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Why is my cocker spaniel so hyper? And how to deal with a hyperactive cocker spaniel

A cocker spaniel’s sweet nature, silky coat, and large floppy ears are some of their defining qualities. They are also known for their energetic, active nature. This is what makes this dog a perfect breed choice that will fit in well with your family. If you have young children in the family, the dog will always play and interact with them. If you have just got brought a cocker spaniel puppy home and wondering how they are so energetic, we will be telling you all about why cocker spaniels can be extremely hyper and how to possibly calm them down.

Why are cocker spaniels hyper?

Cocker spaniels were originally bred as hunting dogs to help hunters and farmers retrieve birds and other small animals. Like in any other working dog breed, their energetic nature is encoded in their genes. If you are planning to get yourself (or your family) a cocker spaniel puppy, then you should be aware that a cocker spaniel is not the kind of dog breed that will lazily lounge around all day.

You can learn more about what a working cocker spaniel is on this guide here

What does hyperactive mean in a dog and are cocker spaniels hyperactive?

Using the word hyper to describe a dog’s nature means that the dog is always energetic and wanting to play around. Hyper dog breeds also tend to have a short attention span. Hyper dog breed puppies need a lot of physical and mental stimulation to expend that energy. If left to their own devices, hyper puppies might result in engaging in destructive behaviours like chewing.

So are cocker spaniels hyper? Yes. Cocker spaniels are a hyper dog breed, but with sufficient stimulation, however, they can relatively calm down.

You can also read this guide on when cocker spaniels calm down here

Two cocker spaniels running and burning energy
Two cocker spaniels running and burning off their energy

When do cocker spaniels calm down?

Cocker spaniels tend to be energetic all through their lives. Cocker puppies could be a little more hyper in comparison to adult cockers but generally, cockers stay active all their lives with a puppy nature-like energy. It is one of the qualities that makes them great company as they are always ready for cuddles and play.

You can also learn when a cocker spaniels is fully grow in this guide

How do you calm a cocker spaniel down?

If you have a cocker spaniel, it is important to make sure that they expend their extra energy if you don’t want them to develop some attention deficiency hyperactivity disorder or channel this energy into destructive tendencies like chewing on your furniture. Here is how you could calm a hyper cocker spaniel down.

Physical exercise and mental stimulation will help calm a hyperactive cocker spaniel

This is one of the best ways to deal with a hyper cocker spaniel puppy. Ideally, cocker spaniels need an hour’s walk daily or half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the evening.

If you have a cocker spaniel puppy you can also learn more about how long and often you should walk a cocker spaniel puppy in this guide.

This will be enough to channel their excess energy and avoid undesirable attributes such as hyperactivity. Also, consider changing the route you work to keep their minds stimulated and take a ball or other toys.

Cocker spaniel being taken for walks to help them be less active as they burn off energy
Cocker spaniel being taken for a walk to help them be less active as they burn off energy

Another thing you could do to keep your cocker pup mentally stimulated is to make them work for their food. You can do this by getting them interactive feeding toys that dispense food when your pet plays with them.

To learn more about how much exercise cocker spaniels need you can read this guide here

Provide plenty of toys to help stimulate your hyper cocker spaniel

Giving cocker spaniels toys will keep them burn energy so there less hyper, its also provide mental stimulation
Giving a cocker spaniel toys will keep them burning off their energy so they are less hyper, it also provides mental stimulation

Other than interactive feeding toys, you can also buy your puppy some more toys to play with to keep them busy. These toys will keep your dog mentally engaged. You could also get some interactive toys, allowing you to join in on the play. Teach them simple games of fetch or tug.

You could also consider getting an automatic ball launcher for your garden which we reviewed in this guide

Training cocker spaniels to make them less hyperactive

Due to their hunting backgrounds, cocker spaniels naturally spend a lot of time close to their owners. They have been bred to do so and take commands well from their owners. When you start socializing your cocker spaniel puppy, you must train them on what behaviours are acceptable as early as possible.

hyper cocker spaniel can be trained to help them be less hyper
Hyper cocker spaniels can be trained to help them be less hyperactive

Also, training your cocker spaniel on simple commands like ‘sit’ will help make them calm down when they are being hyperactive. When you command them to sit, you can then try and refocus their energy elsewhere.

Check out my guide on how to train a cocker spaniel including crate training, toilet training and leash training

Also, check out this article where we reviewed the best dog crates for cocker spaniels

Could dog food be making your cocker spaniels hyperactive?

Dog food made for working dogs like cocker spaniels is made to provide energy for their active lifestyle. The food you are feeding your cocker spaniel puppy could be contributing to their hyperactivity.

You can learn more about how much to feed a cocker spaniel in this guide here

Dog food allergies could also manifest themselves in hyperactivity. If you suspect that this is the reason your dog is being hyperactive, you might want to change their diet to an unprocessed natural raw diet. Before you do, however, you should consult your vet and decide the best diet for them.

You may also want to learn why you puppy is eating stones here and how to stop that

Your dog may also eat grass so check this article to learn why they do this and why is probably not an issue


In conclusion,

Cocker spaniels are generally a very energetic dog breed. If this energy is not properly expelled, it might manifest in hyperactivity or some other destructive tendencies. Exercise is one of the best ways to expel a cocker spaniel’s pent-up energy.

Typically, walking them for an hour every day would be enough but you can also get them some toys to play with when they are bored. Interactive feeding toys that make the puppy work for its food will also mentally simulate your cocker spaniel puppy.

Training them on simple commands to stop the hyperactivity is also handy as you can then refocus their energy on something else.

Read next: How to train a cocker spaniel not to jump up

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