My Dog Is Not People Friendly!

Is My Cocker Spaniel Being Protective Or Aggressive?

Is My Cocker Spaniel Being Protective Or Aggressive?

My Cocker Spaniel is somewhat aggressive when it comes to people. He does not trust others and will not allow them to pet him. So long as they don't try and pet him he is fine.

He has done this since he was a puppy. It took him 5 years to completely trust me. I could never pet him if he was lying down. I could never touch his paws, I went through 3 groomers before I could find someone who could handle him.

When people are around me and talking, he backs into my leg as if he is protecting me. He rubs his hind end on me.

He is a lot more tolerant of my family when I am not around I am told. They can pet him more freely, but as soon as I am in his sight, he will growl at them to let them know they better not touch him.

I do not react to him when he growls any more and I encourage my family to discipline him their selves.

He loves to go for walks and car rides and actually does very well on both.

He doesn't tolerate other dogs very much but I encourage him. There are two other dogs that live here and of course he is the ALPHA dog. When I am around, I am.

He still tries every once in a while but I always win out except for when I try to allow others to pet him. I ask them to hold out their hand so he can smell them, which he does, but if they attempt to or even seem like they are going to pet him, he growls.

So two questions out of all of this:

1. Can I do anything to help him to trust others to pet him?

2. What is he doing when he backs his end to me? Is this a bad behavior?

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Unfriendly Cocker Spaniel
by: Anonymous

It does sound like he's protecting you doesn't it? But I wonder if he could be a little afraid too? Fear aggression often manifests like this.

If I were you, I'd ask my vet to refer the dog to a behaviourist if you can afford it. Aggression is not something a novice should try to address.

Hope he's ok.

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