Why does my English Springer Spaniel not like me?
(Chester County PA)
My English Springer Spaniel is about a year old now. I have owned him since he was 9 weeks.
He started growling at me when he had toys that he really liked. I stopped giving him those toys.
He began to growl at me for what seemed like almost no reason. He now growls at me whenever he feels like it.
If I want to pet him at this point, HE WILL BITE ME. He only acts like this toward me. He is great with other people and other dogs. I live with one other male, and my dog loves my roomate.
My dog also loves by mom, dad, brother, and sister that live a half hour away. I feel like my dog does not like me. He does not want me to touch him most of the time.
He never wants me to cuddle with him. He will kiss me occasionally but he really doesn't seem to like me very much. He listens to what I say, sit, stay, lay down.
He is crate trained, potty trained, even partially gun trained. He is a good dog. But he growls at me, and if I get closer to him as he is growling it gets worse, and he will attack me.
I need help PLEASE.
This is a dominance issue, you are not showing him who is boss so he is showing you he is boss. I will give you a summary of the things you need to do here but the links in the text are to full articles, read them all and live it and you should have no trouble.
The Springer Spaniel Pack Mentality needs to be reinforced
You need to start thinking and acting as the Springer Spaniel Pack Leader
Have no go zones in the house that you control, eg don't let him on the bed or sofa, always sleep higher than him, check out the Springer Sleep Guide that can help you establish yourself as the boss
When you feed him pretend to take food out of his bowl and eat it before you give it to him. By doing this you are sending the message that you control food and space, check out my springer spaniel feeding guide that again can help you establish yourself as the boss
Pack leader Mentality
He needs to defer to you make him think you are the Alpha and the Springer Spaniel Pack Leader there are tips and guidelines in here to help you achieve that. Don't back down when he growls at you, stare back at him and stare him down; he is challenging you and you cannot back down. Its the same with the toys if he growls continue to take it away, you are the boss you can take anything from him
Is he Castrated?
You may want to consider this as it will reduce and dominance aggression behavior.
How much exercise is he getting? Is he off the lead? If you are walking him off the lead (ie in his language going for a hunt) it will reinforce the bond between you. Try swimming with him, Springers love to swim and retrieve balls and will love you for throwing the ball for him.
How is his diet? Try and put him on a hypoallergenic food as this can really calm down a Springer. I see you are stateside I have some recommendations on my dog food page to help you
Let us know how you get on, and if we can help you out any more. Good luck
Return to Love Springer Spaniels FAQsReturn to Love Springer Spaniels Homepage