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Pupdate: Val and Dolly

Springer Spaniels are renowned for being very intelligent, but also very energetic. When rehoming any dog, always make sure you research the breed thoroughly to make sure you can provide them with the right home. You can read more about this breed over on our Springer Spaniel dog breed guide.

Rehoming a young dog can sometimes being a daunting prospect, especially if you don’t know much about their past experience as a young puppy…however, that shouldn’t put you off. Val tells us how rehoming a young bouncy Springer Spaniel may have been challenging, but how it has also been very rewarding.

Val and Dolly

Val and Dolly in the gardenDolly is an 18 month old Springer Spaniel, and she has been with our family since she was 15 months old. She is a very inquisitive and funny dog, and never fails to try her luck trying to do what she is not supposed to do. She is very clever and learns quickly, but this also means she oftens tries to test the boundaries! However it is her cheeky, intelligent character that we love most about her – even when she gives you that look “I know what you said – but I am going to do it anyway”!

Dolly was rehomed once before by the Dogs Trust. Unfortunately it did not work out with the family that rehomed her, and she was being attacked by the existing dogs in the family. Being a lively breed with hunting and retrieving instincts, we did wonder how she would get on with our four cats and little family of guinea pigs…but she has settled in very well.

The most rewarding thing about giving Dolly a home is seeing her run free out on the beach and in the woods. We have had some fantastic times with her, especially when she comes home filthy and happy from going in all the available ditches, rivers and puddles – she has a tendency to “scuda dive” to the bottom! We have enjoyed watching her learn, being gentle with other animals, and being so mischeavious – but with eyes that make you melt, it is hard to tell her off.

Dolly in the woods

Val and Prince in the gardenThere was a good bond between us from the onset – she knew she was special to us and she responded well to the love and kindness we had to give. She loves learning, and is eager to please as she is always rewarded for her excellent behaviour. She almost glows with happiness and confidence now – it has been lovely to see her develop into the dog she is today. We have recently rehomed a cat too, Prince. He has settled in quickly, and gets on with Dolly very well.

My advice to any new dog owner is to be clear and fair in your ground rules, for your dog and your family. We like to think we do not need them, but we do and the whole family needs to stick to them with your dog. Always remember to praise, praise and give more praise – they will thrive on it! Continuity of care, routine and exercise is so important, not only for the early days, but for a healthy and happy relationship in the years ahead. With a dog, you have to think 10-15 years ahead, having a secure and stable base makes everyone happy, and allows the dog to bond to you and their new home.

Justine Dench

Justine Dench

Creative Editor

Justine Dench is the creative editor for Preloved. Her key personal interests include sustainability, conservation and animal welfare. Justine also has interests in photography, music, gardening and home interiors.