Hi,
I've recently taken in a beautiful three year old Springer Spaniel *** and she's showing signs of some behavioural problems - some more serious than others. I suspect she hasn't been treated particularly well.

In no particular order:
Despite being female, she has a tendancy to mount things - notably me. I'm guessing she's either having problems expressing excitement or it's a dominance thing but any suggestions on dealing with it would be welcome.

Secondly, she's very protective of her sleeping area, whether it's her actual bed or just somewhere she's decided belongs to her. This strikes me as being a dominance thing again.
Any suggestions?
Cheers
Choobs

Sir Chewbury Gubbins (Email Removed) http://choobs.nelefa.org
Despite being female, she has a tendancy to mount things - notably me. I'm guessing she's either having problems expressing excitement or it's a dominance thing but any suggestions on dealing with it would be welcome.

Could be either or. Distract her into a behavior that you can praise and reward.
Secondly, she's very protective of her sleeping area, whether it's her actual bed or just somewhere she's decided belongs to her. This strikes me as being a dominance thing again.

What exactly is she doing?
First moves - get her into an obedience class, and read this: http://k9deb.com/nilif.htm
Canine Action Dog Trainer
http://www.canineaction.com
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Could be either or. Distract her into a behavior that you can praise and reward.

Up until now I've been folding my arms and ignoring her completely and it seems to work, if a little embarressing ;-) Following your mail, I gave her a sit command as soon as she started it and praised her when she immediately sat.
A little bit of background - the conditions she was living in until yesterday were pretty shocking. I'm not going to go into detail as theypre pretty distressing, but she obviously has had a lot more negative attention than positive. I think this mounting behaviour is her attempting to cope with a dramatic change in environment without having developed the mental equipment to do so. Then again, I'm no animal psychologist Emotion: smile She's off to the vets this afternoon for a physical.
Secondly, she's very protective of her sleeping area, whether it's ... her. This strikes me as being a dominance thing again.

What exactly is she doing?

When she first arrived she "claimed" a chair. Not particularly wanting to fight the dog for a chair every time I sat down I gave her a few down commands and it became apparent that she's always been allowed on furniture. If we try to move her physically, she'll growl and occasionally show her teeth.
Generally, she can be lured down with a treat but I'm a bit concerned that that's only a short term fix. Methinks obedience classes are required.
First moves - get her into an obedience class, and read this: http://k9deb.com/nilif.htm

A fantastic link - I'll keep you posted.
Choobs

Sir Chewbury Gubbins (Email Removed) http://choobs.nelefa.org