Why Does My Cocker Snap At
ther Dogs And People?

by Hiyaluv

Why Is My Cocker Spaniel Aggressive Towards Other Dogs?

Why Is My Cocker Spaniel Aggressive Towards Other Dogs?

We adopted a 3-4 yr old cocker spaniel bitch from someone who said they were re-homing her from a friend's neighbor who basically left her alone on a patio all the time.

When I adopted her she was shy, but she took to me and my husband instantly.

However, we later found we have a big problem on our hands - our cocker growls and snaps at nearly everyone, from vets to strangers, and even guests in our home.

Also when she is on a leash, and other dogs approach, she snaps at them and is very aggressive. If she is off leash and sees a another dog she runs at them and is aggressive.

We've only seen her embrace one pug puppy. We have two cats and she is fine with them, except for an occasional growl and one scare attack on the cat who went near her water bowl.

We've taken her to numerous trainers for opinions and they always say "she looks very scared."

They want a couple grand but say they can't guarantee she will get better. We're concerned about having children with a biting dog.

Does anybody have experience with this?

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ther Dogs And People?

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Snapping at Dogs and People
by: Lesliemarie

That advice does work.

Although my Chloe doesn't snap, she yelps as though someone were beating the devil out of her, even people she is familiar with. Now, when people come in I tell them ignore her, don't look at her, don't try to pet her...pretend she's not here. The yelping almost immediately stopped when I started doing this.

After being ignored for just a few minutes Chloe will approach the people to sniff. If they reach out to pet her, the yelping starts again, but if they continue to ignore her, she will warm up to them, maybe fifteen minutes or so and then she will approach them and allow them to pet her and she behaves as though they're best friends. However, because I am fearful that she will bite one day, I tell folks to keep their face away from the dog's reach...hands only.

I also have the vet use a muzzle (just in case) and she tolerates it quite well. I think it's easier to prevent a bite than to have to deal with it afterward. It does work and rather quickly too.

It also helps if you can walk the dog before company arrive as it helps to get rid of any energy that could manifest as aggression or nervousness.

Snapping At People
by: Jenny

It sounds like she may not have been socialized properly or she's had a bad experience with humans and dogs - probably the former.

You can teach her that humans are not a threat to her but it will take quite a lot of time and patience and may not work with all strangers.

I recommend that you try asking a friend to come to your house. Let her know what you're trying to do beforehand to prepare her. When she arrives, give her a couple of small dog treats to keep handy.

Ask her not to look at the dog or make any contact whatsoever. Ask her to stay fairly quiet and 'non-threatening'.

Next, ask her to throw a dog treat (gently) just in front of your dog. She should remain silent and shouldn't look at the dog - no eye contact.

Just carry on chatting and ignore the dog. She may eventually come up to your friend and sniff her. Depending how timid your dog is, your friend can either offer her a treat, or throw one on the floor for her.

Next time your friend could try holding a treat, so long as there's no threat to her being bitten, and let your dog take it from her.

Watch the signs though - the last thing you want is for your friend to get bitten or for your dog to be unduly frightened.

If you think your dog could take it, ask your friend to look at her for two seconds and then look away (the act of looking away will let your dog know she means no harm).

Depending on how afraid your dog is, it may take some time for her to feel at home with your friend.

You will need to do this with lots of people - I did say it was time consuming.

Try leaving a bag of dog treats outside your home and ask the postman or other delivery people to take one out of the bag and throw it to your dog each time they visit.

Eventually, she should begin to feel better about humans.

If you have friends with pets you could ask them to visit with their dogs and introduce them very slowly and carefully as above. If your dog has a crate you could place her in there and keep the other dog on the lead, away from her, and just let them sit in each others presence.

Time and patience will prevail.

Best wishes

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