Is My Cocker Shy?

by Coco
(London, UK)

Is My Cocker Spaniel Shy?

Is My Cocker Spaniel Shy?

I have a (nearly) seven-month old cocker spaniel puppy, whom I brought home when he was 8 weeks old.

Since day one he has been socialised in every way possible - I rarely go anywhere without him. He has always been a confident and friendly dog, will approach other dogs without hesitation, and always wants to play.

I take him on daily walks and I've spent a long time working on his recall to the point where I can now call him back from anything - even while he's playing with other dogs, which I'm happy with, but I'm starting to wonder if I've caused him a problem here.

He usually waits for my permission before running off to play with other dogs, and over the last month or so, I've noticed that his way of playing with other dogs is to run up to them, then run away to encourage them to chase him. If they chase him he runs straight back to me and waits by me, at which point the other dog usually gets bored and goes back to his owner. I just thought this was his way of playing, until a man in the park the other day said that my pup is shy and needs a playmate at home, that's why he's running back to me instead of playing with other dogs.

Do you think this is true? It's really bothering me because I thought I had socialised him well. He did get chased by a couple of older aggressive dogs who nipped him a few weeks ago, could this have triggered a fear? Or am I worrying over nothing?

Sorry for the long post!

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Shy Cocker Spaniel - Is There Such A Thing?
by: Anonymous

I'm not sure there's such a thing as a shy cocker spaniel - all those I've ever owned have been proper little busy bodies!

I've even had one or two little bullies too!

It sounds like your cocker spaniel just needs a little more encouragement and more opportunities to mix with other dogs.

It is possible that he's had a shock when he was nipped recently, however, if you continue with his little romps in the park with his new friends he should come round - especially with your loving encouragement.

Shy Cocker Spaniel
by: Anonymous

It sounds to me like your dog is happy playing with other dogs but is seeking 'approval' from you to continue playing. (?)

Next time he returns to your side after playing chase, I would try to encourage him to go back and play chase again.

I recommend you continue to let him mix with other dogs on a regular basis but I wouldn't recommend getting another dog, unless you really want to.

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