ARE KING CHARLES CAVALIERS EASY TO TRAIN?
Training a dog is an essential step in the life of any owner, regardless of the size of your four-legged friend. Although Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have a pleasant, gentle nature, they still need structure and well-defined boundaries to make life as smooth as possible. Discover all our tips and tricks for successfully training your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel below.
What Age Should I Start Training My Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?
Ideally, start training your Cavalier as soon as you welcome your new puppy home, as early as 2 months old. Puppies are a lot more receptive to training than older dogs. Also, take the opportunity to improve their socialisation. This is an essential and crucial step, which will determine your dog’s relationship with the world around them, as well as with people and other animals. In order for everything to go well, you’ll need to keep in mind the main principles of dog training.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Training Tips
Dog training requires certain prior knowledge and a solid base. In recent years, public consensus has shifted towards the use of a much more positive—and effective—approach. Positive dog training is based on rewards (cuddles, treats, words of praise) and the dog’s desire to please its owner, rather than fear of punishment. You should never use violence with your dog, neither verbal nor physical. And this is true for all dog breeds. All dogs respond much better to this kind of approach than to coercive training. Poor dog training could make your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel aggressive and difficult to handle.
Always follow these three main principles when it comes to dog training: patience, coherence, and consistency!
Patience: Patience is essential. Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel cannot be expected to understand everything immediately, no matter how smart they may be. Although this dog breed is generally smart and good-natured, they also need time to remember all the different commands you want to teach them. Try not to get impatient with your Cavalier, and praise them as soon as they succeed to help them progress.
Coherence: This is the second pillar of dog training. Dogs need a clearly defined framework. Keep your commands short and easy to remember, and stick to them along the way. Each action or request must correspond to a specific word, which is easy for your dog to understand. Set boundaries and make it clear to your puppy that you are in charge. The same goes for the house rules. If you plan to forbid your dog from being on the couch as an adult, for example, don’t let them on when they’re a puppy either. You can always repeal this decision later, but it will be very complicated to stop them from doing something once it becomes a habit.
Consistency: The only thing that will bring concrete results is repetition over time. Set aside fifteen minutes a day for training sessions and repeat each lesson as many times as necessary until your furry friend understands what you want from them. Teach your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel one command at a time, repeat until they've fully grasped it, then move on to the next one.
Which Basic Commands Should I Teach My Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?
It's important to teach your dog a few basic commands as early as possible to guarantee their safety. And this applies to all dog breeds. These should be implemented as soon as your puppy arrives in its new home. As surprising as it may seem, training your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel properly will indirectly extend their life expectancy.
Heel: The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a fairly easy little dog to train, but your pooch still needs to know how to walk calmly on a lead, especially if you live in the city.
Come: This basic command helps you keep your dog safe under any circumstance, even when they’re not on the lead. It allows you to call them back to you if you see that they’re in danger. Make sure your Cav understands what their name sounds like before attempting to teach them this command. To teach your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to come to you when you call, start in an enclosed, secure area. If need be, ask a family member or friend to help you. Take turns calling your dog and congratulating them profusely when they come to you.
Stop: This command should be used to stop your dog from doing something you don’t want them to, such as chewing on your shoes, for example. The "stop" command can have a negative connotation for your pooch, because you’re asking them to give something up. Try to accompany the command with a reward to compensate. In this way, your dog gains something from obeying you, and your order is not interpreted as a punishment. For example, give your Cavalier a healthy dog treat or cuddle if they stop when asked.
Is it Possible to Train an Adult Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?
All dogs can be trained, even in adulthood. But training an adult Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is different from training a Cavalier puppy. It will require a few adaptations, because an adult dog already has lots of life experience and, perhaps, deeply rooted habits, good or bad. However, it is quite possible to “re-train” a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Adopting an adult dog requires even more patience than a puppy. Try to never get angry with your dog and to show compassion and understanding. We strongly recommend that you call on the help of a behaviourist or professional trainer to better understand how to rehabilitate your dog.
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