Cocker Spaniel Behaviour

Cocker Spaniel BehaviourUnder normal circumstances, cocker spaniel behaviour is a delight for its owners. Cocker spaniels are widely known to be friendly, gentle and companionable when well-trained. Even the training process is made easier because of the breed’s innate intelligence, which is not surprising considering that it is a working dog.

However, there are instances that even the best cocker spaniels can succumb to what animal scientists call as the rage syndrome. Pet owners are well advised to look for its signs, take appropriate action and make a few hard decisions. Indeed, it is not easy being the leader of a cocker spaniel with its equally stubborn personality.

What It Is

First off, we have to emphasize that such negative cocker spaniel behaviour is a rare disorder although it is a very serious matter. Also, rage syndrome is not unique to cocker spaniels although it does appear that the breed has higher risks for developing it. Within the cocker spaniel breed itself, there are differences in the risk levels.

For example, solid-colored spaniels are more prone to the rage syndrome than their multicolored counterparts. Darker-colored spaniels are at higher risks than the light-colored cockers with the solid orange and black spaniels exhibiting the highest tendency for the behaviour.

It must also be emphasized that the rage syndrome is often misdiagnosed. On one hand, signs of aggression can easily be mistaken for the rage syndrome. On the other hand, the symptoms of rage syndrome can be dismissed as just signs of normal, in a manner of speaking, canine aggression.

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How to Detect

There are many signs that will give away the presence of such dangerous cocker spaniel behaviour. These symptoms include but are not often limited to the following:

  • Sudden attacks with little to no provocation often when the dog awakes from a deep sleep
  • Eyes become glazed and dilated with changes in color during and after the attack
  • Dog becomes alert before the actual attack

After the attack, the dog will often be calm and friendly once again as if nothing has happened. It would appear that the rage syndrome is an uncontrollable episode that the cocker spaniel will have no memory of afterwards.

The time of onset for the rage syndrome varies from one dog to the next. However, studies have pointed out the riskiest periods as at 6, 12 and 24 weeks as well as at 1 and 2 years o age.

It must be emphasized that aggressive cocker spaniel behaviour like barking growling and biting in predictable situations is normal in the sense that a dog will guard its resources and members of its pack. For example, when the dog’s toys and food are being taken away, it is normal for the canine to defend its resources.

Now, when you suspect that the cocker spaniel is having a rage attack, the normal process of giving it firm commands to make it stop will not solve the problem. Instead, you must exit the room and lock the cocker spaniel inside until such time that the rage attack has subsided in a few minutes. Then, you must consult a dog specialist for expert assistance.

Indeed, cocker spaniel behaviour is one of the best in the canine world. It is only when rage attacks become common that serious concern must be poured into controlling the aggression.


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