Cocker Spaniel

Mavis at 12 Months

Our little Mavis is now a year old!

Girl and cocker spaniel in car with therapy dog vest on

Jimmy and I think her personality has fully developed by this point and agree that she is spunky, sassy, playful, energetic, and intelligent. She would play with other dogs all day if she could, and she adores a long walk or game of fetch. She will also do anything for food and loves Lola and Malcolm. Car rides and pet sitting with me are her other favorite things.

She’s acquired the nickname “bandaid puppy” and “velcro puppy” because she always wants to be with Jimmy and I. Being in the same room as us isn’t enough, she has to be touching us at all times.

Guy reading book with cocker spaniel in lap

She is much better about being held since she was attacked by our neighbor’s dog, but pretty much only by me. She still doesn’t like having her paws touched, so we’re not sure if we will continue to pursue therapy dog work.

The not liking to be held or have her paws touched may be something she grows out of as she matures and we work with her, or it may be a sign she isn’t meant for therapy work. We’ll see as time passes! She’s still a youngster and has a lot of life ahead of her 🙂

Girl hugging brown and white cocker spaniel puppy

She has been through Puppy Level I and II, Adult Level I and II training classes, and took her AKC STAR Puppy and Canine Good Citizen Test. The only thing she didn’t pass was her Canine Good Citizen test (due to the paw touching–she passed all the other aspects of it!).

She did all of that before she turned nine months old, which is crazy to think about. I’m proud of our intelligent little gal! She knows sit, stay, come, down, chill, leave it, and paw. I’d like to work on heel with her a bit more.

Puppy training classes at Petco with cocker spaniel and AKC Star Puppy Test

Mavis went into heat right around her birthday and it has been quite the experience for the Zottola household. Let’s just say I’m glad we have hardwood floors!

We will probably have her spayed in the near future, because we aren’t interested in breeding and I don’t foresee myself having the time to show her in competitions. We’re more interested in agility or therapy work, and being spayed doesn’t impact eligibility for those hobbies.

Girl with dogs by water

We’ve had our good days and our bad days with Mavis. She’s definitely not perfect, but neither am I and she accepts me just as I am. I try to do the same with her and remember that she’s growing and learning the rules of this world day by day. Puppies take a lot of patience, but are so worth it in the end!

Mavis’ Favorite Treats/Food/Toys

Past Updates

The first time I met Mavis, when she was five-weeks-old.

I first met Mavis when she was five weeks old, and she’s been pet sitting with me pretty much her whole life. We spend a lot of time together, and our bond is strong. She has quickly become part of our family and I can’t imagine life without her. I’m excited to see what the coming years bring for little May May!


Mavis at Nine Months

Mavis is now nine months old! She’s closing in on a year so fast that I almost want time to slow down. I’m also excited to see her become a dog, you know?

Parti colored Cocker Spaniel puppy therapy dog in training harness on walk

New Things

  • Mavis graduated Adult Level II training classes with flying colors! She is now phased out of training at Petco because they don’t have any classes higher than Adult II, haha.
  • She took her Canine Good Citizen Test and missed the mark on just one behavior, which was having a stranger touch her paws. This is important for therapy work (because people will be touching her if she’s a therapy dog!), so we are working really hard on paw touching before we re-take the CGC test.
  • She’s going to be a big sister!

Hard Things

  • She loves playing fetch with a ball, but if it rolls underneath something, you would think the world was ending. She whines, cries, scratches, and barks until she gets that ball back.
  • When it’s cold out, she goes #2 on our back porch. Yuck.
  • She still jumps on the couch from time to time (when Malcolm taunts her… he is a bad influence on her, ha!).
  • I recently had to run into Walmart while Jimmy and I had Mavis in the car with us, so I left her in the car with Jimmy and he said her little body shook the entire time I was in the store because she missed me. Poor gal. I missed her just as much!
Black lab cuddling cocker spaniel puppy on raised dog bed

Mavis loves cuddling with her big sister! Also, they really love their raised bed.

Other Things

  • I can’t wait for it to warm up in Pittsburgh so we can do more training outside!
  • Mavis still hasn’t gone into heat. I think it’s normal for the first heat cycle to begin any time from six months to a year, so I expect it to happen soon.
  • Her growth seems to have slowed down.
  • She is still doing great with not being in a crate and not chewing things.
  • She still gets along wonderfully with basically any dog she meets. She wants to play, play, play all the time.
  • Sometimes I just look at her and just kiss her little face. She’s so cute and truly brings me so much joy!
Cocker spaniel puppy practicing leave it command with dog food puzzles

Practicing the “leave it” command by waiting patiently before being allowed to figure out her puzzles!

Favorite Things

There you have it, that’s Mavis at nine months! Our puppy is turning into a dog before our eyes! We love the dog she’s becoming and can’t wait to see her be a big sister in the fall!