Fighting For Attention!
Cocker Spaniels Often Compete For Attention
Hello, I found your site very interesting when reading through it recently, and would like some advice on introducing a new cocker spaniel to the same aged cocker.
My new cocker is always fighting for attention, although is well-behaved, and I was wondering if there were any extra tips?
Any help would be appreciated.
Reply from Pauline (Web Owner)
It sounds like your main problem is your new dog's attention seeking behaviour - this needs to be addressed.
Try setting aside separate blocks of time to play with/walk/train/give attention to your new dog on his or her own (without, of course, neglecting your existing cocker).
Additionally, we recommend you arrange play and walking sessions together too.
Re-training your new cocker spaniel may help. Take him or her through all the basic training commands and continue to reinforce them at every opportunity you get.
You may also like to try this exercise. Ask both dogs to sit a few feet apart from each other and grab a bag of treats.
Ask both to 'Stay'.
Offer your new dog a small treat - throw it so that he can catch it.
If your other cocker makes a move for it - tell him No! (firmly but not too loudly) and ask him to sit.
If you new cocker is still sitting quietly, give him another treat.
If your other dog remains sitting and doesn't try to go for the treat, reward him with a treat.
Try the same exercise with a small ball and just keep working on it. You are trying to control their activities - not the other way around.
Each time your new dog steps out of line, no matter what, you need to let him know his behaviour is unwanted. The less he gets away with his attention seeking behaviour, the less he will exhibit it.
Perhaps someone out there can add to this answer?
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