7 Month Old Springer Submissive Bitting

by TR
(Cincinnati, Oh)

My 7 month old springer male Murphy fliops over on his back when approach him. When we arent home we gate him up in the kitchen. He refuses to come to the kitchen when called knowing he is going to be gated in while we are away. Today he ran into another room I went in to get him and take him by his collar. He flipped onto his back and growled and bit at me when I tried to get him. I know he is submissive to me but now he is becoming very definsive and aggressive with playing and petting. I think I am going to take him to a training class to help soon but any advice would be great.

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Feb 15, 2013
Classes would really help NEW
by: Sasha

I think taking him to classes would definitely help a lot. It is important that springers get a lot of mental stimulation too as they are very clever dogs. My dog is also very submissive when I have to do things he doesn't like and the best thing would be to retrain how he views the kitchen.
In a weekday morning there isn't always time but it would help if you could spend maybe twenty minutes plus on getting him into the kitchen in the mornings, work slowly. If he is food obsessed use treats to lure him into kitchen area but leave the gate open. Praise him even if he only comes into it half way. Sit on the floor as far away from the gate as you can and encourage him with his favourite toy or treats to come up to you. Tone of voice and praise is very important, As well as patience, lots of it. Because he is now already fearfull you need to spend more time with him in the kitchen, feed him in it, play on the floor a bit with him, coo over him if he comes in on his own. What also helps is to sometimes close him in for a few short minutes even when your home. This way he'll learn that being in there isn't the worst thing in the world. Right now he sees himself being caged as punishment except he knows he hasn't done anything wrong. Hence the submission and biting. He thinks your being overly dominant and agressive (even though you aren't really)and trying to protect himself. At about this age in the wild wolves would start going on short trips with the rest of the pack so he just wants to go with you instead of staying in the 'den'. The best thing if you have the time would be to take him for a long run or walk before you lock him in and leave, if he's tired a nice comfy bed and some treats will be all he sees in the kitchen plus he's gone on his little 'hunting trip' with you.
One last thing that may also help is don't let him out immediately when you get home. Let him spend a few minutes noticing that your home, if you rush to let him out he's thinking 'óh my gosh, this thing must be really scary if the most important thing is to let me out!' which just reitterates his fear.

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