Aggressive Cocker Spaniel Puppies
by Lisa Bunnell
Not All Cocker Spaniel Puppies Are Naughty!
I have two male cocker spaniels that are 6 months old. They are not from the same litter, but they were born a few days apart and they are basically about the same size - 26 pounds.
They have been getting more aggressive lately, they fight on walks but in particular they fight over me and my attention.
Tonight I broke up a bad fight between them and I got bitten and I ended up in the emergency room, they cleaned up my arm but it is very swollen.
What can I do to get these cocker spaniels to stop fighting with each other?
They have started some basic obedience training and he comes tomorrow to work with them.
Reply from Pauline (Web Owner)
I'm very sorry to hear you're having problems with your puppies Lisa.
It may be that you were bitten 'accidentally' as a result of separating your 'naughty' puppies and that once they start to learn a little obedience, they will begin to behave and you'll not have any further 'aggression' problems.
However, in the meanwhile, I recommend you keep your puppies away from any children for now, monitor their behaviour for aggression, and make some notes in case you need them for an animal behaviourist at a later date. I'm hoping you won't and that some serious training and discipline will sort this out.
Raising two puppies at the same time is not usually recommended, and I think you are beginning to see why!
I said it's not usually recommended but not impossible, but you're certainly going to have your work cut out for you - and you'll definitely need some help!
For the first year I recommend you separate your puppies (separate crates is highly recommended) and do everything with them separately - yes, I'm afraid you heard right.
Unless you train and socialise them separately, they're always going to want to play around or fight with each other and will not concentrate on what you want to teach them.
You may also see that one puppy tries to 'bully' the other. If that happens, your puppy that is being bullied may not develop to his full potential.
Everything you do with them should be carried out separately.
Dogs learn from each other and that includes bad habits - you'll probably end up with a pair of naughty puppies unless you begin to train them separately as soon as possible - in fact, now.
The same applies to playtime - separate playtimes will allow each puppy to play and enjoy your company without worrying what the other puppy is going to do, or getting up to.
They can play together for a little while each day but they should be supervised in case things get too rough.
You'll need to walk them separately too!
There's too much to say for me to go into a lot of detail here so I'd like to refer you to this article on raising two puppies.
The first part explains why it's not recommended, and the second part explains what to do if you already have two puppies and need help.
Good luck Lisa and please let us know how things work out for you.
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