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Discussion Starter #1
Hi. I am new here. I was googling info and found this site. My husband and I bought Murphy when he was 12 weeks old. He is our only "child"' he was fine for his first 2 years, then he started becoming aggressive towards visitors in our home. He has bitten my grown sons a few times, as well as a couple friends. I figured he was jealous of my son's. We signed him up for obedience classes, he is perfect in every way, other then biting. Then about a month ago he has attacked me for no reason out of the blue four times. Murphy has been given the best of everything, totally loved and spoiled. I was scared to even touch him. We took him to vet last week, to have a physical. All good, the vet started him on prozac, after 4 days, he hasn't been aggressive with me. I just don't understand, he has never been mistreated in any way.
 

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There is always a reason. Sometimez you just dont see it.

In what ways do you spoile him. Spioled dogs sometime have to most problems as they have been given no boundaries the think they can do whatever they want.

What is happening when he bites. Whst is he doing, what are the people around him doing and how is he reacting to them before the bite.


Dogs always give off signles before biting its just we humas arent tuned in to seeing them. Its all in the body. The eyes, tail, the back tences and twitches. Then growling or whinening.

He can be your special boy but he is not your child he is a fog. My personal oppinion is you must reevaluate how you treat him and chainge things.

If the attacks are happening on the couch/bed then a ccompleat couch/bed ban is neaded.
If he is posesive over toys/food then you need to do some resorse garding work.

If he is posesive over people tthn the pearson he is being posesive over needs to be assertive and tell him off.

Muzzle if nessasery it protects you and him. Leave a lead wit no loop(cut the handle off a cheep light weight lead) let him drag it, the reduses physical contact meaning you can controle him and keep him at a safe distance from you. It also means you wpnt ininvertenly praze him by touching him during a behaviour you dont want.


Tell me more about what is happenimg befor during and after the bite. With each person.


You do not want a dog on prozac the rest of his life. I am very disapointed thst your vet jumped right in for pills.
 

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The vet was wondering if he had "Cocker Rage" it is a rare disorder, kinda like a epileptic seizure. They do not realize they have the attacks.
When he has attacked me, he has just been relaxing, I was petting him and he just went off. That is one reason I took him to vet to have him checked to make sure he has no sores or pain or whatever. He has bitten the groomer while being groomed. When people enter our house or leave or stand he will bite. Once people are sitting he is okay, but they can't stand up without getting attacked, so they have to spell out they are getting up.
When he attacks me, I yell at him firmly to stop. and if I am standing I nudge him away with my leg. If I am sitting, I am guarding my face as that is what he goes for. We have invested thousands of dollars in obedience, he is perfect in all his commands. He doesn't mind if you take food or a toy out of his mouth. He never tears up anything or goes to bathroom in house. HE just has these "attacks" Yes he does have his boundries.
 

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Molly has never been aggressive but about 4-5 months ago she had a seizure. We didn't know it was one at the time but she couldn't move and she looked traumatized. She didn't bite us at all she was very docile I think she was scared too. We had x-rays done and blood work and everything came back normal so there was no explanation for it. It could be epilepsy or maybe something she ate on her walk. She hasn't had one since. People can come and go here and dogs too and she has absolutely no aggression. If a dog comes in and takes her toys she just sits there like she is thinking "that's mine" but she won't do a thing about it. I heard about cocker rage but I think that is pretty rare! Maybe something is hurting him or he isn't feeling well?? I can't offer any advice but maybe someone else will! I hope you get him sorted out. Is his eyesight ok and his hearing?? If they can't see or hear properly it can startle them...just a thought? :)
 

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The vet did lots of blood work and a good physical. Everything normal. I just want h back to normal. He does seem better since on meds. Maybe he is expressed because he isn't getting out as much do to the cold weather and dark early.
 

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I was watching my two a bit closer tonight after reading this thread as Beemer tends to be more barky and growly than Lexi. Something I noticed is that he is more quick to catch changes in the direction of the laser than Lexi. In fact she seems to lose track at times as she's a bit slower to react whereas he is amazingly quick and noticing the movements. And he gets more growly and barky the times that I don't exercise him as much. While Lexi will do a quick dash around the house and yard and that's good enough for her. Lexi comes across as a sweet dog but Beemer seems more aggressive when they become agitated. Also Beemer tries to resource guard more (only with his bully stick) when he doesn't get exercise and startles more in general. I don't know that I'd really notice a lot of his triggers and that he is getting agitated if I didn't have Lexi as comparison and as a trigger.

All this really is me wondering if these dogs who are aggressive are a combination of highly alert and reactive in general, quick and energetic, but are in an environment that doesn't give them the type and amount of exercise they need. Beemer needs more than a walk. He needs to run and chase. Another thought about exercise, physical activity is a known antidepressant. That is, it stimulates endorphins and creates an overall healthy brain. Many people use exercise instead of antidepressants. Maybe why the Prozac is working. Just a thought.


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I was watching my two a bit closer tonight after reading this thread as Beemer tends to be more barky and growly than Lexi. Something I noticed is that he is more quick to catch changes in the direction of the laser than Lexi. In fact she seems to lose track at times as she's a bit slower to react whereas he is amazingly quick and noticing the movements. And he gets more growly and barky the times that I don't exercise him as much. While Lexi will do a quick dash around the house and yard and that's good enough for her. Lexi comes across as a sweet dog but Beemer seems more aggressive when they become agitated. Also Beemer tries to resource guard more (only with his bully stick) when he doesn't get exercise and startles more in general. I don't know that I'd really notice a lot of his triggers and that he is getting agitated if I didn't have Lexi as comparison and as a trigger.

All this really is me wondering if these dogs who are aggressive are a combination of highly alert and reactive in general, quick and energetic, but are in an environment that doesn't give them the type and amount of exercise they need. Beemer needs more than a walk. He needs to run and chase. Another thought about exercise, physical activity is a known antidepressant. That is, it stimulates endorphins and creates an overall healthy brain. Many people use exercise instead of antidepressants. Maybe why the Prozac is working. Just a thought.


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I laughed cause Molly sometimes doesn't see her laser crack and it makes me laugh I have to point it out to her:rolleyes: she isn't aggressive at all and we walk at least an hour a day but today no walk cause everything was ice but she was really good she played with her toys and just slept a lot. She is a good girl I must say:) She loves her walks though! I feel guilty when we can't go but today was like a skating rink outside it's horrible. She was like Bambi trying to walk:eek: I love how she has mellowed out last year at this time I wanted to give her away............feel so bad when I think about it but she was so bad with nipping etc...what a change a year makes:p
 

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I laughed cause Molly sometimes doesn't see her laser crack and it makes me laugh I have to point it out to her:rolleyes: she isn't aggressive at all and we walk at least an hour a day but today no walk cause everything was ice but she was really good she played with her toys and just slept a lot. She is a good girl I must say:) She loves her walks though! I feel guilty when we can't go but today was like a skating rink outside it's horrible. She was like Bambi trying to walk:eek: I love how she has mellowed out last year at this time I wanted to give her away............feel so bad when I think about it but she was so bad with nipping etc...what a change a year makes:p
I think it's because Molly is like Lexi, a little laid back and chill. But I had the same thoughts as you Renee in the early weeks. But yesterday I got the worst migraine and couldn't do anything for these guys. I mean I literally opened the door, dumped a bunch of chews on the ground and put their food out and they were so sweet. They kept each other busy and would keep checking up on me. They didn't destroy the house while I napped. They aren't perfect but boy are they great. :)

Today feeling better, Beemer was not having any part of not running all over the yard.
 

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The vet was wondering if he had "Cocker Rage" it is a rare disorder, kinda like a epileptic seizure. They do not realize they have the attacks.
When he has attacked me, he has just been relaxing, I was petting him and he just went off. That is one reason I took him to vet to have him checked to make sure he has no sores or pain or whatever. He has bitten the groomer while being groomed. When people enter our house or leave or stand he will bite. Once people are sitting he is okay, but they can't stand up without getting attacked, so they have to spell out they are getting up.
When he attacks me, I yell at him firmly to stop. and if I am standing I nudge him away with my leg. If I am sitting, I am guarding my face as that is what he goes for. We have invested thousands of dollars in obedience, he is perfect in all his commands. He doesn't mind if you take food or a toy out of his mouth. He never tears up anything or goes to bathroom in house. HE just has these "attacks" Yes he does have his boundries.
Welcome

Good news that the vet has found no physical probelms with your boy.
When you say he has bitten - what are we talking about - actual puncture wounds, nip with bruising, torn clothes? Don't mean to be pedantic, but it is important that we know what level of biting is going on.

It is imperative that you keep visitors to your house safe and it is also your responsibility to do so. First manage the behaviour, then work at changing it.
When you have visitors either put a muzzle on your dog, put him in a safe place behind a gate where he cannot access your visitors or keep him on a leash.
If your dog has learnt that by 'biting' people back off and leave him alone he might be quite content with the result. You say that he has bitten the groomer and at you when you pet him when he is resting. I'm sure those people who do grooming will say that some dogs really do not enjoy the experience, particularly if they are a bit matted and unless handled calmly and carefully the dog may see if aggressive behaviour stops them from being bothered. A good groomer is usually very alert to the potential and handles it in such a way that the dog decideds aggression is not the way to stop the grooming.
I'm a big fan of letting sleeping dogs lie. I'm not keen on being disturbed while sleeping myself.
Dogs can find face to face contact quite stressful - if your face is close to a defensive dog they might see you as challenging them -fight or flight response can be triggered. Best not to eyeball a dog, particularly if it is scared.
L&B's mom makes a good point about some dogs being more reactive.
Do take care - be honest in your assessment of your dog's bites and also look carefully at what might be triggering his response.
 

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Sorry to hear there has been this change in your dog

Perhaps you could get a dog trainer to come to your house and just observe him while these things happen (visitors coming in etc) and see what they think about it, as well as your reaction to him in these situations?
 

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I agree with Grove, this is worth a consult with a trainer who will come to your home,

and with Marzi, you should use a soft sided muzzle for safety.

I also agree with Lexi and Beemers mum that some dogs are more reactive and need to be in well suited environments and with Kendall that it sounds like a behavioural issue. If it were rage seizures it would not be related to bringing people into you home. I think it would be more random than that.

This will be a very unpopular thing to say, but as much as I love Rufus, and I really do love him. I would not keep a dog that bites me.:(
 

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We have had a trainer in. The bites are all the above. The last time with me was puncture wounds. The groomer told me he needed to be medicated before he would groom gloom again. He has gone regularly all his life and this just started recently. Thank you so much for all your help.
 

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What did the trainer think when they observed?

It sounds like you are doing all the right things to try and get to the bottom of this, I hope you can find some answers somewhere.

The only other thing I can think of is when this started happening can you think of anything traumatic or different that he might have experienced at this time?
 

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I would go back to the vet, or another vet and ask for a thorough exam, including bloods. Although most instances of aggression are behavioral, sometimes especially if it seems to suddenly start over things that were previously accepted by the dog, it can be a symptom of a medical problem. It is not acceptable for anyone including you to be bitten by your dog. The vet is where I would continue this issue. Explain and your vet should suggest tests to find anything medically amiss. It could be anything, thyroid, sight, hearing, pain from an undiagnosed problem. So while he is ok physically on the outside, the problem could be hiding away inside.
 

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I am sorry that you are going through this, it must be very upsetting and worrying, I am not going to help by saying the behaviour reminds me a little of a friends GSD who could be loving but turned unpredictable, it unfortunately ended up with her being put to sleep and it turned out she had a brain tumour, now this must be rare so I doubt very much that it is that with your dog and I'm really sorry if you think I am uncaring in writing this, but thought I would share in case it could be something similar that if caught early enough could be treated. I'm not sure if something like this would be found by doing bloods or if it would need a scan. Hopefully it will be something that is much easier to sort out, keep us posted.
 

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Dawn I think it's a good thing to mention things like that. When there's something wrong and you don't know what to do to help you just want to find out what it is.
 

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Dawn it is worthwhile to mention. This sadly is also the main cause of behavioural/personality change in humans too..
 

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I am glad you mentioned it too Dawn. Even if it is not that others who read here could be really helped with their own dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I so appreciate all your comments, nothing has upset me, as I have thought of most of these things myself. It is so nice to talk to other ****-a-poo lovers. It does hurt me. I personnaly think the problem with other people is different then him attacking me. As the attacking of me just started about a month ago. I think with others he is just protective or jealous. Thank God there are no children that come over. Last summer we enrolled him in the sit means sit obedience. He had a couple months of in our home private training, and then we take him to open doggy class. We haven't taken him in awhile do to the weather and my work schedule. My husband and I feel the meds is kinda our last resort and just praying it works. I did get a crate and put him in it when my son visited the other day. He did okay, barked, but I knew he was safe. It is sad when your children don't want to visit because of my dog. I love Murphy so much. We got him after the last child moved out, so as you moms know, he became so special to me. I am going to work harder at getting him out for longer periods even if it is cold, like someone advised. Hopefully that will help. But I have seen no aggressive behavior towards me since the meds have started. Thank you all again so much. I will post a picture of him as soon as I figure out how.
 
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