When you have a new puppy you must be organized. For example, schedule heartworm pills on the same day you will clean ears, or brush his teeth on the same day you clip his nails. This way you don't have to perform 'puppy maintenance' daily! Little tips like this can help you and your puppy get along much better!
Additionally, when you have a new puppy you might also think about the type of dog containment you may need for outdoor areas. It is a really good idea to have an outdoor area where your cocker spaniel can run and play freely but also have boundaries to keep them contained.
Myth: Grooming a Cocker Spaniel is practically impossible!
This is simply not true. You will however need to invest a few hours a month into grooming. At first, we purchased a low end pair of clippers for about $22 at Target. We went with the cheap pair just to make sure that grooming a Cocker was a feasible task. It turned out that Scooter was scared to death of the clippers. With the help of the kind folks over at an internet forum I was given some advice to overcome this and now we can clip Scooter whenever he needs a trim.
Here's how we did it: I started by having Monica hold Scooter and I would rub the clippers all over his body (on the off position). Afterwards we would reward him with treats. We did this for a few weeks and finally started turning the clippers on. A week or so of this and we finally can trim the hair on his face and in between his toes, those regions that were very 'off limits' a month or so ago.
We don't even have a grooming table!!! We transformed our coffee table into a makeshift grooming table. Scooter stands on the table while Monica either holds him, or stands next to him while holding him with the leash and collar on. I do the clipping while he stands still. If you are going to try this, make sure you have a towel, or bathmat on your table so your puppy doesn't slide around.
Myth: Bathing a Cocker Spaniel Puppy is miserable!
Not with Scooter!!!! Scooter seems to enjoy the warm water poured over him. We use a gentle puppy shampoo formulated for dogs with white coats and scrub away. It isn't even necessary to have any fancy faucets or bathing areas. We plop Scoot into the bathtub and pour water over him with a jumbo sized 64oz. cup. Oh does the bathtub get dirty after this little guy sits in there!!!
After Scooter is clean, we dry him off with a towel and begin blowdrying and combing him simultaneously. As of now, the blowdryer scares the heck out of Scooter. We are working on this problem! We seem to be having luck with keeping his attention focused on a treat while blowdrying him with the blowdryer out of his field of vision. I think we are making progress. This really shows off his great hair, it gets so puffy!
Myth: All those toys and supplies are so expensive.
You don't need to shop at those high priced big chain pet stores! The day before Monica and I picked up Scooter, we went to one of these stores. We were running through the store like two happy parents. We picked up leashes, collars, dog bowls, chew toys, and stuffed animal type toys. We spent a lot of time in the crate section of the store. What a mistake! All of the crates were placed so high that we couldn't even get a hold of one to see the sizes. If only I would have looked here for a crate to crate train my Cocker Spaniel.
Now the good part:
Our next shopping stop of the day was Target. Just for grins we stopped by the pet section to check it out. Everything that we bought at the high priced big chain pet store was about twice the price of similar items sold at Target! We filled the cart with everything that we had just purchased at the pet store. We also found low end grooming clippers on sale for $22. We had spent $25 less at Target on pet supplies and now we had grooming clippers too! We marched right back to the big chain pet store and returned everything. Luckily they have a return policy!!
Until your puppy is able to notify you that a potty trip is necessary, life can be very difficult. It is very important to try to learn your puppy's warning signs for when he is about to do his business. For example, Scooter tends to sniff the floorboards and stare at our coat rack when he is ready to go potty. All dogs have different ways of letting you know its time for a potty break. It is up to you to recognize these signs and consistently take your dog outside to establish a routine. Your carpet will thank you!
Do you want to have an American Cocker Spaniel in a city?
Here is a whole section that you must read before you consider having a Cocker in the city.
Are you tired of those awful tear stains? * Updated 5/8/05 *
Well, so are we!
We finally figured out the key to keeping your Cocker Spaniel's face free of those awful tear stains. The remedy is pretty simple, keep the hair very short around your Cocker Spaniel's eyes. You can use regular scissors or keep the face shaved pretty close with a #10 blade. This way, the tear won't have any hair to stick to, removing those unwanted tear stains (and the 'goop' under the eyes)!
We attempted to use a few products that claim to remove the stains but we didn't have any luck. I advise saving your money and just clip the face every few weeks.
Clean your Cocker Spaniel's ears!
Cocker Spaniels are prone to ear infections if you aren't careful. The long floppy ears do not allow much airflow, creating a breeding ground for microorganisms. We clean Scooter's ears with a great homemade solution that we found from the Zim Family Cockers Ear Cleaning Page. With using this solution we haven't had a problem!