Spaniel training is fun and is not as difficult as many people think or as some trainers make it out to be.
Sometimes it helps to try and think like a dog or as some doggy psychologists say we should ‘anthropomorphize’ which is to say ‘apply our human thinking to the dog’.
This may seem like a heavy or difficult subject to address or even begin to understand, and that’s not surprising, it’s also difficult to try and explain.
Dogs do lots of things that we, as humans, can’t understand, and, given that they are a different species is not surprising.
There are many things that we don’t comprehend.
Cocker Spaniels can, at times, be quite vocal and it is not difficult to encourage them to sing or howl. This isn’t really advisable for a working dog as we don’t want them to make a noise while in the field when working, but, for pets it can be a bit of fun and an interesting talking point.
If it is a problem then often it can be through boredom and you’ll need to keep your Cocker spaniel busy.
As humans we understand verbal communication and so it is easy for us to apply this thinking to a dog. When our Cocker Spaniel starts howling we can think of this as a form of communication.
My two Cocker Spaniels are expert howlers.
It all began when my daughter was playing her violin and Boris, our eldest Cocker Spaniel began to sing along, howling along to the violin. Whether it was in time or tune is another question.
It is instinctive for a dog to howl. In the wild, dogs used howling as a means of communication, of locating the pack and other pack members.
If your spaniel howls when you leave the house or when other family members go out, then perhaps he is howling to try and locate and communicate with you or that family member.
This vocal method of communication and of locating the pack is a basic instinct for many dogs and, with a working bred dog, such as a Cocker or Springer spaniel, the strong connection with working may encourage a strong drive to howl and verbally communicate.
I suppose we’ll never truly know the real reason why Cocker Spaniels howl or, indeed why any dogs howl, or bark.
We can theorise and apply human thinking and behaviours but, until we can translate dog to human, we’ll never truly know.
My children are massive dog fans, as is their cousin who breeds gundogs, both spaniels and retrievers.
They’ve been around working dogs and pet dogs for their entire lives.
When they were younger their favorite video to play was 101 Dalmations, the tale where 101 Dalmation puppies are stolen by the eveil Cruella Da Ville, who intends to make a coat from the puppies.
In the ‘film’ there is a section called the ‘Twilight Bark’ where the puppies parents send a message out to all dogs to try and help them to find the stolen puppies.
My children and their cousin referred to this as ‘the dog telephone’.
Maybe this is why your Cocker Spaniel is howling, or at least it might get you thinking as to why he is.
Always try to see things through your spaniel’s eyes. It can make a real difference to how you approach your spaniel training and, actually it can be fun and can make you think more about how you act as a human.
Our dogs can teach us a lot about being human.