to their superior intelligence, mental stimulation is just as important as physical exercise for this breed.

To keep your pup’s brain sharp, you’ll want to do things like teaching tricks, brain training games, and puzzles.

Training 🎾

Training your Cock-a-Tzu is fairly easy to do with patience and consistency. They can be trained in agility or obedience competitions as well as tricks and other activities.

They are not alpha dogs, and such training methods like yelling or scaring your dog into submission will never work.

To teach your dog to sit, all you need is a treat and some patience. When he goes near the sofa or bed, make sure that he knows they are off-limit areas with a calm “no” and redirect him back towards his food bowl.

Whenever he sits on command, say “good boy!” and give him a treat. This is called positive reinforcement, and it works much better than fear! He should learn that sitting is the desired behavior and know he will be rewarded for it.

If you are patient, consistent with your training methods, and reward your dog when he does well – then this pup should not give you much trouble!

Grooming ✂️

As stated earlier, the Cock-a-Tzu is not hypoallergenic like the Shi Tzu. In fact, they shed, although not terribly. The Cock-a-Tzu is also not as long-haired or big of an animal, but it does have hair that needs to be brushed every day for the dog to stay healthy and clean.

They do a good job of cleaning themselves, so you shouldn’t bathe them too often, or you run the risk of drying out the skin.

Other grooming duties you must take on include cleaning your pup’s ears and clipping their nails. Some professional services offer this if you can afford it, and we recommend it since these are trained professionals.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Visits to the vet are not something pet owners look forward to. Nonetheless, you should know about the various health conditions that can affect the Cock-a-Tzu breed.

Note that your pet might live a perfectly healthy life from start to finish, but you should know what to look out for so that you’re ready to react.

Minor Conditions
  • Allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Obesity
Serious Conditions
  • Ear conditions
  • Legg Calve Perthes Disease
  • Cataracts
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Skin cancers

Keep monitoring your pet’s weight, and respect feeding portions and schedules to avoid this headache. Being overweight can bring on a slew of complications like diabetes, heart disease, and joint pain for the pet.

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Male vs Female

Physically, the difference between a male and female Cock-a-Tzu is generally not too noticeable. They are both little with the same intelligence and loving nature, assuming your pet is fixed, of course.

In terms of personality, females tend to be more dominant, and males are typically less aggressive. This is not always the case, though! It all depends on how they were raised.

Male Tzus are generally very outgoing and playful, but some may be timid as well. They enjoy being the center of attention, so try to give him lots of love and praise when he’s behaving appropriately!

A personality may also depend on which parent breed they take after more. If they have more Shih Tzu in them, they may be more docile and less high-energy. On the other hand, if they have more Spaniel in them, they may be more playful and energetic.

The Cock-a-Tzu will still retain the intelligence of both breeds, but they seem to have a personality that’s all their own!

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Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a small, easy-to-care-for dog that doesn’t need much exercise and will be content just to spend all day snuggling with you on the couch while watching TV, then the Cock-a-Tzu might be perfect.

These designer dogs are also great if you want your first pet but don’t have enough space in your apartment or home. They require very little maintenance and can live well as an only child without any other animal companionship.

They do, however, need lots of love and mental stimulation, but that’s what makes them such sweet companions! So, if this sounds like the type of puppy you need, we urge you to go for it; you won’t regret it!

We have lots more Cocker Spaniel Mixes and Shih Tzu Mixes for you to look at!


Featured Image Credit: Laura Cruise, Shutterstock

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