Puppy’s mind is like blank canvas. You can paint anything you like on its surface. The better skills you have, the better your masterpiece will turn out. If you leave the canvas untouched & neglected, they’ll lose their pristine qualities & require a lot more effort to achieve the art work you’ve dreamed of…
Now, away from the imaginary gallery and back to the reality of puppy life, so we can use every minute of it to our advantage.
Cockers are naturally very intelligent & easy to train at any age. However, puppy’s brain is information-hungry & still developing, so it’s the best time to mould it.
I teach my pups from day one. Those aren’t really lessons. It’s more like a game. Of course, nothing is forced & the “games” are kept short. And here are the first 5 things the pups learn…
His/her name… because it’s the easiest way to grab your pup’s attention;
“Come”… because right now pup will follow you at all times allowing you to set the foundation for future success;
House training… takes time, so the sooner you begin, the quicker you’ll achieve results;
Wearing collar & walking with a lead attached… because wearing ANYTHING is not natural for any animal. It’s important for the little pup to understand that his collar is not scary & the lead is not a toy. You can also teach him to follow you (while the lead is attached) and build foundation towards successful no-pulling on the lead routine;
“Leave” or “Spit”… to stop him from hoovering up everything in sight (& spitting things out when asked) to avoid obvious problems.
The rest of the lifestyle tasks can be taught alongside or later on
I didn’t include the how-to’s because I’ve described details in my book, Perfect cocker spaniel. And lets be honest, any article longer than 1000 characters can send even the most dedicated puppy parents to sleep…
What things did you teach your pup when he joined you? Which ones are most important for you?
Photo source: Fred, photographed by me