Life just hasn’t been the same since your Cocker Spaniel joined the family ranks. You already wonder what life used to be like without him. He’s exceeded all expectations. He’s playful, friendly, active, and for the most part, straightforward to train. But while you love cuddling up with him and messing around in the house, you also want something more from him. He is after all, a breed of gun dog. So, you’d like to be able to take him out with you and train him to hunt.
Not only could this seriously bolster your hunting performance, but it’s also a great way to channel his energy into something productive. It also comes with the added bonus of being fantastic exercise for him. If that doesn’t seal the deal, then how about the fact it’s simply a brilliant way to bond with your canine companion?
Training any dog to hunt comes with challenges. Fortunately, Cocker Spaniels have many of the qualities you’d want from a hunting dog. Most importantly, they're relatively receptive to training. Training will consist of strict obedience training, starting from an early age. You will also need to find a suitable incentive. Due to their strong sense of smell, some smelly food, such as cheese, will often get them working.
If your Cocker Spaniel is just a puppy, he should be eager to please, so you may see results in just a couple of months. If he’s older and not quite the keen student he was in his youth, then you may need up to six months. Succeed and you’ll have an effective hunting companion and a worthy addition to your hunting arsenal. Plus, if you have a pest problem on your land, he’s the perfect deterrent!
Before training can begin, you will need to collect several bits. Get your hands on some decoy toys and scent spray. You will also need a generous selection of treats. Alternatively, break his favorite smelly food into small chunks.
The more consistently you train, the quicker you will see results. So, try and set aside 15 minutes each day for training. A large yard or local fields will be your training ground.
The only other things you’ll need are patience and a positive attitude. Once you have all of the above, training can begin!