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Dog Training/wanting to bite when hurt


I take my spaniel to the dog park every week and she has a blast playing there. She's 1 year old and full of energy. She seems to enjoy playing there until a dog accidentally steps on her foot or something else minor. When this happens unlike other dogs who yelp and stop playing, she will yelp and then repeatedly try to bite the other dog for several seconds. I am afraid one day she'll really get to bite as it seems like her reaction is escalating. I don't think she understands the other dog hurts her by accident and she gets very angry. Should I no longer take her there? can this behavior be changed? this happens very quickly and I am also afraid that one day she'll get a dog who will respond to her aggressive display and attack her first. Thank you for any insight.

I agree with your concern that this could lead to escalated aggression. This is such a instinctive reaction that I don't think it's something that can be trained away.

Is your dog park set up so that she only plays with small dogs that would be less likely to hurt her? Or, only take her when there are just a few dogs there? If you can't control that, then I would stop taking her to the dog park.

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Barb Gadola, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP


I can answer questions related to problem dog behaviors, teaching polite manners, puppy raising, and any type of training-related issues. My website page, offers a wealth of information on training and behavior issues as well.


I've been training dogs since 1989 and own and operate Distinctive Dog Training LLC in Keller TX. I specialize in providing practical and positive solutions for families through personalized training in their home.

Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
Victoria Stilwell Positively! Licensed Trainer
Association of Pet Dog Trainers
Association of Animal Behavior Professionals
Truly Dog Friendly Coalition

BS in Education
Graduate work in Behavioral Psychology
Karen Pryor Academy Dog Training Program
Certified Professional Dog Trainer

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