Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)
  • Housebound 5 month cocker spaniel for 2 weeks – what to learn?
  • hellothisistom
    Full Member

    My lovely 5 month old cocker spaniel puppy has to be kept isolated in the house and (smallish) garden for the next two weeks. He is lovely but absolutely full of energy and would normally go to day care in the day, or go for a good walk with us.

    So we need to find something to keep his brain busy so he doesn’t go crazy. What have people found most useful that they have taught thier dog, or found as a good way to make them use thier brain?
    He’s good at sitting, lying, rolling, staying and paw etc.

    He’s thankfully just recovered from parvovirus, which is really bad news and it was touch and go for a few days. Thank you vets and thank you vaccines!

    duncancallum
    Full Member

    We’ve some dog puzzles etc to keep Geoff occupied

    napalmgram
    Free Member

    Scentwork would probably be the most fun for him, starting indoors makes it easier anyway. And it’s something they enjoy doing, and you can carry on outside once he’s got the all clear.

    Lots of websites and books out there.

    willard
    Full Member

    Toilet roll tubes with treats in hidden around the house. Make a game of it. Huge fun for both dog and, after finding and destroying the tube, the family too!

    willard
    Full Member

    Also, photos of five month old spaniel… The rules do say that pictures are essential on dog threads.

    johndoh
    Free Member

    We have a few house-friendly toys and sometimes, if doglet is looking to play, I’ll get a couple and throw one, she’ll run after it, then I throw another (in a different direction) and she’ll keep running in circles after them. It helps that we have a relatively open-plan house though.

    Edit:

    Also, loves a game of chase. Either he has a ball and I chase him, or I have it and he tries to get it off me. Knackers me out after about 10 minutes too!

    ^ That too – often it forms part of the same throwing game.

    stcolin
    Free Member

    Yip, scentwork. Most of the time when we feed him we hide it around the house and he loves finding it. In the summer it gets hidden in the garden (I know that doesn’t help you now) and it can take him half an hour to find it all. Some good play time, tug of war, and getting them to learn a new trick will stimulate them really well.

    tthew
    Full Member

    Toilet roll tubes with treats in hidden around the house.

    This sort of thing works well. Brain work and sniffing is apparently good exercise like a decent walk. Ours likes a handful of treats scattered in his toy box to root through.

    Also, loves a game of chase. Either he has a ball and I chase him, or I have it and he tries to get it off me. Knackers me out after about 10 minutes too!

    moonsaballoon
    Full Member

    When a friend of mine had an older dog that wasn’t mobile the vet suggested taking them for a drive , just for a change of scenery and to mentally stimulate the dog . Obviously a 5 month old spaniel will need more than just that but it might help .

    hellothisistom
    Full Member

    Pictures as requested!

    Poorly dog: poorly

    Learning scent games! : better

    At his best best

    GolfChick
    Free Member

    Apparently ten minutes worth of sniffing is equivalent to an hours worth of walking.

    Jethro highly recommends this but dont leave unsupervised as the rabbit skin is quite fragile. Put treats in the centre, obviously start easy and hide it where he sees where you put it so he associates ‘find it’ with the act of hunting for that. You can make it harder and harder, higher up will be hardest as that will then be air scenting. Bear in mind spaniels will have an even stronger nose then mine who has the ability to follow my trail exactly to find it VERY quickly so I now have to touch random things and run all over the place before then hiding it. I do it completely out of sight so shut him in a room or indoors while I’m outdoors hiding, he loves it and works very hard to find it. When he does find it the idea is that they dont bring it back to you, its not fetch, its practicing the safe part of the prey sequence and they dont bring their kill back, they eat! Once he’s ‘killed his prey’ distract him with a treat which means you’ll then retrieve it safely.

    You say he’s good at sitting and staying but have you taken it up to the next level? He doesn’t budge while you walk 340 degrees round him? Throw treats over his head and either side or him? Moonwalk? Run about and generally act like a buffoon? Say words similar to his release word? Walk out of sight? Verbal cue only? Hand cue only?

    Some other ideas of things you could teach.

    Middle – stand between your legs and stay there despite walking forwards backwards and turning.
    Touch – touch your hand with his nose and keep that contact until released with a treat.
    Stand, Down.
    Relax/settle – down but a roll on to his hip so he’s not ready to pounce – repeat the sit criteria.
    You could practice some collar communication for sit, stand, down so you dont need any verbal or action, just pressure in different ways communicates what you want.
    Round – clockwise round you
    Orbit – backwards round you
    Spin – different hands, different directions.
    You could play hide and seek with people.
    Off lead heelwork.
    With your sit, down, stand or anything else can you also do this from a distance, most dogs when asked to sit will come closer to you before sitting, same with down. So try and get him to understand to do it wherever he happens to be.

    That’s all I can think of for now but more may come to me.

    db
    Full Member

    Sent stuff good (My dad was a met police dog handler for most of his career).

    Maisie (Collie/Jack Russel+other stuff mix) loves us hiding treats round the house, behind cushions. Use height as well e.g. stuff on the back of the sofa or shelves or chairs. Basically treats they actually need to think about reaching.

    The treat doesn’t need to be food. Maybe a ball (Maisie very toy driven) they get to play with you once they have found it.

    You can get dog “intelligence toys” (search google/amazon). Never bothered to look in detail but never been in your situation.

    earl_brutus
    Full Member

    Our lively lab spends hours chewing a piece of antler when indoors – keeps him occupied for hours.

    dovebiker
    Full Member

    One of our previous hounds knew a few of his toys by name – we’d hide a few around the house and ask him to go fetch a toy by name – it would keep him entertained for a while.

    PrinceJohn
    Full Member

    The Clam

    This is good, licky mats are also good – as others have suggested free work is great – our pup loves it.
    Unfortunately we taught her that treats reside in rolled up towels, so we can’t leave them anywhere near her now otherwise she takes great delight in unrolling them.

    willard
    Full Member

    @GolfChick Those are some really good suggestions. Something like that will be fantastic training for obedience when he is better and will tire him out no end.

    TiRed
    Full Member

    If you feed him dry food, make him find it in the garden. Scentwork tires them out more than just running around. Ours will find a ball in pitch black in the garden, but runs a lot further to find it out in a dark park. Ours never took to a lucky mat. Likes a ball with holes in it and some treats inside. Clicker obedience training is also fun inside and tires them out. Get a mat and stand over it and have the dog come to you to touch his nose, come to middle (between the legs) and anything else that comes to mind.

    hellothisistom
    Full Member

    Great suggestions, thanks all.

    GolfChick
    Free Member

    @willard yep mine is 7 months old and knows all of that. Keeps his working brain occupied during my work day before he gets a walk again.

    Once all of that is nailed indoors while he’s restricted you can take that outdoors and ask him to do it all in different environments too. At 5 months old because he’s a spaniel you’ll soon lose all of your appeal and he’ll find entertainment elsewhere so get that bond in the bank now while you can. I expect mine to do all of that mid walks as well so I have bond in the bank for when he spies deer and I ask him to recall away. He managed to recall away from three up close this morning and I was over the moon! Whereas my other half doesn’t ask any obedience and then asks how to get him to come back when he’s disappeared for ten minutes.

    Del
    Full Member

    Great looking pup OP. I miss my Spaniel something rotten. I will have another one day. Sounds like you’ve achieved a lot with him already – well done!

    tthew
    Full Member

    Unfortunately we taught her that treats reside in rolled up towels, so we can’t leave them anywhere near her now otherwise she takes great delight in unrolling them.

    My missis tried this with Henry, the Cockerpoo. He wasn’t supervised properly and decided to take route one, by eating a hole through the towel. 🤣 Got his treats though!

    ampthill
    Full Member

    Treat on a half open door. The dog has to learn to knock the door to dislodge the treat.

    Treat in a plastic drinks bottle no lid.

Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)

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