There are many types of training a cocker spaniel puppy. The most important of these types – and in most instances, the first to be applied in the home – is crate training. Contrary to the notions of first-time dog owners, the crate was neither intended nor used as a place where the puppy can be confined as a form of punishment. Instead, it is used to achieve many purposes that will prove beneficial to both man and animal.
Purposes of the Crate
When the crate was invented, there were two main purposes for it. First, it was designed to provide the puppy with a safe, secure and small space in which to satisfy its burrowing instinct.
It may appear cruel to confine such a cute puppy in the crate’s tight space but keep in mind that dogs have burrowing instincts that must be satisfied mainly through a place where the roof touches the back, literally. The crate then becomes a place of refuge away from the hustle and bustle of the household and of the world.
Second, the crate is an essential part of training a cocker spaniel puppy especially in potty training. This is because of the combined instinct and previous teachings of the mother dog – bitch, as it is technically called – that soiling and sleeping in one area is absolutely unacceptable. Thus, when the puppy is inside the crate, there is very little to no chance that the puppy will pee and poop inside its confines.
Potty Training with the Crate
Speaking of potty training, it must be emphasized early on that the crate is just a tool for owners to teach their puppies about good behavior in bowel and bladder movements. As such one must never expect that the puppy will be able to understand the purpose for the crate in potty training without the firm guidance of its owner.
The following tips should help in training a cocker spaniel puppy in going potty using the crate:
- Ensure that the crate is clean and comfortable through the addition of a pillow, a dog bed and other beddings. If the puppy sees that it is the place where sleep can be enjoyed, soiling it will be less of a problem. Just make sure that the crate is of the right size – not too big as to let the dog run around and not too small as to be cramped – so that its benefits in training a cocker spaniel puppy can be enjoyed.
- Take the puppy out during the night immediately before bedtime to take a pee. First thing in the morning, the puppy must be taken put to take another leak. If the beddings have been soiled the night before, then it is best to take out the dog at around 3AM to pee outside. This should not last long as the cocker spaniel can hold its bladder for longer periods of time as it grows older. It also helps to stop water intake a few hours before bedtime.
Indeed, the crate should be one of the first things to purchase when training a cocker spaniel puppy. Other equipment like the leash as well as doggy treats like toys and food often come a close second to it for good reasons, too.