have just adopted a 10 month old springer spaniel, any advice please?

(10 Posts)
meala Sat 11-Apr-15 19:16:44

My husband has always had dogs and has wanted one since we got married 11 years ago. I've always had cats and we have had a cat for the last 4 years.

Today, we adopted a 10 month old male springer. He is very cute and affectionate but is wild! We knew that springer spaniels were energetic dogs and that this particular dog was very bouncy but am not sure how best to introduce him into our family.

He's been used to sleeping in a crate and goes into one no problem. This isn't our ideal but wanted to keep things as normal as possible for him. He is chewing all our throws and curtains although he will leave them when asked after a minute or two.

He wants to climb on the sofas, a big no in our house. He was so excited when we got our dinner and was scrounging. I put him in his crate while we ate.

He sits on command and plays nicely with his toys. He is very friendly and affectionate. My cat took one look and has hidden away upstairs, I can't even find her now :-( Their is a stairgate so the dog can't go upstairs and I've relocated some of the cats food upstairs.

I am just looking for any suggestions on getting the dog and cat to tolerate each other and to integrate the dog. My DH is on nightshift tonight so I'm in charge and I've not a huge experience with dogs (although I regularly walk a chocolate lab but I've never lived with a dog).

Thanks in advance if you made it to the end. I'd really appreciate any advice.

Sossidge Sat 11-Apr-15 22:25:06

A baby springer!! Kiss his wee face, get lost in his ears, take photos of his babyhood and dive into the mayhem!
(Not entirely helpful, but I mean it!)
There's a modern dog training FB page that has all the info you'll ever need in its files (dog training advice and support)
In my experience, new dogs are brought home and doted on, the cat can fuck off and sulk, make sure the cat doesn't claw his wee eyes or face, and the dog will eventually realise cats are boring/volatile.

Buttholelane Sat 11-Apr-15 22:40:41

Hmm, it's clear someone doesn't like cats!

You could try some positive reinforcement, locate cat, leash dog, bring dog just into view of cat, throw treats at cat, take dog away, repeat many times over a day gradually reducing distance.

Also try putting a blanket the dog has laid on in the room to get the cat used to the scent.

Do not let the dog chase, stare or focus too intensely on the cat. Ever.
I got a lot of practise with this when I brought a kitten into my dogs life.

Keep the dog leashed so you can immediately correct and remove for rude, possibly predatory, threatening behaviour towards the cat like intense staring, lunging etc.
Praise lavishly if it acts calmly for even a second near the cat.

When the cat gets more confident, and it could take a while!
Start feeding them either side of the baby gate then gradually together in the kitchen, just make sure neither animal tries to punch the others food.

Buttholelane Sat 11-Apr-15 22:40:55

** pinch

meala Sat 11-Apr-15 23:02:09

Thanks so much for all of your advice. I'll go and have a look at the facebook page you recommended.

My poor wee cat hasn't come out from under the bed much. She did come downstairs for a minute. I put Toby (the dog) in his crate and they had a look at each other. My cat puffed up like a furball and then skulked off again. I gave them both some treats after. Toby didn't seem too bothered, he only moved a bit when the cat started to walk away. The breed rescue were unsure if he's accustomed to cats or not but at least there wasn't any mad scramble to get near her! That sounds a good idea about feeding them either side of the gate if I can persuade kitty to come down again!

Toby has tried to chew just about everything in the room!!! He is very cute though. We've got a contact for training classes so will start that ASAP.

This is going to be a steep learning curve!!! I've tried to attach a pic of Toby.

shadowfax07 Sun 12-Apr-15 00:34:29

Oh, he's gorgeous!

Lisarossi Wed 24-Aug-16 12:36:45

Hi meala, I have just been searching the internet about how to integrate a springer into a house with 2 cats and I came across your post. We are thinking about adopting a 10 month old English springer and I was wondering how you got on with your Toby and and your cat and if it worked in the end? Cause I'm really nervous one of our cats is 12 and the other is just nearly 2 could it work? confused

Ames84 Wed 24-Aug-16 12:50:44

I adopted a 9 year old springer who had never encountered cats. Although I don't have a cat, my parents do and the dog spends time at their house. The cat was very unimpressed but he did settle down and the cat eventually came out of hiding and if the dog got too close, he was batted with a paw. I always monitored there contact until I knew they were ok to be in the same room. The cat ended up as the boss and used my dog to hide behind when my brother brought his puppy to my parents.

EnriqueTheRingBearingLizard Wed 24-Aug-16 12:58:54

My experience with Springers is a long time ago but my advice would be to adopt a firm No voice right from day one. They're absolutely gorgeous dogs and I would love one again, but they can be manic and chewing was a problem with ours too. We took him to training classes and he was the star of the show, but you could always see him making his mind up whether to obey the instructions or not. It's very easy for the owners to be seduced by their charm grin Sorry no experience of introducing a dog to a cat, so can't comment there.

By the way, ours calmed down tremendously when he turned two, it was just as though a switch had been thrown.

Toby is beautiful and that pic has brought back some happy memories.

Lisarossi Wed 24-Aug-16 13:02:05

Thanks, I'm sure that with alot of monitoring as you say they will all be fine, I know it will be a long process but he is such a beautiful little thing, we just want to give him a home. The best way I know would have been to get a puppy and to start from scratch but when there are so many in the rescue centre it seems a no brainer. Thanks for your help.

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