Obie is a 1-2 year old male English Springer Spaniel cross Labrador. He is a very sweet boy and very intelligent but with a sensitive personality. He does not know how to handle stressful situations and becomes anxious. Dogs upset him greatly (although he is becoming much more tolerant). He loves doing tricks, and charmed the vet when he had his health check with his numerous moves he can do. Some, but by no means all include Spin. Beg. Roll over. Play dead by the command “Bang”. Back up (will walk backwards).
Through (will weave through your legs as you walk). He is truly incredible! His basic commands are good – Sit, down, Basket. He can walk to heel although sometimes he is mega strong when initially starting our walks). He is not overly keen on car journeys – but does settle in time.
He is not destructive, no separation anxiety and is clean in the house. Actually he will destroy a football! I have begun muzzle training him, for the move to his new home. This is due to the bite/nip incident in his previous foster home as he may redirect onto a person if he wants to get to something (to aggress or greet) and can’t. And should he be seen to be trying to ‘go’ for dogs at a distance then he’s a possible bite risk up close so we want to protect him and other dogs if and when he goes for walks.
I have found it safest to “assume the worst” and be extra proactive in managing Obie. Trying to change his perceptions of other dogs by exposing him to other dog(s) at a distance he can cope with. Where he can acknowledge it but not overly react. Encouraging him to continue sniffing or even do a trick or two and also praise and reward when he ‘noticed’ the other dog. Off lead – I have a secure paddock, otherwise absolutely not. He has a high prey drive.
He would be gone in seconds and at a great speed – so even a dropped long line is not advised. Plus his fear of dogs is to be considered. Fortunately secure fields are readily available to hire throughout the country so I am sure he would be able to enjoy plenty of free running in his next home. He is very excited in meeting people. Especially when they enter the house – but if you were to say “basket” he will go and re focus.
Sometimes it is required to put him in a crate. Food. Has shown no intolerance to any food or treats. LOVES to work for his treats. He is very partial to sheep muck! He likes hide and seek type games, he likes to hunt for his toy bone when its hidden. Sniffer type training could be a great opportunity for Obie in the future. I believe Obie would be best suited to a rural or semi rural home.
Where there is no high exposure to dogs that he is not familiar with. He needs a calm, and confident owner. Someone who can offer him the support and ongoing training he deserves. He is a lovely boy, who seeks to please and entertain you. There is sadly no quick fix to his reactive behaviour, it may be that he can never free run with other dogs – but I know that both myself and Spaniel Aid will be there always to help and support both you and Obie.