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Old 11-29-2008, 04:13 PM   #1
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My Dog Is Trying To Bite Shadows Can You Help

Hi Everyone,

Mines names Jo & I'm from Gateshead I have a male English Springer Spaniel called Ben. I've had him since he was 9 weeks old & he has been great. Hes now 6 months old, however the last 3 weeks he is chasing shadows & is actually biting the wallpaper to try & get them.

I am finding it baffling can anyone give me any advice on this???

Jo x
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Old 11-29-2008, 04:36 PM   #2
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Just my opinion, but he sounds bored. Dogs will find ridiculous and sometimes destructive ways to amuse themselves when they don't get enough stimulation otherwise. Does he fetch? Play ball? I play and train with my dogs (5 Rotties) 2-4 hours a day, besides the walks and just hanging out in the yard looking around. I also take them on hikes, to agility courses, and other types of training. It keeps them out of trouble and keeps me sane.

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Old 11-29-2008, 05:33 PM   #3
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That is a thought maybe.........

Yes he fetches & has toys which he plays with, so you think it could be boredom then?
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:05 AM   #4
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I agree that the dog could be bored, and the more stimulation the better, but he also is just probably developing all his senses (sight being one of them) and he is seeing the shadows and instinctively trying to get at them. When my dog Toto was a puppy (he's 2 years old now) he would chase down the shadows that birds flying overhead made on the sidewalks. We called them "concrete butterflys". It didn't take Toto long to figure out that the shadows were not live critters when he realized that the other senses such as smell and sound were coming up empty. Your dog will figure out that the wall shadows are not respoinding to him, and he will eventually stop the practice. I might want to try to re-direct him when you see him doing it, just so he doesn't develop any type of anxiety disorder as a result of the frustration of not being able to catch any of the "wall shadows" More then likely he will grow out of it. I think it's all part of his growing up and discovering things. Hope that helps
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Old 12-13-2008, 08:16 PM   #5
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Ruled out boredom, had plenty of exercise & toys.

However a friend recommended banging 2 saucepans together. Well tonight I tried it & hey presto it worked, hopefully it will continue to work.

He is a handsome little man & my pride & joy & glad it has worked
happy again :-)

I even phoned the vets & apparently its actually quite normal with English Springers, maybe I should of called my man

But my little man is far too

But thanks for your help & advise & as Arny said " I'll be back"

Happy Chrimbo

Josephine x
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Old 12-14-2008, 12:13 AM   #6
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It could be just regular puppy behavior, just being playful. However you are doing the right thing by startling the pup if you suspect that these actions might get him hurt. This will help him associate the chasing of shadows with a loud noise, eventually he'll stop if you keep consistant. However carrying two saucepans with you ALL the time is unreasonable, the same effect is reached by throwing a bunch of keys near the area where he is chasing the shadows, or look into purchasing training disks, both of which you can keep in your pockets without much discomfort and yet still be ready to discourage the behavior.

Don't let him know that you are the source of the noise, it defeats the purpose. Once you have startled him and you have his attention, next step is to re-dirrect the behavior to something more productive, like playing with a toy.

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Old 12-17-2008, 06:41 PM   #7
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i have heard of this, it is a condition, setters get it, i think it was cezar milan's show, he dealt with it, try looking in his books, i've definately seen someone cure it, or was it dog borstal, not sure, if i find out i'll get back..sarah ,,,x
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