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Adopted Springer/Lab - could use some advice


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Hiya -

My family (3 kids ages 3-12, mom, and I) just adopted a 3 yr old lab/springer mix. So far she's been a great addition to the family - well-behaved, loves attention and affection, and *great* with the kids. She understands basic commands (sit, come, no, kennel) and is decent on a leash - pulls a little, but overall well behaved.

Prior to coming to live with us, she was crated and left alone outside for long periods of time. Not neglected really, but just didn't get a lot of attention/affection. We're transforming her into an inside dog, and I have a couple things I could use some sage advice on:

I think because she was left alone so much, and because she's in a new place with her new people, she has some separation anxiety when we all go to bed. Right now we have her in the basement, where she can run loose without getting into too much trouble. The top of the stairs is blocked by a gate. We have a crate, and she does go in there to sleep when she's downstairs. Are we better of closing her in the crate, or letting her roam? The one time we tried crating her up, she howled like mad. Since then, when we go to bed, I stand at the top of the stairs for a few minutes and tell her to kennel up every time she starts up the stairs, then praise her when she goes back down and into her kennel. Eventually she stays downstairs and doesn't fuss. She has her food and water and plenty of toys... Are we ok letting her roam the basement at night and while we're at work, or are we really better off crating her up?

Also need some advice on improving her house training. She's not bad as is - we let her out regularly while we're home, and a couple times in the morning before we leave for work. She'll ask to go out to pee, but will occasionally [PoorWordUsage] in the house - even when we're home. She doesn't ask to go out - it's just "bombs away" out of the blue. It isn't all the time - just occasionally. Any advice on working with her on that? Seems tough because it's fairly random.

Any lab/springer owners have any thoughts on these dogs? Getting this dog was a purely by chance deal. Friend of a friend, and we saw it as an opportunity to give a dog good home. I've always had pure labs, but the lab/springer seems like a really nice mix so far. Don' have any real intentions of turning her into a hunting dog, and haven't had her long enough to see how much natural inclination she has, but how are they as hunters in general?

Thanks for any advice/info.


Rob Kimm

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I'm sorry I can't offer any real sage advice on your dog training. I have a hunch that your dog is telling you it needs to go outside for a #2, you just aren't "hearing" her.

I do however own a chocolate lab supposedly mixed with a springer. Wonderful dog! A little hyper at times, but is settling down now that he's six years old. I think he could be a way better hunting dog with more training, but ain't bad with just the little training he has.

Good Luck!


second pic is a british lab and my mutt

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