Viscious Cocker Spaniel

I Have A Viscious Cocker Spaniel!

I Have A Viscious Cocker Spaniel!

Our 10 month-old black cocker spaniel, Maggie, attacks my husband very viciously. She only does it when I am here; when I am at work, she does not act that way. She is actually biting him and breaking the skin.

Just today she has done it 3 times and all he was doing was sitting there. He wasn't even talking to her or touching her.

Please help.

The only thing I can figure is she is protecting me.

Reply from Pauline (Web Owner)

I really feel for you, but I'm so pleased to hear that you're getting professional help. This is so important in cases like this.

There are so many owners who try to resolve aggression issues such as this on their own and unwittingly end up making matters worse.

From what you say, I truly believe Maggie has a behavioral problem (which means, with some work, it can be fixed!)

It sounds to me that you give her loads of attention (and who wouldn't?) and you're around her pretty much all day. Whereas your husband only sees her at night, after work. This probably means that you walk her, play with her, feed her, train her, etc, etc, etc. Am I right?

If that's the case, I think she may be getting 'too much' of you and needs to meet and interact with other people. I would suggest that your husband feeds her more often and perhaps he could take her for a little stroll before bedtime. Even better if he could do some training with her.

Your puppy needs to become less reliant on you. This will help her to be more comfortable when others are around. She sees you as a 'valuable resource' (because you feed her, train her and give her treats etc.) and is guarding her resource from others.

I am assuming you're socializing her? This is vital training if your puppy is to grow up confident and happy about the things around her. Please don't underestimate this. You can read more about socialization here.

I'm almost certain your puppy isn't suffering from Cocker rage syndrome because a) she gave you a warning growl first, and b) it's very rare. However, I'm not really qualified to confirm this so it's best that your vet does so.

I would recommend you read this article on the alpha dog and practice as much of it as you can on a daily, ongoing, basis.

Allowing a dog with behavioral problems such as these to sleep on your bed is potentially dangerous. Especially with the problems you've outlined, I think it might be best if Maggie sleeps in her crate.

The question of whether or not we should let sleeping dogs lie on our beds is discussed here. You might find it interesting ready, albeit it a little controversial!

I know it will be difficult for you (making her sleep in her own bed), but it's for you and your family's safety, and it's in her best interests too.

Please speak to your vet and have her checked out, just to make sure she's okay.

Good luck and please come back here and let us know how you get on.

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Attacking Cocker
by: Anonymous

Thank you so much for your advice. I took Maggie to the vet and it turns out that, according to the vet, she has tons of issues.

But, there is hope!

The vet also said she is very protective of me.

I have purchased what looks like a simple flea collar, but it's actually a collar that basically helps with the imbalance of the dog and helps to keep her calm.

It works like a charm - I have seen such an improvement in only 24 hours!

However, the vet said that if there were any more attacks on me or my husband, she will have to put the dog onto medication.

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Attacking Cocker
by: Anonymous

Well, I guess the protecting thing just went out the window. I was laying on the couch, sick with the 'flu.

Maggie, the cocker, was laying on the top of the cushion, sleeping.

All of a sudden she viscously attacked me for absolutely no reason.

I heard her growling but I though maybe she was growling at our other dog - then she attacked me.

Luckily I put my arm up to protect my face. After that attack was done...1-3 seconds, she came back for more.

I am at my wits end.

She is going to the vet tomorrow to be sure nothing is wrong with her and to talk about behavioural issues.

I am counting down the minutes to start with the training. I am totally besides myself.

99% of the time, Maggie is an adorable 10 month old puppy, who loves me very much. She's very protective...most of the time :)


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Get Help Immediately.
by: Anonymous

Find a professional who uses modern positive methods. My sense is that your dog has attached so closely to you that he protects you constantly.

If you make changes and see changes in his behavior, will you be able to trust him again?

Try something simple like having your husband feed him and walk him. I would talk to your dog and tell him that you are okay, or whatever word you routinely use when you are reassuring or encouraging him.

Make him sit and stay, maybe on leash, and do something routine with your husband and maintain the sit-stay.

Like I first said, get professional help before this becomes an ingrained behavior.

Crate the dog to prevent new attacks. Get to it. This sounds like it could get worse!

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