A Puppy with a Severe Case of ADHD

Dogs / Thursday, March 30th, 2017

I have always wanted a dog but over the years, my work commitments have prevented me from welcoming a dog into my household. Things are different now though and so I have been looking forward to choosing a gorgeous puppy. Until yesterday!

Canine Hurricane

My friend has a 12-week-old working cocker spaniel puppy. I offered to look after the dog for the day whilst my friend and her husband were attending a funeral. I couldn’t wait to spend time with little Darcey but I hadn’t realised that I was about to be hit by the equivalent of a massive hurricane!

Dastardly Darcey

Darcey was so excited by her new surroundings that she spent the first hour jumping around and chewing everything in sight. Within minutes, anything which was remotely chew-able had been completely destroyed and my house looked like it had been hit by a tornado. There were clothes strewn everywhere and shredded paper littered the floor. My tape measure was reduced to mush, my boots were perforated and my partner’s charger lead had been severed.


I had been reliably informed that a good walk would tire Darcey out. After spending just one hour with her I decided that it was definitely a good idea to leave the house. Not that there was much left of it!

I enjoyed the walk in the local park which mercifully passed off without incident. Darcey remained full of beans and ran about with such enthusiasm that I was sure that she would need a good sleep. I was wrong! When we returned home, she wasn’t at all interested in taking a nap and simply resumed her search for household items to obliterate. My cat was not amused and left the building!

Acquiring New Skills

Happily I was managing to perfect the art of typing whilst the puppy chewed away at my shoelaces. I had become skilled at speaking on the phone in a loud enough voice to drown out the barking and I eventually found it possible to ignore the sound of my footwear being annihilated.

Then a miracle happened! Darcey laid down for a nap! I took the opportunity to sneak out of the room in order to make a much needed cuppa. Within seconds Darcey had joined me in the kitchen and was leaping around like a loon. During the short journey back to my office Darcey managed to trip me up and most of my tea ended up on the hall floor.

Giving Up for the Day

I looked at the lengthy list of work to be completed which was pinned to a board in my office. The list was one of the few things that Darcey hadn’t destroyed. But she may as well have done as there was clearly no chance that I was going to be able to do any work.

Darcey is adorable but incompatible with anything resembling a normal life. She is a destructive force of epic proportions with boundless energy and she left me feeling like I had run a marathon. My cat hates her and my house will never be the same again. Do I still want a puppy? Of course I do but perhaps not that one!

6 Replies to “A Puppy with a Severe Case of ADHD”

  1. Buy a decent sized crate. When returning from a walk, pop the puppy into the crate with an indestructible toy and a large bone to chew on, shut the crate door and get on with your work! The puppy will quickly adjust to having a place of its own where it can rest.

  2. I don’t think you are equipped to look after a puppy. Why not go for an older dog when the time comes. Would suit you better as you obviously don’t understand puppies. They explore the world thru their mouths. Clear the area they are in and give them attention then put them to bed. You don’t let them go on a destruction rampage and then whinge about it. Good thing the pup didn’t chew thru an electric cable. Previous comment was completely sensible.

  3. I have a working cocker who was a nightmare for the first few years. He is now 5 and wonderful. We nearly gave him away but we persevered with a dog behaviourist. The bottom line is that they are working cockers and if they are not working they are bored and frustrated. Walk them often and use as many brain training games as you can find!!!

  4. Get a large crate… pop puppy in while you are busy… give it a toy and something nice to chew on. This will become their special place where they can go and have sleep and play, without you worrying what the hell is going on. I would advise strict supervision when in the lounge and be on constant alert 100% of the time. Puppy will get to know right from wrong very quickly, they are very eager to please. Do not smack or shout at puppy, as this will make them very nervous.. about 15 to 20 minutes in your living area at a time will be fine and gradually increase it as it suits you.

  5. Having had Border Collies for over 30 years and finding the breed lively but perfectly controllable I then had an 8-week old BC pup who was in a different league. I now know that some pups are simply uncontrollable. In the early years I was despairing and the advice and training from the majority of training professionals was getting no-where. I contemplated having him sent away to boot-camp but after hearing of a horrific situation whereby an ex-police trainer ruined a lively dog, reducing it to a nervous wreck, I thought that was definitely not what I wanted. At worst my pup would carry on until he calmed down with maturity but what I didn’t want was a physiologically destroyed dog. One lovely and extremely well qualified dog physiologist who I rang up in desperation and charged me nothing for a 20 minute phone conversation told me I was doing the right thing by just persevering and what I had was a completely non-aggressive dog who might well be turned aggressive with a boot-camp harsh training regime. She was absolutely right. He’s now 4 and still lively but completely manageable, loving and not an aggressive thought in his head.

  6. Baptism of fire a Cocker Spaniel. I got my darling girl in 2008 – still waiting for her to “settle down”. As you say, just get a calmer breed of dog.

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