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Docker: The Ultimate Guide

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The Docker breed was developed by crossing a Dachshund with a Cocker Spaniel, and just by looking at the breed, it is easy to see why so many people have fallen in love with them.

If you are one of these people, then you might be looking to find out more about the breed to see if they are the right fit for you and your family.


There are so many things to consider when you are bringing any new dog into your home, and Dockers are no exception to this rule.

It is crucial to research and find out everything there is to know about them before you go out and get one.

To help you to save some time that would otherwise be spent scouring the internet for answers to your questions, we have created this ultimate guide to the Docker breed for you to explore instead.

We are going to provide you with all the information you could possibly need about Dockers in this article.

Docker Key Facts

Before we get into everything there is to know about Docker dogs, we are going to share some key pieces of information with you about these dogs.

It is vital to be aware of these things before you decide to get a Docker to avoid any surprises in the future.

Average Lifespan

On average, Dockers will live between 12 and 15 years, which is a very long time. You will need to be prepared to dedicate a large part of your life to this breed of dog. 

Minimum Exercise (Per Day)

Dockers have very high energy levels, which means that you will need to provide them with plenty of daily exercise.

They will need to be walked at least once a day for between 45 and 60 minutes, but you could split this up into two shorter walks if you wanted to.

You will also need to engage in playtime with them at home to help them burn off any excess energy they have throughout the day.

Coat Length

Their coat can be either short or medium in length and either smooth or wiry in texture, depending on which physical characteristics they inherit from their parents.

You will be able to find Dockers with various different coat types.

Minimum Cost (Per Month)

It is going to cost at least $60 a month to take care of your Docker, but this figure can vary depending on what food, insurance, and additional extras you are buying for your dog.

However, you should keep the minimum budget in mind at $60.


This is a small and rectangular dog with a much longer body than it is tall.

This shape is mostly what makes them easily recognizable as descendent of the Dachshund. They have a face that typically resembles a Cocker Spaniel with a domed skull and well-defined muzzle, and thick and pendulous ears. 

These dogs also have round dark brown eyes that give them a pensive expression.

They also have short legs that are stumpy, along with dense bodies that are low to the ground. Finally, they have thick tails which are well furred.


Docker dogs can range in size from small to medium in size, but they are typically on the smaller side. 

Average Height

Dockers typically measure from 23cm to 33cm in height, which means that they are quite short compared to their Cocker Spaniel parent. 

Average Weight

Docker dogs typically weigh between 9kg and 11.5kg and have rather dense bones and muscling for their size.


Docker dogs are naturally good and sweet-natured, and they just long to be loved by those that they are the closest to.

They will develop a strong bond with each and every member of the family, but they will generally have a favorite person that they will completely dedicate themselves to. 

Unfortunately, their dependence on people can sometimes become a bad thing, as they can easily develop separation anxiety when you are not present, and they have been known to be clingier than some other breeds.

They aren’t necessarily the easiest dog to take care of, as they have a high prey drive and don’t always have the best recall when they are let off the lead. They just love to follow new scents and can get very easily distracted.

As well as this, they can’t always be trusted around younger children, as they can become nervous and snap if they are ever uncertain.

However, they are both energetic and smart. Although, it is not always easy to keep them entertained, and if they do become under-stimulated, they might start to develop destructive behaviors. These behaviors include chewing furniture, yapping, or digging in the garden.

This is why owners should try to come up with new ways to keep them entertained and focused throughout the day.

Apartment Living

Due to their small size, Dockers will do well with living in an apartment and should adapt well to the situation.

Good for novice owners

These are typically kind and gentle dogs that will slot into almost any family, and due to the fact that they are intelligent and eager to please, they are often easy to train. All of these qualities make them great for first-time owners, but you will need to be aware of their challenges too.

Sensitivity level

Dockers can be quite sensitive at times and do not respond well to being told off. When it comes to their training, positive reinforcement is the way to go. They won’t like being scolded, and it will only make them more unlikely to do what you are asking of them.

They may also pick up on your emotions at times, which can influence their behavior. 

Tolerates Being Alone

Unfortunately, these dogs do not tolerate being alone well due to their dependence on their owners for company. Dockers cannot be left alone for more than a maximum of 4 hours at a time, as they will otherwise be more likely to turn to destructive behaviors to work out their anxiety.

These dogs get very anxious when they are left alone for long periods, so if you are not planning on being home for most of the day, this might not be the right breed for you.

Tolerates Cold Weather

These dogs are pretty good at tolerating cold weather, and they don’t usually have many complaints when the weather turns cold, as long as they are not left outside for long periods of time. 

Tolerates Hot Weather

Dockers are also quite tolerant of hot weather, but they should avoid being in direct sunlight for too long to avoid developing heat stroke, which can affect dogs just as much as it does people.

Affectionate With Family

Dockers have super sweet personalities that make them really popular among dog owners, and they are certainly very affectionate when it comes to their families.

Their affectionate and cuddly behavior and devotion to their owners make them the perfect companions for families.


If you have children in the family, you may be concerned about bringing a Docker dog home with you. These dogs are very friendly and loving, which means that they will get along well with children.

However, if they are caught by surprise or don’t like something that your child is doing, they could snap at them. 

For this reason, Dockers are typically better suited for families with older children. Any time your Docker dog is in the same room as a young child, they will need to be supervised.

If you are planning on bringing a Docker into a home with young children, you will always need to watch and ensure that you teach your children how to interact with your dog properly.

Dog Friendly

Dockers are typically dog-friendly and usually accept any friendly dog as their new best friend.

However, they still sometimes show their high prey drive pasts, which is why they are unsuitable for homes with smaller animals, like cats, hamsters, rabbits, and more.

Friendly Toward Stranger

More often than not, a Docker dog’s friendly and loving nature will also extend to strangers, and they should get along just fine with people they have never met before. 

Health And Grooming


Now that you know everything there is to know about the appearance and nature of this dog breed, it is important to find out how much maintenance they will require from you.

This is why we are going to talk about their overall health, and grooming needs below so that you can be as prepared as possible for a future with this dog.


These dogs are known to shed moderately, which is why regular grooming and brushing is so important. You can expect them to leave fur around your home, and they might not be the best for those that suffer from allergies.

If there is anyone in your household with allergies to fur, you might want to consider a different dog breed.


Docker dog breeds are not typically known for drooling. If you notice that your Docker is drooling excessively, this could be a sign that they have an underlying health condition, so it may be worth asking your vet just to be on the safe side.


Docker coats tend to be a combination of both of their parent’s coats. They can range from the short and wiry coat of a Dachshund to the soft and silky fur of the Cocker Spaniel and everything in between.

This type of fur will usually do well with weekly brushing, but daily brushing may be required if they have softer fur.

You will also need to regularly check their ears for debris and pests daily and ensure that you clean them as your vet recommends.

As well as this, you should trim your dog’s nails before they get too long, usually around once or twice a month.

You can consult a groomer to help with this.

One of your biggest grooming concerns, when you own a Docker dog, will be maintaining their oral health. You will need to brush their teeth every day, as this breed is prone to dental issues.

You can ask your veterinarian to show you how to brush your dog’s teeth properly.

General Health

Dockers are most often generally healthy, but there are some health conditions that they can be more likely to develop, just as with any other dog breed. We will explain more on this below.

Common Health Problems

Some of the more common health problems that Dockers suffer from include:

  • Intervertebral Disk Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Urinary Tract Issues
  • Allergies
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hip Dysplasia

Potential For Weight Gain

Dockers are more likely than some other breeds to put on weight, which is why you will need to ensure that you are not feeding them too much. You should avoid giving them too many leftovers and treats for this reason. 


These dogs are usually very quick to learn and they have a great memory. They will typically pick up on training cues with ease and they make an enjoyable training partner.

However, due to the fact that they are sensitive, you will need to offer them lots of praise and encouragement throughout their training.


These dogs are very intelligent, which is another reason why they are so easy to train. 

Potential to bite

Dockers are very unlikely to bite someone, but their main reasons for biting would include protection, pain, excitement, and being provoked. They may also nip at people due to their herding instincts.

Tendency To Bark Or Howl

If you are not particularly fond of a dog barking, this might not be the right breed. Unfortunately, these dogs are highly vocal and are known for yapping throughout the day.

They do not howl, but they are likely to bark at anything unfamiliar or that they feel the need to alert you. 


The Docker is a hybrid dog that is a cross between a Dachshund and a Cocker Spaniel. They were originally bred around the time that other designer dog breeds were being created, but they have a rather mysterious past that is quite difficult to find information on.

The only information anybody has about the history of the Docker dog breed is that they derived from the general history of designer dogs. It is highly likely that they were created in the United States, sometime in the last twenty years.

However, even though the Docker is a more recent breed without much of history, both of its parents have been popular for hundreds of years. Both of the parent breeds started out as hunting companions.

The Dachshund can be traced back to the 1600s, and the Cocker Spaniel can be traced back to the 1800s. Both of these dogs were bred for companionship, an excellent trait they passed on to the Docker breed.

Both of these parent breeds are known for their exceptional qualities as pets, which means that their offspring won’t be that much different.

There are some minuscule traces of their past that might still remain, but the Docker breed is much more suited to napping on the couch and following their owners around than hunting in the woods.


If you are looking for a Docker that has been carefully bred to display the best traits of both of its parents, then you can expect to pay around $1000 for your puppy.

Due to the fact that Dockers are a newer breed that is not recognized by the American Kennel Club, there isn’t much standardization. This means that breeders can charge more or less than this.

However, there is no such thing as a purebred Docker, so you probably won’t have to pay breeder fees. You can also check your local shelters, as you might get lucky and find the perfect Docker dog. This would have the added bonus of you only having to pay the adoption fee.

Docker Fun Facts

  • Docker dogs are very dependent on people, and they love to be part of the family
  • The Docker breed was inspired by the creation of the Labradoodle breed
  • Both of the parent breeds were hunters, which is why some Dockers have a high prey drive
  • The history of the Docker is relatively ambiguous, but they were created more recently
  • This is one of the friendliest dog breeds around, making the perfect companion 

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About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.