Cocker Spaniels are energetic, playful, and often prone to bouts of nervousness due to their sensitive nature.
As an owner, one of your responsibilities is to provide an environment that caters to their needs and keeps them happy and secure.
The Indispensable Benefits of Crating
A Sanctuary for Your Spaniel
Firstly, a crate can act as a sanctuary for your Cocker Spaniel. Dogs are naturally den animals, with instincts leaning towards finding a secure, confined space to rest.
For a Cocker Spaniel, a breed known to have bouts of nervousness, a crate can be this safe space.
Having their own den-like area provides an environment where they can retreat when they’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or in need of rest.
It is crucial for them to associate this space with comfort and security.
Aiding in House Training
Secondly, a crate can help with house training your Cocker Spaniel.
Dogs typically avoid soiling their sleeping areas, and a crate, which acts as their ‘home’, encourages them to control their bladder and bowel movements until they’re let out.
This is not an ideal use of a crate and not one that I would recommend over more ‘responsible’ house training, but, some owners have had success by using a crate.
This can greatly help to establish a bathroom routine, significantly reducing the risk of accidents around the house.
Safety During Travel
Lastly, the safety of your Cocker Spaniel during travel cannot be overemphasised.
A crate serves as a secure, confined space where your dog can stay safely during car rides or flights, reducing the risk of injury and easing the stress associated with travel.
Navigating the Selection of the Perfect Crate
Having established the benefits of a crate, the next step is choosing one that’s right for your Cocker Spaniel.
Selecting a crate isn’t a one-size-fits-all task, but rather one that should be tailored to your dog’s specific needs.
Size is crucial when selecting a crate. A crate that’s too small will be uncomfortable, and one that’s too large can prevent your dog from feeling safe and secure.
As a rule of thumb, the crate should be large enough for your Cocker Spaniel to stand without their head touching the top, turn around easily, and lie down stretched out.
The type of crate you choose is also vital. Wire crates provide excellent ventilation and visibility for your dog, and some models can be adjusted as your dog grows.
Plastic crates are more enclosed, offering a better sense of security, and are required by airlines if you plan to travel with your dog.
There is a small selection of officially tested and certified ‘crash test crates’ that will be of interest to some owners.
Finally, fabric crates are lightweight and portable, but may not stand up to a persistent chewer.
Introducing Your Cocker Spaniel to Their New Crate
With the right crate selected, the next challenge is introducing your Cocker Spaniel to it.
This process should be gradual and positive. Start by placing the crate in a common area with the door open.
Encourage your spaniel to explore the crate by placing their favourite toys or treats inside.
Eventually, they will begin to associate the crate with positive experiences and feel comfortable entering and exiting at will.
Once your Cocker Spaniel is comfortable, you can begin closing the door for short periods.
Extend the duration slowly over time, always ensuring that your dog is comfortable and not showing signs of distress.
With patience and consistency, your Cocker Spaniel will come to see the crate as a safe, comforting space.
Last update on 2023-09-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API