Attacks by our springer

by Beth

Last year we rescued our springer, Riley, through MAESSR and knew when we got him that he had aggression issues. These issues involved other dogs and small children so we were chosen to adopt him as we have no other pets and no children in our home.

During the past year, our springer has lunged at and bitten (drawing blood) my husband no less than five times. Each time the attack was when I was in the area so we attributed it to Riley's defending me. On one occasion, Riley lunged at and hit our grandson so hard in the face that his eye turned black. At that time, we sought help through MAESSR and tried several techniques to stop these biting problems.

Last week Riley lunged at me on two occasions, something that has never happened before. One of the times I was putting on my coat and the other was when I simply walked into the family room. Both attacks were unprovoked and happened very quickly.

I have contacted MAESSR again asking for help. One person suggested that Riley might be suffering from "Springer Rage" which I had never heard about. After reading about this rage on the web, I feel that this is not the problem. I think that he is in a defense mode and lashes out when he feels threatened; however, some of the rage signs are displayed by Riley during the attacks.

Can anyone clue us in on what we should do? We spend a lot of time in campgrounds and cannot take the chance that Riley might bite someone else. He has shown aggression on several occasions but we were able to pull him back as we saw his lips curl in time. We would appreciate any advice we can get.

Thank you.

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Jan 03, 2011
by: Estie

Yes, get to a GOOD obedience class - maybe 2 of them! Get someone who is very experienced. It is possible to correct the behaviour.

Jan 02, 2011
by: MIchele

Find yourself a GOOD obedience class immediately. Riley's problems only worsen if allowed to continue.

I have a 12 year old female Springer. I've had her since 8 weeks old. She tends to try to assert herself on occasion - only with me.

At a dog training class you will learn how to always be the pack leader and this attitude will not only empower you, but it will allow Riley to understand that he is not in charge. And that's what dogs want....they want someone to be in charge, but if nobody displays that then they believe they are in charge. My Springer never thinks of challenging me when we keep up with training. And yes, even after 12 years training is still necessary.

Please help yourself and Riley. It's evident you love him or you would have sent him back to the rescue by now. Call around and find that obedience class. If there's a dog club in your area, start there. Try to stay away from classes that are offered by a major pet shop chain.

Good luck!

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