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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hope it's ok for me to pop back to these boards for some advice.

We got Casper (a springer/red setter cross) as a six month old puppy, he's 10 months now. He's been a dream dog up until now. He has a lovely temperment and learns very quickly. He gets on really well with other dogs and has been great with all the kids that have been in our house as well as our 8 year old son. I was really smugly thinking we have the perfect dog.

Then last weekend we left him for the first time. My sister looked after my son and Casper for the weekend at her house and he was settling in fine. On Saturday, my parents visited and my dad went to pet Casper when they were all out in the garden and Casper snarled at my dad. He knows my dad quite well and my dad wouldn't be a very intimidating person. He had a bone in the garden but it wasn't right next to him. When my dad went to pet him he actually snarled at him (curled lip and a growl). My dad just left him alone, he didnt give out to him.

Once before when we didn't have him very long, he gave a little growl at me one day when I was whooshing him off the couch but I let a roar at him and he's never done it again.

I'm quite concerned as we always have lots of kids in and out of the house. Casper had a bone out the back (bones are his all time favourite thing in life) so I've thrown it in the bin in case a child went near it.

Has anyone any opinion on what this says about Casper?? And is there anything I can do to prevent him from ever doing this again?? We had another dog for 14 years and you could trust her with a newborn baby and while I know no animal can be trusted 100%, I don't want to have to shut Casper up when there are people around.

I'd be grateful for any words of wisdom, and thanks in advance.
 

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It may be that he was not properly socialised at a young age and has not learnt to share properly.It is not unusual that this behaviour has not shown itself until now as he would have been settling in.Now he feels secure in his home that is when the problems will show.
The fact that he did it to you when you asked him to move off the sofa suggests he is a little too possesive of what he thinks is his.
I would suggest maybe taking him back to basics with the training like with ayoung dog giving him food by hand and taking things away from him so he accepts this.
It may well be worth finding a training class and taking him to socialise him and also get some expert advice as this is one thing you do not want to escalate.
Do you have any pictures of him as I would love to see what the cross looks like :D
 

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If this is a one off incident, then I would not worry too much. One of my dogs does it to my dad. Now I ensure when my dad comes over that he gives the dog space and once the dog is ok with him, then my dad will give him a treat. However, I would not allow my dad to walk to the end of the garden without me or my husband, in case he starts barking at him. Training classes are good, but it sounds as though you are concerned about in the house, therefore I'm not sure this will do what you want. If you are concerned consult a behaviourist.

As for shutting Casper out, you will just have to take it as happens. It is hard to predict how a dog will react. As you have already done, I would not allow kids around the dog when there is food/bones/toys.

Don't be disheartened if you have to monitor Casper with people in the house. I have 3 rescue dogs who cannot be trusted with people entirely.

He sounds pretty well socialised if you have a lot of people round. Just ensure he is having enough exercise so that his energy is drained and for now, monitor your dad with him. It is best for your dad and for people to call the dog to them rather than approach it.

Good luck and don;t worry too much x
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks a million for the replies. Casper's really such a good dog with a lovely nature, I was just upset to see a "bad streak" in him. I suppose we just have to watch and see what happens.

He goes to a training class at the moment and is top of the class (proud mother moment!) He learns really quickly and we'll continue with that.

Casper came to us at 6 months old and had lots of exposure to other dogs because he had been to doggy day care a couple of days a week. So he's fantastic with other dogs and his joy in life is a mad run around the park with another dog. However we feel he was never walked because he was afraid of everything outside when we got him first. He's fine now. He's not very interested in people though (I'm comparing him to our previous dog). When someone comes into the house, he'll have a little sniff and then trots out the back or into his bed. He seems great with children which is important to us as there are always LOADS of kids in our house. With new people he can be a little scared and will approach them kind of submissively if that makes sense.

Goodvic, I'm useless at putting photos on the computer but I posted one of him previously on the introductions section so I'll bump that up.

Again, thanks for the advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Actually, goodvic, it's on the thread on this section called "spaniel barking when left alone" and the pic os on page 2.

I forgot he used to bark when we left him, he's totally chilled out now!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And here's a picture of Casper...
Attached Thumbnails

Tried to copy and paste the pic but I don't think it worked.
 

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Thanks a million for the replies. Casper's really such a good dog with a lovely nature, I was just upset to see a "bad streak" in him. I suppose we just have to watch and see what happens.

He goes to a training class at the moment and is top of the class (proud mother moment!) He learns really quickly and we'll continue with that.

Casper came to us at 6 months old and had lots of exposure to other dogs because he had been to doggy day care a couple of days a week. So he's fantastic with other dogs and his joy in life is a mad run around the park with another dog. However we feel he was never walked because he was afraid of everything outside when we got him first. He's fine now. He's not very interested in people though (I'm comparing him to our previous dog). When someone comes into the house, he'll have a little sniff and then trots out the back or into his bed. He seems great with children which is important to us as there are always LOADS of kids in our house. With new people he can be a little scared and will approach them kind of submissively if that makes sense.

Goodvic, I'm useless at putting photos on the computer but I posted one of him previously on the introductions section so I'll bump that up.

Again, thanks for the advice.
No worries, sounds like you have a super dog so you are obviously doing a fab job. I don't agree that dogs have "bad steaks", they are animals and they communicate in their language. Who knows, if he could speak english maybe he would have said to your dad "hey mate, give me a bit of space, I can see you've got your eye on my bone!"

With regards to the way he approaches people, ensure they give him his space. It is very important that a dog is allowed his "sniffing" ritual, without humans trying to engage him or touch him. It is very difficult for a nervous dog to deal with this. They don't understand their intent. How would we feel if somebody came up to us and spoke to us in a language we didn;t understand and started stroking our heads? I'd go mad! :cursing:

Good luck, but if you are in any doubt, call in an expert x
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the kind words, goodvic. You're so right about the space thing now that I think about it. I personally ahave a big "personal space" bubble and it freaks me out when near strangers try to kiss me!! (And as an aside, my son was about 6 when his Granny came home from Spain where she lives and came up to Andrew with arms outsrtetched as if to give him a big hug. I've always told Andrew he doesn't have to kiss or hug anyone he doesn't want to but to be mannerly about it. So when Granny came too close, he shoved out his hand to shake hands instead!!! I was so proud of him for having the courage to say no to the hug when he wan't comfortable about it)....Anyway, I should allow my dog the same personal space.

Thanks again.
 
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