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Home > Dogs > Do Cocker Spaniels Bark a Lot? How Much & How to Stop It

Do Cocker Spaniels Bark a Lot? How Much & How to Stop It

cocker spaniel barking standing on the white snow

If you’re considering adopting a Cocker Spaniel, you may like to know how much they bark. Cocker Spaniels are well known for barking a lot and barking loudly. Without proper training, the Cocker Spaniel will bark incessantly. This may leave you with a couple of questions, such as how do I stop a Cocker Spaniel from barking, and why Cocker Spaniels bark so much?

Below we’ll tell you everything you need to know about why Cocker Spaniels bark so much and how to stop them.

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Why Do Cocker Spaniels Bark So Much?

To answer why Cocker Spaniels bark so much, we must go back through their history and find out why they were bred in the first place. The Cocker Spaniel descends from a breed called the Spaniel or Spanial. These Spaniels were hunting dogs, and Cocker Spaniels were produced for the same reason. Cocker Spaniels existed to flush out and retrieve a bird called the Woodcock.

Since they were hunting dogs, they needed to be high-energy, and this caused them to bark a lot. On top of their energy, they were also bred to be very loyal, which made them more dependent on people. Some cockers suffer from separation anxiety when their owners leave; this often causes them to bark more.

cocker spaniel with bird
Image Credit: Elmira Yu, Shutterstock

How to Stop a Cocker Spaniel from Barking

You can employ a few strategies to cut down on your Cocker Spaniel’s barking. It’s important to note that some methods will not work for your pet; Spaniels bark for several reasons, but you can investigate what seems to cause the most barking.

Ignore Their Barking

Ignore them completely while they bark. Don’t pet them, don’t talk to them, and don’t even look at them. Giving them attention reinforces the idea that they can bark to get what they want. Instead, reward them when they stop barking. Your dog will quickly realize that they get ignored when barking and rewarded when they’re silent.

Get Them Used to What’s Triggering Them

If you can find out what’s causing your Cocker Spaniel to bark, you can get them used to it. If a new pet or roommate is upsetting them, try gradually introducing them in small steps. However, dogs that start barking due to fireworks or other loud sounds may not appreciate you trying to desensitize them to the noise.

Socialize Them

It’s essential to start this one early; if your Cocker Spaniel barks at new people or dogs, you’ll have to spend time socializing your pet with other animals and humans. Taking them to a dog park can be a great way to do this. It would be best if you socialized your Cocker Spaniel while they’re young so that other dogs and people will not bother them as an adult.

woman sitting on couch with cocker spaniel
Image Credit: O_Lypa, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

The Cocker Spaniel is a dog that often has a barking problem. Anything from a new person to the doorbell to simply wanting attention can set a Cocker Spaniel off and send them into a barking fit. Despite the Cocker Spaniel’s penchant for barking, they can be trained to bark less frequently.

There are many ways you can stop a Cocker Spaniel from barking, from ignoring them to socializing them. A Cocker spaniel can be trained out of its barking habit; the earlier you start, the better.


Featured Image Credit: Korvit, Shutterstock

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