Oh - My - Gosh! My dear Zim friends, please
Let me share a story with you all. You know my little Feather is 17+ years old. I got her from a very experienced hobby breeder here in California, who gave me what I consider to have been the very best cocker training advice I've ever heard: "Train exactly what you want her to do: train her to the places where you want her to be and under what circumstances."
First, I trained "go pee" on command. Absolutely the best thing I ever did. That alone has allowed me to take her many, many places; she is still a great travel companion.
That training also involved her sleeping in her crate _beside_ my bed (gasp!) until she was nearly 3 years old: until I could trust her to stay there until I "released" her, even when she woke up in the night. Otherwise, how could I keep her safe while I slept? After learning to be thoroughly reliable, she has been on my bed almost every night since. And her crate is still her safe place.
My couch? She was/is only allowed there IF I invited her up. You see, I was not allowing her beautiful cocker exuberance full rein. I taught her to be bonded to me, to modulate her responses and seek permission. I gave her a job: she needs to think.
I also taught her to stop-and-sit on command- which saved her life a couple of times. We live in a city; I needed a way to keep her safe when we were out and about, without making her too dependent or fearful.
"Go to your bed"- and - "Crate!" were very handy commands, again, to keep her safe, from little grandson hands, pulling on her, or trying to feed her god-knows-what. My grandsons were 10-14 yrs before I stopped crating her during meals when they're here. They just couldn't help sharing their food with her. And she will eat just anything- then throw it up on my bed in the middle of the night!
IMHO being a good cocker guardian means careful training- to what we want and where we want them to be, so that they can be emotionally secure and physically safe.
For Feather, who is not at all food motivated, I needed to SHOW her what I wanted, Consistently, and say, "OH WHAT A GOOD GIRL!!"
In my experience, most cockers live to please their people. And they can be just as content resting their head on a foot, as lying on the couch.