As early as thirteen-week-old, a cocker spaniel puppy can be introduced to necessary training. In fact, Northumbria Police have begun training four cocker pups (Henry, Herbert, Hartley, and Hunter) to become the future Northumbria Police specialist search dogs. They recently had their first swimming lesson in a hydrotherapy pool. Click this to view the video.
Are cocker spaniels smart? Are cocker spaniel good pets? We will break down some information on cocker spaniel training advice in this post.
Types of cocker spaniel
It is important to recognise that there are two types of cocker spaniels and they are bred for different purposes.
Aside from being kept as great family dogs, they are some of the breeds that can be seen in dog shows such as Crufts. The breeding of this type is very particular in its appearance and compact size. What we usually see in the photos of a book or in any featured photos are usually the show-strain type.
This type is commonly referred to as the working cockers. In comparison, they look physically different from the former type. Working cocker breeders breed with particular concentration on the dog’s working ability and put less interest in the dog’s appearance.
In general, both types are active little canines, though a working cocker can be more active. A show-strain dog can be as energetic but is likely to tire easily. That being said, the working cocker is inclined to get involved in outdoor opportunities and dynamic activities.
Are cocker spaniels easy to train?
For a gun dog that is eager to please his humans, cocker spaniel training can be done easily with the proper method. Are you feeling enthusiastic about training this breed? Here are some important keys to remember:
Cocker as a sensitive breed
Keep in mind that you are rearing a sensitive breed. That being said, this pooch learns best with positive training methods. Harsh training methods should never be an option as it only results in a puddle of urine. This breed most likely urinates without control when intimidated.
Cocker as a stubborn breed
Each cocker has a personality of his own, and unfortunately, there is a stubborn one. On the other hand, this can be corrected in training kindly but firmly. In other words, guide your cocker gently but be persistent as well as consistent, especially when giving commands or directions. Take heed when you are too permissive at times as the cocker may take his advantage and may act too harsh instead.
Cocker as an enthusiastic breed
It is said that cockers are named after their distinct fervour in hunting down woodcocks in the olden days. However, nowadays they are now merely kept as companion dogs. Such hunting enthusiasm can be fulfilled when provided with relevant training to exercise their mental and physical capabilities.
Cocker as an instinctive breed
There may be times when they show resisting courses of action, only because of their instinctive nature. Cocker spaniels are known for having a strong sense of smell, which sometimes propels them to track down any strange trace. Commands may be put to use when this happens or ensure that the area is escape-proof when they are off-leash.
Tricks you may teach to your cocker spaniel
The ‘sit’ command is believed to be the easiest trick to teach dogs in general. Introduce this trick to him over mealtime.
- Tell him to sit.
- Press his hindquarters firmly but gently, until it reaches the ground completely.
- Wait until the desired sitting position is executed.
- When the desired sitting position is achieved, you may now give him his dinner.
Note: Do not forget to praise him for every successful command.
‘Begging’ or ‘sitting up’ command
Either ‘beg’ or ‘sit up’ can be used as a keyword for this trick.
- Say the keyword, which can either be the two.
- Hold a piece of food over his head.
- Wait for him to sit up as an attempt to reach the food.
- When the desired position is achieved, you may now give him his treat.
This is a command where your cocker pooch will play dead.
- After saying the keyword ‘bang-bang,’ gently let you cocker pooch roll on its back.
- Once done, praise him with a treat whilst on his back for a minute or two.
- Say the keyword ‘shake.’
- Softly pick up his paw.
- Once done successfully, give him a reward.
Each time you wish to use this command, use the right paw consistently. If you want to take this command to the next level, you may put a treat on its right paw and say ‘stay.’ After a moment, you may let him eat the treat. Once mastered, right after the first paw, give him a signal by slightly moving your hand to the left. Keep doing this until the alternate giving of its paws is understood.
- Before doing anything, make your cocker pooch sit.
- Stretch out your hand as if telling him to stay and say the command ‘stay.’
- Slowly move backwards but keep your hand stretched out.
- Once you are ten feet away, put down your hand and say ‘come here.’
Keep on doing this until mastered, and do not forget to give treats to your intelligent furry friend.
- Throw a small treat to your cocker spaniel’s side.
- Keep on doing this for a few tries.
- Once the connection is established, you may try throwing small treats to other areas and he will surely follow the direction whilst attempting to catch it.
- Let your cocker’s eyes follow your hand with a treat.
- Hold it in front of him.
- Then move it downwards (not touching the ground).
- Whilst the dog is looking downward, give the signal and say ‘bow.’
- Do this repeatedly until fully grasped.
Cocker spaniels tend to be overly excited, which drives them to jump around people. Use this as an opportunity to teach him the ‘dance’ trick.
- When he jumps at you, gently hold his front legs and continue lifting them up.
- Praise him on that position, with your cocker standing on his hind legs.
- Then put him back on his four legs.
As soon as he understands the command, try to see if he can stand on his own. This will test his balancing skills.
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