The Most Dog Friendly Community Online
Join Dog Forum to Discuss Breeds, Training, Food and More

Cocker Spaniel Sick Puppy Advice


New Member
Reaction score

Join our free community today.

Connect with other like-minded dog lovers!

Login or Register
Hi Everyone,

On the 5th of April we introduced a Cocker Spaniel puppy 'Tommy' into our family. I've grew up with Springer Spaniels and a Cavalier King Charles. This is my first Cocker Spaniel, I know they are renowned for being active, but Tommy was quite the opposite very subdued and barely eating, so 2 days after we got him we took him to the vets who confirmed he was in fact a very sick puppy, he was dehydrated, malnourished and believed to be younger than the 8 weeks we were told by the breeder. His mother was present when we got him but looking back she to seemed very subdued and weak.

We have Tommy back home now after over a week in the vets, and he is getting stronger every day but still not your normal puppy. I am trying my best to bond with him and give him as much love as I possible can but I feel he may be quite fearful of being touched because he has had so much treatment over the past while, he is being quite stand offish with myself and my partner and doesn't cry when he is on his own which I am use to, having had puppies in the past. Of course I don't want him to have any separation issues but I just want him to be happy and feel comfortable in his home and with us. If anyone has any advice on bonding with him? In his case he's not an ordinary puppy he is still very weak, but getting stronger everyday.

Last edited:
Oh, the poor thing :-(

Now, I think he needs to feel safe more than anything else. Don't worry about bonding, that will come. So don't make a fuss of him or touch him unnecessarily, don't make eye contact unless he seems to initiate it, and keep voices soft. Make sure he has a snuggly safe place where he can settle, maybe with a nice big soft toy, and ensure he isn't disturbed there.

Depending on how fearful he seems, you might want to avoid giving him treats straight from your hand but if he's fine with that, don't pet him when he takes it if the petting is scary. You could move your hand towards him and then put the treat on the floor, maybe hold a stinky treat in your hand to get him interested... follow his lead. You want him to know that hands only bring 'good' things and never 'bad' - and right now, touch may be 'bad'.

Soon, he'll feel safe and comfortable and recognise you as being safe and trustworthy. Then the bonding will come.
Thanks so much for your help Judy.
Your so right he's big snuggly bed is definitely his wee happy place at the minute.

We will take it day by day with him.

Thanks again.
If the breeder is registered with the local authority or kennel club, you might want to have a word with them too about her bad practice.

Your puppy looks very sweet, I hope he recovers well.
Sorry I've got to say it,it boils my piss does stuff like this. Look at the poor little bugger,having to go through all this at such a young old.
From the bottom of my heart I wish the little fella all the love and luck in this world.
I don't know if people still do this? But years ago we used to put a fluffy covered hotwater bottle and wrap a quiet ticking clock up in all the bedding of pups that were having to be hand reared or couldn't be with their mum, a kind of extra warm and comforting 'heartbeat'. He looks so sad and lost:(, fingers crossed he will grow bright and strong with your care, it's still early days and he has been through so much and as Judy says the bonding will come in time...

Welcome to Dog Forum!

Join our vibrant online community dedicated to all things canine. Whether you're a seasoned owner or new to the world of dogs, our forum is your go-to hub for sharing stories, seeking advice, and connecting with fellow dog lovers. From training tips to health concerns, we cover it all. Register now and unleash the full potential of your dog-loving experience!

Login or Register