Karmadi English Springer Spaniels


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Gillian Ridgeway



In the grand scheme of things, our dogs sitting on our

furniture doesn’t affect anyone but us. If we don’t mind,

who’s to say what’s right and what’s wrong? In fact, it

makes us happy to think that our dogs are happy. It’s all

innocent, right?

In fact, dogs that haven’t been taught boundaries or are

allowed to make their own decisions can affect those around

us. Although it may sound over the top, the consequences

of allowing our dogs to follow the beat of their own drum can

be re-homing or even euthanasia. If your dog starts to growl

at your kids or the neighbor’s kids, the prospect of sending

your dog to live elsewhere becomes real. Many people in

this situation wish they had known to set some rules from the

very beginning.


We need to look at how things can escalate. In most of the

cases I see, dogs that growl or even bite, do so mainly when

a perceived possession is part of the scenario. Most of the

family pets I’ve seen growling are doing so from a physically

high position-dogs on the furniture often seem to take over

that space and may growl and even snap if asked to get off.

This can turn into an escalating scene with the owner getting

angry, the dog becoming more unnerved by this response

and a tussle ensuing before the dog is finally tackled off the


At the other end of the scale, the dog is left alone - often

seen as the most peaceful solution. Some of us have seen

this situation in our families. We go to visit our aunt and

‘Buffy’ is sleeping on “her chair.” We are instructed not to

disturb her and find ourselves sitting cross-legged on the

floor. If we dare ask Buffy to get off the chair, we’re met with

a menacing glance and low growl and are sharply told by our

aunt that it’s our fault for disturbing her. If you decide to

trade seats and let Buffy have a turn on the floor, you may

have a struggle on your hands or even a bite. She has

decided that this spot is hers.

This doesn’t mean that dogs need to stay off the furniture; it

mans they need to know you have rules about when they

can and can’t get up on it. A dog with no boundaries, that

can pick and choose where to sleep, can become a problem

for the family. The consequences of a bite run deep.

It’s not just being on the furniture that can pose a problem;

it’s often a general problem of possession. We can see if

manifested over favorite toys or food. Some dogs get upset

when partners show affection. If your dog starts to become

possessive, be sure to teach her that everything is yours,

and she needs to do something such as a sit or down before

she gets a treat. General rules and guidelines for your dog

will help the situation.

Dogs without rules may take it upon themselves to become

assertive in other situations. It’s fine for your dog to get up

on the couch for a cuddle. The problem is when she won’t

get off the furniture when asked. Dogs must respect our

rules, and one rule might be that she may go onto the couch

when invited, but must go to her own bed when asked.

Many dogs are fine with that, but there are some that given

an inch will take a mile. That type of personality needs your

guidance AND TRAINING.

Breeder’s note:

I do not recommend Newfs be permitted on furniture. They

tend to like to step in every puddle they can find, they may

enjoy a good dig, and NO ONE appreciates a wet, muddy

dog on their furniture!

As a side note, you definitely do not want your Newf jumping

onto and especially OFF the furniture due to the stress on

their joints.

I have included this article to show how something as benign

as sharing your space with your dog, can quickly escalate

into a much bigger problem, if you are not aware of the

signs, and your dog’s interpretation of events.

There is no equality in a dog’s world. You are the boss, or

the dog is the boss...a dog is okay with either. If you are a

good leader, your dog will happily follow. If they do not trust

you to be an ‘adequate’ leader, they will step up and fill the

void. That is when problems generally arise, and you may

not even know it is happening!

You should reinforce your leadership with your puppy by

requesting she ‘sit’, or ‘down’ before receiving attention from

you. This reinforces you as the leader. A ‘down’ is an

essential command that a dog learn, as laying down is

naturally a submissive position. Of course pup should be

rewarded for each ‘task’ requested of him, either with a

congratulatory pet or a treat. You are not trying to lord your

authority over them, but a gentle daily reminder that you are

in charge, helps to avoid potential problems in the future.

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Karmadi English Springer Spaniels

Diane & Carmen Herns

2839 Ardoch Road, Clarendon

Ontario, Canada  K0H 1J0


(613) 464-0269




Karmadi English Springer Spaniels


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