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How to get a Cocker Spaniel to sleep

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There’s no denying it, figuring out how to get a Cocker Spaniel to sleep, can, at times be a challenge for the spaniel owner.

There is only one true way to get a Cocker spaniel to sleep and that is to wear him out, both physically and mentally through constructive exercise and training. Then take him home, feed him and make sure that he is warm and dry. He’ll sleep.

Spaniels are high energy dogs

All of the spaniel breeds are highly active and energetic dogs and, having owned Cockers and English Springers I am more than aware of the energy levels that these dogs have.

When everyone else is worn out, a spaniel seems to have the capacity to keep on going and Cockers seem to have almost infinite energy reserves.

My two Cocker Spaniels are absolute live wires, up at first light and still going in the evening on most days.

Over the years I’ve worked out some some ways to get a Cocker Spaniel to sleep and I’ll share them here.

Exercise your spaniel

This is probably the most obvious answer and yet may be the most overlooked, particularly among new spaniel owners.

Your dog needs to get out and run free for a while.

Spaniels love to chase their noses, by this I mean that they love scent and there’s nothing better ( in their minds ) than to get their noses down and follow smells, either on the ground or in the air.

Next time you take your dog out watch him.

You’ll see that one minute his nose is on the ground sniffing, the next his head is in the air, face pointing to the wind smelling.

If you can take your Cocker to an area where he is able to run free, within reason and under control, then he’ll love it.

The physical and mental stimulation is great for him and tiring, it’ll also be good for you as well.

How to get a cocker spaniel to sleep
Exercise and fresh air are the keys to getting your spaniel to ‘nod off’.

Spaniel training exercises and activities

You should strive to do some training with your spaniel

Not only will it help him to become a well behaved dog that you can be proud of, but it will also task him both physically and mentally.

This will help him to develop and will expend some of his energy.

You can introduce training into a daily walk, or go out specifically for training sessions.

You can also do some training at home, in the house, garden or yard, wherever you choose.

Any activities that you do that challenge your spaniel mentally as well as physical will tire him out.

Dog mental games for spaniels

Dogs do not have the same level of capacity to think as humans and as such anything that challenges your dog mentally will tire him out.

In the past we’ve had games that are specifically made for dogs, to challenge and help them to develop mentally.

Most of these games involve hiding treats into a plastic toy type device and the dog has to work out how to get the treats out.

Just make sure you have plenty of treats.

Essential oils can help

Sometimes a bit of spaniel pampering can help and your dog may benefit from the use of some essential oils.

Read our article here about using essential oils with your spaniel.

Let your spaniel play out

If you have an area at home that is safe and secure, such as a yard or garden, then let your spaniel play out.

He’ll sniff around, probably dig a few holes here and there and generally enjoy being out in  the fresh air.

If you have children or have been around children then you’ll understand this concept.

Fresh air and dirt seem to have a great effect on kids, they wear them out.

Sure, they come back in dirty and their clothes ( and them ) need washing, but, when they do they are ready for food and bed.

Often what works for children works for dogs too.

One item that we purchased that the dogs love when the weather is warm is a simple child’s paddling pool.

Something like this one on Amazon is tough and works a treat.

Once it’s up and filled with water the dogs love it, paddling, playing in it and using it as some sort of giant drinking bowl. 

If you have the space it might be worth getting one for your spaniel too.

Feed your spaniel good quality dog food

How many times have you had a busy day followed by a good meal and then felt sleepy?

It’s the same with your spaniel. If you keep him busy and then give him his meal towards the end of the day, the food will help him to feel sleepy.

Full tummies work.

Feed a good quality food to your dog that he enjoys.

How much sleep does a Cocker spaniel need?

This varies depending on a number of things:

How old is your spaniel?  A puppy will sleep more frequently than an older dog as he is still developing but his sleeping times may be short depending on his age and activity levels. 

An old dog will probably sleep a lot for longer periods too. A bit like humans really.

Activity levels. If your dog is busy and active and gets a lot of exercise then he’ll probably sleep very well during overnight and perhaps once during the daytime. 

Health. Again, as with humans, if your dog is unwell then he will sleep more.

If you notice that your spaniel is sleeping more than normal then speak to your vet to make sure he is okay.

It’s worth noting one thing that a lot of dog owners forget.

If you are out at work all day and your spaniel is alone in the house, then, he’ll sleep for most of the day, he has nothing to do but sleep. 

When you get home he will be raring to go ( he’s been asleep all day after all ) and he will want to go out.  

You need to make the effort, even if you are tired and the weather’s bad.  If you don’t then you can’t expect a spaniel to sleep overnight calmly when he’s slept all day.

A bit like kids really – makes sense doesn’t it?

how to get a cocker spaniel to sleep
The desired result

Do Cocker spaniels like sleeping with humans?

Yes. Cocker spaniels are incredibly sociable dogs and they love being with their human ‘pack’.

I see a big difference between Cockers and English Springer Spaniels, Cockers are more dependant upon their humans than their spaniel counterparts.

Boris and Nimrod, my two Cockers, sleep in the house, on the beds.

They don’t suffer for it and they quite enjoy it, I don’t mind either.

Nimrod snores and Boris gets under the covers when it is cold.

The biggest issue is when they decide to spread out everywhere and space become precious.

When Boris is tired he takes himself off to bed and, if by 11pm I’m not in bed, he’ll come down to get me.

So yes, in my view Cocker Spaniels do enjoy sleeping with humans.

What do Cocker spaniels dream about?

Who knows?

One thing that I do know is I’m sure that Cocker spaniels do dream.  Frequently when they are asleep, both Boris and Nimrod will bark or yip.

I’m sure that other spaniel owners have seen their dog’s paws twitching, legs running, noses twitching, making noises etc etc.

I can only imagine what they are dreaming about. 

Running maybe? Smelling rabbits? Playing with people or other dogs?

Who knows? I’m sure that the dream just like people do.

Cocker spaniel sleeping habits

Dogs are all different, just like people and their sleeping habits tend to vary.

My two Cockers generally sleep all night and then again mid afternnon for 30 minutes to an hour.

Right now, 4pm, they are both flat out. They’ve had a busy day. This was their ‘agenda’..

Up at 7am, out in the garden for 10 minutes.

Out for a 30 minute walk and some training at 9am followed by a short ride in the car.

Playing in the garden for 2 hours followed by ‘helping’ me to paint the bedroom walls – dogs like helping with jobs although painting is quite interesting.

Out for a short walk and some playtime in the stream ( it’s been warm today so they enjoyed that).

A bit more playtime outside followed by a spot of lunch.

Outside again for 10 minutes.

Fast asleep on the sofa.

They’ll wake up soon, go out for a short walk and play for a while.

They’ll sleep all night ready for more adventures tomorrow.

Final Words

The key to getting a Cocker spaniel to sleep, or for that matter any other dog, is to tire them out.

Exercise, fresh air and mental stimulation will help your dog to expend his energy and, with a good meal, he will sleep soundly.

Read Next

15 interesting facts about Cocker spaniels

Why do Cocker spaniels have long ears?

Do dogs know that humans are not dogs?

Last update on 2022-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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