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Old March 28, 2006, 05:08 AM   #1
Jesse D310
Join Date: March 23, 2006
Location: SoCal
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Hunting classes for my Cocker Spaniel

I bought a cocker spaniel yesterday which Im really happy with , his 4 months old. The reason why I bought him was so he could go hunting with me. I do alot of upland bird hunting and some big game. I wanted to know if any of you guys know of any good place to get my dog trained around the L.A. county area or anywhere close. I would appreciate any info.
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Old March 29, 2006, 12:36 AM   #2
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Nice choice!

I also have a cocker spaniel. He's no hunting dog though. Just spoiled rotten!
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Old March 31, 2006, 09:16 PM   #3
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Question 1: Is he from hunting lines or the local puppy mill? If from hunting lines, he may be a good hunter. If from the local puppy mill . . .

Question 2: How much are you planning on spending to train this dog? If not over $1000, train him yourself. If over $2000, go to and look under Dogs.
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Old March 31, 2006, 11:32 PM   #4
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I hunted behind a Cocker growing up. Sometimes WAY behind that Cocker. That was one fine dog, but really hard to keep in close.

The only dog(s) I've had more fun behind were the Standard Poodles.

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Old April 6, 2006, 12:12 AM   #5
Fat White Boy
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Is it an English Cocker or an American Cocker? The English Cockers generally have better hunting instincts than the American, although, I saw a little black American Cocker named "Hooker" that was as good a bird dog as I have ever seen....
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Old April 10, 2006, 04:59 AM   #6
Jesse D310
Join Date: March 23, 2006
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Its an American cocker. Ive been taking him to the park to play fetch with him and he seems to be doing good on fetching the only thing I need to get him use to hearing shots. He gets scared when he hears loud noices but then he is only 4 months old. Any comments?
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Old April 10, 2006, 10:11 AM   #7
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If he's from the typical backyard breeder bloodlines of the last 30 years, he won't hunt well anyway in all liklihood, so you're wasting your time. Just enjoy him as a pet. If, OTOH, you got him from a quality reputable breeder who kept alive the traditional spaniel instincts for retreiving and not backyard bubba or AKC Annie ( :barf: ), then you've likely got a good upland hunter on your hands. If you're just bound and determined to fight nature and the results of generations of poor breeding (*IF* that is indeed the case), then start off slooooowly & gradually with noises - take it out to the field on a regular basis, and shoot, increasing gradually over a period of months, while the dog is young:

1. Colibris & distance (50-100 yards), then close
2. CBs at distance, then close
3. Shorts at distance, then close
4. regular .22 lrs, at distance, then close
5. small centerfire, like a .22 hornet, .410 bore, or .223, at distance, then close

etc, etc.

If the dog balks & acts scared, either move down the scale of cartridge loudness, and/or increase the distance between you and the dog before firing. A gradual buildup like this teaches the dog to slowly accept noises, until you're at big centerfire or 12 ga, and voila, no problems. Also, while around the house, just clap your hands loudly occasionally for no reason, and/or dry fire some guns, and cycle the action of the guns - if the dog stays near, then reward it with petting & praise each time it doesn't shy away.
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Old April 16, 2006, 10:03 PM   #8
Jesse D310
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Thank You for the info .
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Old April 16, 2006, 10:35 PM   #9
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For a lot of years after WWII the Cocker was so popular as a house pet that the breed was kinda "damaged" as a working dog...

It may prove difficult or even impossible to get suitable results with your Cocker...
They are frequently "cringy"...

FIRST you and the dog must go to obedience school together...

If you learn your stuff well... then you can read up and work with your dog daily and after a couple of months of very dedicated work... you will know if you are a good trainer and/or if the Cocker will respond well to hunting...

If you have a choice... consider a Brittany Spaniel... and train it before you make it a house pet...

It should be a working dog that lives in a kennel and then a pet in that order of priority... the dog will learn that his/her primary purpose is to work, and it will be all the more grateful for occasional visits into the house...

YOU MUST WORK YOUR DOG DAILY IF AT ALL POSSIBLE...or at least as often as you can... even after the initial training is completed.
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Old May 4, 2006, 11:17 AM   #10
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Dobies are great hunting dogs ie. part of their make-up is the 'german short haired pointer and the greyhound and the beauceron... Their guard dog abilities by reputation have sort of overshadow their hunting ablity - but frankly they also make great retrievers and pointers ! However , there's a lot of variation within the same breed of dog ie. you might have a cocker that is a born hunting dog or you might have one that is just born to sit on the sofa and eat tv dinners. I had a big red dobie that was a natural retriever...and I had a little blue dobie that would just grin and ignore you even when you tried to teach/encourage her to retrieve... They were both smart - but in different ways...with different personalities...
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Old May 4, 2006, 12:05 PM   #11
Join Date: September 14, 2005
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Don't know what other more experienced trainers will say, but I'm training my first bird dog with a book called Gun Dog by Wolters since I didn't have the big money to send him somewhere. It's going so well that I bought another dog. Good times.
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