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jbell1981

Need Some Advise

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jbell1981

I have a 2 year old springer spaniel (Max) who has always been aggressive toward kids around food. It has always sort of a rule that when he is eating the kids are to leave him alone. Now he has been getting more agrresive when we are eating. It started out as him growling while the kids were eating snacks or whatever, but now he has been guarding the people food and nipping. Today while the kids were eating popcorn that was in a bowl on the floor he decided to guard the popcorn and not let our kids near it. When my oldest son (about 6) reached in towards the popcorn he bite him on the hand. It was a pretty bad bite that drew lots of blood. My son is fine now and Max is confined to the back yard and his kennel.

This behavior seems like it is getting steadily worse with him. Is there any way to stop or correct this aggresion around food? Right now I feel like the best thing to do is to try and find a new home for him that doesn't have children. My kids come first and I just worry about if this happened again or if it happened to my one year old she propbably wouldn't have much of a hand left.

Thanks for any advise.

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slotlimit

If you read the comments on Dog Bite you would know where I stand. If it was me and I'm in no way telling you what to do. IMO I would have been digging a hole five minutes later. Why give the dog to someone else? So they can get bit? I'm also sure someone might say "does your dog still have his wedding tackle?" If you take care of that he might become less aggressive. That is a big might....are you willing to take the chance?

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cw642

I agree with Slot. Don't give an agressive dog away. What if the neighbors kid wanders over to the new owners house? Then they get sued and in return they sue you. "Out of sight out of mind" is ok, untill the day you hear that the dog you gave away bites or even kills another child.

I have two kids under 4yrs old. I know what I would do. I don't think telling them that the dog went to someone elses home is much easier than telling them he died. If that is a factor just don't tell them you had to put him down. I do believe dogs are mans best friend, but if your best friend did something to hurt you child would you still be friends with them? The choice is yours, but please don't drive it out to the country and dump it. The last thing a person needs is a stray that has a problem with biting kids.

One more thing Contact the kennel you purchased it from. They need to know what is going on with thier breedings. Feedback like that may help a kennel avoid future problems.

CW

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jigging-matt

Slot, I agree with you 100 percent on this one. This is completely different from the dog bite forum. I just took my pup to the Vet and he was happy it wasn't a springer. He stated he is seeing some bad breeding lately. Now don't get me wrong I had a springer growing up and love the breed. confused.gif

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jbell1981

He is only agressive around food. To me putting him down seems a little harsh.

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slotlimit

You probably won't think it's harsh when the next time he bites your kid in the face and scars him/her for life. When he bites the neighbor kid and you are out everything you own. I do believe you when yo say your kids come first (what good father would say anything else) but I would put this dog down. I would also bet the 6 year old who got bit is scared of this dog and would be glad to get rid of him. He's probably scared of dogs in general. Go do your homework on a new hunting dog then let your son pick out the dog. If your not going to get rid of the dog here is some advise. With no one around just you and the dog. Buy a shock collar and turn it on high enough to stop the behavior. Give him some food and start to take it away. When he starts to show agression hit him. Keep doing it until he remains calm. Maybe the Dog Whisperer would make a house call? confused.gif

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ilbfishn

Do not use a shock collar to deter aggressive behavior. It won't solve anything. He needs to know that YOU are in control, and YOU will have to handle him accordingly!

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slotlimit

I would also agree that you have to show the dog that all humans are the leader of the pack and then the dog. I have never delt with an aggressive dog like this but have cured many negative behaviors with a shock collar. Maybe you have tried using a collar and it didn't work but just telling me not to use it without some meat to back it up doesn't make me believe it's the correct path. I would have burried this dog a long time ago but I don't think this guy is going to do so. So now my concern is the kids. First I would never let the dog out of the kennel when it's more then just me outside. I also would never let this dog out of the kennel without a shock collar on. So that way if the dog shows any aggressive behavior to someone walking by or to me I could stop it with the push of a button. Is this the best method....maybe not but at least I could probably prevent another bite as long as I don't EVER let the dog out of my site and have my finger on the button at all times with the collar on high enough to stop him in his tracks.

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Bobby Bass

This is going to sound harsh- A dog that you are having problems with in regards to food is a problem waiting to happen. This type of attitude should have been address and corrected when it was a puppy. I would not keep this dog around if I had kids. They will get bitten. I would not give this dog to the pound as it will fail the bite test. The pound checks all dogs for aggressiveness around food. Your only choice is to make this a kennel dog or find someone with out kids to take him and advise them it has a problem. I have had many dogs over the years and this was something we worked on, same with our litters. Luckily we had only one dog who we could not break. I would move on and find another dog for your kids to enjoy and be safe with. I know easier said then done, good luck.

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slotlimit

So how did you correct it as a puppy? What age was the pup?

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Bobby Bass

As soon as puppies are being weened you work on taking away food from them when they are eating. Also watch who in a litter is the bully. Head of the pack approach works well where you are the dominant animal at the food bowl. A rap on the nose and scolding worked for me. Has to be reinforced at every feeding. Also hand feeding makes them patient. I always have had a community food bowl and up to 4 adult dogs take their turns at feeding. It actually gets funny at times as they eat MN nice and will sit and wait for the others to take there turn.

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LABS4ME

I too, will weigh in by saying this; 'there is no way that I would keep this dog around my kids'. There is also no chance I will give the dog to anyone else... frown.gif

I've twice seen friends dogs evolve from a 'growl' to a 'snap' to 'biting a hand' to one 'biting their kids face'. That one was put down after that incident. The other was relegated to a kennel where he just became an all around (Contact Us Please) of a dog. I wouldn't hunt with him ever again.

The collar recommendation would not be the route to take. Frying the dog when he's in the act of aggression may only make him become more violent in order for him to try and protect himself. He will not correlate the pain with stopping biting... it may actually increase it. I've seen "pros" light up dogs during the 'force' (who have NO agressive traits) with a collar and some of them will snap at their hands. It is pain and unfortunatley one of the reflexes to pain, is to bite...

Good Luck!

Ken

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ReelTimes

I agree you can help prevent this at an early age when the dog is a pup but sometimes it can also be programmed in their genes. I had a NAFC Topbrass Cotton pup (golden) many years ago that was very agressive around food. Cotton produced alot of great dogs and it wasn't his tendency to throw aggressive pups but mine had these tendencies despite working with him as a pup. Since we had young kids, I had to get rid of the dog and I ended up going into co-ownership with a professional trainer who ran him in field trials, and the dog was a kennel dog. It worked out fine and we didn't breed the dog. I guess it depends upon the degree of agression but certainly he shouldn't be around kids given the history. I don't think the collar will work from my past experience in seeing it used to curb agression. You may have to put the dog down unless you can find a similar arrangement where someone wants to keep her isolated and only as a kennel dog.

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slotlimit

Now that is the kind of meat that makes sense. I probably wouldn't use a collar now for correcting aggressive behavior. But in response to the people having a dog just so it can be in a kennel the rest of its life IMO is worse then putting it down.

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ilbfishn

My concern is that you can't control his respose with shock collar, he could react a couple different ways. You have to remember, this is obviously an agressive dog with a dominance issue. It "might" correct the problem or he could snap, become even more aggressive and lash out.

I would seriously consider putting this dog down. If you're not comfortable or committed to getting a real good handle on this, it WILL happen again. Next time it might be worse. Tough decision, but this can't go unchecked!

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Eric Wettschreck

I'll try to be straight out and not sugar coat it. The dog is a biter and it needs to be put down.

Brutally straight forward, but that's the way it is.

Good luck in your decision. It's not an easy one.

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slotlimit

I guess if it "might" correct the problem I "might" give it a try. If the dog does lash out more you can turn the collar up high enough to drop the dog to the ground. I would always have some type of leash on the dog. What I'm thinking is if this guy is keeping the dog and he is out in the yrad playing and the dog sees someone walking by with a steak popsickle. The dog get loose and takes off after that person. You could hit the collar and drop that dog in its tracks until you get the situation back under control. Again I say I would never take this chance.

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slotlimit

Bobby,

Thanks for that information. I have never done that with any of my previous dogs but I will make sure to do that on the next one. My 2 year old will take my 1 year old GSP male's bones away and throw them like a game. After reading this guys situation I'm sure glad I don't have this problem.

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Fishingqueen
Its for sure not good that he's biting the children. I would put the dog outside in the kennel whenever you are going to eat. Have the house rule be: no eating food unless the dog is outside. If he is fine the rest of the time, I hate to see you put down a family pet whom you love. If it's too hard to have the dog inside cause kids want to snack all the time, can you have him be an outside dog?

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Jameson

My advise is to put this dog down. Sorry, I realize it is a very harsh thing to do. The dog has been trained poorly, and with it now being 2 years old, IMO is too big of a risk to try to train correctly. Restricting this dog and hoping it doesn't bite again is a very poor option.

One of my current dogs did growl at me once near his food. He was an 8 week old pup. He is a fast learner, it was the last time he growled at me. He happens to be a Lab-SPRINGER mutt, now almost 4 years old.

Their is a very very good chance that your next pup will growl at you or your kids around the food bowl. If this happens, make sure your pup knows it is not acceptable the very first time he does it.

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springerspeed

I to am in the camp that the dog needs to be put down. It will save you all kinds of worring about when he/she will bite again.

As a side note, I would contact the breeder and let them know of the situation and your intentions with the dog. I know as a breeder I want to hear how my breeding stock is doing with new owners. I use this information when I am considering future breedings.

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