Training Cocker Spaniels

Every relationship has a base on which it grows to become one of love, trust, confidence and mutual respect. The same applies to the relationship that owners share with their dogs and it is important to understand that this relationship has its base in training the dog effectively right from the start.

Training cocker spaniels is important as it not only helps to discipline the dog, but it also helps in identifying problems at their root and eradicating them before they become bigger and lead to misbehavior on part of the cocker spaniel.

Before and even during the process of training cocker spaniels, one needs to understand that bonding with the dog is crucial. After all the main purpose of keeping a pet is to not only to play with it, but also, to give it love and care. Studies have shown that pet owners, especially who keep dogs, are able to deal with stress and anxiety in a better manner.

The dog, right from the beginning will behave according to its inherent instincts in the same manner as it would do in the wild. That includes trying to fight its way through dominance, showing aggression over food and its toys and other little actions of taking control. But once the owner establishes that he or she is the alpha leader and that the cocker spaniel is assured that even though it is lower in the family hierarchy, it will be sheltered, protected and fed, it will begin responding to the commands very easily. This feeling of security helps to instill a sense of trust in the dog’s mind as one must remember that this is a two way relationship and the dog must be made to feel secure as well.

At the same time, the owner has to establish certain boundaries and rules for the dog as you cannot inculcate respect without doing that. Without enforcing certain limitations, it is virtually impossible to make the dog respect you and training cocker spaniels must include lying down of certain ground rules and dealing with misbehavior in a firm manner.

The process of training cocker spaniels goes through different phases and each phase is important. Going step by step also helps in establishing a smooth process of training.

The owner has to make physical demonstrations while explaining the cocker spaniel what it should do and what it should not do and this is the teaching phase in which the cocker is introduced to the commands.

While practice makes a man perfect, practice also makes the dog perfect! It is necessary to keep following up consistently with the commands and repeating them so that they are imprinted on the dog’s mind.

Once the practice of different commands is initiated it is important that the same commands are repeated in different environments and different locations so that the commands are followed by the dogs in different situations. This is referred to as ‘generalization’ and is essential to increase the adaptability quotient of the cocker spaniel.

Then the testing phase has to be embarked upon in which the owner must keep training the dog to see if it can respond to and understand commands successfully in different places and among other people. This needs to be done where the dog understands its owner and obeys him or her outside its comfort zone.

If the cocker spaniel succeeds, it must be rewarded with treats and appreciated to encourage it further. In case the cocker is not successful, the owner should review the situation, make appropriate changes and then resume testing again.

Training cocker spaniels requires both patience and consistency and the owner must always remember that the dog also makes an effort during training and all forms of punishment should be avoided in case of mistakes as this might lead to negativity in the spaniel towards training.  Appreciation and being slightly firm on the other hand will lead to wonderful results.