Some dog breeds are so stubborn they might as well be mules, and adopting a dog and training it can be a massive responsibility, so you could be forgiven for asking whether English Springer Spaniels are hard to train!
English Springer Spaniels are not hard to train as they are the 13th smartest dog breed in the world, with above-par obedience or working intelligence. They were originally bred as hunting dogs or springers to flush out game birds and have proven to be highly adaptable and trainable, loving dogs.
While English Springer Spaniels are easy to train, it not only requires time and dedication but effective techniques. So, if you want to know what they are – read on!
Training English Springer Spaniel Puppies
Springer puppies should ideally be trained as soon as they are settled in their new home environment, and depending on their age, you can start with simple commands like ‘sit’ and play games like fetch with soft toys or call them by their name to see if they come back to you.
Puppy training should always be fun and playful and should never feel like a dreaded chore for anyone.
You can also start with more complex training techniques as your Springer puppy matures over time.
Provide Mental Stimulation
All Spaniels, Springers included, can get bored easily, leading to destructive behavior, so they need mental stimulation because they are smart dogs.
They are born problem solvers; therefore, simple games like tossing a tennis ball into long grass will compel them to use their heightened sense of smell and outstanding hunting skills to find the missing ball.
This type of mental stimulation will help a Springer to learn new things and tire them out completely – so it’s a win-win training method if you want a little peace!
So, keep on looking for novel, mentally stimulating games that you can play with your Springer or any activity that will be mentally challenging.
Set Boundaries And Create House Rules
While dogs are free spirits and have a true zest for life, like raising children, they need some boundaries or house rules which will help you in your training efforts as it creates consistency, and your Springer will know what to expect.
So, here are a few simple training tricks:
- Try to stick to a routine, so feed and exercise your Springer at the same time
- Let your kids and other puppies socialize with your Springer
- Consistently stick to your house rules – puppies need to know what is expected
- Train, especially young puppies, with short, bite-sized training sessions
While it can be challenging at times, try to maintain a positive attitude, and don’t give up when you are not getting results.
It can only take one or two new attempts or a different approach, like rewarding your puppy for their good behavior to succeed, and if all else fails, take a breather before you lose your patience.
English Springer Spaniels: Training Techniques
So, now that we have broadly delved into what it takes to train a Springer puppy, it’s time to look at specifics like how to master house and crate training, teaching them basic commands, and clicker training.
House Training Springers
House training, or potty training, your puppy is one of the most vital techniques to master as soon as your Springer puppy comes home, as they need to know from the get-go where their potty area is.
So, take your puppy out regularly to a designated area in your yard, and consistently use the same word like “toilet” or “potty,” and if they get it right by going outside a few times, reward them for their good behavior.
While house training a very young puppy is hard work, and they need to be taken out regularly, especially if they have eaten or drunk water, it will get better with time.
If they have a potty accident in your home, try to remove the smell as soon as possible by cleaning the area thoroughly and look out for any odd behavior or noises that might alert you to the fact that your Springer needs to go outside.
Crate Training Springer Puppies
Teaching your puppy to be comfortable in their crate is not difficult, especially if you make it nice and cozy, padded out with a snuggly bed and their favorite toys.
Select a crate that is big enough for a fully grown Springer so that they move around as they grow older.
Introduce your Springer puppy to the crate by leaving the door open with their favorite treat or toy, closing the door for a short duration, and slowly increasing the amount of time, coupled with treats and praise, until they feel entirely comfortable in their new home.
Teaching Your Springer Basic Commands
Treats are invaluable if you are trying to teach your Springer puppy basic commands that will form the foundation for their future behavior as well-rounded socialized dogs.
The most vital basic commands consist of “sit, lie down and come here,” to mention a few.
If you, for instance, want to teach your Springer to lie down, show them the treat that you have in your hand, and as you lower it to the ground, and your puppy follows your hand, they will start to move downwards.
Once they are firmly on the ground, say, “lay down,” and give them a well-deserved treat. However, if your Springer is a little stubborn, gently push their body down and give them a snack while you repeat the command.
You can use this simple yet efficient technique to teach your Springer all the basic commands until they are older and are ready for more complex training sessions.
Springer Clicker Training Methods
Clicker training, coupled with treats, can be an invaluable supplementary training technique as your Springer will start to associate the click sound and reward for good behavior and following commands.
This technique reinforces good behavior in dogs so. For example, if you want to teach your Springer to come to you when you call them, use the clicker and “come” command when your dog is running towards you.
English Springer Spaniels: More About This Dog Breed
Springers are adorable live wires with a ton of energy, and while they love bonding with their human families indoors, they are also active dogs that need mental and physical stimulation to thrive.
So, suppose you are considering adopting a Springer puppy as a family member and wondering whether they are trainable or worth investing your time in. In that case, the answer is a surrounding yes!
This ancient dog breed was originally used as “Springer” dogs to flush out small animals or game birds and has shown an uncanny ability to do so in the direction of a hunter’s firing range.
They are highly agile and incredibly smart dogs who always aim to please their trainers by promptly responding to their commands.
Therefore, Springers have been ranked as the world’s 13th smartest dog breed according to a leading canine psychologist, Professor Stanley Cohen, due to their outstanding working and obedience intelligence test scores. Moreover, they can also quickly learn from their mistakes.
English Springer Spaniels are super smart, eager to please, and easy to train. While teaching any small puppy new commands takes great patience and effort, the rewards of raising a well-rounded, socialized, and loving new member of your family are priceless!