2nd Chance Cocker Spaniel
Our Rescued Cocker Spaniel Dog
Second Chance, our rescued Cocker Spaniel dog came to live with us a few months before Hurricane Katrina. He had been neglected and abused and had not learned the normal "doggy" social skills that most dogs learn when they are puppies. He was a handful. But with the help of Rio, our rescued mixed breed Catahoula and Pointer, 2nd Chance has calmed down and now gets along with the other dogs and cats in our pack.
Most Cocker Spaniels are cute and lovable and make great family dogs. Second Chance is that way most of the time, but he startles easily.
The tale of 2nd Chance the Cocker Spaniel is an on-going one. We are all learning new training skills along the way as we try to teach the cute little dog the correct behavioral and social skills that he missed when he was confined to a small carrier or cage for the first 8 months of his life.
On this page you will find training tips, information about and pictures of Cocker Spaniel dogs as well as the story of this little golden dog.
How 2nd Chance Came to Live with Us
In April of 2005, while out doing their morning business, our first Chance and Rio chased an animal up to Highway 190. Rio came right back when Al called them, but Chance did not. We were devastated when Al found him lying lifeless in the road.
I didn't want to get another dog right away, but my husband was overwrought and began visiting animal shelters a day or so after 1st Chance was killed. He almost brought home a rolly poly black mixed breed puppy from one of them, but he was focused on getting another Cocker Spaniel. In hindsight, we know that the whole family would have been happier with the shelter's puppy, rather than the Cocker Spaniel with arrested social development that we found on the Internet.
2nd Chance's (formerly Sugars) picture on the web looked just like 1st Chance, but his personality is nothing like our beloved Chance the First.
When we met 2nd Chance in the Vet's office in DeRidder, LA, he was jumping straight up into the air and yipping. Then he would lay down on his back in a submissive posture. At some point he even urinated on himself. He also worked out of the lasso leash and followed a patron out of the door into the busy parking lot. Some how we got him back in and on the leash.
After we heard the story of his mistreatment and neglect, even though I had strong reservations, my husband insisted that we take him home on a trial basis. Needless to say, 2nd Chance is still with us. His behavior has improved quite a bit, but he still has a few issues that we are working on.
Rescued Dog Poll
Have you ever adopted a rescued dog?
How 2nd Chance got his name
This cute little golden Cocker Spaniel was named Sugars by his first owner, but we changed his name to 2nd Chance because that was what we were giving him and because our first Cocker Spaniel was called Chance.
We usually just call him Chance because it's quick and easy to say. The name is very fitting because he is always taking chances and pushing us to the limit. Then on the other hand he can be sweet when he wants to snuggle and have his belly rubbed.
Fun with Our Golden Cocker Spaniel
Chance really likes to walk in the woods with us. He also likes to be the lead dog when Rio runs ahead. He's good at finding snakes (especially Cottonmouths) and turtles. He once intervened and got between me and a Cottonmouth during one of our walks to the Tchefuncte River.
But what he likes to do most of all is eat. He went from 25 pounds when we adopted him to 35 pounds today. Sleeping is another of his favorite things to do. In fact he has made sleeping into an art. He loves the couch, but during the winter, he likes to curl up in his comfy bed near the fireplace.
Favorite Dog Bed
This is a lot like one of his favorite beds.
Sometimes Our 2nd Chance Cocker Spaniel can be so Sweet.
Oh he's sooo Cute! - 2nd ChanceClick thumbnail to view full-size
Grooming 2nd Chance Cocker Spaniel
Cocker Spaniels are supposed to be groomed often, but little 2nd Chance has other ideas. Because of his traumatic confinement as a puppy, he hates to be groomed. Sometimes he will tolerate brushing and a few snips of matted hair with the scissors, but he needs to be tranquilized or sedated for a complete clipping. Because 2nd Chance does not wake up happy from the anesthesia, Dr. Rusty, our vet, ordered some giant clippers for us so that we could do it at home. It takes two of us and a lot of sweating, to complete the job.
That is why there are many pictures of him looking like a rag-a-muffin.
When the warm weather rolls around, most people do spring cleaning or plant a garden. They dust off the white sandals and get out their spring clothes. We do those things, too, and they are not so bad, but one of our spring rituals is not one we look forward to. It's one that we put off until there is no way to avoid it. Have you guessed it yet? ... It's shaving 2nd Chance, our maladjusted Cocker Spaniel.
We first tried getting the Vet to do it (because groomers wouldn't touch him). The Vet had to give him anesthesia and one time when an emergency came in, it wore off and they had a really pissed off little dog confined in the bathroom of their office. After anesthesia, he'd come home and act like he did when we first rescued him from 8 months of solitary confinement in a small cage.
Finally, we decided to do it ourselves, so the Vet, bless his soul, got us a super shaver that was designed for horses and plenty of doggy tranquilizer pills. We already had a muzzle, leash and scissors. It took two of us to do the job. Al held him still while I shaved. Two hours of sweat and tears and many breaks and he was ready for the hot days of summer.
Oster Professional Electric Clipper
This is similar to the one that Dr. Rusty ordered for us, except ours is bigger. It's strong enough to cut through all the mats that 2nd Chance develops between trims.
With 2nd Chance around, we don't need an alarm clock. At about 5:30-6:00 a.m. every day, 2nd Chance begins a series of barks, whines and howls until one of us gets up and lets him out. Actually this is an improvement over how he used to be, because now he will usually hold it until we let him out. Unless it's rainy outside. He does not like to get his feet wet.
Tips from the Dog Whisperer
We got some great tips from Ceasar, the Dog Whisperer that improved 2nd Chance's behavior.
1. Establish that the humans are pack leaders.
2. Be consistent
3. Teach him to walk behind or beside you, on a lead and off.
4. If he gets head strong and grumpy, make him lie down until he is calm.
5. Establish trust with kindness, but firmness.
6. Pinpoint what behavior problems need to be changed.
7. Work with one thing at a time and master it, then move to the next.
Head Style Dog Collar - good for training
We haven't used this style of collar, but they are supposed to be good for training a dog to walk on a leash, especially if the dog is energetic or unruly. It puts the pressure on the chest, rather than the throat.
When we first began to walk with 2nd Chance in the woods, we used a leash. It took a while, but he finally learned to walk beside us or behind us. Now we can often let him walk without a leash, but must do refresher sessions when he starts going back to his bad habits.
Dog Training Poll
What will your dog do on command?
Using many of Cesar's techniques with 2nd Chance, helped him to learn the correct behavior in our pack.
Our Dogs and Cats in our Habitat
Our Pack and Habitat
2nd Chance shares our home with Rio, the part Catahoula dog, 4 cats (Blaze, Star Noir, Dax and Pepper) and 2 Cockatiels. We also have 5 Ameraucana hens and many wild animals in our 9 acre habitat on the Little Tchefuncte River in southeastern Louisiana.
Dax and Chance Share
Getting Better Every Day
Second Chance still has a lot to learn, but he has improved quite a bit. He can be cute and sweet at times and he has gotten between me and a poisonous snake on at least one occasion. He wants to be a good dog and do the right thing, but he missed the important lessons of his puppy hood, when his first owner kept him locked in a carrier for most of the first 8 months of his life.
We are glad that we are able to give him a happy home, where he is loved. He gets along with all of the cats and most dogs, but he's a little too head strong sometimes when it comes to humans. He's sort of like the little girl who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead.... when he is good, he's very very good, but when he is bad.... well you know the rest.
It's not his fault. It's the fault of the unbalanced person who mistreated him when he was an impressionable and helpless puppy. My blood boils every time I think about what he went through. That's why it is so important that we support organizations like the Humane Society and the ASPCA.
Rio and Chance by the River
Cocker Spaniel Dogs
Cocker Spaniels as Pets
These dogs have been one of the most favorite dog breeds for years. They are kind and loving and get along well with a family, but they do require frequent grooming. Because they have such long ears that always seem to get in their food and water (contributing to ear problems), it is best to purchase a special dish for long-eared dogs like the one below.
Some Cockers, like our 2nd Chance, are more prone to ear problems than others. We must keep his ears very clean and use a prescription ointment called, Mometamax, in his ears each week. When he has a flare up, we have to use the leash like a muzzle and squirt the ointment in each ear every day for a week, then go back to once or twice a week. Cocker Spaniels are a high maintenance dog breed.
This dog has a lot of energy and loves to play. The Cocker Spaniel was originally bred as a small game dog and so are at home in the fields as well as in the home.
Dogs 101 - Cocker Spaniels
Which Spaniel do you like best?
Cocker Spaniels Featuring 2nd Chance
Our dear little humbug Santa, 2nd Chance and some of his other poses are featured on Zazzle. He is very photogenic after he's allowed us to groom and bathe him.
Santa Chance Dog
Santa Chance Cocker Spaniel
Cocker Spaniel Snow
Lady and the Tramp - Classic Disney
The Lady and the Tramp
Like most children, when I saw the movie, Lady and the Tramp, I wanted my own little golden Cocker Spaniel dog. Alas, it was not to be, but there were many good looking and quick witted mixed-breed Tramps in my life.
Actually the breeding surge of cocker spaniels can be traced back to the popularity of this movie.
The Lady and the Tramp movie is now over 50 years old and it is still capturing childrens' hearts. It is by far one of the top 5 dog movies and will remain a favorite for years to come.
Lady and the Tramp Trailer
Lady and the Tramp (50th Anniversary Edition)
The movie that started the Cocker Spaniel craze. As good today as it was when it was released 50 years ago.
Lady and the Tramp Poll
How many times have you watched Lady and the Tramp?
© 2010 Yvonne L B