You are here:

Cocker Spaniels/13 week cocker spaniel puppy turning vicious

Advertisement


Question
My Puppy
My Puppy  
Hi
I have a male Golden Cocker Spaniel. I got him when he was 8 weeks old and he was purchased from an excellent breeder and I have all his papers. He's had all his injections and is growing up healthily.... But....
He started off as quiet, docile, cute, sweet, loving pup but over the past 10 days roughly he has gone from cute to a nightmare. His 'play biting' has quite frankly turned into vicious biting. He never wants to cuddle up and be 'calm' as he used to instead he just goes crazy biting everything in sight but most of the time me. I have had dogs in the past that have never been this aggressive and in all honesty have never had any problems with my previous dogs. I have tried absolutely every thing to get him to stop biting me but it just seems to make him more aggressive. He snaps his teeth, tries bite at me and growls when I calmly say No! and when I do time-out with him he just runs back into the room as if nothing happened. He has now progressed to lungeing to bite my face, hands, arms, legs and ankles and lastnight he ran up and bit me on the back of my arm, his teeth sunk in and I was in agony. I do not shout (apart from lastnight when I roared in pain), I am remaining calm but I am now at my wits end as I am worried I have got an aggressive - unfriendly dog. I don't know what to do. Please, please help I miss the sweet little puppy I had a few weeks ago.

Answer
Okay...this is a bit of an emergency BUT quite solveable.

So listen up.  The very first moment he "play bites" I want you to get down on his level.
Be totally calm and STARE into his eyes like you are Clint Eastwood and say NO in a very low, threatening tone.  Be physically still...quiet voice...do NOT lose eye contact.  The eye contact is everything.  Continue to say NO and stare threateningly.

When he turns away & breaks eye contact, you just won.  He backed off.

In a pack, his behavior (which is quite normal..nuts though it is) would be met by the alpha with a low growl (NO) and a turn of the head to stare him down.  99.9% of all puppies "get it" and back off.

Try this and let me know what happens.  I have other tricks up my sleeve which are basically "you do THAT and THIS happens" but I have found the above to solve this issue within the week.  And one of those times was personal with a gorgeous boy who looked like yours who lived to be 16 and was the sweetest dog ever AFTER we did the stare down.  When it's done - it's done and won't happen again.

So hang in...we start here..if it doesn't work, we progress.

Cocker Spaniels

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Delores Beck

Expertise

Health, nutrition, training. Please note: I used to highly recommend Innova products but, unfortunately, as with Canidae, they have sold out to Proctor & Gamble. This guarantees lower quality to a dangerous point so I will no longer be advising anyone to buy it.

Experience

20 years of owning this breed.

Education/Credentials
Psychology, MA

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.