The advantage of having a dog who craves companionship and gets along with everyone is that they come with a built-in a need to please. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels simply want their owners to be happy.
If you’ve just adopted and you’re ready to train your Cavalier King it’s hard to predict if your furry little friend is going to be stubborn, or highly adaptable. They are a cross breed, so personalities tend to vary. For the most part, though, this breed is highly trainable and can adapt to most situations.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Training Tips
Before you begin training you here are some general dog training tips to help you get started:
- Have the right tools for success. Buy a 6-foot leash with a collar. The rule of thumb for measuring a collar is by measuring the neck and adding 2 inches.
- Only start a training session in an isolated area, where there are few distractions. You want your pup to maintain focus. Once he is calm and focused you may begin.
- Puppy potty training should be the first form of training that your puppy embarks upon. Once your pup has mastered going to the bathroom in the right place at the right time then you can move on to obedience training.
- Reprimanding a puppy during training is part of the game. However, do not use force, or physical aggression. This will only demotivate your dog by losing trust. Respect and trust are the pillars of successful training, especially with breeds like Cavalier Kings who are highly social.
- Reprimanding should be done by using the same word consistently such as “no” or “stop”
- Cavalier Kings are very tempting to just cuddle up with all day and lounge around. But, these little fellas have a sometimes hidden appetite for exercise. To increase their longevity and their mental health, you should have a consistent play schedule. These little fellas love to run and jump. The park, the beach, or a jog are all ideal places to incorporate into your regimen.
- Car rides are usually part of a dog’s life, so you’ll want to get your pup comfortable in the car as early as possible. These Spaniels are small too, so a car maybe daunting to them. That’s why building trust through a basic command like sit and stay are recommended to have nailed down before entering the car. It will also prevent this breed from hurting themselves during the ride. Try using a special harness as well to ensure safety.
A hard and fast rule is to socialize your pup as young as possible. Naturally, the older they are the more challenging it will be to alter their social disposition, but it’s not a lost cause. Also keep in mind that the training methods for socialization apply no matter what their age:
- New situations should be a fun and exciting experience. If your dog is meeting a new person or a new animal, be sure to reward him with praise and treats. Use a consistently positive tone that makes him feel comforted around new stimuli.
- Expose your dog to many different environments, sights, sounds, and people. You want him to get comfortable with multiple situations. i.e., the beach, the park, in the car, children, adults, etc.
- If you want an advanced level of socialization, look into puppy obedience classes or a training service — this is not only a great way to get professional level training, but they will interact with multiple different people and dogs.
You’ll want to lay some groundwork by teaching your puppy basic obedience training such as, sit, stay and lay down. Positive reinforcement is the quickest do it yourself method. Prepare some tiny food morsels or treats. Hold the food out so they can smell it then only use the word “sit”. While you are saying ‘sit’, gently push down your pups lower back to guide him into sitting.
Don’t force it, Cavalier Kings are small and don’t have the strongest bone structure. Once they sit, give them the food and reaffirm them with praise. Rinse and repeat. Your puppy will begin to associate the behavior with earning a treat. Always make sure to be consistent with your language. Choose a word for each command and stick to it.
However you choose to train your Spaniel, when frustration sets in, resist the urge to give up or abandon the recommended methods. This breed is extremely affectionate and wants to please you, sometimes they just can’t figure out how. Persistence is the key to successful training.