How to Training a working Cocker Spaniel?
Select a crate for your cocker spaniel. An important aspect of training your cocker spaniel is crate training. When done properly, your dog will see his crate as a place of refuge and relaxation, rather than a place of punishment. Crates, which are available at your local pet store, come in different sizes and materials, such as plastic, fabric, and metal.
- If your dog is a puppy, consider renting a crate from your local animal shelter, since he will eventually outgrow it. This will keep you from having to purchase new crates as he continues to grow.
- Your dog should be able to fit comfortably inside the crate, with enough room to stand up and turn around. Take your dog with you when you look at crates so that you will know what size and type will work for him.
- Taking the door off of the crate will help it look more inviting to your dog.
- It may take your dog a few days to become comfortable with the crate. Be patient with him and do not force him to be comfortable with it by a certain time point.
- As he becomes more comfortable, you can slide the food bowl further and further back inside the crate. Eventually, he should be able to walk all the way into the crate to eat his meals.
- When he is fully inside the crate to eat, close the crate’s door. Initially, leave it closed only for the amount of time that it takes him to eat. As his comfort level increases, leave the door closed for up to about 10 minutes after he has finished eating.
- If he whines to be let out during this process, wait until he stops whining to open the door. If you open the door while he is whining, he will learn that whining is a way to be let out of the crate.
- Remember not to let him out if he starts whining.
- Reward him when you let him out to let him know that he did a good job.
- Your dog may need up to several weeks to become comfortable with staying in his crate for 30 minutes, especially when he can’t see you.
- The more calm that you are when you leave and return, the more likely your dog will remain calm as well. You do not want him to interpret your departure and arrival as anxiety-inducing events.
- Begin by leaving the house for short periods of time (20 to 30 minutes). As your dog becomes more comfortable with being left alone in the crate, you can try leaving home for longer periods of time.
- Continue to crate him while you are at home so that he does not automatically associate crate time with being left alone.
Method 2Potty Training Your Cocker Spaniel
- Choose an outdoor spot for your dog to go to the bathroom. Potty training can actually go hand-in-hand with crate training, since your dog will not want to relieve himself in the area where he stays inside the house. When you take him outside on the leash, give him some freedom to choose the area where he wants to go. Keep in mind that he may choose somewhere other than grass, such as soil or mulch.
- Guide him away from areas that would not be appropriate, such as your neighbor’s yard or your plants.
- If you have your own fenced-in backyard, it may not be necessary to take him out on the leash to select a spot. He will know that the backyard is where he is supposed to go to the bathroom.
- Whichever spot he chooses, take him to this spot each time that you take him outside on the leash to go to the bathroom.
- Give him the “potty” command. When you are at the designated bathroom spot, say “potty” and wait for him to go. This may take several minutes, since he may not understand this verbal command right away. After he goes to the bathroom, reward him with a treat.
- If he does not go to the bathroom after several minutes, take him back inside and wait for about 15 minutes. If you had him on a leash, keep his leash on him during this 15-minute wait period. Then, take him back outside again to the same spot. Repeat this until he goes to the bathroom outside. Once he goes, reward him with a treat.
- Make sure that he does not go to the bathroom inside during the wait period. This may be more likely to happen if your cocker spaniel is a puppy.
- It may take a lot of repetition before your dog knows that he should go to the bathroom in the same spot outside.
- Do not punish him if he goes to the bathroom inside. Cocker spaniels are very sensitive to punishment, so do not verbally or physically punish him if he goes to the bathroom inside. If you see him in the act of going to the bathroom inside, try to interrupt him and get his attention by clapping loudly with your hands. Take him outside to the designated bathroom spot as quickly as possible, either by picking him up and carrying him or walking him on the leash.
- When you get back inside, clean up the mess without punishing him.
- Your cocker spaniel may relieve himself inside because of a medical issue, such as kidney disease. If he is consistently going to the bathroom inside your house despite potty training, take him to your veterinarian so that he can be examined for underlying medical conditions.
- Recognize when your dog needs to go the bathroom. More than likely, your cocker spaniel will let you know when he needs to relieve himself. When he is inside, he may start whining or whimpering to let you know that he needs to go outside. Take him out as soon as you can if he starts doing this. If you are outside on a walk, he may start circling or sniffing places to find the perfect spot to go.
- If you are out on a long walk, keep in mind that it may not be practical to make it back to his regular bathroom spot in time. If this is the case, allow him to go the bathroom where you are and pick up his waste if necessary.
- Feed your dog and take him out on a regular schedule. Feeding him on a regular schedule will likely lead to him needing to go to the bathroom at around the same time each day. Cocker spaniels have small bladders, so you may need to take him out several times a day (about every four to five hours) so that he can relieve himself. If your schedule does not allow for you to take your dog out this frequently, consider having a dog walker take your dog out when you are not home.
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