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Categories: Dog Bites

Q. I have a problem with a friend's dog and I don't know what to do about it. I am wondering if you could give me advice or direction on what to do.
Dear Mr. Frawley,

I have a problem with a friend's dog and I don't know what to do about it. I am wondering if you could give me advice or direction on what to do.

This may be a little long, so I apologize now if it is. I have been with my boyfriend for almost three years and have known him for five. His family has a Springer Spaniel. I have never liked that dog. The first time I walked through that door, his dog showed his teeth and growled the whole time. Nobody did anything. He greets me at the door now but I can't touch him, his toys, or sit on the couch when he is in the room. Sitting next to my boyfriend, or anyone else, is also out of the question as far as the dog is concerned. He came from an abused past. When they got him at the age of 3 (shortly before I met the family) he bit everybody in the family, even drawing blood. Why they kept him is beyond me. I have been bitten three times, just by walking by, and snapped/lunged at several times. I would tell myself "If I get snapped at today, I'll smack him" but when it happens, I'm too shaken up and scared to even want to attempt that. The family doesn't punish or correct the dog when he displays aggressive behavior. They yell "Lay down!" or "No!" but ten minutes later, the dog is being petted and let on the couch. I don't think they realize how dominant or aggressive this dog really is. If he wants a treat, all he has to do is bark at somebody or put his legs up on them. They think it's cute when he does this. I don't. This summer, I said hi to the dog as I walked by and he snapped at me. What did my boyfriend's sister do? She asked if the DOG was okay. Didn't say a WORD about me. Didn't say ANYTHING to correct the dog. In fact, she tried to comfort him. My boyfriend is starting to wonder why I don't go over to his house anymore. NO ONE corrects the dog. NO ONE defends me from the dog except my boyfriend, but all he does is yell at him and is done with it. What do I do? They aren't doing anything about this dog's problems and they have had him for six years! None of them have put him on his back because "he doesn't like it."

Note: I can not "alpha roll" this dog no matter how many people tell me I should do this. I am only 5' tall with a small body structure. The dog weighs a little less than half of what I weigh. If I "alpha roll" this dog, I will get bit and will more than likely end up in the hospital. I love my boyfriend and I love his family, I really do. But I am so tired of the dog and nobody dealing with the problem. Is there anything I could do? It's not just my safety I'm worried about, it's anybody that doesn't know the dog that decides to pet him when they walk by the house (they don't have a fence and they don't tie the dog up when he's outside). I am hoping that someone can give me an answer on what to do. I hope to hear back from you.


A. We get a lot of emails from people about neighbors’ dogs, friends’ dogs and family members’ dogs. Unfortunately there is nothing you can do about this except direct them to our website and hope they wake up! (if for no other reason than the fact that their dog is a legal risk, they could be sued if this dog harms someone)

Show them our section on dominant dogs and dog bites. WARNING: it’s graphic!

We don’t recommend alpha rolls anyway, They are dangerous and unnecessary. I’d suggest watching this video.

I personally would refuse to visit anyone (no matter who much I liked them) if they allow their dog to behave like this and I was at risk of being bitten, it’s ridiculous. I can help with dog training problems, but this is a people problem.

Cindy Rhodes
Recommended Products
Dealing with Dominant and Aggressive Dogs
Dealing with Dominant and Aggressive Dogs
3 Hours, 30 Minutes
In my DVD, I provide 3 1/2 hours of information to help people solve their problems with dominant dogs and aggressive dogs. This information is based on 45 years of experience training dogs. For the last 30 years I have studied the art of protection training dogs. I was a police K9 handler for 10 years, and was chairman of the training committee for the WI police dog association for a number of those years. I have bred German Shepherds for police service work for 28 years. During this time I have bred over 350 litters of working dogs. I have dogs from my kennel working in law enforcement, Search and Rescue and competing in Schutzhund all over this country. No one I know in the United States can make these claims.

Dominant Dog Collar
Dominant Dog Collar
This collar is not intended to give a painful correction. It is intended to take the air away from a dominant aggressive dog. More dogs are put to sleep everyday for aggression problems than they are properly trained. Killing a dog must ALWAYS be the last resort. Learning how to use a dominant dog collar can and will often make the difference between having a dog put down or ending up as a pack leader and a dog the you can live with. Some dogs will often get over-stimulated by a prong collar resulting in a more hectic and aggressive dog. The Dominant Dog Collar is designed to be used on handler aggressive or dog aggressive dogs. Using a Dominant Dog collar correctly on the takes the drive and fight out of the dog. Leerburg's Dominant Dog Collars If you have a problem with dog aggression or a dominant dogs, we recommend that you get the Dealing with Dominant and Aggressive Dogs DVD. We also have an extensive collection of articles pertaining to dominant and aggressive dogs We recommend you read the article on Dealing with the Dominant Dog written by Ed Frawley. Individuals who use this collar for handler aggression should have their dog undergo through a solid pack structure program. For adult dogs, we recommend the Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet DVD. For puppies, we recommend the Living with Your Puppy - Establishing Pack Structure DVD. Due to government restrictions, countries such as Australia and a few in Europe do not allow the use of remote or electric collars. These dominant dog collars are a viable alternative.

Option 1:
Option 2:
Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet
Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet
4 Hours
The goal of our pack structure training program is to produce a dog that is calm and submissive and a dog that follows the rules of the pack leader. This DVD teaches people how to become a pack leader that their dog respects and loves. Most people are not born pack leaders. In fact, far from it. The majority of dog owners (many who have owned dogs their entire life) simply do not know anything about the instincts that control our dogs or how strong these instincts are in the domestic dog. Oh people may have heard that they need to be a pack leader or they may have heard they need to be an ALPHA with their dog but they do not understand what this really means or how to accomplish it.


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