The erstwhile cousin of the famous English Cocker Spaniel, known for its hunting abilities, the American Cocker Spaniel is one of the most popular breeds among dog lovers and was among the favorite ones used in dog shows. However this breed, like all other dogs, comes with its pros and cons.
One has to carefully follow a specific mode of American Cocker Spaniel training that suits the dog’s physical and temperamental needs. Though it is quite intelligent and can pick up commands in a short span of time, there are some specific problems among American cocker spaniels that can pose hindrances in training and thus, need to be addressed in a well-planned manner.
The problems that one usually faces in American Cocker Spaniel training are separation anxiety, submissive urination, aggression and excessive barking among others. However, when carefully planned through training at home and with the help of some professional training, these problems can be easily tackled.
American Cocker Spaniel training becomes easier when training is introduced among puppies, when they are about two months old or so. To deal with the problem of separation anxieties and submissive urination among American Cockers, “Crate training” is highly recommended. For this, the puppy must remain with its mother for about 2 months and is also taught by its mother about regular behavior which should be inherently known by dogs. Many actions are taught by the mother to it offspring in a natural and smooth manner.
While initially, crate training may prove to be difficult as it may seem that its movements and actions are being restricted, but in a matter of time, it begins to get accustomed to the crate which actually becomes its own space to take a break from normal activities and family interactions, say for example, to take a nap. The puppy, as having being taught by its mother not to soil the place where it sleeps, will take the crate to be a safe and warm place and in turn it will learn to control its bladder and bowel movements in the crate as well.
Apart from helping the American Cocker to deal with it anxiety and urination problems, Crate training also helps in safely transporting the puppy like taking it for trips in the car or to the vet.
Another important issue to be dealt with in American Cocker Spaniel training is that these dogs have a superiority issue that needs to be tackled by making them understand that the owner is the alpha male or leader of the pack. Though the intensity is lesser as compared to other Cocker spaniels, American Cocker Spaniels follow the rules of the pack and if they are not trained accordingly, it results in behavior problems and dominance issues leading to aggression, excessive barking and biting.
Thus a proper American Cocker Spaniel training includes “respect” or “obedience” training in which the dog understands, recognizes and learns to obey the rules of the household and respects its owner. Though usually it can be done at home, it may require the services of a professional dog trainer and includes teaching commands like ‘stay’, ‘sit’, heel’, ‘stop’ and may also include basics of establishing the pack rules behavior with the owner as the leader and the dog as the follower.
It is very important, that training must be followed and designed to suit the characteristics and the behavior patterns of the American Cocker Spaniel dog to ensure success and have a loving relationship.