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My sister has a Cocker spaniels which has problems with aggression.

She often snaps, barks and growls at people, especially in certain situations, especially at night, or when the dog feels sensitive. She doesn't need to know who it is, for example when in my sisters room she will bark and growl at anyone coming down the stairs when she can't see them or know who it is.

She has bitten others before, my little sister (7 years), and my dog.
She has never bitten an adult.

This dog has the most issues with my dog, and seems to have a lot of wish for control over him. If he does anything "disrespectful" to her, she will put him in his place, often through intimidation.
Usually its just a sharp look at my dog which causes him to roll on the floor and show her his belly
But other times if he gets too "disrespectful" to her she gets stiff and sensitive, even attacking him if he does something rude like get too close to her without her consent.

She is obviously not afraid of him, that much is clear. She is not protective over anything when she hurts him. She is not really dog aggressive or reactive in general, and doesn't react to him in most situations, or any dog really unless they get on her nerves.
He is the softest, weakest thing in the household in terms of personality.

My little sister she has bitten, but it has been a single bite as opposed to an attack like she has done on my dog. It was usually from her surprising the dog such as opening a door the dog was near(ish) to.

She has some guarding behaviors around items, such as her food bowl (when empty as well), people, space, etc.
I have managed to work with her to help her stop reacting to me when in her crate, and could probably do the same to stop her from getting reactive especially towards the end of the day, but the problem is I am not allowed to work with her.

My Mum has given my sister instructions, and what they do is whenever the dog reacts, they will yell at her and shut her in a different room.
Obviously doesn't work.

They have used treats before, but it really doesn't help matters. She will not react when they carry a treat, but will react to others near her, especially my dog.
It didn't help at all when trying for people to feed her a treat when they go near her. They kept at it for a while, a couple of months, but it didn't do a thing for the aggression. Not even a slight improvement.

There is a situation where giving treats did help was back a while ago I taught her that when my dog gets a treat, so does she, and it quickly stopped her aggression towards him with treats on the floor. This was taught very quickly in less than 30 minutes while my sister was away. Of course, this only applies to training time with both dogs since that was when it was trained, but it has saved a lot.

I have used a method where I gave a treat when she stopped showing threat signs, and that somehow very quickly made the reaction come a lot sooner and stronger every time I repeated it. It basically made things worse.
I am not sure why, but it worked better when I gave calm, gentle affection (such as a quiet soft scratch under the chin and a quiet "good girl") instead of a treat when she began to calm down a little, and once she has calmed down, she is completely fine.

The steps before the growling are very subtle, such as staring, stiffening up, going quiet, etc. Sometimes the growl is very soft as well, and often the time between a growl and a bite is very short.

She has no growl inhibition either, so its not as though she has stopped giving warning signals due to the reaction she gets if she does, just that some situations the warning is a lot less than others. In the crate for example, there is a lot of growling and far less actual action (though recently it has been improving a lot, with less growling, stiffening and stressed behaviors), but with my dog she barely growls at all before reacting, and often I have to notice simply by a stare or stiffen, and perhaps a change to the top of the nose if I am lucky. My dog tries to notice, but often he can't help but try and sniff her. He knows not to touch her belongings (and is afraid to), and shows her consistently that he is not threatening her (such as turning heads away, tail low, collapsing on the floor and showing the belly while licking his lips), but he just can't help but to use his nose. Even if its not in her, but on a table or something, she just can't stand it.

I also get the feeling that my sister cannot be bothered to train her and wants to avoid the aggression issue all together and act like it doesn't exist. She can't be bothered to actually train the dog, and instead resorts to yelling and dragging the dog away from the situation, while blaming the person the dog was reacting to.
As well as excuses such as "having no time to train her". My mum likes to blame my sister for everything, despite the fact my mum has authority to train her too.

I am not looking for insults to how its been handled so much, as there is a lot of conflict in the house of how it should be handled.
These problems don't happen often, and the dog usually has a muzzle on, or is in her crate, but the problems outside the crate won't be going away soon. She is rarely around my dog also.

I am not sure though exactly what the best way to handle it is. We have had a trainer in before who wasn't too helpful, and my sister didn't really stick to what he taught anyway (but she is a grumpy teenager who just wants to pretend the problem doesn't exist), and I reckon my family would be unwilling to invite another trainer in at all.
Really, my sister sees her dog as a cute baby and she only wants to do fun things with the dog like cuddling and playing. I reckon the irony would be if my dog did the same to her dog, she would not stand for it.

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Unfortunately, if she's not willing to train the dog there's not much to do.

The way her and your mother are reacting won't help matters, though.

I'd go to a vet and make sure there's nothing going on....Cockers can be prone to some funky neurological issues.

Cockers can be quite insecure dogs and some of them can be downright snarky. I have one that was rescued from a hoarder....he's insecure and massively fearful but I count my blessings daily he's not truly a mean dog.

I'd get a positive trainer or behaviorist in there if possible as it sounds like there are a lot of issues going on, but your family would have to agree.

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This will help with the resource guarding but EVERYONE in your house is going to have to practice with her and be on board with the training.

For your little sister I'd teach the dog a go to place command and once she's good with it, have your little sister start working with the dog with it. When y'all both can get the dog to move on cue your little sister should be able to use the cue to get the dog to move, and keep the dog from startling and biting her. Here's instructions on how to do it. 5 Steps to Train Your Dog to “Go to Place” | Karen Pryor Clicker Training Remember when using treats you want to keep them hidden so that the dog does not need to see them to obey the cue. Also if you are going to try clicker or marker training you first need to teach the dog that the word (marker) or sound (clicker) means that it's going to get a yummy treat. To do that say the word, or click the clicker and then immediately give the dog the treat, do that 10 or so times in a row, then when the dog isn't watching try saying the word or clicking and see if the dog responds. If it does then it's learned the lesson, if it doesn't you need to do another round of clicking and treating.

When using treats to work with her issues, timing is everything. The reason that she's getting worse when you used the treats is because you waited to give them to her. I know it seems like the right thing to do, and I've made the mistake myself in the past, but it's wrong. She likely got quiet because whatever she was upset about stopped or went away so she thought that her barking and growling worked to get them to go away, then you started giving her treats as soon as she stopped so she learned not only did her bark and growl work, but it also got her a nice treat. To use them properly you need to give it to her right when she spots the thing that starts the barking, so that she learns that the appearance of the thing gets her treats, then once the thing is gone for a second or two stop the treats. That way she learns that the thing gets her treats and when it's gone the treats stop, she does not need to be upset about the thing. It causes good things to happen to her so why try and scare it off by barking and growling?

Keep her separate from your dog.

I do think that with all the issues y'all have going on with the dog that hiring a good behaviorist is the best way to go.
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