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Sally G.
Sally G., Dog Training Consultant
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 8055
Experience:  24 yrs. experience in dog training and behavior, pet first aide and therapy dog evaluation. Member of PAS Animal Response Team.
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We have just got a new cocker spaniel puppy. When we brought

Resolved Question:

We have just got a new cocker spaniel puppy. When we brought him home he was pretty attached to me, and we had great fun. He belongs to my Dad.

I have to be away from home quite a lot because of my work, and when I came home today, whilst he seemed pleased to see me at first, he cried AND wagged his tail when I picked him up for a cuddle after that. It feels like he's ignoring me.

He doesn't seem to want to be with me as much, and I'm worried that it's because I was away for a few days. How can I maintain a bond when my routine isn't settled?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

Sally G. :

Hello, thank you for using this site to help you with your problem. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I have been in the dog field for 25 years. It will be my pleasure to help you today. Please understand that I may send an information request so that I may gather what I need to better help you with your problem

Sally G. :

Unfortunately though you will still have a bond with him it may not be as intense as it was originally

Sally G. :

because of your schedule

Sally G. :

Once you get things going with him again are you then having to leave for business?

Customer:

Yes, I'm away for about half the week normally, on and off

Sally G. :

thank you. Well play time is good and fun for the dog but generally we see stronger bonds between the dog and the human that actually trains the dog in obedience. This is because the training shows the dog that the human is consistent

Sally G. :

My suggestion would be while you are home take that time to do positive obedience training with him so that he sees you as being consistent

Sally G. :

Are you aware of clicker training?

Customer:

Yes - I'm not sure if my Dad is going to use that though. SHould I not be using the same method as my Dad?

Sally G. :

well, dogs do see people as individuals so as long as the dog is listening to your commands one way it is not going to matter what your dad does. The dog may engage more with you because you will be rewarding his efforts with a yummy treat. I am not sure how your dad trains

Customer:

Neither am I! He is very new to the house, so he hasn't started training him properly yet. I was wondering if he might be put off me because whenever he tries to nip me or my clothes I stop him.

Customer:

Whereas my Dad lets him have a bit of a nibble

Sally G. :

No, that would not do it. We all stop them from nibbling but are treated the same. I think it may be the actual time and feeding your dad does. But when you stop him from nibbling then be sure to teach him what he can do instead. For instance teach him the name of a toy, when he nibbles say no bites or Leave it, so he knows to stop then say get your duck and toss that to him. It will be just as much fun and you are rewarding him for getting his duck.

Sally G. :

Most pups do not learn what bite inhibition is because they are taken from the litter too young, so it is up to us to teach them

Sally G. :

Your dad may in the end when the pup gets too rough start to get a bit angry at him because puppy teeth hurt

Customer:

And if he stays to nibble on me rather than fetch his toy, what should I do?

Sally G. :

Well you are always going to have a treat in your pocket to reward him for sitting or fetching irregardless of what you have him do once you tell him to leave it,. But understand it does not happen overnight as he does not know any commands at this time which is what you have to train when you are home.

Sally G. :

Leave it they get pretty fast as long as the item you want them to leave is not as tasty as the one you hold in your hand

Sally G. :

so a biscuit is more tasty than your pant leg

Customer:

So I only give him the treat once he is sitting or has fetched for me?

Customer:

and then click?

Sally G. :

yes, that is how he learns. you can hold the treat right over his head as he looks up at it his bottom will hit the floor so then he gets the treat and you are incorporating the command sit

Sally G. :

The more you can train in short increments like 10 minutes, throughout the day the faster they learn

Customer:

okay - the only time my Dad isn't really there is in the morning, because I have to leave early. Again, I'm not there every morning, but should I be making that my time with the dog, even if it's not every day?

Sally G. :

yes, even if you can only spare five or ten minutes at a time. He is learning. The click comes before the treat. I will direct you to a site that will take you through clicker training and one that has videos so you can see it in action

Sally G. :

this is how I train all my dogs for therapy work

Sally G. :

you get more bees when you use honey as they say

Customer:

that would be great, thank you :)

Sally G. :

Hold on while I get those sites for you

Sally G. :

Once you have rated my answer I would like to schedule a free follow up with you to see how things are going and if you need more help with this problem. Should any new problems arise you can open a new question and request me if you wish for me to help you again.


 


` Clicker training


http://www.clickerlessons.com/


video, shows how clicker training is done http://www.clickertrainusa.com/clicker-training-videos.htm

Customer:

could I ask one more question? The puppy cries for my Dad when he's not there - what should I do when this happens? Do I let him cry and try to distract him, or do I let him go to my Dad?

Sally G. :

I would distract him with commands and play and commands can translate into play such as fetch your duck. I say this because dogs that become that attached to one person could end up suffering with separation anxiety so while it is nice that the dog loves your dad so much it can in the end be detrimental to the dog as the mind may not be able to handle being alone and that is when dogs trash the home

Customer:

So keep trying to distract him with commands, even if he keeps going back to crying?

Sally G. :

yes, try to engage him in something else. A dog that suffers from this will start to eliminate in the home, claw and destroy furniture and it is not healthy for their mind

Customer:

Okay - I guess everyone in the house should be doing this? Should my Dad purposefully be trying to spend time away from him so that this doesn't happen?

Sally G. :

He does not have to spend time away as much as he does have to train the dog. When everyone in the home is consistent in what they expect then the dog's mind develops to be stronger and the more the dog will bond with everyone in the home. The dog may at this time be feeling needy and that is why it cries when dad leaves, you don't want a needy dog there are just too many things that can go wrong in that situation:)

Customer:

Okay - you have definitely given me food for thought. I think my Dad is secretly enjoying the dog wanting to be with him all the time, so maybe he needs to think more on the consequences of that. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX really helped!

Sally G. :

You are very welcome. Is there anything else I can do for you today?

Customer:

No, that's great, thank you!

Sally G., Dog Training Consultant
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 8055
Experience: 24 yrs. experience in dog training and behavior, pet first aide and therapy dog evaluation. Member of PAS Animal Response Team.
Sally G. and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Sally G. replied 11 months ago.
Hello Emma,

I am just checking in to see how training is going with Marvin (and your dad!)

Sally

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