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Someone please help! My springer spaniel puppy can't be disciplined

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by santalupin, Oct 20, 2020.

  1. santalupin

    santalupin New Member Registered

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    He's just over 10 weeks old so I've had him for two weeks. I've read all of this very logical sounding advice on how to discipline puppies but it simply doesn't work on my dog. When he does something naughty me and my husband both know to clap once and say no firmly (at this stage it's a proper shout). He just doesn't register it, he has manic episodes where he starts biting and nipping at us and our clothes as if we are toys, if we stand up or try to redirect him to one of his vast amounts of actual toys he just starts going at our legs and has put holes in two of my leggings. We have now resorted to putting him in the crate when he does this. I can see that people have said do not use your crate for discipline, but we really have no option. He also chews at the base of the sofa and has already damaged it. When he does this he gets the clap and the no which he always ignored, and then he goes in the crate for about 1-2 minutes, but as soon as he's out he chews the sofa again, so the process repeats and I really think he has no idea he's not meant to chew the sofa. I've tried harsher forms of discipline such as growling at him and pinning him down like my parents dog does to him as a telling off (which he listens to when it's coming from the dog) but he seems completely oblivious to even those when it's coming from humans. I know harsher forms of discipline are never advised but I'm just desperate to see some kind of acknowledgment from him. I've had two red setter puppies in the past at my family home. Neither were as bad as my puppy, perhaps because it was a busier household with other dogs.
     
  2. Tinytom

    Tinytom Well-Known Member Registered

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    First of all Please Do Not pin this puppy down ...would you hold a human baby down :oops::rolleyes::rolleyes::oops::oops:
    You have only had him 2 weeks ...he is a high energy breed that needs constant stimulation. ..your shouting or clapping will heighten his excitement. ..he is a Baby ...i think you should think long and hard if you should even have a puppy or maybe you should have researched and got a different breed of dog ...i am sorry if that sounds harsh but you have to think of the pups needs ....
     
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  3. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    I'm not sure what you have read. But I'd like to imagine you were learning to drive, with an instructor who spoke in a foreign language which you don't understand.

    If, every now and then, he clapped his hands and yelled ”uiigffrbjgxg!!!” really loud in your ear, what would you do? You wouldn't know what you had done wrong, whether you were in the wrong lane, going too fast, hadn''t indicated, were too close to the car in front, had gone through a red light, turned left instead of right, going the wrong way down a one way street - you get the picture. If your instructor moved on to physically punishing you, I suspect at the very least you wouldn't go back.

    News flash - your dog knows you aren't a dog. So growling and pinning him down doesn't gain his respect, it just makes you into a scary person. At this stage, you want to be building a bond with your dog, not physically punishing him. That isn't going to do anything except make him afraid of you.

    The science bit - over the last few years, we have learned a lot about canine psychology. The pack leader, dominance theory has been thoroughly disproven and widely discredited, even by the person who developed it. It was based on flawed conclusions drawn from poorly observed evidence. The wolf pack was not a real pack, it was a group of individuals thrown together and the situation (captivity rather than wild) skewed the data as their behaviour was not natural. And dogs are not wolves anyway, any more than we are chimpanzees - in both cases there was a shared ancestor but the species evolved in different directions. That's why we have humans AND apes, wolves AND dogs.


    This article explains it quite well. Debunking the "Alpha Dog" Theory - Whole Dog Journal

    Nobody disagrees with boundaries and good manners, but the these can be established through training, building a mutually respectful relationship and without forcing submission from your dog. We certainly do not advocate aversive tools and behaviours.

    If you think about leadership in your own life, the leaders (teachers , co-workers) that you respect earn that respect and inspire followership, they don't command or force it through wielding power 'just because they can'.

    So - what you can do is teach him what you do want instead. If he goes for clothes, continue to pop a toy in his mouth. Engage him in play that is even more fun than trouser legs. Or, you walk our of the room for 10 seconds - that's plenty - as soon as teeth touch trousers/skin. If you are consistent, every person every time, he will get the message.

    Also with the sofa, redirect him every time he goes for it. If you can't be with him, pop him in his crate or in a pen.

    And whatever you have been reading (Cesar Milan by any chance?) throw it away and look for modern training techniques. Kikopup on YouTube has some excellent short videos on everything from basic manners to cool tricks.
     
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  4. poptart

    poptart Member Registered

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    I can relate, my cocker was a bit crazy at that age and still is sometimes. They do calm down in time, but one thing you could think about is his diet. I know my last dog, a cavalier kc spaniel, went completely hyper on the dried food his breeder had him on so we changed to Butcher's Tripe and he was much more manageable. There are additives in all dog foods and some can cause that reaction. Don't know what else to suggest other than patience, two weeks isn't very long and he's still getting used to his new home but don't despair we've all been there.
     
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  5. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    Unfortunately, there is still a lot of bad, old-fashioned advice out there. Forget about 'disciplining' - there's always a better way, and for many dogs it simply doesn't work. And remember that at 10 weeks old, your pup is an absolute baby, with very little control over his behaviour.

    Have a read of this post on puppy biting: Puppy biting
     
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  6. Mayblossom

    Mayblossom Well-Known Member Registered

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    Your puppy isn’t being bad ...he’s being a puppy...that’s what they do :rolleyes:
     
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  7. Jan Woodhall

    Jan Woodhall Active Member Registered

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    Perhaps a week (or an hour!) with my puppy might help you!!!!!! Calm, slow,kind, gentle!!!!!!! Listen to the advice you are give here, they are very kind, and wise dog owners, thank goodness you found this site! Good luck and have fun on your journey of learning! :)
     
  8. lurcherman

    lurcherman Well-Known Member Registered

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    Expecting a puppy to behave at 10 weeks hahaha if you find one please email me at mrfunny.co.uk early doors it’s train, train, train, stay consistent and calm,, my dogs did get disciplined and held down, but it’s all down to timing , never hit a puppy thow, there will be no way back.
     
  9. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    And we used to remove limbs without anaesthetic, and send children up the chimneys to sweep them too!

    Thank goodness we are a species that is able to learn ;)
     
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  10. lurcherman

    lurcherman Well-Known Member Registered

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    Haha you all jump and think I’m battering the dog,, don’t thing your listening, the situation warranted it and it worked both times two separate incidents, if you look around you the way people train and handle dogs nowadays can you really say the dogs today are well behaved and well trained? I don’t thing so, like I said your training is ok for you I’ve no problem with that but please don’t think I can’t get a dog in a sound place by disapproval every time, my dogs had such a wonderful life and I’m glad I trained them as I did, my dogs was lightly trained and grew into my ways , apart from there pup days they was fantastic, not being argumentative just saying I’ve never had big problems with dogs so why would I train my dogs any other way . Oh by the way it was only the brindle that I took the methods on.
     
  11. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    What I tend to see is that 'badly' behaved dogs haven't had bad training so much as no training. Or the sort of 'training' that involves calling your dog's name 20 times in succession and being ignored, then when it does come back, it gets put on lead and doesn't get a reward. So I don't think for one moment that modern training approaches are to be blamed for badly trained dogs - it's more that people have stopped using punitive methods but not replaced them with other, reward-based methods.
     
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  12. RGC

    RGC Active Member Registered

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    And if you can make sense of any of that “you’re a better man than I am Gunga Din”.
     
  13. lurcherman

    lurcherman Well-Known Member Registered

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    You all don’t like it because you can’t get me to change into this softly softly approach so hey you go train your dogs, and I will just do my thing that actually does work
     
  14. santalupin

    santalupin New Member Registered

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  15. santalupin

    santalupin New Member Registered

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    I think you’re incredibly judgemental. Just because I’m struggling with my first puppy, does not mean I made the wrong decision in getting him, and I researched breeds thoroughly before choosing a springer spaniel. This is a learning curve for us both and there is a reason I’m getting advice from knowledgeable puppy owners on this site (not you of course).
     
  16. Jan Woodhall

    Jan Woodhall Active Member Registered

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    As I said before, it is great you have joined this site. I really doubt that any of us are perfect, just struggling along using the knowledge we have today - which is different from yesterday, and likely to be different tomorrow! The main thing is to have the welfare of our 'charges' at the heart of what we do. We can do no more than that I guess :) Wish you all the best and enjoy your new companion - have lots of forgiveness in your heart too! Mine is still a challenge at 6/12! LOL
     
  17. lurcherman

    lurcherman Well-Known Member Registered

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    I suppose we all blow a bit from time to time
     
  18. RGC

    RGC Active Member Registered

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    Some just for effect. Such a shame.
     
  19. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    If you ask for advice then there's a possibility it will be not what you expect. :(

    I have had spaniels my entire life and what you describe is entirely natural spaniel puppy behaviour. If people's responses are strident or 'judgemental' it's probably because those on this forum tend to love dogs. Maybe excessively in my case. What about this? You've tried a method of 'controlling' your puppy that doesn't work. Time for a reset and to start again. Positive reinforcement DOES work. But it takes time. And this is a puppy that is still in shock from being taken from everything it knows (mother, siblings, familiar sights and smells, security) and basically put down on a new planet. And he's a spaniel which is energy on four legs. Don't take offence- try some no fault, positive reward based training - I hate discipline as a concept. They are incredibly sensitive as a breed. As for chewing all anyone can do is say: take what he chews out of reach and give something else. (My last puppy went through a cardboard veg.box off Tesco shelves every few days- also every duster, odd sock and anything old in the clothes line. I sacrificed a wax jacket that still had some wear in it! ) A new approach may make him a delight. When it doesn't repeat to yourself: He's a dog not a robot!;)
     
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  20. Jan Woodhall

    Jan Woodhall Active Member Registered

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    Merlina, I loved this! Mine has just worked his way through my ANTIQUE curtains! Arrrhhhhhh! Like you suggested here - request leave and replace with 'cheaper' item! LOL
     

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