If you and your dog are looking for some quality time together, you’re in luck! The Cocker Spaniel can turn his hand to many tricks, and is a great all-round dog in terms of his athletic ability and his temperament. Here are some activities that are just perfect for you and your Cocker.
Canine Good Citizen training
The Kennel Club has devised a series of tests designed to prove that your dog is an excellent and well behaved canine citizen. At the end of the tests, your dog will receive a certificate which can be really useful to show people if you want to bring your Cocker travelling, to your office or on public transport. In general, Cockers should excel at being good citizens because they have such a gentle, even temperament. You’ll need to put in some effort before you take the test – train all of the basic commands and some thorough socialisation. For full details, check the Kennel Club’s website.
Cocker Spaniels are surprisingly good at agility, despite their smaller size. The Cocker loves to learn new things and please his master, so agility training is a fun hobby you can do together. Once your Cocker is trained and can complete a course of tunnels, weave poles, jumps and the like, you’ll be able to bring him to compete at agility trials. It’s a great way to mix with other dog owners and compare notes!
Your Cocker’s keen sense of smell and his passion for the chase means that he’s the perfect dog for tracking competitions and work. Search online for a local club that does tracking tests. Usually, they will involve testing a dog to see if he can track a person’s scent over a considerable distance, with several changes of direction.
For the more ambitious Cocker owners, there is always the option to try showing your dog in the ring.Of course, you’ll need to own a purebred and your dog will need to meet all of the various criteria with no faults in terms of anatomy, gait and temperament. You’ll need to put in a fair bit of work when it comes to your Cocker’s coat too! However, it can be a great way to meet with other Cocker owners as dogs tend to compete within their own breed categories.
Obedience classes and competitions
If you have a particularly well behaved and intelligent Cocker, you can take him to obedience classes and teach him a variety of commands and tricks. Later on, when your dog gets really good, you can have him compete with other dogs in obedience competitions.