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.
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.