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I have a Springer Spaniel, that is going on 5 years in June. She has always been a loving dog, and never had any issues other dogs.

The past few months, she has started being aggressive towards other dogs. She lunges, and tries to bite other dogs, and snarls at them.

She is up to date on all her shots, etc... She IS on estrogen pills, as she was urinating in her sleep, because she was really relaxed. She has also been going to doggy daycare, 3 days a week, as she has a lot of energy.

I don’t want my dog to be known as the bully of the neighbourhood.
 

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Whenever there is a change like this, a full vet check is always recommended.

If that comes back clear, I wonder if she is enjoying daycare as much as you think. It can be a very intense environment that many dogs find overwhelming. If her stress is building there, and keeps getting topped up, it will take less and less to tip her over the edge.

Can you try a couple of weeks with no daycare, and no other dogs, to see if her stress levels reduce? For using her energy, try scent work or trick training, tiring her brain is just as good if not better than physical exercise.

Also, for the lunging and snapping, she will have an invisible radius of space around her where she feels secure. It's called flight distance, anything within that space triggers her fight or flight stress response, which you may have heard of. Find out what that is and keep her far enough away from other dogs that she is aware of them, but relaxed. Your goal is to train that she doesn't need to react; not to stop a reaction in progress.

Reward her for being calm with something fabulous, like frankfurter sausage or a very special toy. The aim of this is to change your dog’s emotional response to the stressful thing (the other dog) by repeatedly pairing it with something good. In time, your dog will learn that scary dogs mean sausages appear and this creates something called a positive conditioned emotional response (+CER).

This website explains it in more detail - Care for Reactive Dogs

Gradually, you can work on reducing the distance. This may mean you have to be selective where you walk - choose places with good visibility so you can give other dogs a wide berth, or where you can turn and walk away easily. But - be aware that if your dog has had a stressful episode the stress hormone cortisol can stay in the body for some time. Studies in dogs are inconclusive but it may be several days. The distance she was comfortable with on one day might be too close on another day. So the safe distance can change, watch her body language.

Alongside that you could train a 'watch me'. As your dog looks at you, mark and reward the behaviour. Ask for longer periods of watching. Then if a dog approaches, after you have worked on the distance issue, you can get your dog to focus on you and not the other dog. BUT - some dogs find this scary as they cannot see the thing they are anxious about so you need to judge your dog. And importantly, don't ask your dog to watch you if it is the other dog that is reactive. Your dog should never be in a situation where she could be at risk while she is complying with something you have asked her to do.

Trainers describe behaviour like this with reference to the three Ds. Distance, as above but also be aware of Duration - your dog might be tolerant for 10 seconds, but not 15; and Distraction - how distracting the stimulus is, a calm dog might not trigger any reaction at a given distance but a bouncy one might.

In addition, the conformation (shape) or even colour of some dogs can trigger a reaction. Very broad fronted dogs (such as mastiffs or bulldogs) create the impression of 'facing up' just because of their shape, which can be intimidating even if their temperament is perfect. And black dogs are thought to have facial body language that is harder to read. Some dogs will be more reactive to un-neutered males, or particular breeds for no apparent reason. Learn what triggers reactions in your dog so that you can give her the extra support she needs.
 

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I agree, I really don't think my pup would enjoy doggy day care. I think even puppy classes was too much for him at the time. We can't see what happens at day care, could be some of the other dogs were not so socially adapt and she had a bad experience.
 

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Thank you for the responses.

we have talked to her vet about her aggression. She said to make sure we are not all up in her face, or trying to scare her.

At day care, they tell me that she is really close to the workers. They also said that she likes to sit on the lap of the girl working, but if another dog comes close, and she gets snippy, the worker will push her off of her lap, and set her down to let her know it’s not accep.

I went out today, and boys soft muzzle, as well as a face harness, and some special treats, and am going to work on training her the rights and wrongs of what’s she’s doing.

like I said, this behaviour is very new, and I want to get ahead of it before it gets worse.
 

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and boys soft muzzle
If you mean you bought a fabric muzzle, please be aware they should not be used for anything other than minutes for vet treatment or grooming, as they don't allow the dog to pant properly.

If you want her to use a muzzle please get a basket muzzle, and you might find this video helpful for training it.

 
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