Cocker Spaniels are known for their energy and their intelligence. When it comes to training a Cocker Spaniel, the key is to keep them physically and mentally stimulated, so that even at a young age, they’ll develop a love for the challenges that training provides. In terms of the ease/difficulty of training, this breed is probably one of the easiest to train, and that’s because they’re very intelligent and can easily pick up commands. Just like other puppies, Cocker Spaniels are very inquisitive and energetic, so they’re willing to try out new things. This plays to your advantage when you are training a Cocker Spaniel because you won’t find it hard to introduce a new behavior or a new trick that they should learn. If you want to learn more about training a Cocker Spaniel, just read through this article and find out.
Reward versus Punishment
When it comes to training a Cocker Spaniel, the best way to go is with positive rewards for your training methods. They don’t respond well with punishment (just like other dogs, especially when they are still puppies) because they might end up not picking up the behavior because of their fear of the punishment that you employ. The best way is to base your training on positive reward like treats or toys, and the effectiveness of instilling a good behavior or a successful trick is to be consistent with your methods. Repetition is also a key to a new behavior, so you really need to be patient when you are training a Cocker Spaniel. Expect that in every training session, you’d have to repeat it a lot of times (just putting a number to it would already be an understatement.) Be patient, because the more you repeat it and the more you’re consistent with you actions, the easier the Cocker Spaniel would learn. If the puppy successfully executes the right behavior, immediately reward them with a treat or a toy so that they’ll be able to associate their action with something good. After that, repeat again and hope that the puppy will pick up on the behavior immediately.
Don’t attempt to bully the Cocker Spaniel into doing whatever it is that you want them to do. Don’t shout or hit them when they’re not picking up on the behavior after 10 or 20 tries. Instead of learning, they would just resent training, and it would be harder for you to impart the behavior that you want for them. They are a sensitive breed, so with constant punishment, they would just lose confidence and just go into a defensive/withdrawn mode.
Training a Cocker Spaniel with the methods tips and techniques mentioned above would really be effective when you’re aiming to house train or leash train your pet. Once you’ve finished with these essential lessons, you can now train them to do basic commands such as sit, stay, heel, and come, among others. After that, you can try and train them with complex behaviors/actions like tricks, agility training, hunting, tracking, and a lot more.