Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Aggressive Cocker Spaniel

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    36

    Default Aggressive Cocker Spaniel

    Hi everyone!
    i adopted a 7 year old cocker about a year ago. I am her fourth owner, so she is understandably a little insecure, and I think she feels that our bond is possibly threatened because she's seen so many homes.
    Anyway, I have a major problem with her aggression. Initially, we lived in a house with no other animals, and we would go to the beach and dog park, where she would mostly socialise well, even breaking up other dog fights. She could often become aggressive, for no reason that was apparent to me. Often her aggression is preceeded by body language that she displays when she's happy to see another dog i.e., tail wagging, pulling to see them etc, followed by growling, or at other times, butt sniffing and licking.

    A few months ago, we moved to my mothers at short notice. Mum has a 1yo border collie pup, and 2 cats. The collie loves the cats, the cocker gets incredibly anxious and appears to be threatened, and tries to attack them. She is also aggressive towards the collie, who wants very badly to be her friend. The collie reacts to the cockers growling by following her around, and this seems to only serve to make her more aggressive.
    More recently, they have had several fights when one walks near the others food, or empty bowl. We try to put there bowls away after they finish eating, but this doesn't always help. They get fed a long way apart, we've tried to feed one inside, and one outside, to no avail. I assume that feeding one inside would send a message to the other that they were lower in the pack status.

    Their fights are getting pretty serious. We'd love to be able to keep both of our pets, but can't yet find a solution.
    Does anyone have any tips? Would anyone know of a good trainer or behaviourist in Brisbane? I've looked through Delta and can't find anyone near me who's doing private training, and considered BB, untill reading some things that turned me off the idea of them.

    Thanks for reading, I think it's been theraputic for me to vent!
    Monica

  2. #2

    Default

    Sorry I don't know anyone in Brisbane but can highly recommend getting a private trainer. I have had a similar problem lately and a private trainer has worked a treat. I have another idea that may help finding someone so will pm you.

    Good luck.
    Vellela

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Wodonga
    Posts
    2,672

    Default

    No chance that it's cocker rage?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    12,583

    Default

    From Victoria Stilwell "Its me or the dog" techniques. Any time the dogs are getting out of hand, walk between them going "bab bab bab" loud and high pitched, and walk out the room (into the back yard or anywhere there is more space). Reward them with praise, older dog first, make them sit first if they're jumping when they're not attacking each other (or other pets). Be very consistent. Be very distracting/diverting. Rewarding with food would probably cause more trouble so not a good idea here.

    I think I'd get a crate for the cocker spaniel and any time she did anything aggressive, she'd go in the crate for a spell. The crate should become like a second home for her, where she can feel safe from all the other creatures, so you may need to attach cardboard to the sides and top for extra safety. And feed the cocker inside the crate too. If there were no other pets I'd say leave the door open but since there are other pets, shut the door while she's feeding or in time out. You may also need to put the cocker in the crate when no humans are home to supervise. She will feel more secure this way - it isn't cruel - so long as she gets nice long walks (30-60mins x 2) every day and quality people time. (look up crate training)

    It may be a good thing to establish some sort of pack hierachy. But I'm not sure which dog should be top since the cocker is older but a temporary? resident. A trainer or behaviourist or vet with dog behaviour/psychology skills would help here. Your local vet should be able to advise you who is available in your area.

    As far as Bark Busters goes, it's a franchise, some people are better at getting results than others. So here - you'd want to find the right BB trainer by word of mouth ie from someone a specific person has done good things for, and get that person to help you, not just any BB trainer.

    While I said rewarding with food might not be good, the "bar open" continous treat supply technique might be good for teaching the cocker spaniel that the new place and all the new critters are good things. So sit with the cocker and as long she is being well behaved, say good dog/clicker and treat continously, as soon as she growls - "bab bab" and count to 10 slowly (no treats/no praise/no scolding either). Then if she's not growling, start again with the treats. This will only work if the other pets do not try to get in on the food action. And it may be that you initially start by rewarding any time spent not growling - and then your timing must be perfect, like click/good dog the quiet time and treat immediately, withdraw treats the minute growling starts up. Do this for 5 to 10 minutes a day (and do not do it the minute you get home after being out - wait a while so you arriving home does not get associated with a large number of treats). Do reduce dinner by the amount you have treated. measure treat quantity and make each treat tiny but of some food that your cocker LOVES.
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 10-22-2009 at 11:35 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    36

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Occy View Post
    No chance that it's cocker rage?
    Hi Occy,
    I've considered the cocker rage, but thought that it was exclusivey seen in red cockers, and she's blacka and tan. Spose I can't rule it out though? I know she was beaten up by other large dogs as a pup.

    I'm quite curious to try cage training, and'I've also heard that it can help to train dogs who are aggressive with cats.

    It's really nice to hear some positive thoughts from people, it's becomming a real drag of a situation, so thanks everyone
    Monica

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    36

    Default

    I've done a bit of research on the cocker rage issue...it seems that rage syndrome is not specifically seen in only red cockers, but multicolors also. It's also seen in other breeds. Rage syndrome is said to be when the dog attacks for no reason i.e., the dog may wake up and attack its owner, unprovoked, and there never appears to be a trigger.
    My cocker has many little triggers...
    I'm going to investigate this cage training.
    This is such a great procrastination from study :~

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •