Activities For Mini English Cockers

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Introduction

Also known as the Mini English Docker, this hybrid breed has a unique parentage! A combination of the Dachshund and the English Cocker Spaniel, this designer pooch is loyal and loving. They are not a breed that requires a great deal of activity in order to be happy; they also do not become bored easily. However, both parent breeds have an innate desire to hunt, so you'll want to plan activities which harness this ability in the breed. A word of caution - the designer dog may inherit the elongated spine of the Dachshund parent, so you'll want to be sure that you avoid activities that can place a great deal of impact on the body. Learning tricks or participating in agility or obstacle courses is a fun and sensible way to provide activity for this pup.

Digging Fun

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
15 - 30 min
Items needed
old blanket
Old pillows
Activity description
The Dachshund parent breed was born to be an accomplice on the hunt. They were often utilized to hunt animals that burrowed underground. In fact, this is the reason for the long spine. The Dachshund would chase the prey into their hole and then dig in after them. The tail of the Dachshund was even perfect for this job - the hunter would pull the pup back out by their tail (sometimes this was all that was left above ground!). This should let you know that the Mini English Cocker will enjoy a digging station of any kind.
Step
1
Indoor digging area
Because the weather isn't always cooperative, you'll want to plan some activities indoors. Plus, you will find yourself looking for ways to curb the Mini English Cocker's propensity for digging - which may be in an undesirable place, such as your couch cushions. Pile a few old pillows (or an old blanket) on the ground, on top of a few smelly treats and let Fido dig until their heart is content.
Step
2
Outdoor digging space
Another behavior that you will want to curb is the Mini English Cocker's desire to dig in the yard. Why not keep Fido out of your flower bed and make them a digging station of their own? First, build a sandbox or purchase a kiddie pool and fill it with sand. The key to your outdoor digging area is designing and implementing a cover that will keep outdoor cats, armadillos, and other pests out of your busy pup's digging station.
Step
3
Cover it
Should you choose to create the outdoor digging station, you will want to ensure that no cats or other animals will be able to access the dirt. Armadillos are notorious for digging in people's yards, and the nine-banded variety may carry leprosy. Cats may use the sand as a litter box, as may other little critters visiting your yard. When making your digging station, go ahead and purchase some Visqueen. This thick vinyl material can cover the digging station. You will want to build a little cover to slide down over the digging box utilizing the Visqueen so that animals cannot simply dig under the vinyl and access the dirt underneath.
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Tricks and Obedience

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
15 min
Items needed
treats as a reward
Activity description
The Mini English Cocker will not require a great deal of activity on a daily basis, but you will need to keep them engaged so that they do not feel lonely and experience separation anxiety, and so that they do not become bored and possibly destructive as a result. Of course, the Mini English will enjoy spending time with you, so this interactive exercise in training will not only keep them busy mentally, but the Mini English Cocker will also appreciate the time spent with you. This intelligent designer breed will learn from you in no time flat. You can easily challenge your Mini English Cocker, making them use their smarts by partaking in training several times a week.
Step
1
Learn the basics
Although the Mini English Cocker is generally an agreeable dog, you may find that they do tend to have a bit of a stubborn streak. One great way to combat this is to begin working on training as soon as possible. Begin with the basics: sit, stay, and come. You might add give and leave it. Eventually, you can add a few more complicated commands to the list of tricks.
Step
2
Obedience 101
The exact commands you wish to teach Fido are entirely up to you; however, consider the places you want to take your dog and with whom they might come in contact. If you will be attending the dog park often, you'll want to teach them to come to you on command. If you'll be walking in the neighborhood, you will want to teach them to heel. Of course, if you decide to compete in dog shows, you will have a completely different set of commands to introduce.
Step
3
Fun tricks
The Mini English Cocker will also enjoy learning a few fun tricks as well. Plus, with a treat as a reward for a job well done, your pup is certain to desire practicing over and over again. Teach them to shake by hiding a treat in your fist (which is level with their nose). The dog will eventually bat your hand, and in return, you will say "shake" and offer the treat. Other tricks, such as laying down and rolling over, can also be taught using a treat or two.
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Nose Work

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
30 min
Items needed
essential oils safe for dogs
"smelly" treats
Activity description
The Dachshund parent breed of the Mini English Cocker is most definitely a "nose hound." However, you may not realize that the Cocker Spaniel is a bit of a hunter too. Although Cockers were meant to retrieve small game, they still had to rely on their nose to get them to their prey. This means that you should plan games which allow them to work out this natural desire. Nose work can take place both inside and out in your backyard. You can use safe essential oils to play outdoors (check with your vet to ensure the oils are appropriate for your particular dog); on rainy days you can hide smelly treats around the house and ask your curious buddy to find them.
Step
1
The nose knows
Begin your nose work indoors. Your pup is going to naturally explore the world around them with their nose. Take advantage of this by placing scented items around the house. Get some terry cloth towels and one of the following essential oils - anise, lavender, or valerian root (these are safe for dogs). Leave them in odd places; when your pup "finds" one of the towels, praise them for a job well done. Be sure to say that Fido "found" it.
Step
2
More purposeful practice
Now that your pup knows they will receive praise for finding smelly items, you should begin a more structured practice. Place smelly treats - usually, those with cheese are the best for attracting the nose - in a purposely hidden-in-plain-sight fashion. Observe Fido as they look for the smelly treasure. Repeat the command "find it" several times as they "hunt." When they are successful, praise them, reminding them that they "found" the item.
Step
3
Outside nose work
We began Fido with small towels and strongly smelling essential oils. That was prep work for their indoor training as well as their outdoor nose work. Follow the same principle as you did indoors. Place the scented towels in somewhat hidden places and steer your clever dog near them. Encourage them to find the item. Praise and treat when they are successful.
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More Fun Ideas...

Daily Walking

Daily walking is a must and perhaps the best exercise for the Mini English Cocker. If you live near the park, you might take your walk there a couple of times weekly. If you are near water, you and Fido can take a walk and watch the sun go down together. Change the scenery from time to time so that you are never bored.

Dog Park

Certainly, the dog park is one place that your dog will always want to go with you. The dog park provides great socialization opportunities as well as fun physical activities. Walk on the track, traverse the obstacle course, or allow your friendly pal free play time with other dogs.

Conclusion

The Mini English Cocker is the perfect mix of two awesome companion dogs - the Dachshund and the English Cocker Spaniel. This designer pooch loves nothing more than to spend time nestled beside you. However, this pup can also be quite fun as you play together. Encourage nose work both indoors and outside to mentally stimulate this breed. Learn a few tricks and commands together. The opportunities for fun are endless with the Mini English Cocker.