Vol. 2 No. 3 (2016)
Case Report

Aggressive behavior in a cocker spaniel

Published 2016-12-22


  • dog,
  • aggression,
  • clomipramine


A fawn cocker spaniel, male, 2 years old, was subjected to behavioral counseling as he presented aggression towards owners and other dogs, especially male.

According to the French school, the symptoms presented by the subject can be traced back to a form of sociopathy with the presence of a strong disturbance of intra- and inter-specific communication.

Given the episodes of biting, therapy with Clomipramine (2 mg / kg / day) for 5 months was established, in addition to 2 months necessary for weaning from the medication. The use of Dog Appeasing Pheromone, with collar worn for 6 months was prescribed.

The behavioral modification therapy initially focused on the proper management of resources by providing adequate information to owners about it.

Aggression is one of the most frequently reported behavioral problems referred to veterinary behaviorist and requires careful management for the serious physical and psychological consequences that may result in bites. If the first effort of the veterinarian should be to ensure the safety of people who are in contact with the dog, the protection of animal welfare is not less important. In fact, a dog presenting an aggressive behavior towards co-specifics or, especially, towards the owner, must receive careful clinical and behavioral assessment to identify the cause, accompanied by a thorough risk analysis.

An urgent action is therefore necessary to ensure the welfare and to prevent any worsening of symptoms resulting in exclusion from the family. In fact, an aggressive dog will often be confined in small spaces and can not share with the owner many opportunities for social life. Immediate action is also requested by the instrumentalisation of the aggressive behavior that is very frequent and dangerous.