Exercise/training plan for Springer

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troop
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:50 pm

Exercise/training plan for Springer

Post by troop » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:07 am

Im reposting here as suggested hopefully to get more replies thanks x

Ok basically my OH is thinking of getting a springer but the one we are thinking on is a 7month ***** with zero obedience training and has been in a kennel for a long time. She has apparently got a very short attention span and the people that took her on train rescue/search dogs and havent trained her because of this apparent flaw. She has not been mixed with dogs either so any advice on taking on a dog like this gratefully recieved x thank you.
I have experience of difficult dogs but not springers.

Flyby
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Re: Exercise/training plan for Springer

Post by Flyby » Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:59 pm

Don't really have lots of advice, but you do get some springers that have limitless energy and are a bit scatterbrained, but it's not normally that much of a problem. I don't know for sure, but I believe there are lots of dogs which don't pass muster as sniffer/search dogs, but that's not to say they won't make great pets. I also understand that most working dogs get the reward of playing with a tennis ball, but some dogs just don't get excited about a ball and don't fixate on it to the extent it can be used for training. That's all it takes for them to be rejected and kicked off the course.

It's difficult to say without seeing the dog, but I wouldn't necessarily read too much into being rejected as a rescue dog. They'd be assessing her using different criteria than yourselves. She was evidently fit and alert enough to be considered in the first place, so I don't think her problem attention span can be a drastic condition, (assuming of course it isn't a rescue dog you want but a normal pet).

There is also the option to take a leaf out their book, and take the dog for a trial period to form your own assessment about whether or not you can work with her.

elisa
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Re: Exercise/training plan for Springer

Post by elisa » Sat Jan 28, 2012 7:18 am

I have a half-springer so I thought I'd share some thoughts. Firstly I second Flyby about the limitless energy and scatterbrainedness. As for the short attention span they are warning you about, I think it might just be that she's so into tracking scents. At least Ansa's mother, who was a stray and not trained but clearly abused and kept in a kennel from which she might have chewed herself out of, seems quite fickle (as in changing her mind about what she is doing all the time). I'd never been around springers until I met her and it was funny watching her jump from the most impossibly dense bush to the next during walks. (This was clearly hereditary...) But even with the unknown past she is a super nice dog.

I think walks on a long line so she can track things would be the best. At least Ansa and her mom (not mine) seem to go into this "tracking mode" with their tail wisping around like the rotors of a helicopter and it is quite hard to get them out of it sometimes. I figure in this mode they are exercising both their brain and body. At seven months my Ansa would get these "crazy running attacks" where she would just go around in circles (luckily only once inside...). I figured it was good that she was able to burn off excess energy by herself.

I tried to train Ansa's mother to sit last time I visited but it seemed as easy as teaching the cat to sit. She did not really get that the treat is a reward for the action. So if the springer you are thinking of getting has had no formal training then you might have the same problem. But I think springers are quite smart. I'd probably concentrate on getting her attention first and rewarding that. And then teaching her to play with toys so you can reward with play time. My order of getting Ansa to pay attention starts by trying treats and then a toy and if those do not work then I take out her kong squeaky ball. If she has a short attention span then do short training sessions since those are better anyway.

So I'd say prepare for silly craziness but lots of love also. All the springers I've met really like belly scratches. :)
The best friend of Ansa the sprollie since autumn 2010.
http://www.youtube.com/user/AnsaTheSprollie
Train with your brain. :)

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