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My spaniel walks very well on a leash. He gets a little overexcited when we first leave the yard, but usually after about a block he falls into walking right by my side on a slack leash. We'll usually walk like this for a half mile or so and then I'll say "release" which is his word to go off and explore (as long as he keeps up with me). I don't have any problems with him walking around smelling the ground, the trees, etc... except for the fact that he has a tendency to walk right in front of me causing me to nearly trip on either him or the leash. Sometimes he zig zags right in front of me making it even more difficult. He's a sharp dog he just hasn't been taught the "don't trip the food source" trick. I want him to be able to explore while we're walking I just don't want to trip over him while he's doing it.
 

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Your dog is "quartering" and it's part of the instruction set that's burned into a spaniel's CPU. Work on getting a good recall and let him off the leash. Walk him into the wind and nature should take care of the rest. There are formal patterning drills you can do to refine it. Consider training him for a spaniel trial.
 

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Your dog is "quartering" and it's part of the instruction set that's burned into a spaniel's CPU. Work on getting a good recall and let him off the leash. Walk him into the wind and nature should take care of the rest. There are formal patterning drills you can do to refine it. Consider training him for a spaniel trial.
Just googled quartering. I didn't realize that's what he was doing. I knew Spaniels were hunting dogs but didn't think this guy had much of a hunting instinct. I can't get him to play fetch and he seemed completely uninterested in the geese and ducks at the park.
 

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Spaniels are generally natural retrievers, but there's no telling how much of that instinct he inherited. Some spaniels from pure show lines are good hunters right out of the box. Others...not so much. Most have at least moderate retrieving skills. You could probably teach him to fetch.
 
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