Brendael English Springer Spaniels

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Springers are versatile dogs that train easily. Because of their intelligence and willingness to please, gentle reward oriented training will produce the quickest results. Springers learn quickly and bore easily. They usually see little point to endless repetition. A true working Springer is expected to show a lot of initiative and independent thinking when working. After the third try they will begin to think and make things up on their own. They think that there must be some reason you keep asking them to do the same thing again and again. If it is correct, quit and go onto the next "exercise." To turn them into robots is inappropriate as well as difficult and frustrating.

Crate training your puppy can provide him a place to sleep, assist in housebreaking, and keep him safe while you are gone. See Recommended Reading for articles on crate training.

If at all possible, puppies need to go to a puppy kindergarten class by twelve weeks of age followed by a beginning obedience class by seven to nine months. Most larger cities have AKC sanctioned obedience clubs or private training schools that teach puppy and beginning classes for the public. You can contact them through other dog owners, newspapers, yellow pages, or the AKC. When you find a training club or school, go and observe the classes for training methods. It is important to find and interview a trainer/training facility who uses only positive reinforcement and has education and experience in the field. Unfortunately, many trainers still use outdated harsh methods that can not only ruin your relationship with your dog, but also cause your dog emotional trauma and make behavior issues worse.

In general, avoid any trainer who uses any type of negative reinforcement such as yelling, hitting, or jerking the leash. They should NEVER have slip or choke collars on a puppy. A Springer (any dog for that matter) learns best with positive motivation rather than through negative reinforcement. Using food as a positive reward is the most respected and effective form of training. Beware of any trainer who forbids food in training. The training facility should also be willing to vary their training methods as every dog learns differently. One training method does not fit all.

The best comment you can hear when training is "Your dog wags his tail all the time. He must be having a great time."

A note about training treats. Treats without preservatives and other nasty stuff are hard to find. A good definition of a training treat is one that is small, soft, and easily swallowed. Follow the link to training treat suggestions and recipes.

Treat Recipes | Nutrition | Exercise | Health Disorders | Responsible Breeding I Purchasing a Puppy | Recommended Reading | Training I Alphabet Soup

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Updated July 2013