English Springer Spaniel Growling and Snapping at 3 year olds

English Springer Spaniel Growling and Snapping at 3 year olds

by Tamara
(Durham, NC)

My sister-in-law’s English Springer Spaniel is not only growling and snapping at the adults in the house, but also at the two 3 year olds in the house as well. I have tried everything I know how to do, due to having been training since I was 13 years old, and nothing seems to work. When I found the one thing that worked, separating him from the rest of the “pack”, my sister-in-law immediately let him out and started to feed him treats. To me this is just reinforcing the bad behavior. If anyone has any tips or ideas on how to fix this problem, whether it be re-homing him, putting him down, or continuing to try to work with him any advice would be helpful. What would also help is if a certified vet or vet tech responded, due to the fact that my sister-in-law can not deny that a vet knows what they are talking about. I have attached a picture of Charlie. I do believe he is around 3-4 years old.

Our Response


Hi and thanks for your question – I do believe that all dogs can be cured of behavior problems – but I do understand that you are having some problems that really need to be fixed and fast especially due to your dog also snapping at the children too. For this reason I am uncomfortable giving you a list of ways to solve this problem without actually seeing Charlie exhibiting this negative behavior. I would advise you (and do this straight away) contact a canine behavior expert who can observe your dog behave and will be able to correct the negative behavior as it happens – something I am not able to do. Pleas also get your dog checked out for any medical problems as older dogs sometimes get snappy when they are ill especially when they have arthritis.

I really hope you get this problem sorted but do get on the phone to a canine behavior expert after you have had Charlie checked out by a vet.

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