Cocker Spaniels are no barkers but personality differs and thus some pups might be predisposed to yapping. The same also depends upon a lot of other factors, including pedigree, environmental triggers, previous traumas, and the subtype of the Cocker Spaniel.
To understand this notion better, below we will be looking at the numerous aspects that may give rise to this frustrating behavior. But before that, let’s have a quick glance at this beautiful breed and their temperament.
Cocker Spaniels and their Temperament
Known for their playful and outgoing nature, these majestic breeds love to be around people. Previously used for hunting and flushing in the wild, Cocker Spaniels have however managed to be the apple of the eye of their owners and nowadays are mostly found enjoying a lavish, active life alongside their pawrents.
The pups love to be the center of attention and hence are generally predisposed to separation anxiety. This could make them destructive and hence proper training is a must. A thorough training session would ensure that both their physical and mental needs are fulfilled, leaving them enough tired to not further indulge in destructive activities.
Similarly, when it comes to training, they are very eager to learn new things. They do well in almost all training types, starting from basic etiquettes to advanced games, like flushing or hunting. However given their natural gun dog instincts, the breed may not be well catered to meeting strangers. Even though they might not jump or snap upon meeting new faces, proper socialization is a must to fend off any risky situations.
Do Cocker Spaniels bark when meeting strangers?
Now this is a rather dubious question. Cocker spaniels are not essentially yappers, but some pups may love to hear their voice much more than others. Thus, when provoked or agitated, these woofers may start with their consistent barking, making you look for professional help desperately.
But, the reason is not always the same. Here are some possible circumstances that might be triggering their loud, violent reactions.
One of the first reasons why your Cocker Spaniel puppy might be barking too much is because of its pedigree. Just like genetic attributes, a pup may also inherit a number of behavioral aspects from its parents that it sees on a regular basis. While the frequency of this happening is rather on the lower side, pedigree-based barking is a relatively common occurrence.
Given their gun-dog instincts, Cocker Spaniels are generally quite wary of their surroundings. Any sudden movement or sound may infuriate the pup, causing them to lash out violently and start barking. This includes door bell ringing, noisy surroundings, a stranger approaching, and even squirrels or other rodents in the backyard.
Like most dogs they are very much stimulated by sudden movements or sounds. Therefore in such instances they can become way too excited and decide to showcase their vocal qualities.
Another reason behind their constant yapping might be traumatizing memories. Just like us humans, canines feel and remember a lot of things. So, when they get into similar situations that remind them of their past traumatic memories, the dog may get all panicky and hence hostile to anyone that may approach them at the moment.
Such pups will often show secondary anxiety signs and symptoms, such as tucking their tail, flattening of their ears, turning their head back, snapping, growling with foam in their mouth, and many more. These events may happen in response to specific situations or in the presence of some people. The same also goes for discomfort. If the pooch is suffering from any underlying condition, then he/she will most likely try to be vocal about it.
Just like anxiety and stress, a Cocker Spaniel pup will also resort to barking if it senses danger to itself or its family. Dogs, no matter their breed, can get extremely possessive and territorial when it comes to unknown presence and therefore if your pup seems to bark at an unknown person or animal, it simply is trying to protect you.
The pup will often take a protective, vicious stance to scare away the incoming threat and stop barking once the threat has subsided.
A poorly trained Cocker Spaniel will also exhibit intense breakout sessions of barking every now and then. When not corrected at the right time, the extended barking becomes a habit and the dog will start doing so in every situation it comes across. This may also become a self-rewarding behavior over time, resulting in an unstable, uncontrollable pup that is a risk to everyone, including itself.
Every pooch loves their owner’s attention. So, in case they get bored or simply want you to adore them with pets, the woofer may start protesting in the form of barking. Spaniels are really affectionate dogs and therefore they don’t do well when showered with less love.
Similarly, never underestimate your pooch’s smartness. These crafty, intelligent pups can easily recognize the best way to get your attention, and then do the same until their demands are fulfilled.
Cocker Spaniel Subtype
Finally, the subtype of the Cocker Spaniel is important too when trying to understand the reason behind their persistent yapping. This is because certain subtypes of the beautiful Cocker Spaniels, like the English Cocker Spaniel, are reported to be the louder, more vocal sibling of the American Cocker Spaniel.
However, this doesn’t apply to the whole breed subtype. Therefore, wrongful prejudicing them into a specific ‘category’ is never the right thing.
What are the health conditions that could lead to such intense breakouts?
As described previously, a canine in pain is also highly susceptible to exhibiting such frustrating behaviors. Unless treated at the right time, they will become increasingly irked, resulting in unruly actions.
The most commonly reported health conditions that link to such breakouts include:
- Ear infections
- Gum issues (including tartar growth and plaque formation)
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Eye problems, etc.
Many-a-times, a bad case of tick and flea infestation or skin infections can also lead to similar results. So, if you suspect that your canine may be suffering from any of these above-mentioned conditions, a thorough vet check-up is highly essential.
How to stop Cocker Spaniels from too much barking?
There is no better way than Positive Reinforcement Training when it comes to correcting any unruly behavior that your Cocker Spaniel may be exhibiting. Unlike shouting or hitting, enforcing the right reward-based behavior training techniques go a long way in ensuring that your pup maintains the right behavior without feeling pressured to do so.
Furthermore, when the pooch is treated in a gentle way, they start trusting and loving you even more, and hence the parent-pet bond is further intensified. Such a happy interaction makes them more agreeable to whatever you train them, streamlining the whole process.
But unfortunately, if they still continue showing bad behavior, then seeking a professional’s consultation is better advised. This way you will be able to better identify any underlying conditions and take necessary steps to curb them.
So this was all about Cocker Spaniels and their barking tendencies. If you liked this blog, do feel free to comment your opinions or suggest other dog-related articles you would like us to cover. Follow spanieldogs.com or subscribe to our mailing list and stay updated on all our recent releases.
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