Plan for your new arrival
What ever you do, your new cocker spaniel puppy will probably keep you awake for the first few nights, but these things may help - a nice warm bed, a cuddle toy, a dim light and a radio. Decide in advance where your puppy is to sleep and get his/her bed organised. Warn the neighbours and dont get cross, your puppy has never been alone before, he is in a strange place and he/she is frightened. What ever you decide. stick to it. Puppies usually settle quicker if they are near you at night, but if this is not possible, be patient.
Start as you mean to go on
This includes anything from jumping on the furniture, to begging for titbits. Set the ground rules from day one. Remember to include visitors into your training regime, if you dont want your adult cocker jumping up at everyone, dont allow visitors to fuss him/her if they jump up. Remember you have a blank canvas, it's up to you what picture you paint!
Reward good behaviour .. ignore the bad
Your dog really does want to do the right thing and the more you tell them they are good, the quicker they will learn. Be firm but fair and allow them to learn what you want from them. Remember that he has to learn your language, up until now he has learned from Mum and siblings, now its over to you.
The sooner ... the better! Take your puppy out with you as much as possible. (Before injections are completed you can carry them around). Take them out in the car - introduce them to all sorts of different people, places and experiences. This really is a very important part of your dogs development and its also a good way to show him/her off! Once inoculations are complete, the world is their oyster. Join a puppy-training club, it can be great fun too for both humans and canines and you can meet up with other dogs in a safe environment. Who knows you may find your pup has a natural ability for obedience or agility and you could even find yourself starting a new hobby .. but remember "Rome wasn't built in a day" try not to over tire your pup, in the early months they need to grow and develop and will need plenty of rest.
Know your vet
Cocker Spaniels are generally very healthy, however, they will need their immunisations soon after arriving home and will need routine healthcare throughout their lives. If ever he/she should need veterinary attention in an emergency, you will be far more relaxed if you already know and trust your vet and if you are aware of surgery times etc. Ask around and choose a vet that you are comfortable with.
Invest in a crate/cage or puppy pen
Make a nice warm safe place for puppy to be in. A place where they can go for a little peace and quiet, also where they can be left in safety for short periods. A crate/cage can be put in the car for travelling too.
Even of you are going to use the professionals for keeping your Cocker trimmed, start brushing from the beginning. Check teeth, ears and nails too. Your vet and groomer will love you if your dog is used to this kind of handling.
Hide the laundry!
Cockers love trotting about carrying things and love playing retrieving games. If you don't want your underwear paraded around the house in front of visitors, be sure to shut the washing machine door and hide the laundry basket! Have plenty of toys for them instead.
Buy spaniel bowls
A simple tip that is really useful as your pup grows and his/her ears get longer, put their water in a spaniel bowl. This is a bowl that tapers to the top, so that the ears fall outside the bowl and don't get we every time they take a drink.
Enjoy your Cocker. Spaniel They are such great fun loving dogs that love to please. Put in the time and effort when they are puppies and you will be rewarded with a wonderful, faithful companion for life.
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