When Do Cocker Spaniels Calm Down?

May 24, 2022

Anyone who has a cocker spaniel will happily tell you this dog breed can be quite hyper. At times without clear reason.

Stemming from their hunting background cocker spaniels are full of energy. This is particularly the case when they are still puppies or young adult dogs.

As most cocker spaniels are family pets now instead of hunting dogs owners need to find a way to scratch that itch their dogs have. This is through physical and mental stimulation. Keeping your dogs mind and body used will help keep this hyperactivity at bay.

The high energy levels and loving nature are a few of the factors that make cocker spaniels such fantastic family dogs. Engaging activities and routine are going to be important to help your dog relax.

The good news is that there are plenty of activities you can take to help your dog relax a little more at any age.

Keep reading to learn about what you can do to deal with a hyper cocker spaniel and how you can satisfy your four legged friends need for stimulation.

Why are Cocker Spaniels so Hyper?

Cocker spaniels hyperactivity roots in their genetics. This breed was originally bred for hunting with its long floppy ears helping guide scents to their nose to better track their prey. They had to quick on the uptake in this role.

So, naturally they are full of energy. Even when resting or asleep a cocker spaniel will bounce up in an instant ready to play or investigate a sound.

Even though cocker spaniels are more commonly seen getting comfortable on a sofa relaxing than chasing game in a forest doesn't mean that their higher energy levels have gone. A cocker spaniel still has a lot of energy to burn.

Aside from its history a cocker spaniel could also be acting hyper if they don't feel physically or mentally engaged. This could be bored at home alone while your out to the shops or at work, or even just not been out for their walk yet and running crazy around the house.

At times this might even lead to destructive behaviour for entertainment. Chewing furniture, ripping up papers lying around, howling, or barking for attention. If this is a common occurrence it can lead to separation anxiety.

What Age Do Cocker Spaniels Calm Down?

Puppies are naturally more hyper. Everything is new and exciting. A lot to learn and explore.

As cocker spaniels age they do begin to cool off a little. A few factors are at play. Firstly your dog begins to mature. These steps towards adulthood will see your dog chill out a little. Also, if you have built routine into their lives much of your dogs day is predictable.

The age this happens varies a lot. Definitely depends on the dog. In my own experience it happened around two to three years old. Some owners have said as late as five years old, or never. At times any cocker spaniel has the ability to unleash their inner puppy.

It really is an excitable dog breed.

How Do I Calm my Cocker Spaniel?

So, you have a hyper cocker spaniel? The good news is there are ways to get a cocker spaniel to calm down a bit.

Lets run through the main methods you can use to make your dog relax.


The top tip is exercise. This is without a doubt the best way to keep your cocker spaniel happy. A good workout helps your dog stay physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy. Not to mention the added benefit of strengthening your bond.

Try to give your dog around an hour a day. Of course, this is providing they are not a puppy as their bones, muscles, and tendons are still developing.

A good adventure outside will also scratch that itch previously mentioned around cocker spaniels hunting history.

Cocker spaniels are intelligent dogs so you will want to aim for a blend of mental and physical stimulation. Many dog owners don't put enough stock into mentally engaging their little friends.

Other ways to keep your dogs mind going when you are out include finding new routes to walk and switch up the time you go out for a walk to keep your cocker spaniel on their toes.

If you are out for a long walk do remember to take a pop-up bowl and water with you. Also, keep an eye on how your dog is feeling. They will let you know when they are tired. Watch out for a slowing pace or a lot of panting. Maybe a good time for a water break.

Another way to ticking this box for your dog is to sign them up to dog sports such as Flyball or agility training. Your cocker spaniel will relish the opportunity to race through tunnels and over jumps.

After all of the above you are guaranteed to have a tired dog who will not be hyper but will be curled up on the sofa enjoying a nice nap.

Play Games

Not all physical activity has to be in the park. If the weather is horrible there is plenty you can do at home to keep your cocker spaniel fulfilled. Mental stimulation is just as important as physical exercise for your dog.

Here are a few ideas of tasks what you could do to engage your dog mentally.

Hide a Toy

Let your dog chase a ball or find a toy that was hidden and watch their eyes light up as the hunt begins. This is excellent mental stimulation.

Start by showing your cocker which toy you have and ask them to stay then walk away with the toy hiding it in another room. Then return to your dog and tell them to go and watch them going into hunting mode to track down this toy. You can do this several times.

Switch up Dog Toys

Your cocker spaniel can become accustomed to their toys they see on a day to day basis. What you can do is split it into a couple of groups and rotate every few weeks to keep it interesting. Another simple yet affective tip.

Dog Puzzles

Dog puzzles are a great way to keep your dogs mind sharp. There are a vast range of interactive toys available to choose from. There are more straight forward snuffle mats or Nina Ottosson puzzles which your cocker spaniel might need a bit of help with.


This is another way of stimulating your dog and strengthening your bond.

Safe, Quiet Space at Home

Make sure your cocker spaniel has a safe, quiet, and comfortable place to rest. Having an area where you dog can relax and get away from a busy household and just relax. This will be particularly important if you have a house with younger children.

If you are have a puppy you might have to show them where this is and offer positive reinforcement to encourage positive feels with this place.

You could even sit with your dog at the start. Show them that their own space is a good place to relax.

Keep a Routine in Day to Day Life

Structure and routine can have a big impact on keeping your dog relaxed.

If you are able to build a daily routine your dog is far less likely to be hyper during the day. Particularly after they have matured.

What will get them worked up is if something out of the ordinary happens such as a delivery person or a strange noise. In a situation like this you will find your dog becomes alert and protective of their home.

Can Dog Training Help my Cocker Spaniel Calm Down?

A well trained cocker spaniel is far more likely to calm down faster and be far less hyperactive.

Training is always far easier when a dog is still a puppy so start as young as possible. Proper training helps your dog understand what is expected of them. It can also help your dog learn new behaviours faster.

Training a cocker spaniel is a joy. The area always happy to learn and love to please their owners. At times this breed can be a little stubborn which does stress the importance of obedience training.

If you just got a cocker spaniel puppy you can also consider enrolling them into puppy classes.

They already understand the connection between good behaviour getting praise or treats. While conversely bad behaviour gets ignored or maybe an 'bad girl'. Remember not to go to heavy as cocker spaniels don't take harsh treatment well. Gently scold at most.

Can Spaying or Neutering Calm a Hyper Cocker Spaniel?

Spayed female cocker spaniels won't be less hyper than those who don't have the procedure. It is still worth doing this to avoid long term health conditions.

This is different for males however. Male cocker spaniels who have been neutered do exhibit fewer possessive behaviours and less aggression.

Can Health Conditions Cause a Cocker Spaniel to be Hyper?

Yes. Cocker spaniels can have behavioural problems which were caused by a health condition.

Keep in mind that your loyal companion can't talk. They communicate with you through barking or behaviour. If your dog is acting strangely investigate further and definitely speak with a vet if it persists.


Generally speaking most dogs can be excitable at times. With its background as a hunting dog a cocker spaniel can be quite energetic can will need a good mix of physical and mental stimulation to stay content.

Cocker spaniels love a good opportunity to get out for a long walk, hunt down toys or even sniff out some treats hidden in a snuffle mat. By finding ways to engage your dog mentally you will be able to help your cocker spaniel calm down.

Take time to get to know your dog. They all have their own unique quirks, likes, and dislikes. Knowing your dog can help you understand when methods are more effective out of all the outlined strategies above.

Of course, the energetic and playful nature of this breed can shine through from time to time. Definitely part of what makes a cocker spaniel such a brilliant family pet.

Allan  Noble
Hi, my name is Allan! I am the owner of Spaniel Advisor and I've got over seven years experience of owning Spaniels.  
I hope this article was helpful for you! 
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