Advice please: 2yr old GSP bitch becomming aggressive

Some old topics that have been brought down from the main Forums but may still be of interest.
Jegy Z
Registered User
Joined: 19 Feb 2004, 07:09

27 Oct 2005, 23:04 #11

Plenty of good advise already. Your dog is approaching maturity and for whatever reason is becoming territorial. Every time your dog successfully repels an 'intruder' it reinforces the behaviour, so you must prevent her from practicing the behaviour.
You in turn must not be aggressive toward her in your attemts to bring her under control, to do so will just serve to reinforce the behaviour, if every time a visitor/dog arrives you become aggressive toward her she may associate your actions with the arrival of the visitor and so redouble her efforts.
Most aggression is based on fear and she is just exhibiting a natural canine reaction to something she perceives as a threat. What is needed is a sensible behaviour modification programme designed by an experienced behaviour councillor who hasn witnessed her behaviour first hand.
Molly has given some excellent suggestions and as already mentioned I would not recommend following Jan Fennels rank reduction system. If any status adjustment is required it would be to raise your own influence rather that attempting to reduce your dog's. It is more a question of taking a positive role and training her what is appropriate behaviour.
Beware of anyone who suggest strong arm tactics, any success from intimidation will be short lived and will undoubtedly resurface. Behaviour modification can take a while but stick with it and keep up with the obedience.
Hope this helps.

Mike Ede
Registered User
Joined: 29 Apr 2005, 16:43

29 Oct 2005, 19:35 #12

rungsp you have mail Image

Registered User
Joined: 27 Feb 2013, 19:46

27 Feb 2013, 19:46 #13

I have 3 working cocker spaniels, they are obedient and relatively well trained. I used to have 4 but the eldest recently had to be put to sleep for reasons I will explain in a moment.
We started with Dilly, who we bought as a puppy 13 or more years ago from a lovely working kennels up the road. Dilly was very clever but willful; she knew what you wanted, but what she wasn't interested unless it suited her. She took no 'advise' from our very well mannered old springer who died of old age when dilly was 4.
We bred from Dilly when she was 3 and kept two of her first three puppies (Archie and Maisie) who we still have today. Dilly was bred a couple of times but then we started breeding from Maisie. There were no problems between the dogs for a while and we kept Maisie's first puppy (Rowley, male, currently our youngest dog) So we then had 4 working cocker spaniels; Dilly (9), Archie (6), Maisie (6) and Rowley (young).
Things were great until Dilly and Maisie started getting arsy, then one day, had a big fight, they would afterwards clean each other and sleep in the same bed. We had Dilly spayed and it didnt help. Maisie one day changed a little more - she would fight Dilly (now getting quite old) at the first sight of her.
Last year, Dilly was put down because she dislocated her hip a second time and the vet advised he couldnt put it back with good success.
Things were once again ok in the house as the 'opponent' was gone...
Recently however, Archie developed a perennial hernia and had to be operated and neutered. One day whilst walking the dogs on the beach (Maisie coming on heat), shortly after Archies op, Maisie attacked him in a similar way to how she would Dilly, he would not retaliate and I had to regulate to separate her. She has since done it 3 times and he hates it, and cries (Archie is as close a dog to EE-ORE from Winnie the pooh as you could get)
I put her in the sin-bin everytime (and provide adequate discipline, which she definitely acknowledges at the time!), it was initially only when outside on walks, but today she did it on the walk, and then later in the sitting room once my brother had arrived home.
The dogs are all absolutely lovely, but im starting to wonder if perhaps Maisie has got a screw loose! They are very fit and run at least 5-10 miles a day in the woods having loads of fun, so I dont think its pent up energy..
I personally believe the problem to be associated with a dominance issue, as most problems of this sort tend to be. As a dog, Maisie is perfect by herself, or with Rowley, her youngest son - she will walk to heal, and is submissive in all the ways you would expect from a reasonably small dog. She just seems to see red when she is near Archie (who doesn't make any obvious body language signals - ears relaxed, tail down, usually sitting and relaxing) whatever he is doing, and actively seeks him out like prey. The two boys are perfect together, and will happily just trot about the garden all day with no problems spare the odd futile grumble.. The problem is not related to toys or food.
Due to the issue, maisey spends most of her time away from the boys, which obviously isn't ideal as this is segregating the pack even more, but what can we do?
Any suggestions? Similar problems resolved? We are going to have her spayed after she is off heat..
Regards, George