Bubbles
Training

Springer Spaniels are born pleasers. Nothing makes a Spaniel happier than to do something helpful for you. You might not always have asked for the knickers (left in the laundry room) to be bought out to you as you chat to the postman but no one told the dog that. Hence training spaniels is very rewarding since they absolutely love it!

Lead training

Puppies don’t always like the idea of a collar, so let them get used to this idea first. Some will try and remove it but others will totally ignore it. Once you have sorted this stage out then you can attach a light lead and let the puppy trail it around for a long to get used to this new attachment. You obviously need to stay in the vicinity just in case the puppy gets itself wrapped around things. Then you just need short periods of time, a pocket full of treats and plenty of praise as you pick the lead and begin to walk with the puppy at your side. There are no short cuts here, just time and remembering to be consistent with words and/or commands given.

‘Sit’

Stand in front of your puppy and get him to look up to you - a treat in your hand usually does the trick. As your pup looks up at you it is natural for him to sit so he can see you easily. As soon as his bottom hit’s the ground and he is in the sitting position say the command ‘sit’ and then his name. Praise your dog for achieving the command and then reward with a treat. With practice this won’t take long to achieve. Keep the training short and fun and always end on a good note with lots of praise.

‘Stay’

This will follow naturally from when you pup has learnt to sit. When he sits on your command try encouraging him to hold the position by using the word ‘stay’, saying it firmly in a long drawn out way (staaaaaaayyy). A visual sign is helpful here - hold your hand up encouraging him to hold the position . Do not move away from the dog and do not praise him until you wish to break the stay. In the early stages only keep him in this position for a few seconds until he learns the meaning of the command. As training progresses you will be able to hold the stay a little longer each time and move slowly further and further away. When you want him to come, simply call by name and give lots of praise and treats when he bounds back to you!

Socialising - Puppy parties

Meeting other puppies, dogs, kids, adults and other animals is very important to your puppies socialisation and his general social skills. Our puppies are bought up surrounded by the other dogs, the cats / chickens / ducks / goats / sheep. We avoid taking the puppies anywhere near the horses on foot but we do carry them out to meet them on many occasions. They also are surrounded by noise and general mayhem. When they leave us though this will need to carried on (after their second vaccination) in order to keep them confident on different levels. Obviously not everybody has the menagerie we have but just letting them meet other dogs will be very helpful. Lots of vets these days hold ‘puppy parties’ and we hold them ourselves (apart from the winter months) when we can sit out in the orchard with a yummy cream tea, in a deck chair relaxing….

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