My Springer Spaniel is Destructive what to do?

by Rod Stewart
(Roseville Ohio)

One cold and wintry day in January a stray Springer Spaniel came in to our garden with a broken leg.

My and I wife felt sorry for him and we took him to the vet, not knowing if he belonged to anyone or not.

We asked around with nobody claiming him so we decided to put him in the dog kennel with my two other dogs, Teddy and Rascal.

We found out Jake was owned by people 2 miles away, we called them and they did not want him back so guess what, I'm the proud owner of Jake.

Since I've had him he has torn up every thing imaginable so I put in a new chain link fence and 2 new doggie doors for him and nothing is working, he continues to find something to tear up.

I walk him most every day and he has plenty of toys. I have had him neutered, groomed, all his vaccinations but I don't know where to go from here.

I am not sure if I can afford to keep him if I cannot find a solution to fix all the problems but I do love him and want to keep him.

I also need to know what kind of diet to put him on he weighs 47 pounds at this moment.

Please help me so I can keep him.
Thanks for any feedback, Sincerely, Rod Stewart


Hi Rod
Sorry to hear you are having so much trouble with Jake . Its a good start that he is neutered, exercised and has plenty to play with. I have thought a lot about your situation .

Pack psychology
It sounds like you have a real Alpha Male on your hands. Neutering should help. Have you tried enforcing the pack psychology in the home? Here are the guides on it. It will tell you how to enforce your role as dominant dog by how to treat, feed and discipline your Springer as well as were you sleep.
Springer Spaniel Pack Guidelines

You may have to reinstate your authority on him, there are some good tips in those guides and some everyday rules. I find that even with a Jessie of a dog like mine if I let some of these behaviors slip with him, he will take advantage.

Destructive behavior tends to be the dog exerting his frustration. You have said you exercise him which is great. Can I ask how much are you walking him? What type of walks are they? Are they wooded walks were he can run free and act as Springers do? If he is being kept on a lead he probably isn't getting the stimulation he needs and is therefore destructive. Its usually they signs of a very intelligent dog not getting stretched.

Try taking him to a safe enclosed space where he can run around, chase after a ball. Invest in a ball flicker like this one found on my
Exercise Page

It tires out my springer no end.
You may also want to take him to dog agility classes and channel that energy. Its a bit like taking a delinquent youth and enrolling him into a sports programme.

Springers love to swim and it is excellent at tiring them out, If you can find a lake where he can fetch a ball and let him swim and let off steam for a good hour a day it will tire him out.

A dog trainer friend of mine has just bought a treadmill and she walks her dogs on that first before taking them out, and she says it has made them much calmer so that may be an option although a bit costly. I will also ask her about your situation.

I once had a rescue Springer that was totally out of control, then a vet friend of mine suggested we change his diet to an additive free one. I was a bit sceptical but frankly I would have tried anything. Anyway we found an additive free diet (there are many on the market) and the difference in him was incredible. I see that you are state side so I did a little research and found what look to be some good brands recommended by the Hunting society.

You may also want to check out my diet pages.

Springer Diet Pages

I will also pose your question on my Springer report newsletter that goes to all our Subscribed members to see if they have any advice for you. The next edition due in a couple of weeks. Hopefully some of our other members may have some advice for you.
Springer Report
Let us know how you get on, I firmly believe Springers can change after all they live to please their owners. Something is out of balance with Jake, its just a question of finding it and addressing.

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Comments for My Springer Spaniel is Destructive what to do?

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Oct 05, 2009
by: Rod Stewart

Jake does not tear the doggie door up but he does make sure that it is off the door completely. Im noticing that does it mostly if we leave home for a lil bit.

Oct 04, 2009
by: Estie

Rod - you deserve a medal for your perserverance!! The update is great news! It takes so much time to get them through the stages. About the door - is it a doggie door? Does he chew the flap off, or just knock it off?

Oct 04, 2009
by: Rod Stewart

Just wanted to let everyone know that i do still have Jake and he is doing much better as he is growing a little older. I do still keep him in a large kennel when i go to work but when i come home nothing is chewed up. I do have a problem with him tearing off a doggie door flap every time i put it back on. This door goes from the kennel to a heated garage for Jake and 2 other dogs for the winter. Any thoughts on how to keep this door on? Thanks, Rod

Jun 14, 2009
Jakes Progress
by: Rod

I have moved him on to Exclusive Dog food and is getting and I am still wanting to keep this ornery Springer. Thanks, Rod

Jun 01, 2009
by: Estie

Tons of exercise (we walk ours twice a day - longest in the evening is one or more miles atleast), and tons of patience!! Jake will settle down. Our springers (both from rescue) have taken atleast a month to begin to relax and settle in and be assured that they are in a place for the long haul! It takes sometimes months before their wonderful personality totally blossoms--and it is well worth the wait!! Don't give up!! And if you do, contact the ESRA - springer rescue organization. They will insure that Jake gets into an awesome home!

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