Torn between buying a cocker or a springer?
Help! My young cocker spaniel won’t hunt away from me!
Q: My 10 month old cocker spaniel is coming along fine in training except for one thing. He won’t go more than a few yards from me before returning. How can I get him to hunt properly?
A: Cockers of this age tend to be far more affectionate than, say, a springer and love to have constant contact with their owner.
Don’t worry though, it’s a trait that will sort itself out in time when the dog’s hunting experience grows. Cockers might be busy dogs but to get them hunting really well and take their mind off the owner you need to work them on ground where there’s lots of game scent.
A grass field which you’ve walked first to put the rabbits off is ideal. So too is a grassy lane.
Another ploy to get him hunting away from you is to drop some retrieves in light cover and let him have fun finding them.
You can build on his confidence by slowly increasing the distance of the retrieves he has to hunt out but don’t over do it. He has got to stay close enough for you to stay in total control.