If one carefully observes the genetic history of the cocker spaniel, where as a hunting dog, it was required to fetch fallen game, mouthing objects and chewing came very naturally to this breed. While many cocker spaniels only chew on their chew toys and solid food and are quite content with that, others take a fancy to almost anything and everything including shoes, furniture and children’s toys and this is where it becomes a bad habit that needs to be curtailed.
Firstly, the reasons for Cocker Spaniel Chewing must be ascertained. Mouthing or chewing is a common phenomenon among puppies, six month old or younger cockers, as they too like babies, have teething problems. The pain and discomfort arising from teething leads to chewing different items for comfort and helps to get the teeth out of the gum while giving a soothing sensation to the entire mouth.
Chewing as a habit among older cocker spaniels occurs not because of teething, but mainly due to boredom, fear, separation anxiety or even to gain attention. It can also be due to a habit culminated over the years when it was not desisted from chewing unnecessarily as a puppy.
Cocker Spaniel Chewing among older dogs can be prevented through a number of ways. If boredom and separation anxiety is the cause for chewing, the owner must give the dog adequate attention and take give it sufficient exercise and walks so that it remains occupied with the quality time being spent.
To prevent Cocker Spaniel Chewing, it is pertinent to remove all objects of temptation for the cocker spaniel or place its most desired object of chewing out of its reach. House breaking is also an effective method of training to make the dog understand the rules and taking it to a dog proof area of the house and making it stay there until such time that it begins to respond to the training.
There has to be a clear line of differentiation between what are the owner’s possessions and the cocker’s possessions. A respect must be maintained also for the dog’s toys and food. The most common mistake is to give the dog worn out or old shoes, old pillows or children’s toys to chew on but the dog cannot differentiate between old and new and it will not cease from picking on new things. Therefore, by making things clearer, it should be provided with alternatives like its own rubber toys and teething rings.
Cocker Spaniel Chewing can also be controlled through crate training, which is a highly effective method when the owner is not at home to observe and things will be out of reach for the dog. This helps especially when the dog is in a habit of chewing on furniture and the crate will help it to overcome its problem and enjoy in its own space.
It must always be remembered that alternative toys will not stop its chewing but will rather provide the cocker spaniel an appropriate object to chew. If the dog is found chewing on what it is not supposed to, a sharp “No!” and removing the object immediately proves to be effective. One should reward the dog when it is only chewing the right thing to effectively communicate. All these methods prove to be successful means to control Cocker Spaniel Chewing in the most appropriate manner.