Character, upbringing and training of the English Cocker Spaniel
English Cocker Spaniels are curious, knowledgeable shustriks with a friendly, but by no means weak character. They will appreciate and obey the owner by default, but they will not allow the rest of the household to manipulate themselves. Moreover, when trying to force a pet to do something, get ready to observe stubbornness and a skillful imitation of misunderstanding. If we are talking about respect, then first of all the dog experiences it in relation to the owner, and in the second – to itself. Children in this hierarchical pyramid occupy the penultimate step. Yes, the “English” are happy to play with them, but do not expect the dog to have angelic patience and iron endurance when the child begins to cause her serious discomfort or pain.
Most cockers are peaceful and livable (exceptions are also possible), so cats and other dogs can be hooked to them. But in the case of birds, not everything is so smooth. Left alone with canaries, parrots or chickens, the pet is unlikely to cope with the temptation to hone its hunting techniques on them. Call of the ancestors – there’s nothing to be done. In the games “English” – a sort of Nancy Drew in a dog form. Possessing an excellent scent (American cockers have a rest) and excellent eyesight, they love to play detectives and look for seemingly forever lost objects. During the walk, most individuals turn on the “excavator” mode and begin excavating on flowerbeds and sand slides, which from the side looks very funny.
As for temperament, there is a restless party-goer inside every English cocker spaniel, despising dimensionality and imposingness. These long-eared zinger are sincerely glad to any company. Moreover, the more participants in it, the better, because doggies are very fond of playing in public. Born tactics and psychologists, the “British” will always find a way to squeeze into even the not-so-friendly dog team and gain a foothold in it as a shaggy mass-entertainer.
Recently, more and more breeders have noticed among English cockers a love of traveling on various modes of transport. So, for example, taking advantage of the absent-mindedness of the owner, during a walk they can easily jump into the shuttle bus and drive off in an unknown direction. If you have your own car, the Cocker Spaniel will be happy to test its speed, lounging in the back seat and substituting the face to the wind in an open window.
Parenting and training
Making an English cocker spaniel learn to study under pressure is unrealistic, but it’s very easy to get him interested in a new, unusual kind of activity. Cockers are simply turned on physical activity, therefore, they learn the lessons that are associated with reasonable physical activity, presented in a playful way. This breed is also fine with intelligence, so it won’t take a lot of time to master the basic command techniques, but the lessons should not be long and monotonously repeating – so the dog will quickly lose interest in them.
The education of the English cocker begins with its socialization. At 2-3 months, the baby should be taught to observe subordination and etiquette, as well as overcome fear of strangers. Possessing gourmet inclinations and a sharp sense of smell, small English cocker spaniels like to watch how the owner eats, managing to simultaneously play the role of a hungry sufferer. Do not be fooled by such shows and in no case do not treat the pretender with food from your own table. Each such concession reduces your authority in the eyes of the dog, which quickly begins to understand how to put pressure in order to get what you want. Extremes are also best avoided. The authoritarian style of upbringing is as harmful to the puppy as excessive puffing. Teach your pet basic teams unobtrusively, but persistently and systematically.
Despite the mimicry appearance, the English cocker spaniels are not alien to leadership habits. Usually a wave of independence covers puppies 3-4 months old. During this period, the dog tries to take the position of the head of the house, having displaced the owner from it. If you do not want to be under the heel of a shaggy dominant, you will have to prove his own viability every hour. Ways can be very different. In particular, during walks it is better to “extinguish” the emotional outbursts of the pet. Often use prohibitions in everyday life, and also do not let the puppy walking on a leash drag you along in tow.
Try on an English cocker collar starting from 3 months. The first time to wear an “accessory” is better during the game so that the animal does not notice it. You can do this procedure before feeding: food will distract the dog from unpleasant sensations. At first, the leash should be chosen more authentic, gradually shortening it in the process of getting used to. If the puppy is 8 months old, you can proceed to OKD (General Training Course), which is considered a mandatory program for cocker spaniels.