18 month old cockapoo bit me

(123 Posts)
pamelat Mon 23-Dec-19 17:31:56

We have had our cockapoo from 8 weeks old. We did the whole biting puppy bit which was natural etc

I have been a bit concerned that he's still 'mouthy' in excitement but it's not in anger, more play. We are following all the guidance around that.

I have also been a bit worried that since turning one he has growled, predominantly at my husband, if asked to do something he doesn't want to do. Ie. Get off the bed.

I have really told him when he has growled at our children and slapped/tapped his nose for it. With them he seems to have stopped and tolerated them.

He's definitely my dog and prefers me because I walk/feed etc.

He is actually quite anxious if I walk away when out in a family group or if he is taken from me by anyone, but fine once I'm not there or if he is home alone.

This is relevant because today I was taking the children out and my husband was working from home. The dog ran to get in the car with the kids and knew when I took him out that he was staying home. He growled in a grumpy way, and I picked him up and carried him from the car to the house. He carried on growling and i told him no. I think I tapped his nose (this is all quite gentle) and told him off. He lunged at my face aggressively and his teeth made scratches down the side of my nose.

I actually cried in shock and was upset. I put him down and shouted quite loudly at him. He did cower and knew he was in trouble. I made him "go" in the house and left on bad terms with him.

I suppose rather than biting me, he lunged at me with his teeth bared? I am just worried at this unnecessary grumpiness and if he were to do this to the children?

He was probably tired as he had a full fun day of walking with me yesterday, 12 miles. I know he would have felt that he was missing out but staying home but I'm surprised that he did this. Maybe he is too?

He is such a loving day but definitely a grumpy or perhaps spoilt one? What do you advise?

OP’s posts: |
Saucery Mon 23-Dec-19 17:33:46

You hit him so he bit you. Why are you surprised? It’s the only defence he’s got to being hurt by you.

Intensicle Mon 23-Dec-19 17:37:11

Please see a dog trainer. You don’t know what you’re doing. Until then, stop hitting the dog. The growling is a warning. It’s a ‘back off’ sign.

Celebelly Mon 23-Dec-19 17:41:45

Don't tell him off for growling and don't hit him. Growling is him communicating with you and telling you he's not happy about something. You don't ever punish communication like that as they'll learn not to display warning signs and just go straight to bite. Agree that you need to find a positive methods trainer to help you here.

BiteyShark Mon 23-Dec-19 17:42:24

There are quite a few issues here with how you are handling the growling.

You need a trainer to show you how to recognise dog behaviour and handle it correctly. Hitting him and manhandling him is only making it worse.

SayNotoArtificialLipids Mon 23-Dec-19 17:42:29

I think you need to contact a dog behaviourist.

Celebelly Mon 23-Dec-19 17:42:27

And stop carrying him.


TheFaerieQueene Mon 23-Dec-19 17:43:12

Stop hitting your poor dog. If you tapped me on the nose I’d bite you too.

Wolfiefan Mon 23-Dec-19 17:43:18

Yep. He growled. That’s a warning. You hit him so he bit back.
Vet check and then behaviourist/really good dog trainer. You have been dealing with this all wrong.

anxioussue Mon 23-Dec-19 17:44:56

Find a new home for him, you aren't managing him properly and it's causing problems that could one day see him put down.

Thescrewinthetuna Mon 23-Dec-19 17:46:00

Don’t hit your dog and never ever pick up a growling dog. Please see a behaviourist

catndogslife Mon 23-Dec-19 17:53:22

Sounds as if the dog may have separation anxiety to me.
Fear and anxiety may cause a dog to become aggressive if not handled in the correct way.
You usually need a vet referral but seeing a dog behaviourist who specialises in positive reinforcement methodsis the way ahead.
"Punishments" such as tapping the nose are based on out-dated theories of dog behaviour and positive reinforcement i.e. rewarding them when they behave the way that you would like( and ignoring other behaviors) is now well established as more effective.

LuckyKitty13 Mon 23-Dec-19 18:02:52

Agree with all of the precious posters. This is the most common behavioural issue I see, fear aggression. He is scared of you and defending himself. You have caused this by not listening to him and punishing him for showing you he is anxious... thus reinforcing his fears.

Stop hitting him, shouting at him etc NOW and get some help from a qualified behaviourist.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 23-Dec-19 18:12:33

I don’t mean to sound harsh but you have caused this. I know totally unintentionally and you’d have thought you were doing the best thing. But all the telling off in the past when he’s growled has led to this.

Growling is communication that he’s not happy about something and should be listened to. This doesn’t mean you let him get away with unacceptable behaviour but you tackle things in a different manner.

So when you want him to do something he doesn’t want to do like get him off a bed, give something up, get out the car....you bribe him with a high value treat. Please find a behaviourist who practices positive rewards. Otherwise this will escalate. You’ve taught him not to growl, now you’ve taught him not to snap/lunge at you with his teeth bared.....so he will sit and sit on such behaviour and it will escalate until he bites someone badly and gets put down. For something which isn’t his fault.

This is fixable and avoidable but you all need to be on board and make urgent changes. If you can’t do this then please rehome him to someone who can.

Floralnomad Mon 23-Dec-19 18:15:56

I’d hardly call him a spoilt , he gets hit and shouted at - pack it in and get yourself some professional help poor dog must be totally confused , he communicates with you in his language , you misinterpret it and he gets in trouble .

Shutityoujamtart Mon 23-Dec-19 18:19:41

You hurt him therefore he hurt you. The growl was a warning, I was always told you shouldn’t tell a dog off for growling as it’s their way of warning you. If he can’t growl a warning , the next step is a bite.
I would contact a behaviourist as he obviously needs some input.
My cocker growls a warning if he is hugged by my children or other children. My children know they are not allowed to do this or go near him when he’s in his bed. I watch other children around him like a hawk. I hope you find some answers .

GeorgiaGirl52 Mon 23-Dec-19 18:26:00

You might want to research "cocker rage syndrome" in puppies. It used to be rare but we are seeing it more and more in rescue dogs. The rescue group I work with steers families with choldren away from cockers and toward cavaliers.

Thefaceofboe Mon 23-Dec-19 18:26:08

I’m glad he bit you if you hit him.

Pinkbonbon Mon 23-Dec-19 18:37:14

Tapping his nose is seen as an attack by a fog, not discipline - and therefore likely part of the reason for the bite (that and the fact that he warned you by growling and you didn't listen).

You are viewing him as a naughty child, he isn't, he is a dog. Also, don't carry him places or let him hang out on your lap/bed ect as he is displaying possessive, guarding behaviour (probably part of the reason he growls at your husband is he sees you as his property so doesn't like another man on the scene).

Check out Ceasar Milan the dog whisperers' stuff if you get a chance. Might help.

WorldEndingFire Mon 23-Dec-19 18:47:29

You need to read about positive reinforcement. Your dog is exhibiting a behaviour called resource guarding over things bit considers precious like the sofa. You and your family are not reading the dog's body language (read up on calming signals) and you are frightening and hurting it when it exhibits behaviours you are unhappy with - it has bitten because you have pushed it over the edge.

Please read up on canine behaviour, much of what you grew up with, e.g. dominance and pack theory, is based on bad science and completely ineffectual.

KikoPup on YouTube is an invaluable resource for positive training and behaviour

John Bradshaw, In Defence of Dogs is a good starting point on general canine behaviour

VivaLeBeaver Mon 23-Dec-19 19:24:15

Don’t check out Cesar Milan, he physically tells dogs off doesn’t he? Unless he’s changed. I’ve seen him pin a dog to the ground to punish it.

Wolfiefan Mon 23-Dec-19 19:27:41

@Pinkbonbon Cesar Milan is awful. He still works by pack theory and that you need to be the boss of your dog. I’ve seen him hit dogs and scare them. He’s been bitten too.

pamelat Mon 23-Dec-19 20:47:02

Oh dear

I didn't hit him, I tapped his nose. Yes it's a punishment but not hitting. I can see how he would see it as mildly threatening. What would you do?

He is not abused and not hard done to. He sleeps on our bed and is well loved/well walked etc.

Happy to seek professional advice but don't feel the need for some of the venom in some of the replies.

OP’s posts: |
VivaLeBeaver Mon 23-Dec-19 20:59:17

A dog won’t differentiate between a tap and a hit, a physical punishment is a physical punishment. Please, please read my earlier post where I say what to do instead. I’m not having a go at you at all. If you’re anything like me you probably grew up seeing parents, etc dealing with dogs like this. It used to be considered ok.

Yamihere Mon 23-Dec-19 21:02:39

It's great that you are getting help for your pups behaviour OP.
A trainer/behaviourist will be able to help you. Look for trainers that have the dogs welfare in mind. Anyone who spouts dominance or claims to be balanced, avoid.
Dog training isn't regulated so be careful. Have an intro session with a few to find someone who explains your dogs behaviour, comes up with a sensible behaviour modification plan and motivates you to change your behaviour towards the dog. Your vet may be able to recommend good ones but sometimes vets can also be clueless on behaviour.
In the meantime teach your dog how to get off furniture on command by enticing him off with a biscuit. As he jumps down say 'off' and let him have his treat. Do this lots and make it fun for you and your pup.
Good luck and please don't let strangers on the internet bring you down, you are being responsible by seeking advice 🙂

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