Basics of Cocker Spaniel Training

It’s essential for Cocker Spaniel parents like you to know certain basic factors that determine your relationship with your Cocker Spaniel and can go a long way in training him effectively.

Before you begin training your Cocker Spaniel, it is absolutely essential that you build a loving bond with him. This is important as it helps you to understand his needs and instincts and also allows your Cocker Spaniel to have complete trust in you.

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How To Bond With Your Cocker Spaniel

Building a bond with your Cocker Spaniel is the first and the most crucial step involved in training him successfully. As soon as you bring your Cocker Spaniel home, you must first try to develop a caring and loving relationship with him in order to win his trust and confidence.

When Cocker Spaniels are secure in the knowledge that they belong to the family, they are more likely to respond better to their owners’ training commands. Just like with any relationship, there must be mutual trust and respect between you and your Cocker Spaniel.

Trust takes time to develop and respect comes from defining boundaries and treating any breach of those boundaries with firmness and fairness.

Without enforceable limitations, respect can’t be developed. And when there is no respect, building a bond with your Cocker Spaniel is almost impossible.

4 Golden Rules To Building A Relationship With Your Cocker Spaniel :

  • Spend quality time together;
  • Take him out in the world and experience life together;
  • Establish and promote a level of mutual respect; and
  • Develop a way of communicating to understand each other’s needs.

Building a bond with your Cocker Spaniel will not only help you manage him better but will also make your Cocker Spaniel calm, quiet and an extremely well-adjusted pet.

Love Your Cocker Spaniel and He Will Love You back

Once you’re succesful in building a bond with your Cocker Spaniel, you can rest assured that training him and teaching him new and clever tricks will be a cakewalk.

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How Your Cocker Spaniel Learns…

Your Cocker Spaniel’s learning period can be divided into five phases:

The Teaching Phase - This is the phase where you must physically demonstrate to your Cocker Spaniel exactly what you want him to do.

The Practicing Phase - Practice makes Perfect. Once a lesson is learnt, practice with your Cocker Spaniel what you have just taught him.

The Generalizing Phase - Here you must continue practicing with your Cocker Spaniel in different locations and in an environment with a few distractions. You can take your Cocker Spaniel out for a walk, or to a nearby park and command him to practice whatever you’ve taught him.

Practicing the learned lessons in multiple locations and in the presence of small distractions will help him learn and retain lessons better .

The Testing Phase - Once you’re sure that your Cocker Spaniel has achieved almost 90% success….he responds correctly almost every time you give a command, you must start testing his accuracy in newer locations with a lot of distractions.

Example: Take him to the local shopping mall and ask him to obey your command. He may not come up with the correct response the very first time you do this, but you must not lose hope.

The idea is to test your Cocker Spaniel to see how he responds in an environment which is new to him. Set-up a situation where you are in control of the environment and your Cocker Spaniel.

There are only 2 possibilities:

  • Your Cocker Spaniel succeeds!!! (Trumpets please!)
  • In case your Cocker Spaniel fails, re-examine the situation. Review and/or change your training. Then try testing again.

Keep on testing until he succeeds. Follow the rule of the 3 Ps – patience, persistence, praise.

Internalizing Phase - Finally, comes the extremely rewarding phase where your Cocker Spaniel does everything he is taught to do even without your commands.


  • Never scold your Cocker Spaniel if he fails. It’s not his fault. You have failed as a trainer!
  • You must be patient and persistent for your efforts to show rewards.
  • Appreciate and love your Cocker Spaniel when he does it right! A little encouragement will work wonders for your Cocker Spaniel.

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