New Kid on the Block

Posted on October 29th, 2011 by Tonia 8 Comments

Photo by jzordan.

Big news! Charlie got a brother. He’s 1 1/2 years old, purebred English Springer Spaniel, and hails from the local Humane Society. Just look into those pretty hazel eyes! You can see why we fell in love instantly. We brought him home yesterday evening after a week of prepping the house for his arrival and watching multiple Cesar Millan episodes EVERY NIGHT.

We’re so excited to add on to our family, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that he’s able to settle in and feel at home here soon. Like most rescue dogs, he’s dealing with a case of separation anxiety and low confidence. He’s also hyperactive, which means it’s hard for him to settle down enough for us to work on training him {he knows “sit” but has no idea about “come” or “stay” or any of the other basic commands} or to even introduce him to Charlie without overwhelming Charlie with his energy.

Please send us good thoughts and vibes as we work with him, and extra good vibes for Charlie who is going to have to adjust to sharing his kingdom home with a pack mate {this is NOT going to be easy for our jealous little man.} The new guy {still working on a name} has so much potential and seems really, really smart and eager to please so we have high hopes that he’ll turn a corner as he realizes that his life is stable and he is safe and loved.

Have you ever rescued a dog or trained a {large and already very strong} puppy? Would love your advice!


  1. Becky says:

    We have 3 labs & 2 yorkies. One of our labs is a rescue and they do come with issues, but the beautiful thing about a dog is they live in the present. Our rescue lab, Captain Jack Sparrow (he has one eye) has a tennis ball obsession. I can recommend exercise, exercise, exercise. You have a high enery dog, but a very loving and loyal one. Much luck to you and congratulations!

  2. Lynne says:

    We’ve just finished an obedience course with our labrador puppy. We’ve always had dogs and trained them ourselves, but the obedience course was worth its weight in gold and I wish we had done one with each and every dog we’ve ever had. He learned everything far more quickly because we were being trained too how to train him lol.

    Start with the basics, Re-call (getting the dog to come to you when you call) and Sit.

    Work out the commands together so the commands you are using are the same and don’t confuse him.

    And reward with treats – they really do work.

    Good luck and I wish you lots of happiness with your new dog. He is beautiful and has a very wise expression. I’m sure he knows how lucky he is :-)

  3. Tonia says:

    Thanks ladies. It’s good to hear success stories. We’re open to obedience classes, but the closest facility that teaches them is about an hour drive so we’re going to try to do it ourselves first. In one day he learned “sit” so it seems we have a pretty smart dog on our hands, he just needs a lot of exercise first before he can focus.

    Oh yeah, and we decided to name him Jack (after the horse I had in high school who was a very sweet boy)!! We wanted a one-syllable name with a distinct sound so he can learn it quickly and it catches his attention.

    I chucked at “Captain Jack Sparrow”, Becky! We had a family dog growing up (also a Springer Spaniel) with only one eye!! 😀

  4. MelD says:

    How lovely! Welcome to Jack 😉
    Spaniels are lovely dogs – we have a Cocker Spaniel (currently 3-legged after a small accident but hopefully soon back on all fours…and incidentally this has not affected the tail-wagging cheerfulness or her nimbleness at gambolling downstairs!) named Alina, quite the diva.
    Training any dog requires patience and devotion. The classes are very valuable not so much for the obedience as for the socialising with a larger variety of dogs, even when you live in the country and especially for a rescue dog. My eldest daughter is a dog trainer and we agree that this is really important! Alina had to have her knees operated on when she was a teen and missed out on some important social inter-action, even though we had another, larger Bernese cross as well at the time, so I can’t emphasise this enough!!
    Have a wonderful time with your dogs, what fun it will be for you both :)

  5. Tonia says:

    Thanks MelD! Charlie and Jack say “hey girl, get well soon” to Alina. We just discovered a great training place not too far away that specializes in bird dogs. After he knows the basic commands well, we’re going to do some sessions with him there. In just two days, he has come a LONG way! We’re really encouraged by how fast he learns. He is a ball of energy and emotionally unstable, but he wants to please us so much.

  6. Kay Kay says:

    I am so happy that you decided on a rescue! There are so any animals out there that need homes! All of my pups are rescues. I have 3 dogs, 1 foster dog that I am treating for heartworms and 3 foster cats! Its a zoo but totally worth it knowing that I am giving these animals time to find the right home. My foster, “Cleo” has a gnarley 4″ scar on her back right leg that must have hurt like hell when it happened. It took her a while to trust me, but man does she love me now! (she still HATES men. My guess a man hurt her.) But, seeing her change from a shakey, scared, abused dog to a vibrant, happy, loved dog – reminds me of why I do what I do. If anyone has the space and heart to open your home to fostering – you should do it!! Talk to your local shelter.

    Since he does have a lot of energy I suggest – exercise, exercise and more exercise!! I love the “chunk its”. They can throw tennis balls super far AND you do not have to pick up a slobber-infested ball with your hands. YAY! Also, get a harness for him. He sounds like a wiggler and high energy dogs can tug when you walk them; harnesses hold them by their chest not by their necks. (collars + pulling = choking)

    Also, when I bring a new dog into my home I try to put up all toys that I know the others love. That eases tension. I will keep the new dog on a leash at all times so they will stay with me. If I am doing housework I will tie them to my belt loop to keep them with me. I feel like it helps me keep a better eye on them (like peeing in the house, tearing stuff up, etc) and that they know to stay with me. It works for me; it has also become quite an obstacle course too. They are all with me all the time. (step over Greta, run into Yahu, bump in to Mo-Mo).

    But above all just have patience. Poor buddy had a family that left him and put him in a very scarey shelter. He needs to know that he is loved and that he can trust you. He is a very lucky dog!! Congratulations!! He sounds like he is going to be super happy living on all of your land!

    Wow. I just noticed I wrote a book. HA! Sorry!

  7. Tonia says:

    Thanks for sharing your home and heart with those poor dogs, Kay Kay! What a great story. They’re very lucky to have you. One thing I learned from Cesar Millan is that dogs live in the now. Their past may have been terrible, but “now” it ROCKS and that’s all that matters to them. We can feel sorry for them about where they came from, but really we’d just be indulging a human skill of looking into the past. You’re giving them a great now, so as far as they’re concerned their life is great!

    The harness was a good suggestion, and we almost went out and got one after we took him on his first walk and he was pulling the whole time. But then he improved so much each time we walked him, and now he walks right next to us with no pulling. As long as we’re firm with him and very clear and consistent when we ask him for things, he listens and tries to figure it out. We don’t attempt to work on “come” and “stay” with him until he is well walked because there is just too much energy there for him to focus his mind, but once he has had a good walk he is ready to learn.

    He’s teaching us as much as we’re teaching him!!

  8. Rachel says:

    I really commend you for getting a rescue dog. There are so many animals out there who need good homes. Good luck with the coming months and I hope he Charlie become great pack-mates

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