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Circling

Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by Georgie boy, Feb 12, 2021.

  1. Georgie boy

    Georgie boy New Member Registered

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    Georgie is a 2 year old, very fit and healthy Sprocker. We’ve had him since he was a pup. When out walking he has always constantly circled in front of us, often with a bark. If we’re in a field with lots of space he’ll run in a large circle, with a bark when he’s close to us. Walking down a narrow lane he walks in smaller circles, as if he’s constantly checking on us. People we meet have commented ‘he will make himself dizzy’. Sometimes we put him on the lead to stop him from circling and barking. On the beach he will run and run to retrieve a ball, and on other occasions he’ll run without circling. Georgie always circles clockwise. Should we just ignore it? Or contact a dog behaviourist? Has anyone else had the same experience?
     
  2. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    A friend of mine has a rescue dog who circles, growling as he does so, and seems to go into a different zone - she found that just picking him up and holding him close would snap out of it. In his situation, it was pathological, and decreased when he was put on some meds, and when he gradually learnt to relax after she rescued him. But he had spent the first 6 years of his life on a chain and the vet suspected it was flashbacks to times when rats were attacking his hind end:(

    Chances are with your dog, it's nothing like this and more of a habit - I'm not an expert so don't know how to tell if it needs addressing or not, just illustrating what it can be like.
     
  3. Georgie boy

    Georgie boy New Member Registered

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    Thanks Judy.
    It has become a bit of a habit, as you have said.
     
  4. Hemlock

    Hemlock Well-Known Member Registered

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    Spaniels are supposed to work in front of their handler and from side to side, so that is hardwired into them. Yours has simply taken it one step further. I'd suggest buying her a canvas retrieve dummy, and (starting in the garden if you have one) get her used to going out to one or other side of you to "find" it. Once she is habituated to finding the dummy, you can buy a couple more, but save your money until you are sure she will search for the dummy. It can be in plain sight - she'll still 'search' because that is what she is programmed to do.

    When you can do this in the garden, maybe try it in a hired and fenced dog exercise area where she is on her own. Don't do it on a walk where other dogs can come up and steal the dummy, but if you can, progress to sending her to find the dummy on a walk when no other dogs are about. Do not throw the dummy in front, but you can throw or drop it behind and send her back for it.

    Thus you take a basic instinct/compulsion, and bring it under control. Then you can both enjoy it.
     
    Dibbythedog likes this.
  5. Georgie boy

    Georgie boy New Member Registered

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    Thank you for taking the time to provide such a detailed reply. We can certainly try this. Trying to change what has become a habit for our pup.
     

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