Excited Cocker Spaniel

by S Owen
(Powys )

Some Cocker Spaniels Can Be So Excitable - Especially When The Doorbell Rings!

Some Cocker Spaniels Can Be So Excitable - Especially When The Doorbell Rings!

Hi, We have a 1 year old male cocker spaniel who is very friendly. The problem is when visitors come to the house he can be too friendly. He gets very, very excited and continues to jump up (no matter how many times we tell him to sit).

When guests sit on the sofa he will jump onto them and immediately lick their face! And we struggle to get him off them.

He has a lot of energy so he gets 2-3 walks a day (one is usually 45 minutes to an hour long) but this doesn't help his excitement when guests comes round.

We are now not very good at dealing with visitors when they come round and it is getting to be a problem because of the number of times we have to tell him to sit.

Also it is not nice when the visitors make comments like 'he's too hyper or crazy' because he does not act this way around us all the time only when he is excited about walks, or food.

Any advice?


Reply from Pauline (Web Owner)

Don't you just love Cockers? They love being around people, and can often be quite mad!

Unfortunately, it sometimes gets a little too much, doesn't it?

When your Cocker behaves like this, I recommend he's removed from the room - before your visitors arrive, if you can. If he's crated, put him in his crate and only let him out when he's calm.

Stay calm, quiet and in control - don't scold him, make eye contact, or talk to him, as he will view any contact or reaction from you or your visitors as a reward.

Let your visitors get settled before allowing your dog back into the room. If he's still over-excited, ask your visitors to ignore him; they shouldn't speak, touch, or make eye contact (as I said, in your dog's eyes, this is reward).

Your visitors should reward him only when he's settled and quiet.

If your dog is still over-excited after 45 seconds of your visitors ignoring him, remove him and try again in a few minutes.

If he's so excited that he's still jumping up on their knees and licking their faces, ask your visitor to stand up and turn away from your dog. You can then remove him. If your guest prefers to stand up before your dog comes into the room, that's fine too.

Repeat this over and over until he learns what you want from him. If you're consistent, he'll soon learn that he will be allowed to stay with your visitors when he behaves quietly but that if he misbehaves, he'll be removed.

Good luck!

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Cocker spaniel training
by: Anonymous

HI all,

I just wanted to jump in on this thread because I, too, have a crazy English Cocker Spaniel! Charlie is now almost 6 years old and I have just begun with a new trainer and he's finally calming. He was my first dog and I really didn't know what I was doing in the beginning - or how crucial it is to get these little guys under control from day one. I personally didn't start with enough restrictions and limits and it's REALLY hard to go back because these dogs are sooo willful and if you give them an inch they will take a mile.

The difficult part is that they are highly sensitive and of course so adorable so discipline can feel harsh.

But I've had success with a pronged training collar to get his walks more under control and Pet Corrector spray (it's just a blast of air) paired with the "no" command to stop bad behavior in its tracks. These things are in no way harmful and really offer the limits that I think he's always craved. It sort of dawned on me that with too much freedom he had to make too many decisions and didn't feel secure. The "negative" correction has actually seemed to make him happier and more at peace. I had NO idea what I was getting myself into with this guy but he's my absolute love and I've learned and grown so much being his owner!

Great family dog---NOT!!
by: Anonymous

I would imagine that living with Fiona, my 20 month old ECS, is the equivalent of what living with a monkey would be like. How on earth could you have, say two small children under the age of 5 and one of these dogs? Nothing in the breed descriptions really prepares you for this. You have to have a sense of humor (and a lot of patience) to love this breed.

Fiona makes us laugh at least twice a day. I probably play hide and seek at least 6-12 times a day; fetch the ball at least 20-30 times a day; take things off of her at least a dozen times a day; short training session in the house combined with play as a reward takes up 30 minutes a day. In addition there is an ongoing effort to reinforce commands like "settle" "crate" and "quiet." That is her indoor activity.

Then there is proofing/training at the club or at a nearby park at least 4 times per week, sometimes combined with a good outdoor run.

Leash walking has to happen at least 3 times per week to reinforce good manners and encourage appropriate behavior and I set aside the time daily to use a flirt pole (which she is crazy about) to supplement her exercise needs while working stationary commands to encourage good impulse control.

Then there is grooming. She is relatively well behaved but it took a lot of time and effort. When I am not actively engaged with her, she is always with me - even when I shower, do yard work, laundry, errands.

Having read some of the comments in here, I would have to say that many individuals of this breed have a similar temperament. My conclusion is that if you are an older person who has the time to devote to the necessary training and socialization and want a superior companion animal then this is a great dog for you. Fiona is charming and funny and endlessly entertaining but very time and effort intensive.

While she turned out to be quite a different dog than I imagined, I have come to love and adore the dog she grew into.

Excited Cocker Spaniel
by: Pauline (Web Owner)

You're very welcome, good luck!

Over excited cocker
by: Anonymous

Thank you. I feel better for getting those things off my chest as my family defends her and all I hear is.., 'She's still young, she'll calm down!'

I'll definitely look at your page and start to implement some of the strategies.

Thanks for listening and taking the time to answer and advise me.

PS: Yes we have had a crate for the start. We couldn't manage her without it!

Over-Excitable Cocker
by: Pauline (Web Owner)

Hi! It sounds like you're a 'frazzled Mum' - I feel for you!

It's good that you've contacted a trainer. Hopefully, he or she will identify the problem and get you and your family started back on the right track.

Dogs are like kids. Remember the 'terrible twos'? Well, that happens at around 12-18 months with dogs. I reckon that's what's happening here. You just have to grit your teeth and keep on doing what you're doing, but with more focus and determination. Most importantly, don't get angry or show her that you're upset. Stay calm and relaxed and in control (easier said than done, eh?).

Back to basics. Plenty of obedience training and don't let her get away with anything.

You asked if her behaviour was dominant. That's difficult for me to answer because I've not seen your dog interact with you and your family.

No matter whether she's dominant or simply 'trying it on', as a first step, I really would recommend you take a look at my Alpha Dog page - the link is in my previous post - and try the steps recommended. It's not just for dominant dogs. The recommendations will help to give your dog 'better manners' and set the 'tone' of your relationship.

Another thing I'd do, if you've not already, is buy her a crate and give her a 'place of her own'. You can teach her to take time out when you need a little space, although it should never be used as a punishment. You can read about crate training here.

In the meanwhile, don't give up hope and good luck with your trainer.

Kind regard,

Over excitable cocker
by: Anonymous

I've contacted a dog whisperer. The thing I'd like to mention is we have been really strict with her from day 1 but she's becoming so annoying (to me) can I give you an example?

Last night I'm standing in the kitchen at the work tops and she comes over and squeezes herself between my legs and the units, walking over my feet as she does so.

Is this dominant behaviour?

I don't want her doing this, but I tell her off but it goes in one ear and out the other and she does it again until I end up putting her out of the room.

Then I'll let her back in and she'll just do it again...along with sticking her head in the dishwasher to try to lick pots!

I'll push her away and say NO then she creeps back and does it again until I put her out the way.

It's getting easier to put her out the way when I'm trying to get the kids out the door for school in the mornings as she's into everything. Even tries to follow me into the toilet. We have been consistent but I must admit I don't praise her much as she's always doing stuff I don't want her to do and she annoys me so much. I really do want to bond with this little dog.

Crazy Cocker
by: Pauline (Web Owner)

That's exactly what you need - a good trainer.

Your dog is doing exactly what she wants to do because she doesn't know any different. The trick is to let her know the behaviour (by telling her she's a good girl and giving her a small treat when she's good) and making sure she understands when you're not happy with her bad behaviour (by either ignoring her or telling her 'No', depending on the circumstances).

The longer you leave this, the worse she will become and the more difficult it will be to 'turn her around'.

If you want to give it a try yourself, here's a link to my basic puppy obedience training page and another link to my alpha dog page. There's some good advice and practical steps to take on both pages.

Good luck and please let us know how you get on.

Kind regards

Crazy Cocker
by: Anonymous

My golden cocker is 13 months old. Most of the time she is calm but if someone visits she goes crazy, she's also started to race around the house, dive bomb onto the settee, takes it upon herself to go upstairs and jump on beds.

She pulls like crazy on her lead, when I take her off lead she runs around growling and barking until she eventually calms down.

She follows me everywhere, every time I get up and move from room to room.

I find her behaviour really irritating and I'm getting to the point of wanting to put her out the room/out the way.

I get cross when she races around and pulls on the lead, walks over my feet, trips me up to get out of the door first, etc etc.

She's such high maintenance and highly strung. The kids and husband adore her but I really don't feel the same. She's not calming down, she's getting worse.

I wish I could love her like the rest of the family but I find her a right pain in the bum.

Are all dogs like this? Cause if so I obviously don't suit having a dog. I just wanted a little dog that I could take with my when I'm out and about, but there's no way I can do that with mine. She whines, tries to get free from the harness. She's anxious all the time. I've had a offer to re-home her with a working cockers family as she has so much energy and is never worn out, but the kids would be heart broken and she has cost us so much money.

Probably sounds like I need a dog trainer to sort her out!

Excite Cockers
by: Pauline (Web Owner)

Hi V!

Don't you just love Cockers!? Mad as hatters!

I thought I'd just drop you a line about the smell you mention. If your Cocker is otherwise clean and doesn't have anal gland problems, try checking the lip folds around her mouth. Very often they accumulated food and as this area is often moist it's an ideal breeding ground for bacteria...that's probably where the smell is coming from.

If it's not too bad it can be cleaned up easily. The fur on the lip becomes matted with 'bacteria/food/etc', but can be loosened with warm water and a little mild dog shampoo. Once cleaned up the smell should disappear.

Sometimes though, the problem is so bad that antibiotics are needed to clear up the problem once and for all.

Try cleaning her mouth up and if you don't see any signs of the smell disappearing, perhaps a trip to her vet would be wise.

Hope this helps and thanks for posting.

Kind regards,

Cocker spaniel
by: V Johnson

We have rescue Cocker she is about 6 years old, we also have a old Labrador and a stroppy cat, we have never owned a Spaniel before.

Ohhhh how we were in for a surprise, she is mad ( in a good way).

She hates water, not that bothered about walks, she smells all the time despite our best efforts to stop the smell, our daughter treats her like a baby (and she loves it) all she wants is fuss, she is a lovely dog and good company, well behaved despite her past, she loves the car and loves mouldy old apples, but we love her.

My Buddy
by: Hollyjo

I rescued my cocker when he was about 2 years old, and sadly I don't think he had ANY sort of training, obedience or otherwise!

Like most of the past comments, if I let him in the house he runs around like mad, wants to jump on everything and everyone and basically just wants to be in your face. Conversely my brother has a blue roan who is a completely different dog. My boy is black and someone told me that they're the nutty one's!

People keep telling me that he'll calm down as he gets older. He's 5 now and showing no signs.

Despite all this, I love him to pieces.

Spaniel Spasm
by: Linda

This must be a trait in Spaniels, mine wants every bit of attention from company. She's so sweet and cute, she always gets it!

She doesn't get obnoxious about it and my company seems to get a kick out of it, so there is really no problem. I swear these little 4 legged devils know exactly what they're doing and how to do it!

She manages to have 90% of the conversation about HER!!


Hyper Spaniels
by: Anonymous

Spaniels can be very hyper, especially if they're ready for a walk!

When our doorbell goes, mine goes loopy - he spins and barks and generally goes mad.

It's too late for him to change now, (I think) although he has quietened down a little, but what I do is I take him by the collar and lead him to his crate, and lock him in.

If he quietens down a bit, I let him out.

I probably need to work on getting him NOT to go mad when the doorbell rings!

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