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very worried about my growling and snarling possessive dog toward 15 month old

(15 Posts)
Sassib Wed 06-Aug-08 19:52:29

Can ANYONE help me with behavioural probs? - I have a 3.5 yr old cocker spaniel - spayed female. She has always had a possessive/territorial issue which we have never managed to really sort out. She is very possessive of me and would growl even toward DH at times.

But now she keeps growling and snarling at my 15 month old. This has only started in the last 3 months and has gotten worse in the past 2 weeks since LO started walking.

It was restricted to her food bowl, but now every time LO goes near her she snarls and growls.

Today she went for me as I put food in her bowl and it really upset me. I would never have left her alone with my LO before, but I have really lost trust in her.

I am pretty strict with her, but DH isn't and that is half the battle. Anyone got any suggestions before I call in an animal behaviourist.

She has had a pretty rough start 4-5 operations 3 on her knees, thanks to a luxating patella and a ruptured cruciate ligament in the other knee. One of her knees is painful and I wonder if the pain is causing the problems as well?

I love her to bits and I really do want to solve these problems, but I dont know where to start!

Sorry for long post blush



twoluvlykids Wed 06-Aug-08 20:02:14

do you treat her as the lowest in the family? ie feed her last, keep her off the sofas, never allow her updstairs etc? dogs have to know heir place in "their pack" & she had to be bottom.

Sassib Wed 06-Aug-08 20:25:06

Hi - If I am truthful we haven;t been as consistent with this as we should/could be and I know we are totally at fault in this. I am pretty strict. DH isn't. So I guess I need to train him too. I will start a strict regime


morocco Wed 06-Aug-08 20:27:31

ours bit me on the face at that age, I still have the scar. my mum still defends her 'I cornered her apparently!' but I wouldn't put up with it in a dog myself, sorry

twoluvlykids Wed 06-Aug-08 20:28:00

it might help - the alternatives aren't pleasant! train dh at same time as doggie! good luck!

peggotty Wed 06-Aug-08 20:28:27

You need to see an animal behavourist asap. your vet should be able to point you in the right direction. I wouldn't faff about, tbh, with a child involved, you need to nip the behaviour in the bud asap.

ShyBaby Wed 06-Aug-08 20:45:51

I hate to say this. I love animals, but could you not find her another home?

I adore my pets, but if they ever went for me or the kids they would not be living here.

I would maybe find a friend who didn't have kids who would be willing to take on my pet so I could still see said pet and know it was ok. sad

I know that's not what you want to hear at all, but I just couldn't take the risk, sorry.

Minniethemoocher Wed 06-Aug-08 21:44:10

I love animals and have a dog myself, but I wouldn't tolerate growling/snarling at any member of the family, either you need to get in an animal behaviorist and really get to the bottom of the problem which includes your DH changing his attitude or I am sorry, but I would re-home her to a family without children, even a Cocker Spaniel could do some serious damage if she bit someone.

Sassib Thu 07-Aug-08 09:24:21

Thanks all - Animal behaviourist is coming around at the weekend. We started "controlled crying" last night LOL, by putting her downstairs for the night she howled all night long. It was noisy and not much sleep for all - apart from LO who slept right thru the noise. smile

Lulu the cocker is much more subdued today. Hoping that she will quickly get the message!

Animal behaviourist feels she can sort it out. But I have already called my dad to see if he could take her if it doesn't work out. He is not sure. I am heartbroken at the thought of this, as I adore my dog. but i cannot take the risk.

Thanks again, will keep you posted

Sam xx

LaDiDaDi Thu 07-Aug-08 17:09:32

Actually Lady Thompson, if you had read the thread properly then you would notice that I empathasised with wmmc and described having wound probs myself after a section. I don't know where you get any inference from my posts that I think people who have c sections "deserve all they get".

I have offered wmmc what I consider the best advice to get the outcome that she wants, a speedy resolution to her problems.

LaDiDaDi Thu 07-Aug-08 17:09:48

Wrong thread entirely!!!

ladymariner Thu 07-Aug-08 17:26:29

pmsl at ladidadi

ladymariner Thu 07-Aug-08 17:34:23

actually, sorry to laugh, sassib, its not a funny thread blush

Minniethemoocher Thu 07-Aug-08 18:06:47

Good luck Sam, really do hope that the Animal behaviourist can help.

youcannotbeserious Sun 10-Aug-08 09:09:30

Good luck Sam.

I hope you do manage to get it sorted but I think you are right that you cannot take the chance.

I have a 5YO choc. labrador. I don't have a moment's concern about his behaviour but it is agreed that, if I EVER do, he'll go to my parents. I couldn't deal with it if I had any doubt whatsoever.

Just wondering if this could have something to do with weaning / food? You mentioned that it started with the dog's food bowl and that it's become worse.... Could it be linked what your LO is eating? And that the dog saw the baby as less of a threat when just drinking milk?

I suppose it's something I'm thinking about already (DS is 3 months now) that when he starts eating food as opposed to just taking a bottle, the dog might have more issues... I'm already ensuring the dog doesn't get fed away from his dog bowl and also ONLY eats from his bowl (No licking plates anymore! blush) But, my labrador is obsessed about food!

Anyway, good luck. smile PLease do let us know what the behaviourist says about it.


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