Aggressive Cocker

by GillyB
(Chorley )

This Beautiful Cocker Spaniel Isn't Aggressive

This Beautiful Cocker Spaniel Isn't Aggressive

We have a gorgeous 14-month-old blue roan cocker boy called Fergus. He had always been incredibly sociable and great with all other dogs.

We go for daily walks and he knows all the friendly dogs, the snappy ones and the ones to generally avoid.

We usually meet a group of dog walking friends, a mix of bitches, neutered dogs and entire dogs of different shapes and sizes.

From being a little puppy he had always got on with all dogs and is usually quite happy doing his own thing. He has some great buddies, who he plays constantly with, particularly Ted, who is a young male terrier.

However, over the last couple of months, he has started to become very aggressive towards certain dogs.

At first, it was young, full-on black male labs. But recently he has gone out of his way to go for a young, friendly King Charles and a very well behaved young German Shepard, both of who are on a lead, minding their own business.

I feel really anxious about his behaviour, as he has always been such a pleasure to walk and is really good off his lead.

How do I handle this behaviour when it happens and would having him neutered help?

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Obsessive aggressive frustrated
by: Anonymous

I can only tell you about what works for us.

Thankfully my dog is not aggressive most of the time. He's a male Cocker cross and was really sociable until he discovered a ball at 12 months.

By 18 months he was a different dog, ignorant with people and snapping at dogs who came up to him when he had a ball. Neutered at 2 years.
I thought he was anxious but, according to, "Your end of the Lead" by Janet Finlay, he is frustrated ( because he only wants to get on with playing his ball). In the last year, he has also started barking at joggers or other dogs that pass him when we are waiting at bus stops.
Inspired by Pavlov's slavering dogs experiment, I used his drugs of choice, cheese or sausages, and created a trigger of expectation about the special treat he is about to get (can be a song, a poem or a word said in a silly voice - we have a "cheese" song) so he knows that the good stuff is coming and is distracted from the dog or jogger.

He knows what "good boy" means and likes being called one so I warn him that a dog is coming and he must be a good boy and he'll get a sweetie, then immediately sing the song and give the treat when the other dog has gone.

However, I have to be vigilant at all times, looking out for the negative trigger approaching because my dog still cannot police himself.

Because other owners don't seem to mind their dogs repeatedly harassing uninterested dogs I got a yellow bandana (re the yellow dog scheme) with a cartoon version of my dog on it and a message saying, "I'm Anxious, Give me Space". Other owners tend to react positively to this and take their dog away.

Good luck.

by: Anonymous

My dog is 3 yrs old and hates strangers and other dogs in my area. She has gotten herself into trouble and she might be made to leave by the lot manager who feels she is too aggressive.

Last night for the first time she growled at ME when I walked by her food. This is not acceptable and as I read from other postings makes it unenjoyable to have a dog. Is she too old to learn to relax? I joke one day I'm going to have to put her on Prozac. At home with me, until last night, she is sweet, playful and very smart. She gets along with the cat who rubs all over her. Uck what to do, what to do.

by: Kim

I have a 4 year old cocker and he has been with me since he was 8 weeks old.

I have never had any problems until we moved in to a new house. He has really been aggressive toward my 16 year old daughter. They were the best of friends. She calls him fat daddy. He has snapped at her several times.

I am new at this and I have always wanted a cocker but never knew this would be an issue.

I have asked my vet and several other animals lovers, and they seem to think this is the best thing for him. I just hate that I waited so late to have it done I just hope that this will bring him back to his normal way.

Aggresive cocker
by: Diana

Hi, I have had cockers all my life. Solid to parti color, and ALL of them, except 2 out of 8, had some sort of aggression. They were either dominant over the house or other dogs.

My latest 14 month HATES other dogs. He loves people and is very sweet. He lives with an 11 year old cocker who is the sweetest boy on earth.

Never has that dog growled.

We neutered them and it helps.

I am working on the leash aggression.

Most of my dogs came from different breeders. The Vet said cockers just have that aggression.

My new boy, Rocky, likes to live up to his name! Just work with your boy and I heard there is a muzzle collar. I am going to get one.

Rocky is SWEET but just hates strange dogs.

Aggressive Cocker Spaniel
by: Anonymous

I would speak to your vet about this behaviour - you may be right about having him neutered.

The very same thing happened to my Cocker Spaniel.

He was extremely well-behaved and sociable with other dogs in the park and on walks until he was around 18 months when he became fairly aggressive with other dogs.

It was really embarrassing as I couldn't control him or stop his aggressive behaviour.

My vet recommended having him castrated, which I did.

It took a couple of months before he settled down and now he's back to normal again. He's really great with other dogs and is rarely aggressive. He will occasionally growl at another dog that is annoying him, but I'm happy to accept that, so long as he's not fighting every dog he meets.

Leash aggression?
by: Anonymous

Hi Gilly

Is Chorley on his lead when he shows aggression toward other dogs? If so, it sounds like 'leash aggression'.

Good luck, Charmaine

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