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How To Train Your English Springer Spaniel

Apr 15, 2008
Whether you're training for the obedience ring at show or just at home, the English Springer Spaniel is a delightfully easy breed that responds quickly to praise and positive reinforcement. However, this loving breed is sometimes easily distracted, so trainers need to be ready for a bit of a challenge. Keep reading to learn some great tips that will teach you how to train your English Springer Spaniel.

Keep it Short and Sweet

While English Springer Spaniels don't mind training, they prefer playing. So, try to keep your training sessions short and light. If you have to, break a longer session into several shorter training periods over the course of a day. If your Springer Spaniel starts to think he's been put to work, he won't be too happy about it.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Springer Spaniels love praise, almost as much as they love their owners. So, train your dog with praise, toy rewards and even food rewards. Keep the treats light though, as the Springer can sometimes be prone to weight gain.

Focus on Attention Training

Though the English Springer Spaniel is a smart breed, they sometimes have short attention spans. Focus your training on attention, working your dog up to the ability to focus on a task or project for longer periods of time. Start with the STAY command, building up your dog's endurance for attention. Finally, make your way up to heel free exercises without a leash.

Always End With a Play Session

Springers don't like to be drilled, and they especially don't like negative or harsh commands. Remember, you're not dealing with a guard dog, you're dealing with a playful and loving spaniel. So, after every work or training period, end your time together with a light play session. Letting your Spaniel blow off steam during a game of catch the frisbee or fetch after training will help him or her associate positive thoughts with the training process.

Keep Distractions to a Minimum

Because the Springer Spaniel can be easily distracted, try to keep outside distractions to a minimum when you first start training your dog. That means don't start a training session in the middle of the kitchen when everybody's home and you've got guests over. Instead, start with a quiet place inside in a room that's free of dog toys and tasty treats. If you're working outside, look for a quiet space that's not inhabited by other dogs, interesting smells or tempting flowers.

Remember, every dog is different and it's okay to make mistakes. While one Springer Spaniel may love heeling and staying, another may be into fetching and jumping. While one Spaniel may be comfortable working with lots of distractions, another may need a quiet space to get down to work. To ensure success though, start by keeping your distractions to a minimum, always ending with a play session, focusing on building your dog's attention span, use positive reinforcement and keep your training sessions short. With dedication, your delightful Springer Spaniel will be ready for the field or championship ring.
About the Author
CS Swarens is the president of Find a Pet Online. 800 998-7065 For additional information on dogs, cats, birds, horses, and exotic pets visit the internet's pet resource including pet classifieds at http://www.findapetonline.com. Research over 240 dog breed profiles at http://www.findapetonline.com/dog_breeds_a_e.html
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