is this normal for a puppy?

Posted by nmam
Jan 6, 2011
We acquired a 3 month old mixed breed puppy from the local shelter. We've had her a couple of months now, she is about 5 months. She is 12 pounds and about 13 inches floor to shoulder.

We have not had a puppy before. Our previous dog, a lab cross, was almost a year when we got him. We had him for 13 years before we lost him to a severe back problem.

My question is about some of the behaviour this puppy has shown. For example, when I try to get her to come to me, for any reason, she will either not come at all or come just past my reach, so I will have to go get her.

She loves to burrow under the bed or covers then attack your toes as you come by.

She is happy playing by herself, tossing her toys around. She will come to you to seemingly give the toy to you to play with her but then bounces back, again, out of reach.

The shelter had guessed that she was part spaniel because of her fur. The vet suggested either she could have Basset Hound or Corgi because of her turned out feet, as well as Chihuahua or even Jack Russell Terrier.

I have more than once wondered if I accidentally adopted a cat instead!
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Jan 6, 2011
Hi nmam,

Your spaniel puppy sounds like a kitty! Walking past you and ambushing you from under the bed or cover

You might want to start from training her to come when called. First of all, the basic for any training is getting attention of your dog so prepare a lot of tiny pieces of treats in a bag or a bowl.

Sit in front of her and call her name. When she turns to you and looks at you, say "Yes! (a marker)" and give her a treat.

When she masters that, throw a treat behind her. She will get up and go get it, then she will turn to you expecting more to be thrown. As soon as she looks at you, say "Yes" and throw another treat.

Now, she has leanred that she gets a treat when she pays attention to you. Call her from a short distance and when she comes to you, give her a treat from your hand (not throw it).

Practice the above every day for 5-10 times.

When she bounces back or not come close to you, don't chase her. If you do she will think it's a game of catch and she will never come close enough to you. When you call, make sure you will give her a treat from your hand.

By giving these simple trainings, you and your dog's relationship will be much closer and you can start teaching her other commands and even tricks

Good luck
Posted by KOPCaroline
Jan 6, 2011
Hey nmam,

I do think a lot of puppies show this kind of behaviour. Like MHN said above, the coming to you, but keeping just out of reach is typically a game to them, kind of "catch me if you can"...just trying to lure you into a chase game

Again, to echo MHN, work on your pup coming when called. Use the treat method outlined, it usually works. If your dog doesn't respond to treats, use an awesome toy or a belly rub or something instead

I would think her rambunctious play (attacking toes, oh my!) will settle down as she does. Most dogs grow out of that sort of thing. If its something you really dont mind, theres no real harm in it. If you don't like her doing it, however, train her not to by saying "no" everytime she does it, and maybe putting her in a time out area for 5-10 minutes afterward.

Hope you continue to have fun, sounds like she'll be a handful!