Cocker Spaniel Puppy Training

Cocker Spaniel Puppy TrainingAdmittedly, many owners may find that cocker spaniel puppy training is both easy and difficult. On one hand, cocker spaniels are generally known to be intelligent, friendly and even-tempered, all of which are qualities that make for an easy training process. On the other hand, this dog breed can be obstinate as well with many even exhibiting aggressive behaviors with little to no provocation, which make for a difficult training.

Still, despite these negative attributes, the positive characteristics of the breed often outweigh the former. The trick is in knowing exactly what kind of training a cocker spaniel puppy requires, how to implement said training, and how to maximize the gains after the training process.

Potty Training

The first step in cocker spaniel puppy training is to housebreak the dog, of which the crate is the best tool for the purpose. Crate training achieves two main purposes:

  • It provides the dog with his very own place to live and to seek refuge, so to speak. Dogs are burrowing animals with instinctual needs for a safe, secure and often small space to call their own. When the owners are going out of the house, the crate is the best place to leave the dog in together with a few toys and maybe food.

It is a place where the puppy will not soil himself as it is seen as a sleeping area. As puppies, cocker spaniels have been taught by their mothers never to pee and poop on the sleeping area or else face the consequences.

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However, we must strongly advise against using the crate for punishment during puppy training. This is because the crate is seen as a place of refuge and making it out to be otherwise defeats the one of the two main purposes for the equipment.

Obedience Training

Often, potty and obedience training are combined for overall cocker spaniel puppy training. Keep in mind that many, if not most, of the commands in going potty and in housebreaking are related to obedience training. These commands include “potty”, “stay”, “no”, “come” and “sit”, all of which will be used at one time or another to correct the bad behavior of a puppy still getting used to being part of a household with rules to be followed.

When undergoing obedience training for the puppy and even for an adult dog, we suggest the following effective tips:

  • Always use positive reinforcement when training dogs. Basically, it means refraining from physical and verbal punishments as well as just taking the necessary steps to eliminate the temptations to do bad things around the house.

Because of their short attention span, cocker spaniel puppy training must be limited in duration. Otherwise, the puppy will quickly lose interest in the training, promptly forget the previous teachings and just go about its own business. Most of the gains made will often have to be covered again and again, not because the dog is dull but because the owner is dull.

Use food and toy treats only sparingly as these can be associated with following directions. Once these are given lavishly and then taken away the puppy may exhibit bad behavior.

In the end, cocker spaniel puppy training largely rests on how well the owner applies himself to the task. It can be difficult, yes, but is entirely possible.


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