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Discussion Starter #1
As some of you know in a few months I shall (hopefully) be bringing home a working cocker pup to be my next agility prospect.

Now I obviously want her to be very focused on me, and I don't want her running up to dogs or people. But at the same time, naturally, I want her to be ok around dogs and people.

Which brings me to my question. I remember, I think it was Di saying, that many labs are over-socialised. I don't want to end up with another Cadbury :roll: But how much socialisation should I do, and what type? (ie, on lead meets and greets vs off lead)

Of course, needed lots of socialisation because Shelties are naturally aloof with other people/dogs. He can now walk in crowds and around people without batting an eye, he just ignores them completely! Quite frankly I would like my cocker to be the same, but that is probably wishful thinking!

So how do I go about socialisation with a working cocker? I attend classes where she can meet friendly dogs/people. But out on walks I was planning to avoid most interactions and encourage her to stick close to me. So lots of treats and fun training games. Does that sound right?

I have heard cockers are not as sociable as labs. The ones I have met on walks are very much dog orientated, but most don't seem interested in people. I just want a dog who is a pleasure to walk off lead without worrying she is going to run up to every stranger who goes by.
 

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I haven't got any advice re: training, but just wanted to say one of Poppy's first best buddies is a working cocker. She has no interest in people at all other than her owner. She will happily play with other dogs, but if no ball is involved (which she doesn't mind sharing), she is very, very vocal (and a bit bossy if I'm honest :lol:). But that said, despite no obvious training, she's very well behaved and has a brilliant recall.

I hadn't heard that dogs could be oversocialised - that's a really interesting point. Poppy can take or leave dogs, but loves people a bit too much. If a stranger gives her a fuss, her tail wags so much her backside almost takes off!
 

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I've heard similar things about cockers being very owner orientated. So it's good to have the confirmation. I already get barked at by Merlin if I stop to talk to someone on walks, he hates being static :lol: so I am used to bossy!

I think it was Di who said about over socialising and when she explained it, it made a lot of sense.
 
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I don't think it's the amount of socialisation you put in, which makes them into a Cadbury or a Merlin, it's just in the genes. My sis has a Choccie girl who was born and brought up on a puppy farm, never seeing the light of day until she was 5 years old, yet she is as sociable with people and dogs as any Choccie Lab I've ever seen.

Working Cockers aren't usually bred to be overly sociable, to the detriment of being biddable....it isn't part of their job. Whereas many pet and show type Labs have been bred to be very much "Love Anybody" family pet types. My Lab girls aren't like that at all. They only really have eyes for me and live to please me, but they both have a large dose of working blood in them, which makes them much more biddable and sensitive.

So with that in mind, I'd just get socialising the pup as much as you can, as the down side of not doing enough is you end up with a stand-offish, snappy Cocker, who doesn't want anything to do with anyone other than their owner....And I've met plenty of those.
 

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_Jules_ said:
So with that in mind, I'd just get socialising the pup as much as you can, as the down side of not doing enough is you end up with a stand-offish, snappy Cocker, who doesn't want anything to do with anyone other than their owner....And I've met plenty of those.
Lol Jules :D

Spaniels ain't your thing. I've promised to put Olly in the post before, he's coming your way right now 8) :D :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Jules, I think you know where I am coming from :wink: my trainer tells me I am far too hard on myself concerning Cadbury.

I definitely don't want a snappy dog! Hence why Merlin came everywhere with me!

Cadbury is a good dog really, just very strong minded and determined and with the common sense of a carrot :roll:
 
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gavnles said:
Spaniels ain't your thing. I've promised to put Olly in the post before, he's coming your way right now 8) :D :lol:
I love a nice one, but there are so many anti social ones around here. For every nice friendly one, I meet at least one who I need to give a wide berth to...and that's both Cockers and Springers. I was only talking a lady this afternoon with her Springer and she was telling me of the latest large vets bill her one had cost her, when it attacked another dog :? .

So I'd say socialise as much as possible, as it's a nightmare if you end up with one like that.
 

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Chocice said:
Lol send Olly my way for some Spaniel practice!
If I can wake him :wink:

He is the classic owner obsessed spaniel. It's us and no one else, never aggressive, never vocal, just not interested in anyone else and most certainly not their dogs.

They are funny critters working spaniels, but you will get hooked :D
 
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my trainer tells me I am far too hard on myself concerning Cadbury.
You are. He just is what he is. Same as my Collie was hyper like a Collie and my Lurcher was as laidback as they come. It's what's on the inside that counts. We can only "pretty up" that bit by socialising them.

I definitely don't want a snappy dog! Hence why Merlin came everywhere with me!
That's like me with the Poodles...and the one I couldn't do that much socialising with because I was recovering from a major op unfortunately, is the scaredy, stand offish one.

Cadbury is a good dog really, just very strong minded and determined and with the common sense of a carrot :roll:
Yep, just like many, many other Choccies out there. Loads of people want dogs just like him, who love everyone, aren't too demanding of exercise or attention, just happy doing their own thing, which is why they are so popular. They aren't the type of dog for me, and by the sounds of it, not really your type either. That doesn't mean you don't love him though. You just shouldn't blame yourself for how he is, as no one would have made him any different. 8)
 

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I'm with Jules - socialise lots. You will do a mix because you live a mixed life with your dogs nowadays.

You will have quiet him and you walks, busy group walks, bump into people-play-a-bit then walk on walks etc etc. You'll mix with dogs in a play situation, work situation, training situation, passing situation....

Two Hands=Two Dogs in this house but if a little older rescue black working cocker spaniel girlie dropped out of the sky in a few years.... :) :) ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
He is the classic owner obsessed spaniel. It's us and no one else, never aggressive, never vocal, just not interested in anyone else and most certainly not their dogs.
Yep, you just described Merlin. People very get very offended when he walks right by them without even looking at them :lol:

Thanks again Jules, and you are right, Cadbury is who he is. I would not change him for the world because he has taught me so much and he is my buddy. And he makes people smile, especially me :wink:

Laura, wish I'd known your inkling for spaniels several weeks back, I could have dropped a nice rescue in your lap!
 

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Oh she has to arrive at the perfect time too, usually around about 20th July... I look back with hindsight and appreciate more and more that Tucker was perfect in all ways!!
 

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How exciting Sophie - can't wait to see some piccies of her :)

When out on walks my Bella isn't interested in other dogs or people, just rabbits, birds..........!!

She is similar to Ruby in that she has a sensitive nature, is a scaredy cat and a bit aloof I suppose. They are both more interested in me than any other people. If a stranger tries to approach either of mine on a walk they will back off, yet with people they know well they are all over them. However, I am more than happy with this behaviour.

I think show cocker spaniels are a bit more 'into' other people and dogs. I don't think you will have to worry about a working cocker running up and jumping all over people!!

Bella does do a good crocodile impression though when she gets harassed by other dogs!

Hope this helps.

Chloe
 

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Nothing to do with socialisation but wanted to let you know that working cockers are great at climbing trees too :wink:

This morning on our walk Bella very easily scrambled up a tree by the river in order to flush a duck out!! Watching my friends show cocker trying to copy her was hilarious :lol:

It made the A frame look easy!

Chloe
 

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Many years ago the in law's had a couple of these from working lines as pets, from same litter, from a farm & on back of a favour.

Wired with energy to point of being too intense for me, (as pets alone), but suspect better selection, training & a lack of consistent suitable energy outlet provisions where factors.
 

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They are busy little dogs and need the daily opportunity to get rid of their energy in free running and be given mental stimulation, but Bella needs no more daily exercise than Ruby. She is quite content after her daily walk and any additional agility she does is a bonus.

Sadly I feel that many pet owners don't do their research. They end up bringing home wcs puppies that have been bred from FTCh parents and they wonder why they their puppy is bored and going bonkers in the house! These puppies should be out working in the field. However, I do feel that this is the same for labrador pups from strong working parents too.

It is about choosing the appropriately bred puppy to your lifestyle in the first place rather than thinking that you can change it to make it fit.

Chloe
 
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I can't wait to meet this puppy, you must let me know when you start puppy classes and i'll pop along :D

Just to say that i have a show cocker and he isn't interested in people at all, its all about me... he's my little shadow, on walks he does like to see other dogs but he's a scaredy cat and doesn't like "in yer face" dogs so will often walk up to them and wait and watch from a distance before deciding if he'll like them lol then either come back to me or go and say hello but his recall is 100%. he needs more exercise than Alfie and is keen to learn but i have to treat him alot more gently, if i have to tell him off then i have to praise him after for stopping whatever it was or he falls to pieces... Alfie has been alot easier though but wouldn't change my little bill for the world, he loves to please me, alfie likes to please everyone lol

whoops sorry for hijacking by talking about a show cocker :oops:
 
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