We've put together these puppy training tips to help you look after your new little Cocker Spaniel puppy.
We realise that not everyone has owned dogs before and that some new owners may not know how to train a puppy.
Having a new puppy in the house can be a very exciting time and when it comes to training a puppy, if you get it right, it's great!
But if you get it wrong, it can make you anxious and can cause misery for you both - especially if your puppy won't 'listen' to a word you say!
To help you to prepare for his training, we've put together some useful puppy training tips to ensure you approach the training in the right way and to help you both stay on track.
Puppies are more receptive to learning between the ages of 8 and 12 weeks, so it's important to begin their training early.
If you're training an older dog for the first time it may take a little longer, but despite what they say, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!
Don't attempt to train your puppy if there's too much going on around you - he'll become distracted and won't learn.
Find a quiet corner, away from everyone else, where you and your puppy can concentrate on learning.
Your puppy will be very eager to please you but, at this stage, he may not understand what you want from him.
Your instructions and commands must be very clear and consistent.
We recommend you choose a short, simple, word for each command, for example, sit, stay, come, down, etc.
It's also important that you and your family are consistent in your use of the words you choose for each command, otherwise your puppy will become confused and will not learn.
Puppy obedience training is essential if you want a well-mannered little Cocker Spaniel puppy!
A release word is literally that; your chosen word for releasing your puppy from a previous command.
By establishing and using this command, you're letting your puppy know that he no longer needs to 'Sit' or 'Stay Down', and that he is free to get up and play, or move around.
For our Cocker Spaniel, Max, we use the word 'Okay' as our release, but feel free to choose whatever word you feel comfortable with.
The important thing to remember is to remain consistent with your choice of word and its application.
Using a release word for your dog will not only help to establish you as his pack leader it will also reinforce your leadership status each time you release your dog.
Your tone of voice, when giving a command to your puppy, is very important.
Puppy training sessions should be kept light, and should be fun for your puppy. Your tone of voice needs to be firm when giving a command, and lighter, more fun, when giving praise.
Each time your puppy does what you ask of him, offer him a small, tasty, treat and give him lots of praise. This will reinforce the fact that he has followed your command correctly.
Your praise, and any treat, should follow his correct action within 2 seconds; any longer and you run the risk of your puppy not associating the two, and he'll take longer to train.
Positive reinforcement works every time!
What if my puppy gets it wrong?
Never become angry, scold, or smack your puppy for failing to get an instruction right.
Dog training is never easy - it may take several attempts before your puppy understands exactly what you want from him - please have patience.
If your puppy gets it wrong, don't give him a treat, and don't offer any praise; simply go back to the beginning and start again.
You can say something like, 'Too Bad', or 'No', to help reinforce the fact that your puppy didn't get it right. But don't be too hard on him - he's only learning.
If your puppy misbehaves however, difficult as it may be, don't allow him to get away with being naughty just because he's cute!
If your puppy fails to follow a command, it may mean that your puppy has not yet mastered that particular instruction. Simply repeat the relevant training until you're confident that he's mastered it.
When training your puppy, don't repeat the command word over and over again, as this will teach him that he doesn't need to act on the first instruction; he'll believe it's okay to obey you on your third or fourth command.
If you believe your puppy is simply misbehaving, don't reward or praise him, walk away from him and try the exercise again five minutes later.
Keep it short!
Puppies have a short attention span, so it's best to keep any training sessions to around 10 minutes or so.
This should be enough to run through some simple commands without your puppy becoming bored.
Always try to end the dog training session on a positive note.
Learn how to train a puppy in the comfort of your home with free puppy training tips and dog behavior modification techniques.
Out of all the puppy training tips given on this page, probably the best one of all is:
Practice really does makes perfect!
As your puppy masters each command, practice daily to strengthen and reinforce the dog training you have given him. This will help to establish you as the pack leader, will strengthen the bond between you, and will ensure your puppy grows into a happy, well-behaved adult dog.
The sooner you begin with puppy obedience training, the sooner you will see your little bundle of nervous and sometimes boisterous energy, emerge into a well-behaved, well-mannered, adorable little Cocker Spaniel!
What are you waiting for?
We hope you find out puppy training tips useful and are now ready and eager to put them into practice.
Now is also a good time to consider teaching your puppy to walk on the lead - we found this article, 'Leash Training A Puppy' very useful and informative and would like to recommend it to you.
Photo Credits - In order of viewing:
1. Tony Lanciabeta at Flickr.com
2. Tian at Flickr.com
3. Bree Bailey at Flickr.com