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Frightened rescue

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Could anyone advise me what I'm doing wrong with my lovely rescue cocker please?
We adopted her 3 weeks ago from many tears.
She is an exbreeder who has a wonderful nature. Loves walks and cuddles. Sleeping and eating etc.
She's obviously had lots of puppies in the past.
She is approximately  6 years old
However, whenever someone comes to visit she is terrified of them and lunges and goes to bite them. She is fine with people and dogs outside. It's when they invade her safe place.
Has anyone had this experience?

3 weeks isn't very long. Her personality will be starting to show with you, but she may still be shut down and need time to adjust.

Do you know anything about her past breeding life? Was she treated well? It could be a result of poor socialization, or it could just be bad genes. My cocker is reactive to strangers - he's just wired that way. He's not aggressive, and when he knows someone he loves them, but he is terrified and just wants them to GO AWAY.

I would probably recommend either having a safe place for her to retreat away from guests and/or having guests ignore her completely, at least for now. Once she starts to see them as less threatening you can perhaps have them drop treats so that she starts to associate guests with positive things.

We had a MT's exbreeder previously and she was the sweetest thing.  I would say it took 6 months to a year for her to find her feet.  We had two very confident crazy cocker boys as well, and she learnt more from them than she ever did from us. Firstly, a lot has happened to this wee dog in the last few months.  From never being out of the breeding facility, she has now been in a rescue kennel, possibly a foster home and now her forever home.  So many new things, smells, sounds, textures.  Do you have a 'safe spot' for her?  We had a covered crate, and that was off limits if she was in there.  When people come to visit, can you have her in another room, even with a baby gate to close it off?  She needs to feel safe.  New people will scare her and she will lunge through fear.  I would ask visitors to ignore her, let her be, just to get used to various people.  It's good to have new experiences, but they can become overloaded.  Time and space is what worked for us.  After a while Lara would greet people, but always a distance away and very cautious.  The boys were overly social!  She used to stand back and watch in amazement  :D  You are not doing anything wrong, these wee dogs just need a bit longer and a little more understanding than a well socialised and cared for dog.  One thing I discovered, and I am till annoyed that I did it, is that squeaky toys reminded her of pups.  There were 2 that had a fairly sharp pitch, and she mothered them relentlessly.  If I had to do it again, I would not have squeaky toys.  Also she never got used to walking through a door, she would always bolt from one room to the next.  Some things will just be the way the are, even long term.  Just do what you are doing, and manage interaction with viitors carefully.  I think that is amazing progress for 3 weeks.

Thank you for your messages and support for our new girl. She is an only dog as our other cockers have sadly passed away so she hasn't got any other dog to learn from.
However, she is so so good. She had never been on grass before we got her. She loves muddy puddles! I have a crate for her in our bedroom so I'll let her go in there when we have visitors.
She is like a puppy  in an older dogs clothing. :D
 I will definitely remove her sqeaky toys.
You are both very kind to give that advice.

I am very impressed that she is coping so well on her own, what a clever girl  :luv:  Our wee one was the same, grass was new to her, and she was totally perplexed by snow  :lol: The first time we took her to the beach she was really unsure of the sand.  She did eventually go into the sea and she managed to swim, she was so very pleased with herself.  I know exactly what you mean about the puppy thing, they seem to now have the puppy hood they missed out on.  It is lovely to watch.  Once she feels totally secure in her home and has confidence, she will soon be brave enough to pop by and have a nosey at your visitors.  Cockers are nothing if not curious.  Enjoy.


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