Springer Spaniel issues

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by oscarjoeben, Jul 2, 2012.


  1. oscarjoeben

    oscarjoeben PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi,

    I have a Springer Spaniel named Bruce. Most of the time he is a lovely, loving dog, great with me, my wife and my two kids, aged 8 and 5. We rehomed him at the age of seven about 11 months ago and up until 3 weeks ago, we were fine. There were the odd issues with growling and trying to claim his place in the pack but these were mainly with me and were dealt with at the time. A few weeks ago, he has taken to "hiding"!! He is great during the day but in the early hours of the eveing, he will try to hide himself. This may be down the bottom of the garden or even in the bath!! He will not come back if I call his name and you could even wave a biscuit at him and he will still not move. If I go near him he growls. I have tried ignoring him but this goes on for hours! I wave his lead at him which works so he clearly still enjoys a walk! He is walked twice a day as it is! This is strange, something has clearly spooked him but I'm not too sure what! Has anyone had anything similar? If so, how have you dealt with it? I am sure he is a loving dog and I hate to see him sad!
     
  2. Phoolf

    Phoolf PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Messages:
    8,465
    Likes Received:
    179
    When you say he was trying to 'claim his place in the pack' and you 'dealt with' it, what do you mean exactly?
     
  3. oscarjoeben

    oscarjoeben PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Lot of growling and raised lip snarling. This happened if he jumped in the boot of the car and then he would refuse to get out. I dealt with this by ignoring his growling and taking him away from the situation. He has never been hit as I don't see this as an effective form of behaviour control. He was just a bit out of sorts which is understandable. I would have to remove him by taking him by the collar and taking him somewhere else. Funny thing is, he is lying by our feet tonight!!!
     
  4. springerpete

    springerpete PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Messages:
    6,981
    Likes Received:
    183
    Are you sure he 'hiding' and not hunting the bushes, spaniels just love to get stuck in to any form of cover and can on occasion become selectively deaf.
     
  5. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Messages:
    31,262
    Likes Received:
    888
    Do you know anything of his previous history? Just wondering if his may issues seemed to be with you, there was a adult male in his past who mistreated or was heavy handed with him. You see it quite a bit in rescue dogs. One of mine wasnt so sure of men when she came and men with grey hair appraching her she would throw herself on the floor. Someone I know rescued a dog and if her OH picked up anything the dog would growl and snarl.

    I noticed that when you had the previous incident you said you ignored the growling and removed him from the situation by the collar. Another thing that you often see in rescue dogs is collar shyness where they dont like being handled by the collar as they have been manhandled by it previously. Growling can be defensive if the dog is unsure or nervous about a situation not just being aggressive or dominant they can do it if stressed and if provoked and its ignored they can be forced to snap and even bite.

    Has anything happened since this latest behaviour of hiding has happened?
    Any changes to his routine, building works, going away on holiday and being kennelled anything at all?

    A dog can act oddly, and become snappy or take themselves off if they have discomfort pain or are generally unwell. If this behaviour started with no possible explanation it would be worth getting him a vet check. At around 7/8 years old he is an older dog and they can start to get ailments.
     
  6. Nicki85

    Nicki85 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,571
    Likes Received:
    29
    Not sure I can help but one of my Spaniels is/ was very similar. We had her since a pup, never hit her- had a good up bringing and her training was excellent. But get her in a car and she would refuse to get out- only in the boot. We started to only travel with her in the front and keep harness/ lead on.

    She also does it at night but only when in her bed. To be honest we have not found a solution- we think she just wants her own space. She is now 16 and exactly the same! It has got worse as she has got older. It has got better though with having our youngster.

    I'm no expert but he obviously feels the need to hide.. can you give him a secure place to go? Maybe a crate? And then shut off other areas? With out Spaniel once she was up and out she would be fine so we would take her out for toilet then.

    Also echo Sled dog hotel... make sure his health is OK. Especially his hearing- i'm pretty sure that is what triggered it in our Spaniel.
     
  7. ozrex

    ozrex PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Messages:
    2,796
    Likes Received:
    97
    Maybe he just wants some space?

    Rex, my GSDx has what we call his "cave". He chose to go to the bottom shelf of a big laundry cupboard while his previous owner was working on my house and the doors were off the cupboard. He'd lie on the shelf away from the family (and previous owner) most evenings for an hour or two, occasionally more. I think he just wanted some peace.

    I had the cupboard doors cut short so that he could continue to use his shelf. When we got Tess (very full-on puppy) he'd often retreat to the cave to get away from her. We used to distract the pup or shut the laundry door if she was very determined to annoy him. If he wanted the door opened he'd bump it so we could hear.

    Sometimes Rex uses the cave every evening if things have been very hectic and noisy. Sometimes he stays in the sitting room with us in the dog bed or roaming aroud/playing with Tess/whatever. He chooses. He seems to need a quiet place.

    Tess just wants company 24/7 she HATES a quiet space.
     
  8. rona

    rona Alfie's Slave

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    25,240
    Likes Received:
    1,055
    Maybe it's not something that happens at the time of hiding but something that happens later in the evening.
    One of my walk dog hides because he knows I have to leave him. He's not upset about what's there but what is about to happen
    Just an example here, do you crate at night?

    Does that make sense? :confused:
     
  9. ClaireandDaisy

    ClaireandDaisy PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,576
    Likes Received:
    175
    I can`t help feeling there is a lot of misunderstanding and mis-communication here.
    If a dog growled at me I would take a second to work out what he was frightened of. The dog sounds incredibly stressed.
    Please read The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson - it will help you interpret dog behaviour.
     
  10. oscarjoeben

    oscarjoeben PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow, very helpful, thank you. I do not fully know his history although he was left in the garden a great deal so he may feel happier there. He is not crated at night but has no problems when it is bedtime, he goes straight to his bed and his pleased with the nighttime biscuit! I have taken him to the vet when this first started so no need to worry!! I was told the issues were behavioural and to ignore him if he goes to hide which I have been doing except at times when I need to go to bed.
    I have taken the time to work out what he is growling at but understandably, I cannot leave a dog to stand on the front driveway when he refuses to come in for fear that he may walk into the road and get struck by a car!!!!
    Our house is much busier in the evenings as the kids are home and my wife returns from work so it may be that he likes his space. Sounds like he just wants to be left alone at times.
     
  11. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Messages:
    31,262
    Likes Received:
    888
    Does he have things like chews and Kongs? Chewing is a good de-stresser for dogs, is there somewhere where maybe he can have his own space if needed where you can put his bed and leave him with a chew or Kong if he needs somewhere to retreat to and be left to unwind and de-stress. If he was left in a garden a lot of the time in his previous life maybe sometimes with everything going on its just too much for him. I had a rescue many years ago now, who although, she had full access to us, was never the sort of dog who wanted to be glued to you 24/7 she had her bed in the kitchen and although none of the doors were ever closed and she had freedom to roam and sit with us if she wished and for short periods she would come in and sit, a lot of the time she liked her own space and would wander off happy in her own company and space.

    Kongs are good because you can fill them with allsorts of things, Recipes - Kong Stag Bars are good too
    Pure Dog | Stagbar antler dog chews | natural dog treats | organic dog snacks | hypoallergenic dog chews | long-lasting dog chews | teeth cleaning dog chews | low fat dog treats

    I agree he cant stay out where he maybe at risk of wandering and getting lost or injured. Is there any treats or human food he is really fond of maybe try enticing him in with that as a reward, or if there is a particular toy he likes then may be try enticing him in with that, some dogs have a thing about tennis balls other squeaky toys that will get their attention and they cant resist. if he will respond to something like this instead and come to you rather then setting up a battle to get him in that may possibly work and it will likely be stress free for you and him too. If you havent tried it certainly might be worth a try.
     
  12. smokeybear

    smokeybear PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Messages:
    10,772
    Likes Received:
    277
    Please take this dog to the vet immediately preferably with some video footage of his behaviour.
     
Loading...