Hello everyone.. I have been wanting to write a longer more exciting post but something happened yesterday that prevented that plan. So here is a short post summing it up: Our dog Strider had an unforeseen but dangerous problem. The other day ago he learned to open the cabinet that held our trash. He grabbed a tin foil "ball" that had I think an onion or something in it. Anyways, like we've been trying to teach him with other things we tried to get it back and wanted to give him a toy or something instead. His mouth was clamped shut though so it was very very difficult to remove and when we did he still had a few small pieces in his mouth. Naturally as that wasn't very safe for him (chocking or possibility of intestinal blockage if he swallowed) I made him get in his cage (we were doing some crate training) and proceeded to reach in to get the other bits. His response? He literally curled his lip up and snarled at me. I was surprised and scared and shouted for my husband and when we got the pieces back I kept the door shut on his cage and let him know that wasn't ok.
Then YESTERDAY something even worse happened. When we were in the computer "den" and I was heating up some hotdogs he reached up on the kitchen counter and grabbed the package of hotdogs from the counter. We tried to get it back but he proceeded to run to his cage and when I reached in he snarled again. I got out quickly--he was nothing to trifle with and I shut the cage door. When my husband came in the room to help get them back he wouldn't' let you near the cage--if you touched it he snarled, barked angrily growled and bared his teeth. He was in utter attack mode! It continued for about 5 or 10 (probably 10) minutes before we went in the other room to get him to simmer down. In the process he punctured the metal handle of a broomstick (we wanted to get the package from him through the cage) didn't respond to water thrown at him or anything. He calmed down a bit after that and seemed himself but after dinner he somehow got the hotdog bags again (my husband said he thinks they were in the trash and we tried to make that unaccessable) and did it again--except this time we couldn't even latch his cage doors he was so dangerous. We went to the other room to once again let him simmer down but THEN--and this was the last thing--he came out when he consumed his "prize" and grabbed his treat container off the kitchen table and when we walked into the living room not even close to him he snarled and growled at us again! We couldn't' get ANYWHERE near him! It was unbelievable-- if we were close enough to get near his teeth he'd take us down and serious stitches would have been needed if not more.
Anyways I loved that dog. Strider was good overall but we looked up English Springer Spaniels and though they can be the "perfect dog" (which is why we got him) because they are supposed to be good with kids, other animals and very trainable, some Springers have this issue with dominance aggression. If he just growled or did something less we wouldn't' have given him back but we had to make the tough and very sad decision to return him to the SPCA today after only being with us about 2 weeks. It certainly isn't an option we had any desire for--he was such a loving dog but it sounds like it can be serious among this breed sometimes and hard to deal with and we can't have him unpredictably bite someone else nor do I have the skills and know-how to deal with that serious of aggression. If you have ever seen a police German Shepherd do an attack drill--it was just as vicious looking as that, which is especially hard since the rest of the time he was such a loving sweetie. We plan to get another dog sometime but it'll be quite some time until then due to the fact we want a younger one and both of us work.
Anyways that's all for now. It has been one rough day and both of us ended up shedding some tears here and there... I'll post a more happy post soon but not tonight.