Activities For Field Spaniels

1k Views
0 Comments
0 Votes

Introduction

Field Spaniels are larger and more active than a Cocker Spaniel. They do require daily exercise to keep them fit. Without the proper amount of exercise, your Field Spaniel will quickly become bored and can become destructive or a nuisance. They love to play games and will make their own fun with whatever they can find if you do not harness their energy into some type of activity. There are numerous activities you can do with your Field Spaniel. They are excellent hunting dogs and would also do well tracking; they will also enjoy just hanging out with you in the backyard playing games.

Hunting

Popular
0 Votes
Any Day
Moderate
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Collar
Leash
Decoys
Treats
Safety Vest (Optional)
GPS Tracker (Optional)
Activity description

The Field Spaniel is a member of the sporting group and is recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). They are considered to be a flushing dog, this simply means they will use their nose to find birds in the brush and will roust the birds up into the air. The hunter will be nearby ready to fire when the birds are flushed into the air. Once the bird has been shot and drops, the Field Spaniel will retrieve the bird from either land or water. The Field Spaniel is not eligible to participate in field trials; however, they can participate in AKC hunt tests. The Field Spaniel Society of America offers a working dog certificate program. 

Step
1
Teach recall
Your Field Spaniel must be obedient enough to come on recall. When out in the field hunting, your dog will be off leash and have free run of the field. Your dog must listen to you and immediately return to you when called. If you are not an experienced dog handler, you may want to put your dog into obedience school to learn the required skills to be able to act appropriately when out in the field hunting.
Step
2
Introduce gun
Dogs will naturally startle when they hear a gun fired. Hunting dogs must become accustomed to the sound of a gun being fired. Start by having your dog experience loud noises around your home. Once they seem to be able to recover quickly from those noises, head into the field with a few friends. Keep your dog on leash next to you and have your friends fire their guns. This can be done while simply target shooting or while on an actual hunt. Your dog will become used to the loud noises and be able to settle in and focus on their job.
Step
3
Introduce decoys
Decoys will most likely be used even when out in the field as a hunter, not just for hunt tests. Your Field Spaniel will need to learn the difference between decoys and the real deal. Most dogs are able to easily differentiate between a live bird and a decoy. Some hunt tests will expect your dog to retrieve decoys rather than real birds. Make sure you know the rules of each hunt test if you are hoping to earn hunting titles with your Field Spaniel.
Love this activity?

Rally

Popular
0 Votes
Any Day
Cheap
Normal
45 min
Items needed
Collar
Leash
Treats
Rally Signs
Activity description

Rally, also called Rally Obedience, is a newer sport where you will work with your dog to navigate a particular obedience course. The AKC approved Rally as a sport in 2005 and there are now four levels that your dog can earn. Rally Novice is the first title they can earn. The next title is Rally Advanced and your dog can perform off-leash for this title. Next is the Rally Excellence title and then the Rally Advanced Expert title; these two titles are the hardest titles to achieve because your dog must perform all work off-leash. You will guide your dog through a course that will have between 10 and 20 signs. Your dog is judged on how well they execute each skill and how quickly you and your dog can move through the course. Rally is a relatively cheap activity, you will have entry fees for Rally trials but those are usually nominal. 

Step
1
Learn the basics
Before your Field Spaniel can compete in Rally, they must have a firm understanding of basic obedience. You must also be able to work with your dog as a team to be successful in Rally Obedience. It may be a good idea to enroll your dog in an obedience class to learn the basic commands and learn how to work together. Once you and your dog are comfortable with each other, you can start training for Rally trials.
Step
2
Learn the signs
You and your dog will be expected to complete 10 to 20 different activities while in the Rally ring depending on your experience level. Before entering a Rally event, be sure you know what each sign means and what is expected of you and your dog. You can download a chart from AKC’s website that describes each sign.
Step
3
Practice makes perfect
It is a little cliché, however, everyone participating in Rally knows that this is the best advice you can get. The Rally course will change with each event and you do not know what the course will look like until the day of the event. This is where knowing the signs and what is expected of each sign will be beneficial. Make your own signs at home and set up a different course each day so you and your dog can practice on a different course every day.
Love this activity?

Tracking

Popular
0 Votes
Any Day
Cheap
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Collar
Leash
Treats
Activity description

It is actually easy for you to teach your dog to track. You will start small and gradually expand their search area. Tracking can be done in any type of weather; however, warm sunny days are probably best. Rainy weather may throw your dog off the scent and you should not take a novice tracker out into the rain to track. Spend about an hour doing tracking exercises with your dog, be sure to give them breaks between exercises and if you notice your dog getting bored, stop the training for the day. To start teaching tracking, all you need are treats and a grassy area to hide the treats. 

Step
1
Introduce treats
Pick treats that have a strong smell and will be easy for your dog to find in a grassy area. Some people use hot dogs or liver treats to get their dog's attention. Treats that your dog is eager to find are the best choice for this activity as they will be using their nose to sniff out the goodies. Remember to only put out a few treats at a time, you are not feeding your dog a meal, but rather catching their interest so they continue to search for the treat.
Step
2
Hide treats
Put your Field Spaniel in a sit or down stay and walk about ten feet away and drop one of the treats into the grass. Then walk another four or five feet and drop another treat. Continue to drop treats throughout the grass, but do not put too many or place them too close together. Once your dog becomes more adept at tracking the scent, you can move the treats farther apart and hide them better in the area.
Step
3
Encourage and praise
As your dog starts searching for the treats, be sure to encourage them. When they find the first treat, give them lots of praise. After getting their first taste of the treat, your dog should immediately begin searching for more of the goodies, if they do not start looking you can go stand near the next treat and encourage them to come to you. Once they come to you, they should get a whiff of the treat and start looking again.
Love this activity?

More Fun Ideas...

Dog Park Fun

What better way for your Field Spaniel to get their daily exercise than to head to the local dog park. Most Field Spaniels are not dog-aggressive and will enjoy racing around with other dogs, playing games. Be sure to closely watch your dog while they are playing and quickly remove them if you notice an aggressive dog acting out at the park.

Agility

It takes an energetic, athletic dog to compete in agility and a Field Spaniel is both of these. Agility is simply racing through a set obstacle course as fast as they can. Dogs and owners find agility to be exhilarating and they enjoy the entire experience. Find a dog club that has an agility course to practice on so you do not have to purchase your own equipment. This will save you a lot of money.

Conclusion

 Your Field Spaniel does require a significant amount of daily exercise to keep them happy and healthy. There are several different activities that you and your Field Spaniel can participate in; you just have to find the right ones for you and your dog. There are organized dog sports that you might enjoy, or you may just want to spend time going for walks or playing at the park. Research each activity and decide which ones you want to try.