Cocker spaniels absolutely love, love, love to play! These are some of the most energetic breeds with a generally happy disposition, making them a beloved canine companion of choice. Originally bred as bird-hunting dogs, cockers are certainly pleasing as family members, always looking for a snuggle or a lively playtime with your kids.
A cocker’s energy level is high and therefore requires regular exercising to keep up with his metabolism. The cocker spaniel belongs to the sporting group, and their competitive nature makes them great for outdoor activities that require physical strength and stamina.
This breed can be soft and loves to cuddle, and play time is the best way to bond with them more. Take your dog out and try any of these activities to get your dog up and about:
1. Go Fetch!
One of the classic activities for dogs that keeps them on their toes is the Fetch game. Trust us when we say that dogs love this game. This teaches them discipline and control, in that they have to follow your signals. Obedience training in puppies reinforces their learnings in a soft way, since cockers learn by using gentle and consistent training.
The Fetch game is easy to do once your cocker gets used to the word you use while playing. You can use anything like ‘fetch it’, ‘go fetch’, or ‘bring it’, but make sure you are using the same word every time. Throw a ball or any toy a few paces away, use your key word and watch as he obeys you. To give them extra fun, praise and reward them with a treat for a job well done!
2. Hide and Seek
Much like a child, cockers also love a little mystery game. Hide and seek is another classic child’s game, and your dog will love it, too. It’s as much a mind exercise as it is physical, since your dog would have to keep in mind the hiding spots you go to. This game adds to a fun play time with them, and lets you spend quality time with them.
If you are playing for the first time, hide somewhere close and call out to them. If after a few minutes they still can’t find you, call them once more. You can try hiding in the same spot until he finds you faster, and then hide in another easy location. Do this a few more times until he gets acquainted tothe mechanics.
Reward with a praise and a treat so they become more enthusiastic as the game becomes more challenging!
3. Tug o’ War
Another classic game you can play with your cocker spaniel is a good old Tug O’ War. This game teaches self-control and also reinforces obedience. Tug O’ War is great to play outdoor, where there is enough space to move around.
Before you enjoy a game of tug, just a little precaution: this may bring out a cocker spaniel’s aggressive side, so make sure that you take control of the game. Let your dog win a couple of times, but introduce them to a loss, too. Letting them win every round might boost over-dominance, but making them lose a lot will decrease their interest. Finding the right balance is key.
To play, use a sturdy rope and pick up one end, then give the other side to your dog. Tug your end gently until he tugs back on his end. Let him do this for a few more times and then tell him to drop the rope. Reward him with a pat and a treat!
Playing games with your cocker spaniel is a great way to spend down time and train your dog as well. Quick tip: let them Sit and Wait before starting any game to reinforce discipline. Cockers love to have fun, and so will you when you play these games with them!