Cocker Spaniel Training Tips

Cocker Spaniel Training TipsWhen looking for cocker spaniel training tips, most individuals will observe that these are divided into house training and field training advice.  This is not a surprise considering many of the cocker spaniel breeds like the American, English and Brittany types are considered gun dogs specifically flushing dogs developed to flush game from their hiding places.

In many respects, training cocker spaniels is made harder because of their stubborn nature but also made easier due to their keen intelligence.  The trick is in knowing how to apply the following tips to your advantage with your personal circumstances as the basis for tweaking said advice on training.

House Training

Understandably, these cocker spaniel training tips will start with house training for obvious reasons.  Keep in mind that successful house training is the solid foundation upon which field training must start since the pecking order – you as the leader and the cocker spaniel as the follower – has been established.  Without said leader-follower relationship firmly established, field training will be for naught.

Let’s start with potty training as it is the first order of the day upon arrival of the puppy in your home.  Useful tips in this regard include:

  • Immediately setting the precedence for good toilet behaviour by taking the dog to the proper potty place upon arrival in the home.
  • Wait while the dog gets acquainted with the place. Don’t pet and play with it since an association between the place and the activity of going potty must be made.
  • Say “Potty time” when the dog starts to urinate
  • Shower the pet with praises for positive reinforcement

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Other important cocker spaniel training tips for housebreaking include:

  • Setting the pecking order immediately. Being friends with a cocker spaniel is good but always be the strong master to its role as a good follower.
  • Saying the commands in a firm voice instead of begging the dog.
  • Ignoring the dog whenever bad behaviour starts and then praising it for good behaviour

Field Training

And then comes the field training.  In this case, the cocker spaniel training tips can be harder on a non-dog expert so it is best to hire a professional trainer for the purpose.  The cocker spaniel will be taught how to perform the following essential skills in the field:

  • Hup – Sit and stay in an absolute manner
  • Retrieve to hand – The dog holds the bird until commanded to directly give it to the handler
  • Steady – The dog sits when the gun is fired and when the bird rises

In many field trials, cocker spaniels will be judged based on how well it follows the commands of its handlers.  Cocker spaniel training tips in this regard include:

  • Use a recall whistle although many trainers will use a shock collar in order to make the dog come back
  • Introducing the gun in a gradual manner. Also, training in flushing starts with throwing the dead bird in front of the puppy, retrieving it and then bringing it back to the master.

The best tip for training a cocker spaniel in the house and out in the field is not to expect too much too soon.  It will take time to train a cocker spaniel but it is very possible as evidenced by the success of the breed in our society.


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