Managing Cocker Spaniel Barking Behaviors

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This is our review of the best methods and products to help quiet Cocker Spaniel barking behavior.

Many dog owners say they can pick out the sound of a Cocker Spaniel barking. It’s often described as high-pitched and can be quite loud, especially when the dog is excited or alarmed. Without proper training, attention, and exercise, Cocker Spaniels are known to be frequent barkers that can make a noisy neighbor.

We’ve spent hours researching the types and common causes of Cocker Spaniel barking behaviors to give you information that can benefit and calm your dog. We’ll take a look at products that can help keep the peace and walk you through the process of helping to quiet excessive barking. Understanding Cocker Spaniel barking behavior can help create a quieter environment for you and your furry friend. 

Like most dogs, Cocker Spaniels bark to communicate, protect, get attention, socialize, and sometimes just out of pure excitement. While there are many reasons why they bark, it probably won’t take too long to recognize the difference between barking types.

Types of Cocker Spaniel Barking Behavior

Since dogs use barking to communicate, it’s useful to understand what your canine companion is trying to tell you.

It might take a while, especially if your dog is still young, but it’s useful to know when your dog is communicating a concern like fear, anxiety, and hunger or when they simply want your attention or to play.

Here are a few types of common barks to recognize as you work to manage barking behavior.

Alert Bark

Often short and sharp and used to warn their owner of others (animal or person) that might be approaching their space.

Playful Bark

When a Cocker Spaniel is barking in a higher-pitched, excited tone, it’s often playful.

Attention Bark

Owners know when they hear a Cocker Spaniel barking to get attention – the bark will be persistent and often loud!

Fear Bark

It’s important to know when a Cocker Spaniel barking is triggered by fear. Usually, it will be a lower-tone bark that might sound menacing if feeling threatened. 

The next step many dog owners want to know is what they can do to help quiet their Cocker Spaniel. Let’s take a look at a few products researched specifically with Cocker Spaniel barking behavior in mind.

Products To Quiet Cocker Spaniel Barking Behaviors

Since Cocker Spaniels are social dogs that like to interact with other dogs and play with their owner, they often bark when they are excited or playing with a toy. When picking out toys for Cocker Spaniels, it’s good to start with a few interactive toys that require some thinking to match their intelligence. 

With their specific needs in mind, we reviewed a few items that could be just what your Cocker Spaniel needs to limit the barking without additional training or bark collars. Many owners say that pairing a good interactive toy with extra exercise can make a big difference. 

Our staff at Dog Training Boss have listened to dog owners with noisy canines and spent hours researching products that are the best fit for Cocker Spaniel barking behaviors. 

While there are many ways and products to help quiet Cocker Spaniel barking behaviors, we at Dog Training Boss suggest starting with some age and size-appropriate toys and adding some extra exercise into their daily routine. Often times barking is simply asking for attention and mental stimulation. 

Here are our reviews of three products that can help redirect your barking canine. 

Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Dog Brick 

The first product we liked to help with Cocker Spaniel barking is the Nina Ottosson Dog Brick. As this toy provides rewards (treats) and dogs are typically very motivated to play and continue puzzle solving. This combination makes a great distraction to calm Cocker Spaniel barking behavior.

What does it do?

The Nina Ottosson Dog Brick is an interactive puzzle toy that provides 3 different types of challenges for your Cocker Spaniel to figure out in order to be rewarded with the hidden treat.

Many dog owners like the design of this toy and how smoothly the pieces move. There are also little doors for hiding treats in compartments which adds an additional skill for your pet. 

Features We Liked Best

While there are several features we like in the Outward Hound Nine Ottosson Dog Brick, a few stood out more than others.

3 Types of Treat Hiding Compartments

One the the most beneficial features to the Outward Hound Nine Ottosson Dog Brick is the multiple types of hiding compartments to keep your dog focused on using difference skills to find the treats. 

There are 3 hiding skills in this toy – a flip lid, slide, and removable lid. All three types of skills give your Cocker Spaniel a different challenge and sensory experience together in one toy. 

Challenge Versatility

If your dog is struggling to master all the types of compartments this toy offers, owners can start by filling one type, like the slide compartment, first before moving on to using the entire toy. We liked the versatility of offering different hiding compartments at different dog skill levels. It will help hold your dog’s interest and hopefully extend the life of this toy.

Care and Durability

We liked that it was made with food-safe plastic and can easily be washed with warm, soapy water between uses. 

While the Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Dog Brick is durable, some owners mention that this might not be a great fit for aggressive chewers. The hiding compartment with a lid is a separate piece and could be easily chewed on. Like many pet products, supervision is recommended when in use.

Starmark Bob-A-Lot Treat Dispenser

Another fun, interactive toy for Cocker Spaniels is the Starmark Bob-A-Lot Treat Dispenser

What Does It Do?

Glad you asked. This toy is a particularly good fit if your dog has extra energy and needs to put it to good use before getting into trouble! 

The Starmark Bob-A-Lot is a weighted ball with a hole in the center that can be filled with a variety of treats or dry dog food. Your dog will need to sniff and bat around at the bobbing ball for the treat to fall out. Many dog owners like how well this toy was able to keep their dog busy and engaged.

Features We Liked Best

The features we found most beneficial to deter Cocker Spaniel barking in the Starmark Bob-A-Lot is the volume of rewards it can hold and the engaging exercise it can provide for indoor play.


Depending on the environment where you live, many dog owners have days (sometimes weeks!) when the weather is too cold, rainy, or too hot to take your furry friend out for some much-needed exercise.

Finding an interactive toy like the Starmark Bob-A-Lot can make a big difference when it comes to redirecting Cocker Spaniel barking behavior while providing a way to enjoy using up some energy indoors. Most dogs like the unpredictable wobbling motion in this enrichment toy.

Reward Quantity

We looked at other dispensing toys that were a similar fit for the needs of Cocker Spaniels, but we were often disappointed with the size and amount of treats it could hold. The Starmark Bob-A-Lot can hold up to 3 cups of dry dog food, which is great if you wanted to use this toy to help slow down fast eaters. 

There is some frustration mentioned with the cleaning process of this toy, but a bottle brush and soapy water rinse seemed to be useful. 

Design and Durability

It has a screw-on/off lid and sliding doors to help load in treats and dry dog food. Most Starmark Bob-A-Lot owners describe the hard plastic as durable, although an aggressive chewer can likely find a way to put the durability to the test!

Make sure to choose toys that are made of safe materials and that are not too small or too big for your dog to swallow.

KONG Wubba Tug Toy

Cocker Spaniels love toys that challenge them, and some enjoy the extra interaction that a tug toy provides. If this sounds like your canine companion, we suggest the KONG Wubba tug toy. 

What Does It Do?

There are many tug toys to pick from, but we liked the KONG Wubba because it can also be used for other interactive fetch games. The mental stimulation not only helps distract your Cocker Spaniel barking behavior with exercise and activity but also builds a stronger relationship with you. 

Many owners like the design of the toy, color options, and squeakers to help keep their dog’s focus while playing. 

Features We Liked Best

The KONG Wubba is able to be used for several different kinds of play and uses durable materials. 


The KONG Wubba is covered in ballistic nylon and strong stitching. It’s not intended to be used as a chew toy, but many owners are pleased with the strong materials and durability of this toy. 


Think about the size of your furry friend when making a tug toy purchase. The KONG Wubba comes in different sizes so you have options that can fit your dog. 

As with many dog toys, using the KONG Wubba for interactive, safe play can help build a trusting relationship between you and your furry friend for years to come. 

Excessive Barking Behavior

If you think your Cocker Spaniel is barking excessively, there are a few things you can try to help with the noise. 

Command Training

Use a command for “quiet”. This can be a verbal command or a combination of a verbal command and a hand signal. Reward your dog with praise and treats when they stop barking after the quiet command.  For more specific steps on training a dog to stop barking, we’ve put together a separate guide on training methods to help stop barking behavior.


Socializing your dog can be beneficial at any age, but especially for younger dogs. Exposing your dog to other animals and people will help tame excessive barking from excitement. It can also make them less likely to bark from fear or protection if they are used to seeing others. 

The Value of Exercise And Mental Stimulation

As we mentioned earlier, Cocker Spaniels are intelligent dogs that require both exercise and mental stimulation to help keep the excess noise down. Dogs that are bored often bark to get your attention.

Our Final Thoughts

If brain toys, exercise, command training, and socializing don’t seem to help with excessive Cocker Spaniel barking, check in with your vet to rule out any concerns that might be specific to your furry friend. If possible, provide your vet with a list of times, places, or events when the barking behavior seems unmanageable. 

If you are new to taking care of a Cocker Spaniel, or would simply like more information, the American Kennel Club has a breed-specific guide to help you learn more about your companion.

We hope this information has been helpful and provided resources and products that help manage your Cocker Spaniel barking behavior.

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As a parent, dog owner, dog foster caregiver, and writer, I strive to create a loving home environment for all two and four-legged creatures. My background also includes research analysis and journalism. I work closely with animal behavior experts, trainers, and staff at Dog Training Boss to provide clear information that helps dog owners make the best decisions for their canine.

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