Adopted Cocker Spaniel How Can I Heal Him?
Adopted Cocker Spaniels Need Extra Loving Care
I recently adopted a Cocker Spaniel from the pound. Poor thing, he has been extremely abused in the past.
He's 6 years old, looks fairly healthy, but has had 12 teeth removed. He's a very quiet but nervous dog.
I've never owned a Cocker Spaniel before, but his kind eyes broke my heart.
I know time is needed to heal him.
Any suggestions you might have towards helping him adjust to our home would be helpful.
Also, he poops 5 times a day, is this normal?
Reply from Pauline (Web Owner)
The world needs more people like you, and you're right, he will need time to heal - poor thing.
You'll also need lots of patience to help your adopted Cocker to learn to trust his new human owner. Slow, gentle movements and quiet words will go a long way to help him over his nervousness and timidity.
Have you crated your dog? I would recommend it as crate training can have many benefits but the one more relevant for your dog would be that a dog crate will give him a special safe place of his own, particularly if you cover it with a blanket, leaving the front open.
I use a crate for my Cocker (Max) but rarely lock him in it nowadays. He often slips away for a quick nap inside his crate, even though he has a perfectly good dog bed!
If your adopted cocker's never been in a crate before, this article on how to crate train a puppy will help you through it.
To help you bond with your dog, it may be a good idea to take him through some basic puppy obedience commands, rewarding him with lots of praise and a morsel of cooked chicken or liver.
You might also like to play a few gentle games with him. We have a few great ideas here to get you started.
Best of all, some quiet time with your dog will help tremendously. Take him for a long walk first to tire him out. Make yourself a coffee, give him a drink and a biscuit, and then sit on the floor with him and just have some 'quite time' together.
As for pooping 5 times a day - you may be feeding him too much or too often. (We're all guilty of loving our dogs too much and giving in - who can resist those lovely brown eyes?!)
Losing 12 teeth probably means he'll find it difficult to eat kibble and is fed a good quality tinned food. If you prefer to feed him on kibble, you could soften it with a little warm water first.
I would recommend that you feed your dog once or twice a day - in the morning or both morning and late afternoon - no feeding during the day (other than a couple of small training treats). For one thing, cocker spaniels are prone to obesity as they get older so it's important to keep an eye on how much he eats.
If you restrict and/or regulate the amount of food he eats, you'll soon find that he begins to poop only once or twice each day.
You can learn more about the cocker diet here.
I hope this helps and good luck to you both!
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