Snapping Cocker Spaniel

by Sam
(Brighton, United Kingdom)

Snapping Cocker Spaniels Have Usually Been Under-Socialized

Snapping Cocker Spaniels Have Usually Been Under-Socialized

I got a 3 year old male cocker spaniel about 6 weeks ago, after his owner died. He was kept in a flat for 6 months until a home could be found for him, so I don't think he was walked enough and I don't think he mixed much with other dogs.

He is fantastic with people and the two dogs I already have, but he barks and is very snappy with other dogs when we walk him.

He won't listen when we try to call him back to stop him, and I'm just afraid that one day he is going to pick on the wrong dog and end up getting hurt himself because of this.

Also, if the dog just happens to snap back he will run away from it whimpering.

Can anyone give me some advice please?

Reply from Pauline (Web Owner)

Hello Sam, it sounds like this cocker spaniel is suffering from nervous aggression and is snapping because he feels threatened.

You're giving him just what he needs, loving care and plenty of exercise to keep him settled. However, if he is a nervous dog, training can help to give him more confidence in himself. Why not take him through his paces again?

You might like to especially reinforce the recall command which you can find here.

Begin from scratch, indoors and/or in the garden, where he can't escape and then try it outdoors, but away from parks and other dogs, away from distractions.

Lots of love and patience will get you both where you want to be.

Good luck!

PS: The advice given below about 'introducing' him to other dogs in the park is sound. I'd definitely recommend giving it a try.

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Snappy Dog
by: Anonymous

Have you tried training him from scratch? That might be a good idea as a starting point.

Also, what about asking one of the dog owners in the park if you can 'introduce' your dog to their - keep them on the leash initially, and move the dogs gradually closer to each other. Make sure you choose a dog that is calm and friendly, perhaps an older dog.

I'd also socialise him as best you can, although it may be a little late now - but at least you can try.

I hope you and your Cocker get there.

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