Cocker Spaniel Behavior Stages (Do They Ever Calm Down?)


Cocker Spaniels are naturally active and bouncy due to their working/hunting nature. While that is adorable, it can also be tiring. Generally, this breed doesn’t completely ever calm down. Even adult Cocker Spaniels will act like a puppy and older dogs can still get easily excited.

Cocker Spaniels are working dogs so high energy levels are natural to them. That doesn’t mean their energy levels won’t change slightly. Many Cockers start getting their impulsiveness under control at around three years old.

Are Cocker Spaniels Naturally Hyper As Puppies Or Adults?

Cocker Spaniels are bred to be hunters and so they are always full of energy. They are naturally hyper dogs and need to be constantly in motion. They can also go from sleeping to full motion in an instant.

They are at their most hyper state as puppies and young adults (1 and 2 years old) as they are still growing, exploring, and haven’t learned all the rules of being a dog yet. 

Cocker Spaniels are incredibly loving but work best with owners that can offer a lot of physical and mental stimulation activities and a set daily routine. Even older dogs like activities and can get excited at the idea of playtime.

What Are Problems Arising From A Hyper Cocker Spaniel?

A hyped-up Cocker Spaniel can be frustrating for you and them. They could get upset at being bored, particularly if you aren’t home, and go into destruction mode.

They could try to escape the yard, start digging, or even become slightly aggressive with other animals! This could mess up the friendship I wrote about that your Cocker Spaniel might have with your cat which would be a shame! 

They can also start chewing, howling, barking, and urinating indoors!

Cocker Spaniels tend to have separation anxiety because they are so people-oriented. They are unhappy alone and this can lead to crying and other types of destructive behavior. 

What Are The Behavior Stages Of Cocker Spaniel Puppies By Age?

Some attributes of Cocker Spaniels exist at every age. Besides being of a curious nature and one that loves activity, Cocker Spaniels are loyal, sensitive, and loving. They are born with these qualities and will remain that way their whole life. 

One personality trait you will see in puppies is stubbornness. Cocker puppies can be strong-willed and that means obedience training is incredibly important!

Cocker Spaniels puppies can also be sensitive. You will notice this by the puppy being afraid of sudden movements or if he urinates when he is excited. A nervous or highly submissive Cocker Spaniel will need socialization to bring him out of his shell.

 A “teen” Cocker Spaniel, can be a handful! This starts around six months old and continues until around a year old. This is when he can bark continuously, try to get out of the yard, dig, and constantly bug you for activity. 

As a Cocker Spaniel gets older, he may be somewhat possessive over people, toys, and food he determines to be “his.” He may growl at other dogs getting near his food dish or hide his toys.

He may also show discontent if other animals come near “his person.” All of these behaviors can be remedied with training, stimulation, and walks.

You will find Cocker Spaniels tend to change somewhat around three years old as they seem to be trained and want to please you. They won’t get into as much trouble either.

An older Cocker Spaniel is settled into the family, obedient, loyal, and still has the excitement in his eyes although he keeps it under control until you say that special word he is always longs to hear!

When Do Cocker Puppies Stop Biting And Teething?

Cocker Spaniels aren’t unlike other dogs regarding biting and teething. Dogs typically stop chewing and biting around eight months old when all their 42 permanent teeth come in.

However, if you haven’t been training your puppy regarding chewing, they could still chew on things after their teeth come in because they are bored and don’t know any better.

 A couple of ways to teach a puppy not to chew on certain things is to put training spray around those items or a little hot sauce on them.

However, you also want to train your pet with positive affirmation so be sure to give him a treat whenever he avoids those things or gets his teething toy. 

How Do You Calm Down A Hyper Cocker Spaniel? 4 Helpful Tips!

There are four sure ways to calm down a hyper Cocker Spaniel:

  • Lots of physical exercises
  • Lots of mental stimulation
  • Proper training
  • Routine

1 – Cocker Spaniels need at least an hour or two of exercise every day. They should go for long walks with you as well as have some free playtime in the yard or park with you throwing balls or other toys. 

The dog will let you know when they are tired but with a Cocker Spaniel that can take a while!

2 – Mental stimulation for your Spaniel can be done in several ways. There are dog games with hidden treats for a dog to sniff and paw out of hiding. This works well for dogs when they are indoors.

You can also create your games around the house or yard by hiding treats and letting your dog sniff them out.  

3 – You should start training your Cocker puppy when you first bring him home. They are highly trainable and starting training young will help you avoid problems later. 

Those who don’t have the confidence to train a puppy can enroll them in an obedience course where an instructor teaches you how to work with your dog. After they are a year and a half old, you can enroll your dog in agility training courses. 

Cocker Spaniels, being hunting dogs. love all that an agility training course offers from jumps to tunnels and crawling through and under things. It may be the thing that helps burn off all their hyperactivity

4 – Most dogs benefit from a solid routine and Cocker Spaniels is one of those breeds that love routine. Be sure to walk your dog, feed him, and initiate his playtime, and go to bed at the same time daily. 

Will Neutering Or Spaying My Cocker Spaniel Calm Them Down?

Yes, having a dog fixed will calm them down. This is particularly true of neutering the male Cocker Spaniels. Those who are neutered have less possessive behaviors and it prevents them from being aggressive. 

Neutering a male will also do a lot to keep him from wandering from home. Male Cocker Spaniels that are unneutered will naturally try to seek out a mate. 

While spaying a female Cocker Spaniel doesn’t change her behavior, it can reduce the probability of long-term health issues like uterine infections and breast cancer. 

What Age Is Best For Neutering A Cocker Spaniel?

It is always best to consult your vet about your Cocker Spaniel specifically but the general timeframe is between four and nine months.

The idea is to neuter your male dog before he reaches puberty and starts to develop wandering habits and aggressive behavior.

Females can be spayed as young as five months but definitely before the first year. Some veterinarians say to spay them before their first heat cycle and others state that that can increase breast cancer risk. 

Conclusion

Cocker Spaniels make great pets for either single people, couples, or families. They love being a part of a group and are easily trainable.

Yes, they can be hyperactive. However, a good obedience school, lots of toys, and playtime activities will keep your Cocker Spaniel happy and busy in a positive way!

References

http://www.vetstreet.com/dogs/cocker-spaniel

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