The Spotted Devil

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About The Spotted Devil

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    Thornfield ESS

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    Thornfield English Springer Spaniels

    Animal Welfare Scientist/Cat and Dog Behaviourist.

    PhD in Human-Dog Relationships

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  1. Age? Male or female? Desexed? Is the dog asking to go out or leaking?
  2. Hi RP - it's difficult to come to too many conclusions at this point but there's no reason I can see that he wouldn't enjoy more solo type sports eg nose works, tracking etc. Just not sure what level of management he will require. Will definitely report back once I've met him.
  3. Yes definitely. It was the first thing I requested. They are not really in a position to take him back although will as a last resort.
  4. *please advise if this is in the wrong forum* I have been made aware of a 7 month old desexed male working lines ESS who is urgently looking for an experienced temporary foster OR permanent home. Whilst this dog is not of my breeding I feel a need to ensure he finds a great home. The current owners are not experienced with dogs nor do they understand the high excitement and energy levels that are typical for such a breed. He has had very limited socialisation and, as a consequence, can be hesitant with unfamiliar people (although is much improved) and is uncertain around dogs and is therefore nervous when walked. The dog is struggling in his current environment but a consulting trainer believes he has potential, given time and positive reinforcement based training. The photo was taken approximately 2 months ago. I will personally meet the dog this Wednesday and provide further information but, in the meantime, please get in touch with me via PM if you or anyone you know is interested. I can also be contacted via my website:
  5. Sounds like he's conflicted - kinda enjoying himself one minute and then WHAM here comes a history of reinforcement. Sometimes it can be a lot to overcome. Best thing to focus on is to train the dog in front of you. Scared? Feed. Relax. Playful? Play. Frantic? Calm.
  6. Varies considerably....if we are home they are fed around 6.30pm/7.00pm but if I'm out training they might not get dinner until 10.30pm. Then it's about an hour until bedtime. Last trip outside just before bed with a biscuit. Sometimes they'll race to "fake wee" so they can get their biscuit It's something I insist upon as puppies.
  7. Exactly. Very little education and enforcement. One idea I've come across is to share the costs of registration amongst ALL ratepayers. Registration with council is then free but heavily enforced. I would like to see it done as an experiment. It would be expensive initially but I think long term it would be more beneficial.
  8. Hi jem - Pavlov is always on your shoulder! So if Pavlov looms large on one shoulder (fear) then Skinner will shrink on the other (learning). So don't worry about training a behaviour. Just sit on the ground and feed treats continuously. And I mean continuously. They can be tiny. They can be part of his dinner. They can be healthy eg cooked steamed chicken. Just treat after treat with no pressure. Can I suggest you video and then you can track progress. There is no time line by the way. Let us know how you get on.
  9. I have 3 entire dogs, have never had an unplanned litter and my dogs are registered with council. It's all very well saying that irresponsible people have entire dogs and do the wrong thing but EVERY time you desex a dog you literally kill off a dog in the gene pool. And then everyone complains about the in-bred pedigree dogs! I'm currently weighing up the costs/reliability of collecting semen from one of my pups as the owner would like to desex. I'm totally ok with that but he's a cracking dog and I'd like to have the option of using him down the track. I'd rather use the RT CH's brother rather than use a RT CH who is the sire of the moment.
  10. My Springer girls are grubs If I need to I use the pants from Petstock - I think they're designed for incontinent dogs. But Em is always getting them off so I tend to just cover the lounge with old sheets, exercise her hard on our back block (multiple sessions), do buckets of training (she goes mental when she's in season) and then crate her for the rest of the time. I have an entire male so the girls sleep in their crates in the lounge room for a few weeks. Just easier. To be honest it's not that bad - outside under supervision only and then indoors. Either the bitch or the dog is with me at all times to ensure no accidents.
  11. I don't list a mobile number. I have a contact form and then I reply via email and invite them to email or call if still interested. Getting texts at all hours would drive me spare!!!!! Email is much easier to ignore for a day or two.
  12. I saw that on FB and had to LOL as much as I know how difficult it is to receive some of these enquiries. It really was very clever of you @MonElite
  13. Puppies, for the most part, absolutely grow out of mouthing but the best thing you can do is consistently STOP interacting the second pup bites. Timing, timing,timing. If pup then grabs onto your clothes just calmly remove them from the situation - into a pen is perfect. No yelling, no pretending to be the mother, no scruffing, no slapping. Just calmly disengage and let the pup calm down. You may start to recognise certain triggers - when you first get home, time of day, hungry, tired etc - and you can manage those to an extent. It also might be the time to do some training using food or a tug toy.
  14. The trick is to find a good vet who will listen - in my experience they have much more faith in your judgement if you also take your animals in for yearly check ups regardless of whether they are due for a vax. So it's not about saving money but doing what is right for your pet. I do 3 yearly C3 and Kennel Cough every 12 months. The latter is by no means a fail safe but my dogs do go into high risk environments.
  15. I'll play! 1. How many dogs do you have, and what are their names, ages and breeds? Ziggy is my Spotted Devil, 10 year old Dalmatian aka AG CH 600 YARROWFELL HIGH SOCIETY CD ADM ADO2 JDM JDO3 GD SD ET Em is my 6 year old field-bred English Springer Spaniel, WRANGHAM CATHY EARNSHAW RRD AD JDM GD SD Ginny is Em's daughter, just turned 2, THORNFIELD EMPOWER 2. Do you have plans for a new addition? No, I've just entered all 3 dogs in an agility trial for the first time and I think that's quite enough to be going on with! However, I am planning a litter with Em later this year and would dearly love to put a pup out on breeders terms. However, I'm yet to find the right home. 3. Did you have dogs growing up? Yes, mostly farm Kelpies and then Australian Cattle Dogs. 4. Do you have names saved for any future dogs? Possibly Luna for a working Springer and Ameus for a working Irish or a Dalmatian. I have a long list of registered names for future litters. 5. What is your favourite breed? ESS are my favourite, but mainly because I felt as though I understood them from the very beginning. I love that they are full of contradictions...from my website: "playful yet deadly serious about their "job"; seemingly boundless energy coupled with an off-switch when needed; they are sweet, snuggly and soft but with a determination to get the job done that belies their size; I love at once their birdiness in the field and their ability to relax with the cats at home; their coat and ears that are prettily feathered but still easy to groom. And let's not forget those beautiful, soulful eyes that look to me attentively for the next "game" and seem to manipulate everyone else!" 6. What is your favourite group? Definitely Group 3 although there are breeds outside that that I love too. 7. Is there a breed that you admire, but probably wouldn't own? Afghans and Standard Poodles - so much stunning but I'm not sure I can get inside the head of a sighthound and the grooming on a Poodle would kill me. I don't like having coated dogs completely clipped off. 8. Do you compete with your dogs in any discipline? Ziggy competes in obedience, agility and has his Endurance Test title although we mainly focus on agility at the moment. Em competes in agility and in retrieving trials Ginny makes her debut in agility next weekend (yay!) 9. Have you had an achievement, large or small, with a dog that you're particularly proud of? Certainly gaining Zig's Agility Champion title was really special - first 600 height dog in Victoria and the first and only Dalmatian in Australia to do so. Raising Em's first litter was the most incredible experience. I was so proud of her effort during the Bob Bailey workshop a few weeks ago - she was just amazing. Sports wise her highlights have been Novice Agility Champion at the 2016 Nationals and the Judge's award at the National Retrieving Trial in Victoria back in 2014 I think. She was pick up dog on a paid pheasant shoot and that was certainly one of my proudest moments. The feedback from participants was pretty overwhelming. Ginny - being the first person in the world to hold her still blows my mind. I love the relationship we are developing. All my dogs are ambassadors for their breed and for positive reinforcement training - they go on breed stands at expos, do agility and retrieving demonstrations and attend University with me when I give lectures on dog behaviour/welfare. 10. What games do your dogs most enjoy playing? Endless list...because in my world work=play=work.... 11. Are you drawn more to male or female dogs? I love them both but I do really enjoy the wildness of the's very intense but so rewarding when you pull it off. 12. What are your favourite coat patterns or colours? Funnily enough I wanted a liver Dally but love my black spotted boy. I prefer a liver ESS but a good dog is never a bad colour. With ESS I like a fair amount of white on the dog as it makes them much easier to see when they are working in heavy cover. 13. What discipline or sport in the dog world do you find most interesting? Agility and Retrieving - both really but I guess I'm so new to retrieving still and positive reinforcement based training is not common there so I'm fascinated in how to translate my understanding of operant conditioning to the very difficult skills. 14. What would be your dream household of dogs? Pretty much think I'm there - I've got the perfect spread of ages, one dog slowly retiring from agility and a youngster to go on with. 15. Where is your favourite walk? Probably the forest near home but I can't take the Springers there as they go completely crazy with all the birdlife. So I will drive an hour to use Dogs Vic facilities where they can safely hunt the ducks, swim and run. 16. Does your dog have any funny habits? Zig plays with his toys like a 12 week old puppy - he's like a bucking colt! He always thinks the cats are his bestest friends. Goes from deep sleep to alarm barking in under 2 seconds. We like to call him "the angry drunk" He is the biggest flirt since Cassanova. And every girl on the planet adores him. Em buries under the doona despite me telling her how warm it is. She always re-appears 2 minutes later complaining about how hot it is Ginny just RUNS. And runs. And runs. And does crazy spins when getting taken outside for her dinner. By the same token she adores our bed and will sleep there no matter how warm it is. 17. Do you have a favourite piece of dog gear? Equipment is my my purple wing jumps from Jahzzy Agility. And definitely my Bumper Boy which I brought back from the USA in my suitcase - it's a remote dummy launcher. 18. What are your goals for your dogs? Happy, healthy and full of confidence and joy whenever I invite them to work/play with me. 19. Have you had what you consider to be a heart dog? I thought Dolly, my first ACD, was my heart dog...but now I've got another three "heart dogs" in the house I've realised that it's much more about what I choose to put in and take out of every relationship. They've all had their challenges!!! 20. List five things you love about your dog I love their enthusiasm and joy They really are stunning to look at I'm always impressed at how well they get on yet there is a clear hierarchy All three are incredibly easy house dogs...the hardest thing is keeping their paws clean Funny and cheeky....and it's not always the youngest one! And... post a picture of your dog/s Well if you insist... Ginny's second birthday snuggles with both her Mums... Ginny teaching Quest how to play like a Spaniel! Clever Em... Zig multi-tasking... Ziggy rocking it at the Dog Lovers Show... And on fire... Em...