New to training Spaniel. How is it different from a lab?

Spaniel breed specific questions. Kennel information requests, etc.

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New to training Spaniel. How is it different from a lab?

Postby Emailed Questions » Sun Nov 02, 2003 8:21 pm

I recently purchased an English Coker pup. He is only a couple of weeks old so I have not had a chance to spend any time with him. My wife and I were looking for a dog. She never having one wanted a smaller breed, and I wanted a hunting breed. After much research we decided on the English cocker. I have met both parents and have seen the environment they were raised in. Both are excellent. Both dogs are hunters. The Sire is a FTC and master hunter with a strong line of titled dogs in his line. The Bitch is hunted strongly but has no titles, although her parents and so on are titled with FTC and a strong line of titled dogs in her line. Sorry about the info, I am not trying to talk up my dog I just figured you would need the info to answer my questions. Is that what you do here? I have grown up with labs and having trained them for hunting. I have a good grasp of how to do that. My question is, is training the cocker spaniel the same as a lab, or being that it is a smaller dog, and from a strong line, are there different procedures you should follow?
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Postby stephen brown » Wed Nov 05, 2003 2:32 pm

Yes there are difference.

First major difference is by definition: Flushing spaniels primary function is to quest and produce game for the gun, then retrieve game to hand; whereas retrievers are to mark fallen game at the handler's side (or remote location), then retrieve to hand. Your training program will be heavily weighted to questing/hunting to the gun while developing the retrieve.

Second major difference is philosophical in that a dog should be bred and born with certain traits and it's the trainers responsiblity to coax and refine these traits (quartering, questing, retrieving, marking) and to teach manners (hup, steadiness, blind retrieves, come). As an example, most spaniel trainers don't FF.

Third major difference is breed characteristic: ECS are not labs. An obvious statement but one you'll have to remember. ECS bore easily when doing rote training drills so you'll have to mix and change things to keep their attention. Furthermore, ECS are known to be independent thinkers and have to be trained from the view point of making things fun and that it was their idea to do some task.
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Postby Sedgewort » Mon Dec 13, 2004 11:18 am

Stephen's got it spot on..........

Independent thinkers..............brilliant.
As long as you can convince a cocker everything you do was his idea in the first place you will procede. Upset one and it will take time for it to forgive you.
Many experienced trainers believe they have the devil in them.
My experience suggests they ARE the devil.

Having said all this, would I want any other breed..........never.
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Postby stephen brown » Mon Mar 07, 2005 3:52 pm

Sedgewort wrote:Many experienced trainers believe they have the devil in them.


I believe, I believe. I've seen it.
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