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Hey all,

I originally posted this in the general dog forum, this is probably a better place to post it. I need advice on a new dog?!

I purchased a field springer spaniel this yesterday and brought if home from the breeder. It's nine months old, one of three remaining from the breeders last litter.

Anyways,since I have brought it home it has been very timid. Tail between it's legs, cowering and sometimes shaking pretty badly. The breeder was reputable, and I met a lot of the dogs family (mom, dad, uncle, grandpa,siblings.) The dog did not display this behavior at the breeders on the two occasions I visited, and the rest of the dogs were typical high energy springers.

It has gotten a lot better as the day has gone on, but it still walks with it's tail between it's legs and rear end slumping,and generally sheepish. Should I be concerned? I've never seen a dog this young so timid, with so little energy. I tried to take it for a walk, and it simply would not walk. Just laid on the ground. I assume that had something to do with the leash and him not being used to it. But it has not left the bed we bought for it essentially all day.

Plus, he was wimpering and getting ansy, so I figured it had to go to the bathroom. I literally could not get it to walk through the back door, I had to pick it up and bring it outside. He was shaking so bad, I've never seen it before. It was like one of those dogs on the dog whisperer.... When I finally did get it outside, it showed some energy towards a neighbor, which was good, but when it left, it was back to sheepish.

I've been laying on the floor with him, he tends to show more energy by laying by him.

We spent 15 minutes coaxing him through the front door to go outside to the bathroom. I live in the City (soon moving to 1.5 acre house) and I simply let go of the leash as I had no concerns of him going anywhere. He just sits there... no energy... Doesn't run around or show much interest in anything.

Is this normal? Is the dog just adjusting to it's new surroundings? I plan on using the dog for hunting as well.

PS. I've owned dogs before and was raised in a house full of dogs. This is the 1st one that I was concerned about not having "enough" energy, it's usually the other way around?!
 

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If he was acting normal at the breeders. I'd say he just needs time to get used to you and your hourse. Think of it this way, he's lived 9 months at the breeders, with his mom and dad and brothers/sisters. Now he's in a new place away from all those other dogs, and probably scared. If he's used to running around all day with out a leash then he probably has no idea what this thing you have on him is.

Thats just my two cents though, I'm sure you'll get a lot more reply's. Congrats on your new dog! I'm sure after some time he'll be fantastic.
 

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It just sounds like the breeder and I am stretching that calling him/her a breeder had pups and just let them vegetate. Do not panic. You are going to try to replace 9 months of nothing with something and it will take some time. Let's look at it this way and I have posted this before. Your mommy has a baby, You are that baby. as soon as you are weaned etc mom puts you into a room and feeds you and waters you and I hope keeps the room clean for 12 years Then when you are 13 years old she takes you out of the room and puts you on a bus to Anywhere USA with a stranger. When you get to Anywhere USA the stranger takes you to his/her home etc. What do you think you would be like in the new home/world that you have never seen at all. You should be by rights a lot smarter than the Springer, do you think you might be a tad warped at your first sight of the whole new world.
 

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It just sounds like the breeder and I am stretching that calling him/her a breeder had pups and just let them vegetate. Do not panic. You are going to try to replace 9 months of nothing with something and it will take some time. Let's look at it this way and I have posted this before. Your mommy has a baby, You are that baby. as soon as you are weaned etc mom puts you into a room and feeds you and waters you and I hope keeps the room clean for 12 years Then when you are 13 years old she takes you out of the room and puts you on a bus to Anywhere USA with a stranger. When you get to Anywhere USA the stranger takes you to his/her home etc. What do you think you would be like in the new home/world that you have never seen at all. You should be by rights a lot smarter than the Springer, do you think you might be a tad warped at your first sight of the whole new world.
That is the best explanation of what a dog in a new home is going through I have ever read.
 

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I don't think it was the breeder on this one. The guy was one of the nicest guys I've ever met. He loved springers. He trains/competes in field trials, and had over 15 dogs on his 30 acre hobby farm. They were all crate trained. His house had a walkout basement that led to a fenced kennel area that was HUGE. His property had wetlands,sloughs, woods,hills... he let me view all the dogs, every one of them was covered in mud from the morning romp. He had a large field open for field trial training and offers classes for hunting training complete with birds if so desired.

the dog is getting better, but there is still some timidness. I don't think shy is the right word for his behavior. Timid is much better. I can tell he wants to be a puppy,he just has reservations.

I think I am going to give it a few weeks, but if I don't see much improvement, I may be forced to consider a very tough decision in returning the dog to the breeder. I wouldn't mind if it was timid if I just wanted a house dog, but I want a hunting dog,and even considered getting it into agility trials. Right now, I can't get him to run very far without plopping his but down and pouting.
 

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Ok well that puts a bit of a spin to story, there is a description used to describe a dog that is much more to the point. Kennel-shy, a dog that spends a bunch of time in kennel. Now when you got this dog did you and breeder take a walk with the dog on this hunting area, how did dog act in field, if not, why didn't you want to see dog in action. If the breeder/trainer had been doing anything with this dog he should have been right at home in an area he was familiar with. A 9 month old pup is definitely old enough to have been started in the field. This is not something I am guessing at as bird dog training was my speciality. Even if the dog had a start in field work you took him to an entirely different environment that can spook a dog until dog relaxes in new place.

This is not a car or a motorcycle or a new boat or TV. This rascal has feelings. You said you could not run this dog very far as he would plop butt down and stop. Does this mean you turned the dog loose in a field, where are you running him. You have had the dog 2 days. I bet if something picked you up and plopped you into a jungle in Africa it would take you more than 2 days to adjust. I use these silly descriptions on dog stuff so that hopefully people can understand a little bit about what is happening to the dogs.

Do not turn dog loose as it is a great way to lose dog, do not fire a gun around dog to see how dog reacts as it is a good way to lose dog. Just let dog adjust to his new home.

The trainer/breeder is a nice guy well usually when somebody is selling something they are nice guys and the all the wonderful land etc is no guarantee that the dog is as marvelous as the land etc. I wonder why if all is as great as you are describing why he still had 3 pups from litter left at 9 months of age. Did you pick this pup or did trainer pick pup etc. TIME, TIME TIME is what is needed here so if he is a good dog, the good dog part can blossum.
 

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Wvasko,

I appreciate the response. I hope I am not sending the wrong message as your response came across as a little terse. I really don't want to be a bad dog owner. Plus, I don't want to have unrealistic expectations for my pup, or be harsh on it. As far as my comments about the breeder, I followed my gut. I realize that it takes MUCH more than buying a spaniel from a hunting breeder to produce a hunting dog. Much like simply buying a collie doesn't guarentee you will get Lassie, buying from a hunting breeder doesn't guarentee a field champion.

I am simply a total newbie at dog ownership. I was raised in a family around dogs, but have never trained one myself. I want to make the right decisions with my pup. I am overreacting a little, it's only been a couple days.

I am just not used to this. Every young dog I have ever had either had too much energy, too destructive, nuerotic.... well, acted like a "dog." Well, when I was younger, I just wanted a dog to chill at the house with me. Now, I am older, will have a great yard in a few weeks, and want a dog for hunting. It's just sort of working in reverse order, as i appear to have the opposite of what one usually gets.

I had him on the leash last night and it was a little improved. I got him walking through the back door on his own (albeit sheepishly), he is willingly entering in and out of his kennel, and we got him some more toys and I believe he learned the word treat last night.

I apologize if I came across wrong. Any advice on how to be around the dog would be appreciative. I am rewarding the desired behaviors (exploring, playing, fetching, walking too me on the leash, etc..) and ignoring the timidness while being encouraging at the same time.

He seems to want to come up and say hi, I am doing my best to encourage it.
 

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No, excuse me as sometimes I have a problem, I am much better with dogs than communications with actual people. I am trying to help you albeit a little blunt. I need some answer from last reply as it will help me understand place/person you bought dog from. My bluntness also comes so that I can shock you into not panicking about your little dog actions etc. All you have to do is feed me back the stuff that the breeder/trainer etc fed you and I will then give you back my feelings on what was told you and what I at least think about the whole dog purchase program. Don't worry you are not coming across with any bad stuff as you are a newbie and this is what newbies do, not a big deal. It's up to the oldie to take care of the newbie if possible.
 

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Wvasko,

I appreciate the response. I hope I am not sending the wrong message as your response came across as a little terse. I really don't want to be a bad dog owner. Plus, I don't want to have unrealistic expectations for my pup, or be harsh on it. As far as my comments about the breeder, I followed my gut. I realize that it takes MUCH more than buying a spaniel from a hunting breeder to produce a hunting dog. Much like simply buying a collie doesn't guarentee you will get Lassie, buying from a hunting breeder doesn't guarentee a field champion.

I am simply a total newbie at dog ownership. I was raised in a family around dogs, but have never trained one myself. I want to make the right decisions with my pup. I am overreacting a little, it's only been a couple days.

I am just not used to this. Every young dog I have ever had either had too much energy, too destructive, nuerotic.... well, acted like a "dog." Well, when I was younger, I just wanted a dog to chill at the house with me. Now, I am older, will have a great yard in a few weeks, and want a dog for hunting. It's just sort of working in reverse order, as i appear to have the opposite of what one usually gets.

I had him on the leash last night and it was a little improved. I got him walking through the back door on his own (albeit sheepishly), he is willingly entering in and out of his kennel, and we got him some more toys and I believe he learned the word treat last night.

I apologize if I came across wrong. Any advice on how to be around the dog would be appreciative, if your experience with bird dog training can offer some perspective/tips, I would greatly value any advice/tips. Being a new "parent" is a little intimidating. I am rewarding the desired behaviors (exploring, playing, fetching, walking too me on the leash, etc..) and ignoring the timidness while being encouraging at the same time.

I did not see the dog in the field and he hasn't started training the dog. It is not a "started" dog. YOu raise an issue I was concerned about, I inquired as to why my pup and his two siblings weren't taken. It's pretty hard NOT to think something is wrong with them. He really couldn't offer a good reason, and opined on the economy. If had gotten a puppy instead, and at the nine month market it was timid, I would have noone to blame by myself had it not been socialized. Since I don't know what the dogs 1st nine months were like.. well, hence, I'm on the internet asking around, and I've called a couple breeders as well. A amjority of the responses are "give it time."

He seems to want to come up and say hi, I am doing my best to encourage it. I'm just not used to it, that's all!
 
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