Crate training has been a debatable topic with many dog owners protesting that it represents a ‘jail-like’ environment for the dogs, but research, studies and activities have proven that crate training is one of the most efficient means of training dogs, including the training involved in house breaking them.
Millions of dog owners learn how to crate train their dogs and it is known to effectively reduce excessive barking, anxiety and destructive behavior, which is also prevalent among the lovable cocker spaniels.
Cocker Spaniel Crate Training is in fact a valuable tool and a humane method of disciplining and training the dog rather than resorting to physical or harsh punishment that can actually lead to submission and aggression. It must be understood that dogs have a natural instinct of looking for a warm and safe place of their own, even in the wild, and they resort to it in any given environment. They learn certain things right from the moment where they are born from their mothers, including the lesson that they never soil the place in which they sleep. When these two factors are clubbed together, it proves the fact that crate training is rather essential in order to provide a safe and comfortable haven for the dog to treat it as its own ‘special place’.
Cocker Spaniel Crate Training is a relatively easy task if it is done correctly from its onset. The crate should be appropriately sized for a puppy as well as for a full grown cocker spaniel. It can be either made of wire or plastic and should not contain any hazardous substances. The puppy or the dog should be able to easily stand up, stretch, lie down and relax in its crate. It should not feel uncomfortable or cramped. If however the crate is too large so that the dog is actually able to walk around in it, the dog may resort to using a part of the crate for its bathroom while keeping the rest of the area clean.
Cocker Spaniel Crate Training proves to be highly effective when started right at the time when the cocker is a puppy because it is more receptive and had not yet had another option of either sleeping on the bed or sitting on the furniture. As it is young it may show more distress but with time, it will adapt quickly.
To prevent the puppy or dog from slipping inside the crate one must also line the crate with a soft and washable liner so that cleaning is also made easier. For the initial stages a soft towel is a good option and later on a proper dog bed can be utilized.
An essential method of Cocker Spaniel Crate Training is never to confine the puppy in the crate for the risk of traumatizing it. The crate must be placed and left open in its playing and sleeping area and the puppy should be encouraged to step in the crate on its own as he purpose is to make it feel that it is its own personal space. The same should be applied while working with an adult dog. Comfortable bedding, a few of its toys and a water bowl can be added to make the crate an inviting space. The crate must be kept in a family room or a common space where family members remain present and at night the crate must be placed nearby to give the puppy or dog a sense of safety and security. After a month or two of training, the crate can be left at one place. One must encourage and verbally praise the cocker when it goes inside the crate but one should also resist opening the door on is barking, whining or crying as it will reinforce this behavior and defeat the purpose.
The crate must never be used as a means of punishment as it will then become a negative area for the dog whereas it needs to be its positive source of comfort and relaxation. Also immediately letting out the puppy or dog when it is complaining will only hamper the training and it should be let out only after a few minutes of it being calm and then it should be welcomed outside with praise and encouragement.
Lastly, an important tip for good Cocker Spaniel Crate Training is to never let the puppy or dog confined in a crate for a time that is suitable to their development. Puppies need a break once every three to four hours plus exercise and play time and an adult dog should not be confined continuously on a daily basis for more than eight to nine hours at the maximum.