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Cocker Spaniels/My 2year old cocker biting

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Question
Hi .. I have a year old all black bitch cocker spaniel , from being a puppy we've had problems with our cocker.... From biting and growling to taking her to the vets & him telling us she had 'rage' at months old & telling us there wasn't much hope but we could try to get her spayed , we decided to get a behaviorist & see what there opinion was as she had started to guard things like oven gloves , socks etc & she would be really aggressive if you would go near her , the behaviorist told us she didn't have rage but she did have some behavior problems so we worked on her & she eventually has got out of the habit. But she still guards her food, for example I feed her and have to leave he to it she doesn't like you around while eating , she has bitten on a few occasions on the fingers while growling .... She seemed to have got better & we wanted another dog , we have now got a 15week old whippet & they are brilliant together I can not fault her with my whippet they play and get on very well ... I do still feed them separately as I'm scared of what my cocker might react like , then while having people round she started growling  and jumped up at a member of family and bite her jumper ! This really frightened me & I didn't want to stop people coming round so we decided to try her with a muzzle ? She reacts with this really well let's us put it on her ect .... I just want her to be okay???

Answer
Hi Zoe, it sounds like you've worked very hard with her with basically good results.

Let's do one thing at a time.  Re the separate feeding -it's a good idea even without a problem.  Dogs really do need that few minutes of peace and it's no big deal.

When you say she's bitten - is that a nip or did she draw blood?  Huge difference.  Dogs don't make mistakes - they do precisely what they judge necessary.

As to the excitement of having company & her jumping/biting clothing. I need to know exactly in great detail what was going on.

And there is NO problem with confining a dog who isn't great with "party time" and lots of noise/people/etc.  You may not need to do that & possibly can just put her with you on a waist leash.  If she's that freaked about a gang of people, I wouldn't muzzle her, I'd either confine her or have her on leash.

I will tell you I've been there/done that with this sort of aggression and it does quiet down with time & training.

Cocker Spaniels

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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

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