CockersOnline Forum

Cocker Specific Discussion => Behaviour & Training => Topic started by: Fern123 on September 14, 2021, 07:18:46 PM

Title: Advice - 1 year old cocker spaniel
Post by: Fern123 on September 14, 2021, 07:18:46 PM
So I recently stumbled across this website and i'm so pleased I did! Reading through other people's experiences has been so reassuring and made me feel like i'm not a complete dog mum failure.

My partner and I have a 1 year old (well 1 next week) female show cocker spaniel. She's our first dog together and has been testing to say the least. She's always been a very confident, very willfull puppy or sassy diva as she's also been described. We love her to bits and she has so many good qualities but we are still struggling with some areas.

1) Pulling on the lead. She has literally pulled on the lead from the very first walk. Admittedly we have not been as consistent as we could have been. Down to our lack of patience. I have managed to get her to heal when we are in the forest and she is off lead. Having said this, she'll do it all the time she's interested in the treat I've got. I've also managed to get her to walk nicely on lead, again all the time she's interested on the treat. I've managed to get her to walk really well for about 15 minutes on lead. Not consistant though. If she's in a new area or if she gets excited from something then she's back in train mode. She will even at times hop on her back legs, impressive but rather embarrassing as it's not something I often see dogs doing. At the moment we use a harnes with the lead clipped on the front and back. I was thinking of trying a figure of 8 lead. Any advise or recommendations would be good.

2) Horses. We live in an area where horses are most likely going to be about on our off lead walks. She has been introduced to horses from very early on and in the early days she was great. Didn't show that much interest. As she's gotten older she now feels the need to see if they want to play. As soon as she sees one she'll want to run up. I can keep her attention for a bit but as we get closer she can't resist. Sometimes she barks but not always. She'll run near and around them. I dont get the impression that she's being aggressive towards them but it isn't ideal as she could end up being kicked and it's also highly embarrassing. There have been times where we will see someone riding a horse so I always get her on the lead at that point. Now this is embarrassing as she must look mental as she barks and pulls around on the lead. I try to get her to sit or focus on me but it's very difficult to try and get her attention back. Has anyone experienced this or have any suggestions on what to do? Will she become less bothered by horses as she gets older and keeps being exposed to them?

3) Relaxing. So during the day she is a lot better but come evening she can be a right nightmare. Since day one she was awful in the evenings. I had no idea what it was but she would be such hard work. I read up about the witching hour but hers was more like witching 4 hours. Tiring to say the least. I then realised it could be her being over tired but she would still do it even if she'd slept alot throughout the day. When she was younger she would become the devil and bite my legs whilst I sat on the sofa. Go for your feet then the sofa. We had a few months where we refused to buy new jeans as she would make her mark on them all with her needle teeth. As she's gotten older she has improved and now it usually is just between 8 and 9. It isn't to the same extent either thank god. What I find bizarre though is when she does have a moment of harassing, it's 9 times out of 10 aimed at me instead of my boyfriend. She'll sit on my lap facing me, if I have my phone in my hand she'll nudge it out of the way. Has anyone else's pup been like this?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated 🙂.
Title: Re: Advice - 1 year old cocker spaniel
Post by: phoenix on September 17, 2021, 11:39:33 PM
Youíve got a teenager.   And a diva!
To go straight to point 2, and horses. My neighbour has two horses, and a public footpath through her field. All dogs should be on a lead where livestock are kept.  The consequences of  an accident are horrific.  Yes a dog can get kicked, but a horse can bolt with disastrous consequences for itself,  can be bitten,  and generally be traumatised for  riding anywhere.   The law is on the side of the grazing animal and my neighbour has moved her horses out of that field because lockdown dog owners have caused too much worry for her. 
 Point one is  a matter of patience, and better to do more shorter walks than have a miserable long one. I sympathise, because my tiny poodle cross is an embarrassment as well if another dog is in sight.

Point 3 is the possessive Diva!  Iíve not experienced it like this, but all I can think of at the moment is to let her unwind on the other side of a baby gate from you, with  a stuffed kong to lick. You canít have a crocodile when we have visitors again! My tiny pup blocks me from the iPad,  they are like toddlers wanting mums attention, and a bedtime story.  Teeth are the only way that works. They should really be settled by 8 pm, my cocker was out of it by 6pm, but he had an older dog to show the sensible behaviour. I think a routine of peace and quiet isoniazid the  cards.
Youíll get there.
Title: Re: Advice - 1 year old cocker spaniel
Post by: Fern123 on September 20, 2021, 07:44:10 AM
Thank you for your response  :D.

I don't think she would ever bite a horse as she's not like that with other animals but I guess you never know 100%. I think I'll keep her on lead when going past in future until she's older and I know she will ignore them. Luckily when we see them they are right in the forest so no chance of them bolting onto a road.

We will continue with the lead training and hopefully one day she'll get there.

We've seen an improvement in the evenings as she's gotten older so hopefully that continues. Was just curious if other people had experienced it.

Title: Re: Advice - 1 year old cocker spaniel
Post by: Joules on September 20, 2021, 09:45:45 AM
You should definitely keep her on the lead near any livestock.

Even if you think she can to be trusted it's just not worth the risk of something happening.  :-\

Title: Re: Advice - 1 year old cocker spaniel
Post by: ejp on September 20, 2021, 09:28:27 PM
Please keep her on a lead around livestock, if anything were to go wrong it doesn't bear thinking about.  It's not just about how your dog reacts, but how the other animals react toward her.  It's far too dangerous.
Title: Re: Advice - 1 year old cocker spaniel
Post by: Fern123 on September 22, 2021, 11:46:03 AM
Thank you for your replies.

We will keep her on the lead. As you say it isn't worth the risk.
Title: Re: Advice - 1 year old cocker spaniel
Post by: JohnMcL on October 31, 2021, 12:01:57 AM
Hi Fern, Iíve got an 8 month old, Peanut, who has teenager moments too. Iíve had to put her back on a long line in the woods because of other pups and horses. When we see a rider(s) I call her back and tell her to sit which she does. Until a few weeks ago sheíd do this without me calling her and off lead. Now sheís teenage sheís trying it on!

I still practise walking in the house and garden with a slip lead and tiny treats. I made the mistake of using a harness when she was younger and I think I made a rod for my own back; she used to try and pull like Huskies do. I use the slip lead only when I expect her to walk to heel, I use a long line on walks where she can run about and she knows how to walk by what lead I put on. She rarely pulls on the slip lead now.

Peanut can push the boundaries on an evening and try and hassle my older dog, I tell her no and if she continues I put her out the room for 30 seconds, no eye contact, no talking. She usually comes back in and is good. Sometimes she gets put out again for 30 secs but sheís got the message. I think itís over tiredness.

I donít miss the needle teeth thatís for sure!