Our 7 month old Springer Spaniel pulls and wont come

by Kate
(Nottingham)

Our 7 month old Springer Spaniel Maisy has recently stopped returning to me when out in the fields. She's always had excellent recall (taught from 8 weeks) and she still does when we're in the home.


She's always loved being off the lead and bouncing up and down through our local fields but a few weeks ago when I called her it was as though she had gone deaf! I ran away and hid but she remained in the field. When I finally spotted her and went to get her, she had a baby pheasant in her mouth!

She dropped it and I put her on her lead and she was pulling and going crazy trying to get to it... Choking herself and out of control. I now realise that her previous enjoyment in the fields was due to her self hunting pheasants.. Although she will chase any type of bird!

I've tried letting her off her lead since, using tasty treats, balls, toys, frisbee's and fuss but she soon gets bored and disappears into the long grass. I now have her on an extendible lead but she runs as fast as she can to the end of it, nearly pulling my arm out the socket.

She is a very excitable dog out of the house and doesn't listen to me when other dogs are nearby either.. Pulling and going crazy on the lead until she chokes. Being a typical Springer, she hates the lead and I know she isn't happy.
I would be really grateful for any advice as I feel I've tried everything now :(

From Anna@love-springer-spaniels.com

Hi there
First I have recently discovered a product that has stopped George from pulling. I got a stop pull harness from pets at home, and it is now so pleasant to walk with him on the lead. Take her into the shop with you and you can try it on before you buy it.

Second it sounds as if her experience of finding the pheasant has ignited something in her which is only to be expected as that is was she is designed to do.

I would suggest go back to basics of recall training, do this after her walk. Repeat all the drills that you did in the past when she was younger to get her to recall initially and it should click into place. If she was good before it will come back to her

Good luck and let us know how she is doing.

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Jul 24, 2011
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Don't Give Up.
by: Anonymous

Mine had the same problem. Its to do with their high driving instinct. One that nose is engaged, "Houston we have a problem!"

I took her back to the breeder for advice. He spent and hour going over drills with me; walk her in an enclosed area, do not let her go far away from you- give her a command to turn/change direction ( 2 pips on whistle) ; always throw a ball in the opposite direction or hide a ball as you walk and ask her to find it; when she finds the object she will want to retrieve it , so re-enforce that instinct with a whistle to recall.

Keep changing dircetions suddenly and make sure she stays near you- make her think.

Also,whistle for her to stop, but make sure that she stops on the spot.If she comes forward too much, return her to the original position where you whistled for her to stop and hold her in place and whistle again.

An enclosed place is important, I was told that taking her on my normal mountain walk was asking for problems. Her smelling rabbits etc or diving in the bracken is always going to me more interesting. The above drills are about teaching her that its interesting to stay near you.

Loads of praise when they do what you ask.

Mine is now 12 months and has excellent recall and stops on a pin head.Mountain walks are now a pleausure.

Pulling whilst on leash is still a work in progress.

Phil,

South Wales.

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