Aggressive behavior in the English cocker spaniel

Marta Amat, Xavier Manteca, Valentina M. Mariotti, José Luís Ruiz de la Torre, Jaume Fatjó

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


A high percentage of aggression problems and a tendency to display noninhibited aggression in the English cocker spaniel (ECS) have been suggested by many authors. The authors of this paper designed a retrospective study to analyze the aggressive behavior of 145 ECSs presented for aggression problems to the Animal Behavior Service at the Barcelona School of Veterinary Medicine's veterinary teaching hospital. Aggressive ECSs were compared with a population of dogs of the same breed presented for a behavior problem other than aggression and with a population of aggressive dogs of other breeds. The most common forms of aggression in the ECS were owner-directed aggression (67.6%), aggression toward unfamiliar people (18.4%), aggression toward unfamiliar dogs (10.1%), and aggression toward family dogs (3.3%).Owner-directed aggression was more common in the ECS than in other breeds, although in similar contexts. In the ECS, the golden coat color was more common in the aggressive dogs than in nonaggressive dogs. ECSs showed impulsive aggression more frequently than aggressive dogs of other breeds. The aim of the study was to analyze cases of aggressive ECSs seen in a referral practice. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-117
JournalJournal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2009


  • aggression
  • behavior
  • dog
  • English cocker spaniel
  • impulsiveness


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