Training a Cocker Spaniel: Physical Description and Temperament

It’s very important to be truly acquainted with your cocker spaniel if you want to train it properly and effectively. The cocker spaniel is one of the many spaniel breeds that came from Spain. Spaniels have different sizes but basically, all spaniels were bred for hunting.  The cocker spaniel stood out from the rest because it is the smallest. The cocker spaniel is very efficient in retrieving small game.

The cocker spaniel easily wins anyone’s heart with its expressive dark eyes, big ears, and fluffy coat. The cocker spaniels standout feature is its double coat. The cocker spaniel has short and straight fur on the body while the fur around the facial area, especially the ears, is curly and thick. The cocker spaniel’s fur needs to be groomed regularly because it sheds.

The cocker spaniel may be the smallest spaniel variety but don’t be fooled by its size. It’s strong and very athletic. The cocker spaniel is full of energy and life. They’re warm, affectionate, loyal, and gentle. It’s no surprise why families are comfortable getting cocker spaniels for children. Cocker spaniels always welcome a good game of fetch or any active exercise. The cocker spaniel is of average intelligence. Training a cocker spaniel will not be a total burden because this dog loves to please its owner. However, their energy may easily distract them. Here are 3 important guidelines to keep in mind during training.

The Importance of Positive Reinforcements

Cocker spaniels never respond well to screaming, spanking, and scolding. The cocker spaniel loves to please its master and negative behavior on the trainers end will just encourage aggression or unreasonable shyness. After every display of good behavior from the cocker spaniel, give it a treat and a verbal praise. Don’t forget to show physical affection, like a pat on the head or stroking its neck. If it threatens to misbehave, pull the leash firmly but gently. Establish authority without being a tyrant.  

Training a Cocker Spaniel: Crate Training

It is in the dog’s nature to seek refuge in an enclosed space. They tend not to excrete their wastes in their refuge, making crate training a very effective method in house training. In crate training, you keep the cocker spaniel inside an enclosed space for a short while to avoid soiling the crate. Afterwards, you take them to an appropriate spot where they can pee or defecate. Crate training must be done carefully. Don’t keep them inside too long, because they may not be able to hold it in for too long. If you’re going to start the cocker spaniel at a young age, which is strongly encouraged, you can keep the puppy inside for 30-45 minutes.

Agility Exercises and Outdoor Activities

The cocker spaniel is naturally energetic. Part of the training should also teach the cocker spaniel how to channel its energy properly. In the process of obedience training, you may want to engage it in some physical activities and agility exercises so it can release its energy. The key is keeping their minds and body busy and showing them that they are capable of doing a lot of things. This will produce a physically, emotionally, and mentally healthy cocker spaniel because it knows that it can please its master.