my Springer Spaniel has started to growl at everyone

by Donna

I got chester at 8 weeks old from a lovely lady. we have never had any issues with him, he got on really well with my 17 year old collie mix but unfortunately we had to have him put to sleep due to age related problems.

Chester just moped around for weeks so we decided to get a new springer puppy to keep him company. both dogs get on great. Chester is now 3 and Ozzy just over a year old. Our problems started about 6 months ago every time anyone walks in the room he growls loudly, not a regular growl its like there is a ogre in the room with you.

It started with my 13 y/o daughter but now he does it to everyone, he growls whilst wagging his tail expecting to be fussed but he scares everyone as they think he may bite them.

He has never shown me any aggression what so ever. he also will not obey my kids or husband. its not all the time its just now and then, for example if I go to bed before them he will not leave the living room and goto his bed.

He will just sit and growl. Can I also stress he never shows our other dog any aggression. Any ideas what could have prompted this behaviour??


Is his Castrated? This may help ease the aggression. You may also want to lok at how your enforce the pack order in the home. So for example you need to ensure that Chester sees you as the
Springer Spaniel Pack Leader and that he feels part of the
Springer Spaniel Pack.

If that doesn't help then I would seek proffessional advice.

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Jan 22, 2019
Oscar growling NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi I got Oscar at 8 weeks old he is nearly 5 and for the past year has been growling every now and again at my son over the past couple of months this has got worse and he growls at everyone I cannot have anyone round my house as I’m scared he might bite them even though he has never bitten I’m thinking about getting him castrated hoping this will help I love him dearly but I feel that time is running out and I’m scared he mite bite what can I do

Apr 10, 2018
Growling Springer NEW
by: Tricia

My dog,Hailey, is a 4 year old Springer from a reputable breeder. I am familiar with the breed and got her when she was 8 weeks old. When I picked her from the pack the breeder seemed concerned and informed me that she was a Deva. I thought this comment to be odd and now wish that I followed up with her comment as to why she thought that this dog deserved this title.
In any case, she was adorable and I was determined to do everything that I could to have a well rounded dog and took her to several dog training classes ( she was extremely motivated by food and was the first to learn any new command) I took her to two agility classes and again she excelled in the class but once again her only reason for doing her tricks was food.
I wanted to get her spayed but was told to wait for one heat so that she would benefit from the hormones.
I was aware of the condition Springer Rage and was hoping that going to a reputable breeder I would not have to worry about this.
Unfortunately when Hailey was about two she began growling at my son. He is grown and would interact with her (play walk etc) more then anyone in our family. This would happen for no apparent reason. He would walk in the room and she would pick her hear up -have that glazed look in her eyes and begin her low growl. He would give her a command to sit or down depending on situation and it was seem to snap her out of this -and next minute she was jumping up on him wagging her tail as if noting had happened. It is quite unconcerning as when she goes into this low growling stance it’ll is like she is possessed and looks like another dog. I feel that she is not able to control this.
I taken her to several different vets with my concerns. They did find that she has Lymes and was treated for this but other then that she checked out OK. No one feels that it is Springer Rage although all the signs seem to point to this. They have diagnoses her with fear aggression.
She is very anxious and is often most comfortable under the kitchen table but she does join us in the living room.
This behavior continues and she now growls at almost everyone. I am concerned as it is getting worse. I am so torn as when she is good she is a loving typical springer but when she gets in those moods she is scary.
I am grateful that she has not bitten anyone but I am scared that I am just on borrowed time.
She was on Prozac for a few days but it made her sick to her stomach so I took her off of it.
I guess that there is no easy fix but maybe someone else may read this and have some more suggestions.

Sep 05, 2011
by: donna

Chester and Ozzy both have a trainer for gun dog training. When they are outside with any of us they are the most obedient dogs in the world, its just at home that he does it. I have actually considered having him castrated but was hoping to find a different solution. As for pack leader like i said they both know im the boss (leader) and do anything i tell them instantly.

Sep 05, 2011
by: Michele

Is there anyone or anything new or different in your home? Sometimes new people or new routines can cause dogs to become upset and protective.

As the others said I would definitely look into some training. Your Springer should behave and respond to every member of your household, not just you. He's the low guy on the totem pole and all people are ahead of him. When he realizes that the growling will probably stop. And as Anna said, sometimes neutering helps.

Look for an obedience class in your area. Your Vet can likely recommmend one to you. If not, see if you have any type of dog club in your area and give them a call. Often dog clubs have obedience training and if they don't they know who does! Stay away from classes given at the pet shop....that's strictly my personal opinion based on some things I saw at the obedience class I took my Springer to.

Do this soon! Dogs that are allowed to growl without discipline usually become more aggressive.

Good luck!

Sep 05, 2011
Get help!
by: Anonymous

I agree - this is a situation where a good trainer can help you restore confidence and order within the pack. the kids and husband have to be part of the leadership or you will not be able to keep your dog and family safe. Best wishes.

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