Cocker Spaniel Agility

Cocker Spaniel AgilityIn the canine world, cocker spaniel agility is famous and for good reasons, too. These dogs are fast, accurate and graceful on the agility track although agility training need not be confined for competition purposes.  Many owners will develop their cocker spaniels’ skills in agility for their own enjoyment such as in the case of playing games with a Frisbee, a stick and even a tug of war.  No matter which purpose the agility training will be applied in, it is important to adopt the virtues of patience, praise and consistency.

Physical Characteristics

Of course, every healthy cocker spaniel has the ability to perform agility tricks. The trick is in making sure that the dog is not overweight and, worse, obese since weight is a big determinant of agility skills.  It is also important to maintain the proper weight as health problems can ensue otherwise and we all know how these health problems particularly on the knees will affect cocker spaniel agility.

But when the cocker spaniel is being groomed for competition purposes, there are strict criteria for physical characteristics.  For example, a cocker spaniel measuring 15-16 inches can enter the medium category while dogs measuring under 13.75 inches belong to the small category.  It also helps when the cocker spaniel is well-groomed as points are added to the total score.

Patience in Training

In the same way that potty and house training demands patience, so does agility training requires the virtue.  Most dog experts will even assert that higher levels of patience are required of the handlers as the commands, obstacles and trials become more complicated as the training progresses.  In short, when undertaking cocker spaniel agility training, you must be positive with the approach, patient with the mistakes and praiseful of the littlest achievements.

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Patience is particularly useful when the cocker spaniel’s innate stubbornness comes to the fore.  The handlers must ensure that the dog follows the commands provided with the possibility of rewards for compliance in the end.  Physical punishment is never a good thing with a cocker spaniel since aggressive or submissive behaviour can develop including the dreaded rage syndrome.

But it is not just the human side of cocker spaniel agility training that must be taken into account.  The handler may have the patience to practice the commands for hours on end but the cocker spaniel may not have it.  Just try to keep the training sessions as short as possible during the first few days and then gradually increasing the duration as well as the complexity of the commands.

And speaking of the commands, the cocker spaniel must be taught the basic commands of sit, stay, wait, heel and steady.  The more complex commands of hut, retrieve and jump soon follows after the mastery of the basic cocker spaniel agility commands.

Again, even when the results of the agility training will not be showcased in agility trials, the benefits thereof are still substantial.  The cocker spaniel is provided with the right quality and quantity of physical exercises and mental stimulation as well as the opportunity to form a close bond with the dog.

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