Inside the home, you will likely have seen the cocker spaniel gun dog tendencies at work, faithfully collecting socks and slippers and safely delivering it to you, whether you asked for it or not! This behaviour goes beyond obedience and the desire for praise for bringing you gifts – they actually achieve a sense of personal satisfaction from holding objects themselves!
If you are finding the sight of your dog parading your belongings around to show you what they have found is a regular occurrence, you may also be noticing that encouraging them to drop their prizes is becoming increasingly difficult. This is where their playful nature comes in once again, as they may choose items that will stand the best chance of you chasing to retrieve them, a favourite game! On the other hand, in cocker spaniels, this tendency has the possibility of turning into possessive behaviour, guarding their objects, territory or family with undesirable aggression. In this situation, appropriate training with an experienced expert is essential. Left unhandled, this behaviour can accelerate and become part of your dog’s understanding of the rules of the house – the longer it continues, the harder it is to break. If your beloved cocker spaniel displays growling, snapping, lip curling or excessive barking over things, places or people, we would urge any owner to reach out for expert help. Positive reinforcement training is the best approach for aggression in any dog and your dog can learn to break this new habit.