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Just aquired 7 yr old english springer spaniel, need advice on behavioural problems

March 16th, 2006, 09:13 AM
We just aquired a 7 year old neutered male english springer spaniel from a family. I need help and advice on a couple of issues.

Firstly, he is very friendly and listens well. He was in obedience school as a puppy.

He does have a humping problem though. I have a 2 year old daughter and he tries to hump her from time to time. The former owners had no such trouble but their children are older. How can we prevent this from happening or correct the behaviour? I do not want to threaten him as we have only had him for a short time.

Also, he is used to being inside (former owners lived in the city) and we are on an acreage. How do I go about trying to get him accustomed to being outside so that he can stay outside most of the day?

Thanks in advance

March 16th, 2006, 10:33 AM
Wow, that's interesting.
I'm just a mere junior, so I hope a more senior knowledgeable person gives you advice. I'd like to tell you what I think anyhow. Humping, from what I've read, is a dominance display. This would seem to suggest that your dog sees himself as dominant over your little girl. Again from what I've read you should never have them together unsupervised, at your daughter's young age. If she does something that he feels challenges his dominance, which toddlers would unwittingly do regularly, who knows what he'll think, and how he'll react. Even if his history is fabulous with young children, he's still a dog, and thus has no ethics in treatment of human children. Toddlers, also, are in an age of experimenting, and don't realize consequences of new behaviors... So briefly, I think they should be closely supervised whenever together. I don't know the best way you should correct him. Perhaps he will want to be with his pack in the home and never be happy outside if he is alone.
Good luck, and I look forward to reading more expert advice to this as well.

March 16th, 2006, 10:39 AM
I agree and never leave the two of them alone unsupervised.

I too have read that it is a display of dominance and am also interested in what others have to say.


Lucky Rescue
March 16th, 2006, 12:47 PM
IF this were a puppy, it would be one thing, but you must FIRMLY correct this dog when he tries to hump your daughter.

I don't mean yell or hit. I mean keep his leash on and when he tries to do this give him a good correction and sternly say "OFF" or whatever word you want to use.

Also, he is used to being inside (former owners lived in the city) and we are on an acreage. How do I go about trying to get him accustomed to being outside so that he can stay outside most of the day?

Is the property fenced? If not, the dog is very likely to take off. Why would get a dog to leave outside all day? Dogs left in yards all day can develop behavioral problems from the isolation and boredom and he may dig, howl, try to escape or become aggressive.

March 16th, 2006, 12:54 PM
Springer Spaniels left outside to their own devices do massive amounts of damage in order to cure boredom. I know this, because I had one for years who if put outside for an hour in her run, was the world's greatest escape artist. Not to mention the fact that this dog was already an inside dog, it's just cruel to let him outside all day. As for mounting your daughter, total dominance issue that needs addressed in the manner Lucky Rescue suggested.

March 16th, 2006, 02:27 PM
Springers are hunting dogs... see a bird, see a bunny, gone... so no, you can't leave him outside all day and expect he will stick around.

As for the humping, it's been adressed very affectively... your daughter is the target as he can be very alpha with her and she can't do anything about it. So it's up to you to make sure that he learns not to be.

March 16th, 2006, 02:28 PM
Also, he is used to being inside (former owners lived in the city) and we are on an acreage. How do I go about trying to get him accustomed to being outside so that he can stay outside most of the day?

I have no comment on the humping as I think the PPs have given excellent advice. I feel compelled to chime in on the outside dog thing. I have read a number of posts on this board about people who have "outside dogs".

I am curious why you a dog only to keep them outside all the time? Maybe I'm dense but IMO, the resaons for my having dogs would be negated if they were left outside all day and/or night.

Can someone enlighten me?

March 16th, 2006, 02:35 PM
i'd suggest trying to find a new home for this dog where he can be kept as a beloved indoor pet - not a lonely outdoor farm animal. poor guy. :sad: there's probably a rescue group that could help him.


March 16th, 2006, 03:20 PM
Thanks for the information on the humping issue. I have been reading various articles all day about this and i agree so we will have to address this if the issue comes up again. Today, he has not tried once.

As for the "outside" issue I am appauled that people think that this is a terrible thing. I do not want to leave him outside alone all the time I just want to let him out occasionally to run outside. I have grown up on a farm my whole entire life with dogs who lived outside. They were never neglected and enjoyed the outdoors. They slept outdoors and had very well insulated houses for this. The last dog I had before this one hated being indoors would rather be outdoors. He would just wait by the door to be let back outdoors.

It is cold here now and spring will soon be here. I am outside almost all day come spring and summer so he would be lonely here in the house.

I have to say that the reason we took in this poor poochie is that he was locked up in a kennel in the house in the city for most of the day. His former owners felt he would do better somewhere that he could run and be outside and I must say that I agree.

Just my 2 cents