English Springer Spaniel Question

We have had a very difficult time with dominance aggression in our male springer. It started to...


We have had a very difficult time with dominance aggression in our male springer. It started to become a problem around the age of 3 and by 7 he was dangerous. I wonder if we did not train him well enough. Although, when he could be an excellent dog. We really want another springer but I am very concerned about that. We have found a breeder who says she has not had aggression in her dogs. Is that possible? Any suggestions?

    In English Springer Spaniel - Asked by Anonymous - 12/17/2010 8:56:56 AM
I know what your talking about. I have had English Springer Spaniels for twenty one years. First, thing you must know is every dog is different. However, that does not mean they cannot learn a bad habit. My English is a character that loves to lay on freshly folded laundry. Anyway, He is also a very dominant dog. Your likely to have the issue on who runs the house. For instance, some of my family members will give the dog attention right when we get in the front door. I urge them not too. Dogs are pack animals if the dog is the center of attention they think that their the boss. I don't know your dog, but my first was calm and easy going. My second, is still a little wild at age nine trying always to get attention.
    Answered by Anonymous - 2/5/2011 2:55:44 AM


I recommend making the dog not the center of attention. Training or retaining might be necessary. In fact, with this breed it is best to train asap. As for the aggression that becoming a problem with this breed due to an aggressive Champion being over breed. Eventually, that Champion was breed so much the breed is littered with a gene that has a bad temperament. Please note, I love English Springer Spaniels, however, this gene has been labeled as Springer rage. My second dog has this and it does not come often but when it does, his personality completely changes. This change is in a matter of seconds and for my dog it is usually brought on by the need to protect their owner. A simple playful shove puts my dog on edge.
    Answered by Anonymous - 2/5/2011 2:56:34 AM


This breed is very sensitive to the family. My first dog which was calm is would get very upset and begin to cry if the family got upset. I sure you know this; however. with dog that has springer rage they will not just get upset but will protect by trying to break up a game of ruff housing. Lastly, the breeder I don't trust them. Remember they want to sell you a puppy. If they say their line has aggression. Then will be labeled with springer rage. If you want another I would suggest a female because you have a male. Although, a puppy might be to much for an middle age Springer. I have had two Springers and a family friend had another. Not one of them likes young puppies when their middle age. My first dog would run and hide. My second dog would boss the puppy around. (note both were male). My family friends English Springer would nip at a my first dog because she was five years older and could not be bothered with him.
    Answered by Anonymous - 2/5/2011 2:57:01 AM


My last thing I have to tell you is just because this aggression might be springer rage, Do not let the articles scare you. Learn what might set off you dog and try to avoid them. Like ruff housing is out of the question with my second dog. English Springer Spaniels are wonderful dogs with tons of energy and are get family pets. I told you about my two Spingers and my family friend even though the in their middle age years and their adult years were not fond of younger dogs they never once turned on a child.
    Answered by Anonymous - 2/5/2011 3:06:57 AM


I also had a an aggressive Springer. He was the alpha of his litter and had a hard time believing he was no longer top dog. He was sure my wife and daughter were lowering ranking and I was a struggle for him to take the lead on. It took incredible patience, neutering and crating to realign his understanding of who was the boss. He never totally accepted my wife as some one who could tell him what to do, he would listen and do as told but reluctantly. In the end he was no longer threatening to anyone in the family and was a great dog overall. In the end get professional help and neuter if applicable. submitted as a non professional.
    Answered by Anonymous - 4/22/2011 10:42:18 PM


My five year old male started biting me a year ago. I got him as a pup. Have had Springers for thirty years and love them but this dog got more and more aggressive to me and my other dog a Saint Bernard female who is very sweet. I had a breeder tell me about Springer rage but didn't think much of it until my Springer became so dangerous I had to have him put to sleep. Heartbreaking because Golly was my baby and I adored him. I will never own another Springer. It is too painful to see a dog descend into madness.
    Answered by Anonymous - 4/27/2011 1:41:26 AM


I'm not sure if I buy into the "Springer Rage" syndrome. I see a lot of stories, but no scientific studies. It seems like more of an issue with poor socialization and a need for training. Any dog can have these issues if they are not well socialized to strangers and other dogs as a puppy and provided with consistent obedience training and attention. I've read about this in Cocker Spaniels and some people say that one color is more prone to it than another. I'd like to see a scientific study to see if it is really a genetic trait vs behavioral. If it is genetic, then the only way to stop passing it on is to spay/neuter your dogs and stop breeding Springers and Cockers.
    Answered by Anonymous - 4/28/2011 12:10:32 PM


During obedience training, Springers become the star student. But after 3 weeks (and this is common in most dogs), they wonder if we are really serious about all this control stuff, and they test us....they may snarl or growl. In that moment, the rest of the dog's life is in your hands. Fail to immediately make him understand who is boss, and it may take years to undo the agressive behavior. Dog's aren't vicious...people let them be vicious.
    Answered by Anonymous - 11/18/2011 7:41:06 PM