Spencer update

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Sarah83
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Spencer update

Post by Sarah83 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:42 am

I've been hearing some disturbing things about Spencers previous owners, mainly that they didn't treat him well, hit him and didn't often walk him. Today a work mate of my husbands told us they've actually been told they're not allowed to keep dogs (we have to have permission from the army), apparently Spencer is about the 7th one they've rehomed :shock: We've not asked for the information, it's just been volunteered when people have recognised the dog. The whole not treating him well explains a few things. I don't know just how badly he's been treated but we have found that having his collar held scares him, my husband putting his harness on scares him, being told to move scares him and being told to lie down results in a panic and a ton of appeasement gestures including going belly up and turning into a fountain :cry: I think I may have to find a new word for down because of his extreme reaction to that one.

However, Spencer is doing absolutely fantastic in general. He is quickly learning not to jump on me or mouth me. He still does both of these things to hubby who sometimes encourages him and sometimes doesn't :roll: Is the use of an ecollar on our partners acceptable? He's learned to wait at the top of the stairs when going for a walk rather than darting out and trying to drag me down them as soon as I open our door. He's learning that the kitchen is off limits, I just remove him when he does come in and reward him for lying quietly in the dining room. He's doing very well with it and is mostly choosing to lie in the doorway which is fine. The door is kept shut when nobody is in there and always will be. He can sit and wait for his dinner now instead of diving in before I've even put the bowl on the floor. He is good with other dogs, excited to see them and will give a bark or two but he's not obsessive and is easily distracted with a toy or treat. He loves people but needs to learn not to jump up. Course all these big tough soldiers tend to encourage him to do it :roll:

Our only issue is his leash manners. He is absolute HELL to walk. Not only does he lunge and pull but he's forever crossing from side to side and almost tripping us up. We seem to have got a handle on the lunging, he hasn't done it for a couple of days now so we're going to try the Halti. I'm sure we'll get there with it.

Ari_RR
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Re: Spencer update

Post by Ari_RR » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:30 am

So, this is overall positive, past history none-withstanding.. Good to hear!

2 cents re: leash manners.. I know this is not going to solve the real issue, but it may in some cases reduce the symptoms and make walks more enjoyable and relaxed, which is good for everyone - if he just wants to go left/right, from one side of the road to the other, then get a longer leash and let him do that without either you being pulled and jerked in all directions, or you constantly stopping/turning him.. and then you can start working on loose leash walking, having him next to you, on top of an already not too stressful way to walk.

WufWuf
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Re: Spencer update

Post by WufWuf » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:53 am

It sounds like Spencer had a lucky escape. I'm sure he'll grow into a fine dog now that he's with you.
Operant conditioning rocks but classical conditioning rules

Sarah83
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Re: Spencer update

Post by Sarah83 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:42 am

Unfortunately Ari he pulls just as much if I give him the full length of the leash :( I do seem to have managed to stop the lunging though so I'm introducing the Halti to him. We've also got a new leash that should be gentler on the hands. But yep, mostly positive :D In fact I feel a bit petty whining about his pulling when he's so good overall :oops:

Good news at the vets today. The lump we took him in with is actually not a lump. His tail has been broken at some point and just left to heal on its own. And the weird looking tooth he has is just a retained baby tooth. Vet has advised us not to do anything with either issue for now as they're not bothering him. Says the tooth can be removed if he's ever under a GA for anything else rather than put him under just for that. Says the weird looking tail just adds character :lol:

JudyN
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Re: Spencer update

Post by JudyN » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:21 pm

Ah, poor boy - but at least he's landed on his feet with someone who recognises his fears and doesn't just tell him off for doing his fountain imitations :lol:

Go on, admit it, you wanted a project :wink:
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

jacksdad
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Re: Spencer update

Post by jacksdad » Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:44 pm

JudyN wrote:Go on, admit it, you wanted a project :wink:
:lol:

and here I was worried that Sarah might get bored. we all know she is really just giddy with the prospect of helping another dog overcome fear issues, and no matter how her post sounds she is doing a happy dance as she types it :lol:

Sarah83
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Re: Spencer update

Post by Sarah83 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:43 pm

jacksdad wrote:
JudyN wrote:Go on, admit it, you wanted a project :wink:
:lol:

and here I was worried that Sarah might get bored. we all know she is really just giddy with the prospect of helping another dog overcome fear issues, and no matter how her post sounds she is doing a happy dance as she types it :lol:
:lol: Not quite a happy dance Jacksdad. I have to admit though, I do relish the challenge of getting him over these fears :oops: I do think I'm going to have to use a different word for down though, at least for now, and that's going to present its own challenge, hubby'll never bloody remember it! And nope, no punishment for the upside down Labrador fountain.

Erica
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Re: Spencer update

Post by Erica » Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:19 pm

Maybe "floor" or "deck" (as in "hit the deck") would be memorable enough for him?

Glad to hear his tail is nothing to worry about! :) Spencer is quite a lucky dog to find someone who understands him.
Delta, standard poodle, born 6/30/14

jacksdad
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Re: Spencer update

Post by jacksdad » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:27 pm

Erica wrote:Maybe "floor" or "deck" (as in "hit the deck") would be memorable enough for him?

Glad to hear his tail is nothing to worry about! :) Spencer is quite a lucky dog to find someone who understands him.
OOOH, good idea. I was trying to rack my brain for a military term that might make it easier for Sarah's husband. Deck might be a good one. not sure what the British army calls the floor, but I know some of the US branches refer to the floor as a "deck", marines I believe. Not sure what the army uses.

wvvdiup1
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Re: Spencer update

Post by wvvdiup1 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:38 pm

jacksdad wrote: OOOH, good idea. I was trying to rack my brain for a military term that might make it easier for Sarah's husband. Deck might be a good one. not sure what the British army calls the floor, but I know some of the US branches refer to the floor as a "deck", marines I believe. Not sure what the army uses.
All branches use the term "deck" for floor. :wink:

Good to hear Spencer is doing well in everything -well, except for the walking part, but you'll have him trained well soon enough, Sarah! :D Glad to hear the lump wasn't anything really serious, too! :D When you think about it, anytime we humans break a bone and it heals, that part of the bone that was broken gets this little lump too. It's the same with our dogs and other animals.
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"Common sense is instinct. Enough of it is genius." -author unknown

thepennywhistle
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Re: Spencer update

Post by thepennywhistle » Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:24 pm

Wow. Sounds like not only the the Powers That Be bring you a wonderful dog (potentially), but
send this poor dog wonderful owners. I love to hear about situations working out that way :)

Flyby
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Re: Spencer update

Post by Flyby » Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:50 pm

That's great news Sarah83. Spencer will love his new home all the more because he knows a bad one.

With the leash pulling, one tip might be to yelp and squeal as if the pulling hurts you. You might feel a bit daft pretending to be hurt, but he might get the message pretty quickly.

thepennywhistle
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Re: Spencer update

Post by thepennywhistle » Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:49 pm

Flyby wrote:With the leash pulling, one tip might be to yelp and squeal as if the pulling hurts you. You might feel a bit daft pretending to be hurt, but he might get the message pretty quickly.
With a happy lab hitting the end of that leash, I'm betting she wouldn't have to pretend very much!

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