The Cocker Spaniel has inherited many wonderful traits that make them the perfect family pet. They are intelligent, quick to learn, playful and want to please everyone. They were first introduced as a hunting dog or hunting dog as some might refer to them. Their job was to clean up and retrieve fallen game for the hunters. Due to their genetic history, unwanted aggressive behavior can sometimes develop. Here’s what you need to know about Cocker Spaniel aggression.

Most aggression problems stem from mistreating the puppy or allowing the puppy to develop aggressive manners or tendencies. The most common cause is a lack of socialization as a puppy. All dogs should be properly socialized with people, other pets, and children as puppies to avoid developing aggressive behavior.

Reason for aggression towards strangers

The reason for aggression towards strangers is that the dog has never had a chance to get used to them. Fear of strangers can be overcome by socializing your puppy as much as you can. The same goes for other pets or dogs in the neighborhood. When socializing your pet, it is best to advise people not to approach the dog, but to wait until the dog approaches them before petting and greeting. After a while, you will notice that your dog is more relaxed around strangers, as he has gained confidence. Fear of the stranger is at the root of this problem. The Cocker is not sure what to expect.

The two main reasons for aggression towards family members are:

1) The dog is trying to protect something of its own from a possible threat. This can be any number of things, including his food, a toy, or a bone.

2) The dog is not comfortable with handling or treating you or other family members. There has been a breakdown in pack order and the dog is attempting to show dominance over him.

It is important to never hit, physically punish or yell at your Cocker Spaniel as this will only instill fear in your dog and lead to the development of an aggressive dog over time.

How to stop aggression

Your Cocker Spaniel should be part of the pack, but if he wonders who the leader of the pack is, he will begin to challenge for rank and show dominance within the household. This is where you need to step up to take on the role of leader of the pack as the alpha dog. You need to establish a firm and strong house by demanding respect for your dog in a calm but stern manner.

where to start

The first place to start is by taking control of your home. Keep in mind that for the dog all members of the family fall somewhere in the pack order. In your dog’s eyes, he lives within a pack and needs to know where he is in range. If it is not clear who is the leader of the pack, the dog will try to dominate him and will be difficult to control.

In the next step, the limits must be set. Start by taking back control of your personal space. Do not let the dog sleep with you. The best dog always gets the best place to sleep. Don’t let your dog into the future or into any room he doesn’t want him to be in.

Feed your puppy on a predictable schedule, this will help prevent the dog from developing food aggression.

Never overreact if your dog shows aggression towards another dog and pay no attention after a display of aggression. The best clue to follow is to separate the dogs and reintroduce them after a calm state has been established. This can be done with a simple tug on the leash to break their mindset and waiting for a lull. You can further show your dominance by either breaking the behavior with a word of your choice or a sound you make. Just be consistent.

Aggression towards children or family members

If the aggression is directed at a person or a child in your home, it is advisable to immediately seek the help of a professional trainer or dog behaviorist. They will help you quickly identify the specific source that is causing the problem. Never leave a young child with any animal without proper supervision. The Cocker Spaniel is a small but powerful dog and can cause serious injury. Don’t take this for granted.

Make sure your puppy is getting the proper amount of exercise. This will help keep your dog from becoming neurotic and anxious, which can pave the way for aggression.

Cocker Spaniels can pick up on your mood and how you react to things. If you show fear, they will become anxious, which could lead to aggression. However, if you are calm, relaxed, and assertive, you can show them that you are in charge. The Cocker wants a safe home and the assurance that the leader of the pack will protect and care for them.

how dogs think

Dogs normally do things in a series of actions. For example; Before a dog bites, he will normally lift his upper lip, growl, show his teeth and growl, sometimes barking once as a warning signal and then attempting to bite. Unfortunately, most people only notice the latter. By noticing your dogs’ early actions, you can determine other actions by breaking the moment. Dogs think in the moment. As the leader of the pack, you must let your dog know that the behavior is unacceptable with a firm command.

dominance aggression

There are many forms of aggression. Dominance aggression is the most common. Your dog is most likely to display this aggressive behavior during the behavioral maturity stages between one and two years of age. Correcting this behavior at this stage is quite simple if you work with the dog early in development and on a daily basis.

aggression in older dogs

If you are experiencing aggression in an older dog, the first thing you should do is make sure your dog is in good health. Follow the steps above to determine the type of assault and the cause to make corrections. Retraining an older dog can be a little more difficult, but it can be done. You will need a little patience.

getting help

Aggression can be upsetting to a dog owner and family members. However, with a little observation and simple adjustments, most problems can be corrected. However, it is better to detect and begin correcting the behavior early to prevent it from spiraling out of control. Know that you can always get help from a professional trainer or behaviorist if the task turns out to be more than you’d like to handle. If you don’t know where to look, try calling your local vet for suggestions. The sooner you correct the problem, the happier everyone will be, including your Cocker Spaniel. A dog with an aggression problem should be taken seriously and immediate action taken to correct the behavior.