If you'd like to learn how to train a puppy, read on to discover
just how easy it can be, once you know how!
If you're new to puppy training you'll probably have lots of unanswered questions, which I hope to resolve here!
The following articles will provide all the information you need to know about puppy training to help you and your pet get it right first time.
Your first priority will be to ensure that your pup is fully house-trained (if he's not already).
Potty training does take a little patience and understanding, and there may be a few little 'accidents' along the way, but if you follow our advice, your puppy will get the message and he'll be dry in not time at all.
All new puppies need a lot of training if they are to grow into well-behaved adult Cocker Spaniels.
Socialization is an important part of any puppy's training and it simply cannot wait and should be started as soon as you get him home.
Socialization is where your puppy is gently introduced to everyday sights and sounds, experiences and situations.
Any frightening or shocking experience can have a really negative impact on a puppy's development. Socializing your puppy removes the fear or shock factor from his world and helps him to grow up relaxed and confident.
I would also recommend that you teach your pet to be comfortable spending some time on his own each day, (even if you're home) otherwise he may develop separation anxiety and will become very anxious whenever he thinks you're about to leave the house.
If your Cocker suffers from separation anxiety he may begin to display unwanted behavioral problems such as toilet problems, howling, or inappropriate chewing.
If you're new to dog ownership, you'll soon discover that puppies bite, and boy are their teeth sharp!
Play biting is a natural part of your new puppy's development, but it's important that he learns to be gentle and that biting humans is not allowed.
The best way to do this is to teach him to stop biting before he has the strength to do some real damage!
The same applies to inappropriate puppy chewing - it needs to be addressed as soon as it begins, otherwise his chewing could become habitual and continue through to adulthood.
Trust me, adult teeth can do a lot more damage than little puppy teeth; they can cause much destruction and despair for the owner.
There is another area of dog training that's very important if your dog is to fit into our human world, and that's obedience training.
However, before I explain how to train a puppy to respond to basic obedience commands, I've set out some general puppy training tips to help your training sessions run smoothly.
I certainly recommend you read these tips before attempting to teach your Cocker Spaniel any specific obedience commands, and always use positive training methods with your baby.
Our puppy obedience training page explains how to train a puppy to respond to your basic obedience commands such as:
'Watch!' - teach your puppy to look at you and pay attention - once you've got his attention, it will make training him much easier.
'Sit!' - this is much easier to do than you may at first think and you'll be surprised at how quickly your Cocker puppy learns this command.
'Down!' - this is a great command to teach your puppy. It's slightly more difficult to do than the rest, but once he's mastered it, you'll use it often.
'Stand!' - you'll could use this command when you want your dog to stand quietly for the groomer or the vet.
'Be Quiet!' - this may sound at odds with what you're trying to do, but you'll learn how to train a puppy to bark (not all puppies do!) and then you teach him to stop barking.
'Wait!' and 'Stay!' - two very similar commands, one more 'permanent' than the other. Discover the differences and how to teach them to your pet.
'Down!' and 'Stay!' - using these two commands together can be very effective. I use them to keep my Cocker in one place for a few minutes while I'm busy. He's usually preoccupied with being my shadow, and I've almost fallen over him, so using this command keeps him from under my feet for a while.
'Here Boy!' - the recall command is very important and I recommend you sharpen his response to this training by repeating it whenever you get the chance. Always reward him for coming back to you. Never scold your Cocker for returning to you when called, no matter how long it's taken him and how frustrated you may be.
'Leave It!' - how to train a puppy to leave something alone and not to touch it. This command should be learned well and reinforced as often as possible. Max responds to this immediately, but I do need to keep reinforcing it with a short training session every week or two. I simply make it a fun game and reward him with a few treats.
'Drop It!' - it's important that your Cocker Spaniel learns to 'leave' and 'drop it' as early as possible. Not only will they help to make him a well-mannered pup, at some point, these commands could actually save his life!
When you're out walking with your dog, there's nothing worse than being pulled along by an over-enthusiastic Cocker who won't walk on a loose lead!
It can spoil your walk, and that's why leash training is best done early.
If it's left too late, your pup will learn that pulling forward on his lead gets him to where he wants to be and it becomes a habit that's difficult to break.
Follow these simple guidelines on leash training and you'll be enjoying stress-free walks sooner than you think!
Like most training, it shouldn't be all work and no play - learning how to train a puppy should be fun for you both!
Can you believe it?
Sometimes puppies don't know how to play, it doesn't come naturally to them, so you may need to teach your little boy how to play some exciting puppy games, like those below.
Fetch! - throwing a ball and having your dog return with it doesn't always come naturally, sometimes you need to give them a clue!
Hide and Seek - this is a great game to play with your Cocker Spaniel. I hide and when Max finds me I reward him; usually with a treat, a kiss on the nose, and an enthusiastic, 'Good Boy Max!'.
Tug of War - if your dog is showing signs of aggression or dominance, you'd be well-advised to tone this one down a little. You can still play, but there are rules to follow. Otherwise, it's a great game for tiring them out!
Find It! - this is very similar to hide and seek but in this case, I hide treats all over the house and let him sniff them out - it's what Cockers do naturally.
Chase Me! - this can be a really exciting game for any dog but I don't recommend playing chase with a young puppy - at least, not until he's fully mastered the recall command.
I hope you and your puppy have lots of fun with these games and if you've any you'd like to share, why not get in touch and let us know?
There are some who believe crating a dog is cruel.
Please let me put the record straight - crate training a puppy is not cruel.
In fact, it's one of the best things you can do for him as there are many benefits of crate training as you will see if you follow the link.
I recommend you read about the benefits and then decide for yourself. If you decide that crating is for you and your pup, (and I hope you do, but it's your choice) I recommend you first read the essential rules of crate training before you go on to learn how to crate train your pet.
If you're thinking of crate training a dog (as opposed to a pup) the rules will be slightly different and it will probably take you a little longer as your dog may be a bit set in his ways - however, it is possible with a little patience and understanding.
Transport your Cocker safely and in style - there are many dog carriers that will do exactly that!
Learn how to handle your puppy's attention seeking behavior and give yourself a bit of peace and quiet into the bargain!
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