Various bad behaviour, have i left it to late

Posted by lindawaghorne
Mar 2, 2009
Hi all
I hope someone can help me or I might end up having to give away my 2 spaniels.
I have a 3 year old male Cocker X springer spaniel and a 15 month old female cocker spaniel.
I know my problems are of my own making as i have spoilt my dogs rotten, I have allowed them on the furniture, given them tit bits from the table and make a fuss of them all the time.
My problems are now escalating as my husband is ill. My dogs bark at the slightest noise, wine for food all the time ( they are both over weight) they push their way onto the furniture trying to sit on my lap as soon as i sit down, they follow me everywhere they even have to come into the bathroom with me.The 3 year old will steal anything he can if I am on the phone, washing up the dishes or doing anything other than giving him attention. he has reuined my TV controls, mobile phone, towels and various other items, sometimes he will give me back the item when asked and i will make a fuss of him but other times he will growl at me or even bite me.I can not force him of the furniture or even groom him properly as i am affraid he will bite me, I try never let him see i am affraid of him i usually walk away or give him a treat to get items away from him.
PLEASE PLEASE HELP ME as they are driving me & my husband mad and i am affraid they will make my husbands health worse. (he had a heart attack) if i cant change their behaviour i dont know what i will do.
Thank you for taking the time to read this
Posted by Maggiesmom1
Mar 2, 2009
Its never too late to take back control!! Dogs are just like Caesar Milan says, they need Rules, Boundries, and Limitations. Your dogs have had none of these things and they are like spoiled little kids.

Sit down with a piece of paper and you and your husband need to write up some clear rules for the dogs: Example, No dogs on the furniture, No table food scraps, etc... Put this paper with your rules on your refrigerator door so you can see will be your reminder.

Next, buy a few water bottles that squirts water. This is your new best friend. Have one in each of the main rooms of your house. If the dogs act out and break a rule, tell them in your firmest tone of voice what you want them to do, and squirt them if they don't mind you.

The squirt bottle works really well to curb the barking. Start by saying "No barking!!" and give them a squirt on the nose. Use "eh-eh" in a firm manner to make your point. When they stop, tell them "good dog" but don't go overboard on the gushing affection.

You may need to buy 2 dog crates/kennels. If they beg while you are eating, squirt them with the water again, but if they continue to annoy you, put them in the kennel for a little "quiet time"...if they bark in the kennel, squirt them.

If you have access to any type of basic dog training classes, please check into taking one. This would give you a lot of confidence in how to control the dogs. Teaching commands like sit, stay, down are a great way to gain control and show the dogs you mean business.

As for stealing things, again the kennel may be the best place to put your 3 year old if he is misbehaving while unsupervised. When you tell him to "drop it" say it in a very firm but calm voice. If he attempts to bite you, I would get him into the kennel for a time out. Say No biting!! and "growl" at him.

Changes like this can take time, but just as with anything you must be super going back and forth with the rules. If you decide no table scraps, you can never, ever give them again. Tell your guests this rule also.

Good Luck--give it a go and see if you can feel better about the dogs. I would hate for you to have to give them up. And I'm sure they would hate to lose you too.
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Mar 2, 2009
Hi Linda,

I am glad that you realized that you and your husband had spoiled your dogs. If you change, dogs will change so please start it right today and don't feel bad about being strict and firm. They are not human beings, they are dogs so they should be treated as "dogs". It is not mean at all and in fact they will be happier with clear rules and boundaries implemented.

They can eat only what you give them so it is totally your fault that they are overweight. They don't need to taste human being's salty, sweet and fatty food. They should be happy to be treated as "dogs". That includes, they need more excercise than us. It might be hard for you to leave your husband alone so hire a neighborhood teenager to walk them daily.

What Maggiesmom1 suggested above is outstanding!! It is very practical and easily implementable. Please start with making the list as Maggiesmom1 suggested. Each problem needs to be addressed separatly because there is no short cut or magic wand but if you stick to the rules and boundaries your dogs will soon learn to accept them.

If it is too much and overwhelming to you and your dogs, start with one issue and move on to the next one. If you can control one issue, that means that you and your dogs are in a better relationship now and that will help you with the next issue. I would suggest with stop feeding from the table. They will probably whine and bark as you eat so maybe you want to put them in a separate room while you eat. Again, be firm and consistant.

Good luck

p.s. The water spray is a fantastic tool to remind them not to bark!!
Posted by kittysoo
Mar 8, 2009
Hi Linda

How is it going with you. I haven't been on in ages as my 3 little monsters are very time consuming.

I too have a similar problem as l have humanized my dogs and they are like three spoiled children.

Like you, l have realised that something needs to be done and admitting it is the first step.

Remember that just as with humans, changing our behaviours are a work in progress. Consistency has always been my problem. Now my husband has come on board with the dog walking and l believe that now we can change them. A tired dog is less inclined to do bad things so getting a reliable person to walk the dogs is a good idea.

Anyway please update us on your progress with your little rugrats!

Take care x Kittysoo