Black Cocker Spaniel heaven! I met my Pickle’s brother.

What’s better than one black Cocker Spaniel? Two black Cocker Spaniels? Hmm – I don’t know!

black Cocker Spaniel

Pickle

I am very partial to lively working Cockers, having one myself. My own Pickle is aptly named and has been an adventure from the start, keeping both myself and my other dogs on our toes!

I adore him.

Pickle is now nine years old and showing little sign of slowing down.

The lady and her daughter have a lovely black Cocker Spaniel, seven years of age, called Otis.

Pickle’s brother!

It turns out that Otis is from the same breeder as Pickle and they have the same father! Another Pickle?

I can’t imagine having two Pickles, but Otis’ lady decided to give Otis some company. So they got puppy Jasper, another black Cocker Spaniel. Jasper is now five months old.

Jasper does all the things Pickle used to do (some of which he still does).

All evening the two dogs flew around the room, playing tug with each other and jumping over us. They only stopped when given something to chew. The evenings are bedlam for the lady.

Black Cocker Spaniels

Otis and Jasper. Ha;rd to catch them still

Otis was quite a calm and controlled black Cocker Spaniel before Jasper arrived. Now it’s mayhem!

They have a large house and the dogs can go where they like.

Jasper pees outside, but likes to take himself off upstairs to poo.

No boundaries

A large contributor in being unable to control the non-stop action is lack of boundaries – physical boundaries.

No boundaries encourages wildness, especially in puppies. In fact, Jasper and his siblings ran wild in a field where he started his life. There is nowhere in the lady’s house to put either of the dogs when their playing simply gets too much.

Giving them some restriction along with things to do and chew would make the lady’s life a lot easier. This is something I soon learnt with Pickle.

I suggest she considers putting a puppy pen or large crate in her sitting room. She can put all the toys and interesting stuff in there so that it becomes a special place. It mustn’t become punishment.

When things get too much as they tend to in the evenings, she could now part the dogs from time to time without separating them. They are inseparable from each other. They would be very distressed if she shut them away from her in another room.

With the two apart, she can give them each something to do without one constantly parading his and both wanting the other’s.

As Jasper gets older, having a way to calm them down could avoid things getting out of hand as they easily could. Sometimes Otis could go in the pen or crate instead of Jasper.

The lady may even find that putting both dogs in there together for a while will settle them down. Being able to impose ‘rest time’ when play gets too much could transform her evenings.

The dogs follow her about. She now should shut doors of rooms she’s in so Jasper can’t sneak out to poo elsewhere. It’s a habit now. He pees outside then comes back in to poo!

From a management angle, there needs to be some kind of physical barrier.

From a behaviour angle, the lady and her daughter should do as much as they can to keep the dogs calmer and stop ‘stress buckets‘ overflowing.

Where the training angle is concerned, the lady will slowly begin to teach both dogs to ‘settle’.

One black Cocker Spaniel at a time.

Brain work, hunting, foraging, sniffing are good ‘decompressors’. Calm enrichment is the antidote to arousal. The lady will need to separate the dogs with some sort of barrier else they will simply be at each other all the time instead!

Tugging, rolling about, chasing, barking, grabbing fur…….one black Cocker Spaniel was a lot easier.

NB. For the sake of the story and for confidentiality also, this isn’t a complete ‘report’. If you listen to ‘other people’ or find instructions on the internet or TV that are not tailored to your own dogs it can do more harm than good. Click here for help

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