Dog with aggression problem

sKorpio1190sKorpio1190 Posts: 1,862Registered Users Curl Neophyte
My father's coworker no longer wants his dog, Max. He's a cocker spaniel. We can tell he was mistreated because he is very fearful of everything and underweight. His owner barely gave him water so he wouldn't pee in the apartment, and he would leave Max alone for 12 hours a day. The problem is that he is aggressive. He growls at everyone and its very scary because we don't know when he will snap at us or not. We really want to keep him and rescue him from that *******, but we can't have a dog we're scared of. We can't afford a behavioral trainer either. If anyone has advice I'd appreciate it.

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  • YoshimiYoshimi Posts: 237Registered Users
    I think this depends how much work and emotional stress you're willing to go through. This dog may recover quickly with the right love and care, but you have to also accept the possibility that ge may not recover at all, or that you will not be able to bring about that recovery. If you're willing to have your heart stomped on a thousand times while you try to help him though there's no reason why you shouldn't.

    From what you describe his aggression is fear not dominance based, so a gentle approach is needed. I would start with crate training so that you can trust him to be left, and ge has a safe space of his own. Lots of blankets, toys food and water and company without pressure for him to interact or be a certain way.

    Invest in lots of books, and research lots of sites, and see if a local rescue will help you with the behavioural issues too, they may be able to provide advice or support or even help you with training.

    Sent from my HTC_Amaze_4G using CurlTalk App
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  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Posts: 17,898Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
    I thought you were leaving for college soon? How will you and your father be doing this together? And if your father works, will he be able to do better than the current owner who leaves the dog for 12 hrs a day?

    IDK that you can be sure he was mistreated; some animals are just mentally unstable.

    I would have him evaluated at the ASPCA. If they find him to be too agressive that they wouldn't attempt to place him, then I would leave him there to be euthanized (which is what they do w/ aggressive dogs). But if the ASPC experts say he can be helped, then I ask for their reccommendations for rehabilitating the dog and decide if I had the means, financial and otherwise, to follow thru w/ them.

    But there is no way, I would take on a dog w/ documented aggressive behavior. Not worth it and not fair to your neighbors, etc. Dogs like that need the help of experts or to be put down.

    I know your heart is in the right place but not every dog can be saved IMO. Focus on the ones who are good candidates for adoption.

  • SpiderSpider Posts: 3,381Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Poor baby ! I'd be willing to give him a change provided you can show him the attention and time needed and there are no kids around. If you can't fairly spend the time & effort please contact a cocker rescue. Also exercise exercise exercise that dog ! You'd be shocked how much more balanced a nervous or high energy dog can be when they have the proper outlet.
    Don't let your heart be broken. Let it love.
  • sKorpio1190sKorpio1190 Posts: 1,862Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I thought you were leaving for college soon? How will you and your father be doing this together? And if your father works, will he be able to do better than the current owner who leaves the dog for 12 hrs a day?

    IDK that you can be sure he was mistreated; some animals are just mentally unstable.

    I would have him evaluated at the ASPCA. If they find him to be too agressive that they wouldn't attempt to place him, then I would leave him there to be euthanized (which is what they do w/ aggressive dogs). But if the ASPC experts say he can be helped, then I ask for their reccommendations for rehabilitating the dog and decide if I had the means, financial and otherwise, to follow thru w/ them.

    But there is no way, I would take on a dog w/ documented aggressive behavior. Not worth it and not fair to your neighbors, etc. Dogs like that need the help of experts or to be put down.

    I know your heart is in the right place but not every dog can be saved IMO. Focus on the ones who are good candidates for adoption.

    I am leaving. My mother and father will have him and my father works about 6 hours a day and my mother does not work so she's home all day with my pets and she's a big animal lover
    Medium texture, normal porosity, normal elasticity :shock:
  • sKorpio1190sKorpio1190 Posts: 1,862Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Spider wrote: »
    Poor baby ! I'd be willing to give him a change provided you can show him the attention and time needed and there are no kids around. If you can't fairly spend the time & effort please contact a cocker rescue. Also exercise exercise exercise that dog ! You'd be shocked how much more balanced a nervous or high energy dog can be when they have the proper outlet.

    I contacted the cocker spaniel rescue. They said they would not take him
    Medium texture, normal porosity, normal elasticity :shock:
  • PoPo Posts: 2,607Registered Users
    Why won't they take him?

    I have a friend who fosters and she helps rehab aggressive dogs. She just took in a really angry chow (and chows can be pretty vicious) and he's doing great.

    When you say he snaps at people what do you mean? Like if you touch him? Or he snaps/attacks for no reason?
    3c/4a
  • sKorpio1190sKorpio1190 Posts: 1,862Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Po wrote: »
    Why won't they take him?

    I have a friend who fosters and she helps rehab aggressive dogs. She just took in a really angry chow (and chows can be pretty vicious) and he's doing great.

    When you say he snaps at people what do you mean? Like if you touch him? Or he snaps/attacks for no reason?

    They said they wouldn't take him because he has agression issues. I mean for God's sake you're a rescue organization but you won't take problem dogs?! Hello!?? and they're a cocker spaniel rescue!

    If anyone but my dad tries to pet him he growls. However, for him to snap at you it takes more pushing than that. Last night he was in a corner of my living room and my dad went to get him to put him to bed and it was the first time he actually snapped at my dad. Otherwise he mostly just growls at people. Like if I go to pet him he growls at me. He growls at random people too. When left alone he's fine and keeps to himself but when people approach him to pet him is when he gets aggressive. Especially his head. Sometimes like this morning he'll let me pet his body a little but he's very sensitive when it comes to his head. I'm worried cuz my dad was willing to work with him but after last night he's starting to reconsider taking him back to his last crappy owner
    Medium texture, normal porosity, normal elasticity :shock:
  • LotsawavesLotsawaves Posts: 9,775Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
    Poor baby.... I had a poodle who was like that. She did bond with me and the family, but we always had trouble with her with strangers. She just didn't trust people easily or other dogs. She was only 3 months old when I got her, but it was already ingrained with her.
    From Michael Berg:

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  • PoPo Posts: 2,607Registered Users
    That's sad.

    Try a different rescue. Ask them if they know of anyone who rehabs dogs.

    Other than that, I don't what else to do besides the obvious. :( Maybe someone who does not have children and who doesn't entertain often would like to have him.
    3c/4a
  • SpiderSpider Posts: 3,381Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Yeah, his body language should show any warnings. Also instead of getting the dog and putting him in a crate , try coaxing & treats. Make the crate a comfy and safe place instead of punishment. It's going to take time. How old is the dog ?
    Don't let your heart be broken. Let it love.
  • noritaarfnoritaarf Posts: 15Registered Users
    How long have you had the dog in your home? He has been uprooted from the only home he has known, where it was just him and his owner or he was alone. Now he is in a totally new home, w/ multiple people around and he is probably overwhelmed. Give him some time to settle in. I also like the exercise suggestion. He just needs time to feel secure in his new home. If after a reasonable amount of time, he does not come around, then you may have to give up.
  • sKorpio1190sKorpio1190 Posts: 1,862Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    He's three years old. Been here about a week now. Today he's behaved a little better. He let me pet him
    Medium texture, normal porosity, normal elasticity :shock:
  • curlisue1curlisue1 Posts: 494Registered Users Curl Novice
    Some rescues will take aggressive dogs. Others will not. My mother used to volunteer with a Bouvier rescue and one member of the rescue would take aggressive dogs. Her trick was she and her family would completely ignore the dog as much as possible. This seemed to force the dog to figure out a way to interact with the household. To find their place in the pack. Plus gave the dog the space to relax, which helped more for the dogs that had been abused.

    That being said. This approach didn't work with all dogs. Another issue is sometimes cocker spaniels have what is termed as "cocker rage". Not saying it is an issue with this one. Not even sure if its a true issue but if you do a google search on it youll find some information. Also. The majority of people I know that have a cocker - the dog has bitten someone. Not saying all. I had one when I was a kid that sweet as the day is long.

    Hope that you are able to help him or find someone that can.
  • LoloDSMLoloDSM Posts: 3,778Registered Users
    Poor baby! He must be so scared. 😔

    I agree that he needs lots if positive reinforcement. Appreciate his space and don't force him to acknowledge you. He might benefit from a Thundershirt also.

    I would give him some time before you write him off as hopeless. Just give him space and respect his boundaries. Your local animal rescue might have some suggestions as well.

    Good luck! I hope you're able to break through with him.
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  • sKorpio1190sKorpio1190 Posts: 1,862Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    curlisue1 wrote: »
    Some rescues will take aggressive dogs. Others will not. My mother used to volunteer with a Bouvier rescue and one member of the rescue would take aggressive dogs. Her trick was she and her family would completely ignore the dog as much as possible. This seemed to force the dog to figure out a way to interact with the household. To find their place in the pack. Plus gave the dog the space to relax, which helped more for the dogs that had been abused.

    That being said. This approach didn't work with all dogs. Another issue is sometimes cocker spaniels have what is termed as "cocker rage". Not saying it is an issue with this one. Not even sure if its a true issue but if you do a google search on it youll find some information. Also. The majority of people I know that have a cocker - the dog has bitten someone. Not saying all. I had one when I was a kid that sweet as the day is long.

    Hope that you are able to help him or find someone that can.

    We took him to petco to get a rabbis shot and the vet on duty said the same thing. She said cocker spaniel usually are problematic and "one owner dogs"
    Medium texture, normal porosity, normal elasticity :shock:
  • sKorpio1190sKorpio1190 Posts: 1,862Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    LoloDSM wrote: »
    Poor baby! He must be so scared. 😔

    I agree that he needs lots if positive reinforcement. Appreciate his space and don't force him to acknowledge you. He might benefit from a Thundershirt also.

    I would give him some time before you write him off as hopeless. Just give him space and respect his boundaries. Your local animal rescue might have some suggestions as well.

    Good luck! I hope you're able to break through with him.

    I will keep trying in hopes that it'll convince my dad to keep him:-?
    Medium texture, normal porosity, normal elasticity :shock:
  • wild~hairwild~hair Posts: 9,890Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Yoshimi wrote: »
    I think this depends how much work and emotional stress you're willing to go through. This dog may recover quickly with the right love and care, but you have to also accept the possibility that ge may not recover at all, or that you will not be able to bring about that recovery. If you're willing to have your heart stomped on a thousand times while you try to help him though there's no reason why you shouldn't.

    From what you describe his aggression is fear not dominance based, so a gentle approach is needed. I would start with crate training so that you can trust him to be left, and ge has a safe space of his own. Lots of blankets, toys food and water and company without pressure for him to interact or be a certain way.

    Invest in lots of books, and research lots of sites, and see if a local rescue will help you with the behavioural issues too, they may be able to provide advice or support or even help you with training.

    Sent from my HTC_Amaze_4G using CurlTalk App

    ^ Yes to everything here.
  • wild~hairwild~hair Posts: 9,890Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I thought you were leaving for college soon? How will you and your father be doing this together? And if your father works, will he be able to do better than the current owner who leaves the dog for 12 hrs a day?

    IDK that you can be sure he was mistreated; some animals are just mentally unstable.

    I would have him evaluated at the ASPCA. If they find him to be too agressive that they wouldn't attempt to place him, then I would leave him there to be euthanized (which is what they do w/ aggressive dogs). But if the ASPC experts say he can be helped, then I ask for their reccommendations for rehabilitating the dog and decide if I had the means, financial and otherwise, to follow thru w/ them.

    But there is no way, I would take on a dog w/ documented aggressive behavior. Not worth it and not fair to your neighbors, etc. Dogs like that need the help of experts or to be put down.

    I know your heart is in the right place but not every dog can be saved IMO. Focus on the ones who are good candidates for adoption.

    ^ No to everything here.
  • wild~hairwild~hair Posts: 9,890Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Tell your dad it can take 2-3 weeks for a dog to settle into a new environment. That is the rule of thumb in rescue work. Go S-L-O-W. :)
    LoloDSM wrote: »
    He might benefit from a Thundershirt also.

    A hearty "yes" to this. We use these a lot in rescue. They work for about 80% of animals. I have one on my foster cat right now, as I do every night to keep her calm for sleepy time.She loves her shirt!

    I will pass along any resources I can find. I mostly rehab cats, but I know a lot of dog people and miracles happen every day with these animals.

    Thank you for taking him on and giving him a second chance! ;)
  • SpiderSpider Posts: 3,381Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    He's three years old. Been here about a week now. Today he's behaved a little better. He let me pet him

    He is neutered, right? I had a Springer that I had to give up due to a move, a good friend's sister was able to take him and I often got updates. They were experienced dog owners with a Golden, and over time the Springer started to have unexpected, unwarranted aggression issues. Sounded very much like Spaniel aggression but they kept him until he passed away of old age. He was generally a very sweet, playful dog but a switch would suddenly flip.
    Don't let your heart be broken. Let it love.
  • sKorpio1190sKorpio1190 Posts: 1,862Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Spider wrote: »
    He's three years old. Been here about a week now. Today he's behaved a little better. He let me pet him

    He is neutered, right? I had a Springer that I had to give up due to a move, a good friend's sister was able to take him and I often got updates. They were experienced dog owners with a Golden, and over time the Springer started to have unexpected, unwarranted aggression issues. Sounded very much like Spaniel aggression but they kept him until he passed away of old age. He was generally a very sweet, playful dog but a switch would suddenly flip.

    No he's not. The people who had him never took him to the vet
    Medium texture, normal porosity, normal elasticity :shock:
  • sKorpio1190sKorpio1190 Posts: 1,862Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    wild~hair wrote: »
    Tell your dad it can take 2-3 weeks for a dog to settle into a new environment. That is the rule of thumb in rescue work. Go S-L-O-W. :)
    LoloDSM wrote: »
    He might benefit from a Thundershirt also.

    A hearty "yes" to this. We use these a lot in rescue. They work for about 80% of animals. I have one on my foster cat right now, as I do every night to keep her calm for sleepy time.She loves her shirt!

    I will pass along any resources I can find. I mostly rehab cats, but I know a lot of dog people and miracles happen every day with these animals.

    Thank you for taking him on and giving him a second chance! ;)

    I will definitely let him know. What is it about thunder shirts that helps them?
    Medium texture, normal porosity, normal elasticity :shock:
  • YoshimiYoshimi Posts: 237Registered Users
    Oh my, a huge +1 for the thundershirt. It's the pressure around their chest that gives them a sense of security, the same way swaddling helps a baby. It did wonders for out neurotic pit, ge would be going bonkers but when you put the shirt on him ge would curl up and go to sleep.

    Sent from my HTC_Amaze_4G using CurlTalk App
    2C, Medium thickness, Low posity
    Recovering from a year of keratin and bleach with CG

    Routine

    Low Poo, Condition, Leave in, Curl cream, Supersoak, Gel, Diffuse on high heat, with minimal lift to encourage waves and reduce frizz, Dry on cool with nozzle down to smooth hair and finish drying,Shine Serum

    Weekly gelatin protien treatments.
  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Posts: 17,898Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
    wild~hair wrote: »
    I thought you were leaving for college soon? How will you and your father be doing this together? And if your father works, will he be able to do better than the current owner who leaves the dog for 12 hrs a day?

    IDK that you can be sure he was mistreated; some animals are just mentally unstable.

    I would have him evaluated at the ASPCA. If they find him to be too agressive that they wouldn't attempt to place him, then I would leave him there to be euthanized (which is what they do w/ aggressive dogs). But if the ASPC experts say he can be helped, then I ask for their reccommendations for rehabilitating the dog and decide if I had the means, financial and otherwise, to follow thru w/ them.

    But there is no way, I would take on a dog w/ documented aggressive behavior. Not worth it and not fair to your neighbors, etc. Dogs like that need the help of experts or to be put down.

    I know your heart is in the right place but not every dog can be saved IMO. Focus on the ones who are good candidates for adoption.

    ^ No to everything here.

    LOL What?

    You'd force an aggressive dog that growls and snaps on your parents? Why?

    eta - not trying to be overly negative but it just doesn't seem like she has the resources right now to devote.

  • SpiderSpider Posts: 3,381Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    If he's not neutered, he should be- this would help leaps and bounds !
    Don't let your heart be broken. Let it love.
  • theliothelio Posts: 5,374Registered Users
    1st : you need him to be fixed ASAP!!! What city are you in? I may be able to get a good affordable resources for you to get this done.

    2nd: animals who are abused are just like people who are abused, they are fearful and have trust issues. it can be tough getting them to change their behaviors. The good news is it can be done. Remember Michael Vicks dogs? some of them are know working with the elderly. I have worked with dogs so abused you would never think they can become loving pets. But they will surprise you if you have the patience and the love ( which not alot of people have). And i think you have that. i think you and your family can provide this pup with a loving home and change his behavior. You have to believe in him and not be fearful. he can sense that and will not trust you if you dont trust him. good luck!
  • sKorpio1190sKorpio1190 Posts: 1,862Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    thelio wrote: »
    1st : you need him to be fixed ASAP!!! What city are you in? I may be able to get a good affordable resources for you to get this done.

    2nd: animals who are abused are just like people who are abused, they are fearful and have trust issues. it can be tough getting them to change their behaviors. The good news is it can be done. Remember Michael Vicks dogs? some of them are know working with the elderly. I have worked with dogs so abused you would never think they can become loving pets. But they will surprise you if you have the patience and the love ( which not alot of people have). And i think you have that. i think you and your family can provide this pup with a loving home and change his behavior. You have to believe in him and not be fearful. he can sense that and will not trust you if you dont trust him. good luck!

    So far he's getting better. He lets me pet him now and today he let me rub his belly :) I found a certificate online to get him neutered for $65 too
    Medium texture, normal porosity, normal elasticity :shock:
  • SpiderSpider Posts: 3,381Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Great ! Major step to a happier, healthier & safer dog.
    Don't let your heart be broken. Let it love.
  • sKorpio1190sKorpio1190 Posts: 1,862Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Spider wrote: »
    Great ! Major step to a happier, healthier & safer dog.

    :)
    Medium texture, normal porosity, normal elasticity :shock:
  • sKorpio1190sKorpio1190 Posts: 1,862Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    My dad has given up on the dog. No surprise there. He gave away another dog of mine years ago too when I was away on vacation. If something is not perfect he always just throws it away. My heart is broken. Idk what to do
    Medium texture, normal porosity, normal elasticity :shock:

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