Many people that are new to Springer spaniels are often surprised at their energy levels and their apparent lack of tiredness. Wearing a Springer spaniel out and helping them to calm down seems like an impossible task for some spaniel owners.
Having owned Springer spaniels, I have experience of the breed and and the information that I share here is based on practical knowledge and experience, and the suggestions that I make to help you to calm your Springer down are tried and tested.
It is important to understand that Springer spaniels are working dogs that have been bred to have high energy levels accompanied by a high desire to learn. The best way, in my experience of the breed, is to ensure that your Springer spaniel gets plenty of free running exercise every day, this will help to tire him physically. You also need to wear him out mentally and this can be done through spaniel training.
Understanding more about your Springer spaniel
Springer spaniels are high energy dogs that are driven to hunt, run freely and use their high levels of intelligence in their day to day lives.
This is a dog that has been bred for long, active days hunting out game in thick cover. It’s energy levels are exceeded by very few dog breeds and, like every working spaniel breed, a Springer that is unchallenged physically and mentally will become bored and hyperactive.
You cannot treat a Springer like a couch potato dog. Of course, if he is tired then he will quite happily curl up on the sofa to sleep but you have to tire him out first.
Daily exercise is a must, your Springer needs to run and he needs to run freely, at top speed so that he can explore, use his nose and brain, and wear himself out both physically and mentally.
As his owner you have to make the effort to help him to be a calm dog and the best way to do this is by keeping him busy.
You can use technology to calm your spaniel
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Physical exercise and mental stimulation are the starting points
Not for the lazy dog owner, Springer spaniels have endless levels of energy. You can walk them for mile upon mile and, after a five minute rest, they can be ready to go again.
One of the best ways to calm a Springer spaniel down is to include some extra activity into your daily exercise periods with your dog.
You should be aiming to have at least two 30 minute exercise sessions for your Springer where he is able to run freely – not walking on the lead – this does not work for spaniels – but running, following his nose, exploring.
While you are out walking with your Springer you can do some basic spaniel training. Even if you have no desire for your Springer to be a working dog, some basic training will be good practice and will help.
You can also help your Springer to calm down by using something as simple as a tennis ball. Throwing a ball for your Springer to retrieve will help to stretch him mentally. The more difficult you make the retrieve ( by throwing it into long grass for example) the more he will have to work to find it.
The key way to get a Springer spaniel to calm down is to make his life interesting and energy demanding.
Your behaviour can help your Springer spaniel to calm down
Springer spaniels, like many dogs, are just like children. If your children are in an environment that is hyperactive and on full throttle all of the time, then they will mirror that and will seem hyper.
You need to be aware of how you and your family behave around your Springer. If your spaniel is constantly exposed to excitable behaviour from the humans, then he will be excitable and it will be difficult to keep him calm.
It’s okay to play with your Springer and this will help him to develop as well as tire him out, but, you will need to have some boundaries so that things do not get out of control.
If your home is calm then your Springer will have an easier time of staying calm and it will be much easier for you to help him to be calm.
Diet can help a Springer Spaniel to calm down
Many modern, processed dog foods contain high levels of protein along with additives such as sugar, preservatives, carbohydrates and food colourings.
Many dog owners are familiar with the effects that these types of additives can have on their children but are less familiar or aware that similar behaviours can manifest in their dogs as a result of consuming them.
Aim for a more natural diet for your Springer spaniel, one that is less processed and contains more meat based proteins. Try to avoid foods that are heavily plant based.
Your vet is a good source of advice for your Springer’s dietary needs.
Six Practical Steps to a calm Springer Spaniel
Here are six practical steps that you can take, that are easy to remember that will help your Springer spaniel to be calm, happy and less excitable:
- Don’t encourage him – by this I mean do not encourage him to get excited. Use careful language and tone of voice and tell the family to do the same. Being calm with him will help him to be calm.
- Encourage him to be calm – gentle stroking and reassurement, talking quietly to him and settling him down to stop him from becoming anxious and excitable.
- Tire him out – exercise, exercise and exercise with mental stimulation through training and games, if your Springer spaniel is tired then he will go to sleep.
- Occupy him – toys, chew toys, bones will all keep him busy, Get him a Kong Dog Toy which will keep him busy.
- Get him using his nose – your Springer’s nose is his world and his major sense. Get him using it in play and on walks, the mental exercise and development that he gets from using his nose will help him to both grow and be calm.
- Be a calm spaniel owner – dogs are experts at picking up on human behaviour. If you are stressed, upset or wound up then your Springer spaniel will know. Be as calm as you are able and you will find that this will transfer to your spaniel.
Helping your Springer spaniel to calm down is not as difficult as you may think or as some ‘experts’ might suggest.
First and foremost remember that he is a dog and that you need to help him. If he is hyperactive then you need to help him to deal with this to help him to become a calmer dog.
Exercise and mental stimulation are an absolute must, your Springer needs to burn physical and mental energy.
Also remember that his environment makes a difference, if you or your family are hyperactive, then your dog will find it hard to be calm – so think about your behaviour.
Finally consider what you are feeding him, additives can affect dogs just like humans. If in doubt speak to your vet for professional advice.
Last update on 2021-02-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API