Yesterday I was in Roswell returning a happy client’s successful Board and Train Graduate. I had stopped to get some gas and a Pepsi and the person at the gas pump came over with a dog question. he had seen the “Dog Training” signs on the side of my car and has a question with his new dog that he just couldn’t figure out. He had always had Springer Spaniels, even as a young boy. Many times he and his family had several Spaniels at the same time. Recently he had rescued a new Springer at the local Humane Society. This dog, although looking just like all the dogs he had been with all his life, was just a completely different animal. He couldn’t understand it and was wondering what was going on.
As a dog trainer, I am asked this question all the time. The quick answer is that, just like people, every dog is different. I like to tell the story of two of our two Springer Spaniels, Bob and Nickie. Bob was an English Springer Spaniel that we had while we lived in California and Nickie is an English Springier Spaniel that we currently have in Georgia. They were the same breed, we adopted them when they were puppies, and we treated both of them as equally as possible. When it came to temperament and behavior, they were night and day.
Bob was just plain nuts from the day we got him until the day he passed away at fourteen. He would leap over furniture, chase birds in the sky by looking straight up and running into things, never calm down, and get into everything. Nickie, on the other hand, is now nearing twelve years old and has been one of the best behaved, calmest dogs we have every owned. Robin takes him on live television shows because we know he will be perfect. He loves everybody and can be as quiet as a mouse.
Our two English Springier Spaniels could be twin brothers, but they were completely different. When you get right down to it, the reason that dogs can act differently is because they are different dogs, period. So how can this obvious observation help out befuddled dog owners? We have some simple rules that we all need to follow:
- Never treat your dog in a particular way just because that was the way you might have dealt with a prior dog or another dog currently in the family.
- Never physically force your dog to do anything. That can make him fearful and could cause dog bites and other aggressive actions.
- Never show favoritism to one dog over another. Just like children, dogs pick up on this quite quickly. The “less-favored dog” will become more active in demanding equal attention from you. This could lead to a protective response from your “favored dog” and lead to aggressive actions.
- Clean your house before you bring in your new dog to make sure the “old dog” smells have gone. You also might want to give away all the old dog’s belongings to rescue groups. This will help your new dog acclimate to your home quicker because he is not worrying about the “old dog smells” and when that dog is returning.
- Never get another dog just because you think your current dog is lonely.
- Wait for at least three or four months between dogs so that you can allow your “grieving process” regarding the last dog has completed. This process, if still in place, can easily be read by your new dog and could cause inappropriate behavior.
Just remember that all dogs are different and need to be treated as individuals. Robin and I have five (yes, five) dogs and they are each individuals. We treat each one differently, based on each dog’s behavior and needs. Everyone gets along because they are all individuals and their individual needs are all being fulfilled.
We hope you will contact us at (770) 718-7704 if you are in need of any dog training help. There are more excellent dog training articles at Best Dog Trainers Roswell Georgia. Get all out contact options att Dog Training Help Center Roswell Georgia.