Adopted Cocker Spaniel How Can I Heal Him?

by Donna
(United States)

Adopted Cocker Spaniels Need Extra Loving Care

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)

Hi Donna,

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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Rescue Dog
by: J9

Three months ago I adopted a seven year old male cocker spaniel named Tanner. He was a stray so I know nothing about his background except that he is healthy, so I doubt that he was stray for very long.

I crate him at night and when I leave the house. He cried a little the first couple of nights but now he likes his crate. When I first introduced him to the crate I put treats inside it and I still do once in a while. I wanted the crate to be a happy place.

I never use it for punishment.

When I first brought Tanner home he followed me constantly, so I was worried about seperation anxiety. At first I only left the house for short periods of time. Now he knows I'm coming back and handles separation just fine.

Also, when I first brought him home he had frequent, runny stools. I fed him rice, chicken breast and little cottage cheese twice a day. This seemed to help. I actually think that the runny stools may have been stress related.

He had been at the humane society for over three months and he was neutered the day before I brought him home. Plus a new home is a big adjustment. Gradually, I intoduced a high quality dog food into his diet - I use Iams lamb and rice. Now his stools are solid and he has bowel movements twice a day.

When I brought Tanner home I started teaching him commands and tricks right away; he loves learning new tricks. He really responds to treats. I just use a couple of Cheerio's for training treats. They are a lot cheaper than dog treats and I'm pretty sure they won't make him fat. I still work with him on commands and tricks for 5 or 10 minutes a day. He likes it.

One mistake I made when I first brought him home was introducung him to new people and dogs too quickly. I think this added to his stress. Looking back I wish I would have done it more gradually.

It took Tanner about two months to fully adjust to his new home. Now he is happy and confident.

We take him on lots of long walks and he goes camping and canoeing with us.

I've never had a cocker spaniel before and I've found Tanner to be a smart, loving, loyal and energetic dog. I'm so I happy I adopted him.

Congratulations and good luck!

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