Meet Bella Beck, a 9 month old field coated American Cocker that was in for her very first haircut today. Her dad had no clue what he wanted, he just knew she needed some help to be as gorgeous as she could be so he gave me free reign. She was a perfect angel for the entire process.
Field coated cockers are harder to trim in my opinion that full coated ones are in many cases. One of the reasons is that their coat is harsher and thinner, leaving no room for error and no undercoat to help with fill in.
The legs are hard to trim, so I did lot of carding to help remove the fuzzies and just evened up the feathers on the rear of the legs. The feet were done like Golden Retriever feet, combing the hair up and using thinners to remove and shape the hair I wanted to remove.
Her back, since it was straight and coarse, was tricky to do. She had long hairs mixed in with short ones and I chose to use a 3mm Speed Feed comb over the 40 setting to just take off the extra length without cutting down into that hard hair. Cutting into it would have resulted in way more lines than I got this way. Be sure to follow the way the hair lays when you clipper a cockers back, especially if the coat is hard. Doing that will minimize lines and tracking. Remove any remaining clipper lines with a stripping knife.
I used a 9 setting on my Speed Feed with the grain on her ears, head and face because any shorter would have been out of balance with the rest of the dog.
Hopefully this will help you the next time you get one of these dogs to work on.