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

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on June 18, 2024 by Dogster Team

Cock-a-Tzu Breed

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

A Cock-a-Tzu is a sweet, fun-loving, and adorable mix of 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 easygoing and don’t require as much exercise or attention as other dogs.

Breed Overview

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

The Cock-A-Tzu is known as “the lazy man’s dog” because they will sleep all day long if you let them! If you’re looking for a lovable pet to add to the family, Cock-a-Tzu might be just what you’ve been searching for. This crossbreed between two of the most popular 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.

Cock-a-Tzu Characteristics

Energy
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High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Trainability
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Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Health
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Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Lifespan
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Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Sociability
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Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Cock-a-Tzu Puppies

Cock-A-Tzu puppies are likely to be sociable and affectionate, making them great family pets. They are known for their friendly and loyal nature and their love for people and other animals. They are highly trainable and make great companions for families with children.

If you are getting a Cock-a-Tzu puppy from a breeder, be sure to research the breeder’s reputation beforehand and ask a lot of questions as well. Another option is adopting your puppy from a shelter or rescue organization for cheaper, though you’ll need to fill out the adoption forms and wait on the adoption papers.

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Image credit: Left- AnsKlatt, Pixabay | Right – rachnelson, Pixabay

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Cock-a-Tzu

Cock-a-Tzus are known for their incredible intelligence and bark less than other breeds. They also have less energy than other breeds, making them great for apartment living. However, they are often eager to play when they find a game they love.

While their reduced energy might require less playtime, they need affection and attention regularly. They are very social and love being in the spotlight. Cock-a Tzus can also be stubborn at times regarding food or toys. When you try to remove 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, and you can teach them to bark when somebody comes to the door or if a stranger suddenly appears in your yard. They’re also 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 require a lot of attention. Cock-a Tzus will only need about 30 minutes of physical activity per day in addition to at least one daily walk. They really enjoy playing fetch with their favorite toy, and younger kids usually love the way this teddy-bear-looking pup runs around.

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

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 love cuddles on the couch or wherever you are. They enjoy their human companionship so much that it’s not uncommon for them to follow their owners around the house all day.

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 their life. Cock-a Tzus are known for being very social with humans and getting along well with other pets. 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. You should supervise a Tzu around rabbits, ferrets, hamsters, or reptiles.

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

Food & Diet Requirements

Cock-a-Tzus need a balanced diet to stay healthy. 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 can also weigh your dog regularly and adjust their food intake if they gain or lose weight.

Exercise

Cock-a-Tzus are small and somewhat energetic, so it’s important to ensure 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 socialize with other pets for increased playtime. Due to their superior intelligence, mental stimulation is just as important as physical exercise. To keep your pup’s brain sharp, you can teach them tricks and provide interactive puzzles.

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Training

Training your Cock-a-Tzu is fairly easy to do with patience and consistency. They can be trained to compete in agility and obedience competitions and enjoy learning tricks. They are not alpha dogs; yelling or scaring your dog into submission will never work.

Positive reinforcement works much better than fear! Rewarding desirable behavior rather than punishing bad behavior can help them become well-behaved pups. If you are patient with the training and keep the sessions short, your Cock-a-Tsu shouldn’t have issues learning commands and tricks.

Grooming ✂️

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

They do a good job of cleaning themselves, so you shouldn’t bathe them too often, or you risk drying out the skin. Other grooming duties you must take on include cleaning your pup’s ears, brushing their teeth, and clipping their nails.

Health and Conditions

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

You can monitor your pet’s weight and measure their daily portions to prevent weight gain. Being overweight can cause 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 small dogs with the same intelligence and loving nature. Females tend to be more dominant, and males are typically less aggressive. However, this is not always the case. It all depends on how they were raised.

Male Tzus are generally very outgoing and playful, but some may also be timid. They enjoy being the center of attention, so try to give them lots of love and praise when they’re behaving appropriately!

If they have more Shih Tzu traits, they may be more docile and less energetic. On the other hand, if they have more Spaniel traits, 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!


3 Little-Known Facts About the Cock-a-Tzu

1. The Cock-a-Tzu’s Parents Are From Very Different Countries.

Cocker Spaniels are originally from England, and the feisty Shih Tzu is originally from Tibet.


2. The Cock-a-Tzu Almost Never Happened.

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 14 individuals, including 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 can be an issue for those with allergies. However, proper grooming can reduce the loose hair and dander floating around your home.

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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 to spend all day snuggling with you on the couch while watching TV, the Cock-a-Tzu might be perfect. They require very little maintenance and can live as an only pet without any other animal companionship.

However, they 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!

See also:


Featured Image Credit: Laura Cruise, Shutterstock

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