5 steps to train an 8-week-old Cocker Spaniel

by Lisa
How Big Do American Cocker Spaniels Get?

Cocker spaniels are a popular breed of dog known for their affectionate nature and intelligence. If you’re the proud owner of an 8-week-old cocker spaniel, it’s essential to start training them as early as possible. Training your cocker spaniel at a young age will help them develop good habits and behaviors that will last a lifetime. In this article, we will explore tips and techniques for successfully training your 8-week-old cocker spaniel.

Understanding Your Cocker Spaniel’s Behavior

Before we dive into training techniques, it’s important to understand your cocker spaniel’s behavior. Cocker spaniels are known for being friendly and outgoing, but they can also be stubborn at times. They are intelligent dogs that require mental stimulation and physical exercise to stay healthy and happy.


Cocker spaniels are also known for their love of attention and affection. They thrive on positive reinforcement and respond well to praise and treats. However, they can become anxious or destructive if left alone for long periods, so it’s essential to provide them with plenty of attention and exercise.


Crate Training Your Cocker Spaniel

One of the first things you should do when training your 8-week-old cocker spaniel is to crate train them. Crate training is an essential part of housebreaking and can help your cocker spaniel feel safe and secure when left alone.


To crate train your cocker spaniel, start by introducing them to the crate gradually. Place treats and toys inside the crate to encourage them to explore it. Once they are comfortable inside the crate, start closing the door for short periods while you are home. Gradually increase the length of time they spend in the crate, and make sure to provide them with plenty of water and toys.


It’s essential to never use the crate as punishment or leave your cocker spaniel in the crate for extended periods. The crate should be a safe and comfortable space for them to rest and relax.

Housebreaking Your Cocker Spaniel

Housebreaking your cocker spaniel is another essential part of training. It’s important to start housebreaking your cocker spaniel as soon as you bring them home. Consistency is key when it comes to housebreaking, so establish a routine and stick to it.

Take your cocker spaniel outside frequently, especially after meals, naps, and playtime. Use a command, such as “go potty,” to encourage them to go to the bathroom. When they do go, praise them and give them a treat. If they have an accident inside, clean it up immediately and avoid punishing them.

It’s important to remember that accidents will happen, especially with an 8-week-old cocker spaniel. Be patient and consistent, and your cocker spaniel will eventually learn where they are supposed to go.

Socializing Your Cocker Spaniel

Socializing your cocker spaniel is another important part of training. Cocker spaniels are social dogs that enjoy being around people and other animals. It’s essential to socialize your cocker spaniel at a young age to prevent them from becoming anxious or aggressive around other dogs and people.

Start by introducing your cocker spaniel to other dogs and people in a controlled environment. Use positive reinforcement, such as treats and praise, to encourage good behavior. Gradually increase the amount of time they spend around other dogs and people, and make sure to supervise them at all times.

It’s important to expose your cocker spaniel to different environments and situations, such as parks and busy streets. This will help them develop confidence and adaptability.

Teaching Basic Commands

Teaching your cocker spaniel basic commands is an essential part of training. Start with simple commands, such as “sit” and “stay,” and use positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior.

To teach your cocker spaniel to sit, hold a treat above their head and say “sit.” When they sit, give them the treat and praise them. Repeat this several times a day until they learn the command.

To teach your cocker spaniel to stay, have them sit and then say “stay” while holding your hand up. Take a step back and then return to them, giving them a treat and praise if they stay in place. Gradually increase the distance and time they stay in place.

Training for Specific Behaviors

In addition to basic commands, you may need to train your cocker spaniel for specific behaviors, such as leash walking and jumping. To train your cocker spaniel to walk on a leash, start by getting them used to wearing a collar and leash. Let them wear the collar and leash around the house, and then gradually introduce them to walking outside.

To train your cocker spaniel not to jump, ignore them when they jump up and only give them attention when all four paws are on the ground. Use positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior, such as sitting or staying.


Training your 8-week-old cocker spaniel is an essential part of being a responsible pet owner. By understanding your cocker spaniel’s behavior and using positive reinforcement, you can teach them good habits and behaviors that will last a lifetime. Crate training, housebreaking, socializing, and teaching basic commands are all important parts of training your cocker spaniel. With patience and consistency, your cocker spaniel will become a well-behaved and loving companion.


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