Last night both the boys were very good after their training walk. I gave them both a filled bone and they settled down for two hours! I managed to have a wee gin, we had the record player on (some old queen records for the night) and I managed to read a few pages of my book. It was just lovely.
So this morning, I was hoping I’d get the same. It did start off quite nicely with some cuddles on the floor:
Oh how wrong I was. Echo has decided that today, he is going to be a complete nuisance. He spent the morning stealing toys from Zeph and being quite aggressive about it. I had to intervene a number of times. And at one point they were fighting over a piece of rope they had removed from a toy so I thought I’d remove it. Well Echo turned his possessive aggression on me. I have learned that if I let my dogs win an argument they will win every time. Well as I went to take the rope, and asked him to ‘give’. He clamped his jaws round it tighter and started growling and snarling at me. I won’t take that nonsense off any dog. I managed to lift the water bottle we have for just these incidents and I gave him a few scooshes of water. It was enough to prize his jaws open from the rope and take it. However, as the rope left his mouth he decided to try and fill it with my arm. I managed to grab his scruff faster and held him for a few minutes. He continued to snarl at me the whole time so he was quietly taken to his crate and given a time out. I have only had him react like this 3 times now since we have owned him, and all over stolen items. I am trying my best to work on his possession but it is not all the time so it’s quite hard to train out. This possessive behaviour is apparently a trait in spaniels but that doesn’t mean it is acceptable. I am very careful with him if he stolen anything, and if we are at around other people’s houses, I ask them not to take things from him if he has stolen them but to let me get it. I am not scared of my dog, and I have no fear of him if he goes to bite (like all dogs he knows when he as done wrong) but you can’t let him win by keeping the item or by backing down. Luckily this is very rare. He has been rather good upto now and has been handing over items with a simple ‘give’. So today was a big step backwards.
After this episode I hurried Ben along and decided that we clearly had to take them out earlier this morning than we normally would on a Sunday. So we went tot he park for a wander round. Echo got to play fetch and was being good, bringing the ball back, ignoring other people etc. They were both very good and even managed to keep them listening when once again we came upon three dogs off lead with the owners way in front and oblivious to us being there.
On the way back to the car there must have been a good smell on the playing fields so Echo completely switched off. We managed to get him back and to play it safe we put them both back on the lead. I could tell Echo was on the verge of ‘kicking off’ again so we left the walk on a good note; we made them sit before they were allowed in the car and they are always made to sit again in the car and are rewarded with a biscuit before I close the door:
Arriving back at the house Echo proceeded to be silly with his toys and all Zephy wanted to do was sleep. So Echo is currently huffing in his bed and Zeph is sound asleep on the floor. I have no idea what has gotten into Echo today, especially since he was such a good dog yesterday. Obviously just having a moment today which is frustrating.