An issue that can become a real nuisance, is Spaniel rage. Spaniel rage is a problem that can become quite a nuisance. The “rage syndrome” isn’t very common amongst Cocker Spaniels since they are a people friendly breed. They have an instinctive desire to please their masters, as they were originally bred as hunting dogs. They will give it their best to follow your command. You can train them to be obedient, but you’ll need a little patience. There are however, certain instances, where some dogs show signs of aggression and rage. Spaniel rage is a really strong term that implies a violent, maniacal reaction. Territorial behavior, dominance, and possessiveness are generally the reason dogs exhibit aggression.
Spaniel rage can be due to certain reasons. Perhaps cruelty is something your Spaniel faced as a little puppy. It could be due to the simple fact that he wasn’t trained properly as a young pup. Socializing with other animals and humans is imperative as part of their grooming. He could have a health problem and he could be in pain. Those are just a few of the reasons why a dog could show aggression.
It is important not to take a puppy away from his litter too soon. It is during that time that they learn the basics of socializing. They learn to live with other dogs and not to resort to biting. Even when you bring a puppy home, you have to teach him socializing skills so he doesn’t end up showing aggression towards your guests or the neighbors cat. When you take him out, do not let people approach the dog. He may consider it as a threat; rather, let him feel relaxed enough to approach them on his own.
Dogs are pack animals; and it’s important to remember that. In every pack, there is an alpha dog, or dominant one who is the leader. This helps things move smoothly in the pack. In the same way, you must assert dominance in the household. You must take on the role of the alpha dog, otherwise, your dog will be out of control. If he senses you are weak, he will start dominating you. With this kind of dominance, it could soon turn into aggression when he doesn’t get what he wants when he wants it..
Show dogs show an extreme form of this rage. These dogs are chosen and trained for shows and competitions. They need to be tough to handle all the pressure, so by nature these dogs are dominate and aggressive. Their owners know how to handle them.. However, when their offspring are taken into normal households, it can cause some problems, as the owner is unable to handle such assertiveness. Needless to say it is important you make all kinds of inquiries from the breeder about the dogs lineage.
Spaniel rage is controllable, you just have to be on the lookout for any signs of aggression. If the aggression is related to space, food, or ownership, then you can handle it by exerting dominance over your Spaniel. The alpha dogs orders are to be obeyed, and YOU need to be the alpha dog. You should however, seek professional help if the aggression is toward other family members, especially a child.
You should consult a behaviorist who can help you tackle this issue. By nature, Cocker Spaniels are a really friendly breed. However, if you do experience some episodes of Spaniel rage, do not fret, because help is at hand.