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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I dont know if any of you lovely people have have any good tips for me? Callie is a lovely little 15 week old puppy, most of the time..... but every now and again (poss 2-4 times a day - at anytime of day) she goes ballistic, almost as if she's possessed, she goes into a lip curled, snarling, biting, scratching frenzy and its as if she is really trying to hurt us. She does it at really random times and its almost as if she cant control whats happening to her. It's usually when we're playing with her, or about to play with her. I dont think she has ever done it with an outsider so its just her 'pack' and mainly me (which upsets me massively) I think am quite good with the whole leader thing and I thought she knew her place in the pack but now I'm not sure. I have spoken to friends, vets, trainers etc and tried everything they have suggested:-
- changing her food, no difference
- distracting her with toys (when she is frenzied that just doesnt work)
- Walking away - she just attacks our legs and clothes - it REALLY hurts!
- less exercise - we were told we were walking her too much and she was getting over-tired
- not playing tug of war games anymore to lessen the aggression
- yelping, but that just makes her worse

If it happens indoors we give her 'time out' for a few minutes in the hallway, which does seem to calm her down, but outside in the park it is very difficult having a whirling, snapping ball of fluff on the end of a lead, so I usually end up grabbing her by her scruff to stop her biting me and taking her home, its such a shame.

I know she's just a puppy and I pray she will grow out of it, I want to love her so much but it's really getting me down and quite honestly right now I'm beginning to regret our decision about getting her which makes me very sad.:(

Sorry for the ramble, any suggestions would be much appreciated :eek:
Sarah
 

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is their anny chance you cna film what she is doing.

to be honest i think its just over exitment, as long as you keep ontop of it, it will pass dont worry tomuch.
 

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Sarah - I am not an experienced dog person so hesitate to give any advice, but I can only tell you what happened with us. Teddy was the same at that age, and there were times when it was a misery trying to walk him as he leapt up and bit clothes, hands. anything he could reach (and boy, could he jump!) Like yourself we had to cut walks short and just get him hom any way we could. He also had what some people call 'zoomies' when he dashed about at top speed for some minutes until he got whatever it was out of his system. Some people call it the 'doodledash':) but anyway, it is quite common in pups, I believe. All I can say, is that he is now 13 months and he has not behaved like that for some time now. It is only now, writing this that I realised this, actually! The squeal and turning away needs consistency, some people say turning away and standing still is better, but whatever you do it needs consistency at all costs. I am certain he will settle down and learn from your reaction, but he will need a bit more time to do that. I believe it is only after Teddy got his second teeth that he became more of a dog, and less of a total nutcase:D Good luck.
 

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Cocker Rage?

Hi Sarah

What you describe with Callie is not normal assertive puppy behaviour establishing dominance. It sounds much more like Cocker Rage Syndrome. Golden show cockers have been proven to pass this down in certain families but if you google it you will see that research has shown rage in many other breeds too. It seems to be a lack of serotonin causing effectively a seizure. Check out this website I've found and see if it rings true in your situation. http://www.doglistener.co.uk/aggression/cocker_rage.shtml

Let's hope you find a solution.
Julia
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies, much appreciated.
Oh dear Julia, that sounds scarily close to home, I really hope that isnt what it is, but it would explain why the attacks literally come out of nowhere and why she is so confused when its over! I think I will do as Kendal suggests and try and film an 'episode' and maybe show it to our vet and see what they say, I tried to film her a few days ago actually but as it normally happens when I'm on my own its hard to hold the phone (camera) and stop myself being bitten at the same time, lol.
Tressa - I'm keeping my fingers crossed she grows out of it like Teddy, apart from this she is a lovely little puppy, currently asleep on the floor with all 4 legs in the air like butter wouldnt melt!
Thanks again, I'll let you know how it goes :)
 

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She really could just be going through the "crazy puppy phase" lady used to attack the bottoms of pant legs and run around crazy we used to call her a gremlin....it would happen for about 10 minutes at a time and then it would stop and she would just be the perfect puppy again. It's like they have this little ball of pent up energy. Lady has now grown out of it...she is 8 months old and hasn't done it in months.....I wouldn't worry too much, just make sure she is getting lots and lots of excercise. be firm and time outs are great! let her be by herself to calm down a little bit.

The outside in the park is a little funny as I haven't had this happen to me....is she being socialized with lots of dogs alot?
How much are you walking her?
what food is she on? what did you switch from?

have you had her from 8 weeks?? look don't stress...she will start growing out of thses things...just keep her in check that you and your family are the alpha's she has to do what you say. keep her on the time outs, even put her in a different room so that she learns when she goes nuts all the fun ends. she will learn. for the biting yes, it does hurt and it seems like she is visiously attacking you....really she hasn't learned that it hurts. the more she plays with other dogs the quicker she will learn. I hope things get better for you, and I am sure that they will.
There were a few nights my pup made me cry...out of stress, and thinking that you had a crazy ill tempered dog....don't worry, she will come around
 

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Filming an episode and showing it to a vet sounds like a great idea. It's all very well for us to give advice from afar but without witnessing it we're just guessing. I for one, hope that with the right guidance Callie will indeed just grow out of it. BUT if it's more then I'd feel awful if for instance she damaged a child in one of the episodes. I'd want to know what I was dealing with!


Julia
 

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Hi Sarah, sorry to hear of your problems. I do hope your pup calms down as she gets older. Just one point -have you tried switching to a BARF diet. I hate to keep banging on about BARF -(I'm really not that much of a fascist, honest:) ) but I do know that a lot of behaviour therapists believe that it will assist many behaviour problems. I know you said that you had tried switching food, but was it a natural raw diet that you switched to? If not, it would really be worth a go. Anything is worth trying to get your lovely pup to maintain her "sweet" side. Hope you sort it x
 

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Hi Sarah,

Once again - I am no expert!! But I got freaked out a couple of weeks ago (and would have freaked out even more had I known about Cocker Rage Syndrome) as Noodle kept having these "mood swings". She had this crazed look in her eyes and would growl and then attack aggressively and it did actually quite scare me. She also got grumpy if she didn't get her way and would bite. However, after lots of tellings off and time-outs she's 100 times better. She still likes to play this stalking and pouncing game on us - but she does it with a wag in her tail and doesn't actually bite - just lunges and then backs off and lunges again. I'm obviously trying to curtail this behaviour too - but at least she's not actually hurting anyone anymore.

When Callie's in the middle of the episode would she stop if you asked her to sit and offered a treat? Or would she keep going?

I was really worried as had had puppies in the past, but none had shown this trait, but, touch wood, it was just a puppy phase and she's growing/being trained out of it.

What a worry. Poor you. Do let us know how you get on.
 

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I know how you feel. When I got Flo (my first dog) I was convinced around 10 weeks that I had acquired a crazy, dominant, aggressive puppy but it did all turn out to be normal, developmental behaviour. Sometimes when out with her in the garden she would get so excited and worked up when playing she would lunge and bark and I'd be worried about turning my back or walking away as she would nip my bum. I certainly couldn't grab her to put her away for time out as she would get even more excited and turn it into a 'catch me if you can' game. She's now mature, settled and just fine. Maybe do a video and get a vet's opinion just so you are reassured but I expect it will be just all the normal stuff that goes on as a puppy develops.

Looking at the 'rage' article link in this thread seems it would be easy to mistake 'rage' for other behaviours that result from poor upbringing (food guarding, toy guarding, dominance). Your puppies only a baby, hopefully put the time and training in now and things will be fine.

It would probably require an expert to distinguish between 'rage syndrome'/puppy developmental/bad behaviour especially in such a young dog. You could try contacting a trainer, they'll often come along and do an in home assessment and provide support to put your mind at rest but please, please make sure they know what they are doing and use positive training methods as a bad, inexperienced trainer would probably do more harm than good. Your vet practice will probably be able to recommend good trainers in your area.

Raising a young puppy is quite a challenge so try not to let the tricky stuff mean you don't get to enjoy the lovely bits :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi again everyone, thanks for all your comments and suggestions, I'll try and answer some of your questions.
Amanda - Yes we got her at 8 weeks. She has had lots of socialisation with other dogs, we do two puppy classes a week at the moment and she meets lots of dogs on her walks, she has been having one short walk and one longish walk per day.
Amanda/Helen - I'm wondering if her diet might be the key to her problem actually, when we got her the breeder was feeding her Natures Menu which is a raw food, (I wonder if its similar to BARF?!) I was told by almost everyone to start changing her over to dry food so I bought some James Wellbeloved and gradually starting adding it to her food. After a while she seemed to go off her food. I thought she had gone off the wet food so I changed over to different wet foods to find one she liked, cant remember what they were but I wonder if that was when she started having these frenzies, maybe I mixed it up too much?
A few days ago we were recommended Arden Grange which I used yesterday and this morning, had to add loads of water to it to soften otherwise she wouldnt eat it!
It was quite funny actually, I gave it to her dry and she turned her nose up, I added some gravy and softened it down and offered it again and she walked away, I had to actually feed her from a spoon until she realised it was soft again and started eating it herself, I had to laugh it's just like having a new child!
Anyway (and if anyone is still reading and not fallen asleep I thank you, lol) she only had one frenzy yesterday and it didnt last as long, but I also tried what Newbie suggested and told her to sit and offered her a treat and it worked, she went back to the biting again but was aware enough to stop for a second, which I was pleased about.
I'll see how it goes today, we dont have any other problems with aggression, I can groom her, take her food away etc with no problems, the trainer thinks she is just taking puppy biting to another level and that normal training will eventually work.
Thanks for your support, I'm so glad I posted because if nothing else I realise I'm not the only person that gets stressed and upset and ends up in tears at the end of the day! :)
 

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Oh Sarah, it is beginning to sound like it was something external causing her problems.:) I very much hope it is - things are beginning to sound more positive. Wouldn't it be great if she just needed a change of food? It could be that the changes before were too much for her and she wasn't feeling great. I am keeping my fingers and everything crossed for you that she will go back to being a normal nippy little blighter like they all were at one time!
Sending good wishes and looking forward to hearing more.
 

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Hi Sarah, glad there is some sign of improvement. I just looked up Natures Menu. It's a little confusing - the pouches seem to be cooked food and the frozen seems to be raw, but with cooked rice. The raw frozen does appear to be good stuff although I cant find any prices. Most of the suppliers seem to offer the pouches but not the frozen. :confused: If you are happy to feed raw, then it would probably be good for her to go back to that. The raw supplier I use is http://www.naturalinstinct.com
Take a look and see how that compares to the Natures Menu.
However even if you don't change her food, it sounds as if things are on the mend and as mandy said, don't let it spoil your enjoyment of her x
 

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Hi Sarah

I agree that a natural diet is a really good thing. Just like people have intolerances to food so do dogs. I don't know what the numbers are but it is very common that dogs are intolerant to grains, rice and cereal. If you think about it a wild dog wouldn't get to eat any farmed cooked food.
We have fed our adult breeding dogs a raw BARF diet for some time now with brilliant effect. They have beautiful condition, healthy coats, clean teeth, fresh breath, poos are much less in volume, hard and odourless. Thanks to Helen's advice we have just discovered Orijen 100% grain free puppy kibble. It's 80% meat and 20% veg and fruit in a convenient dry kibble form. Last week we have just started to wean our first litter onto it. The puppies love it and the AMAZING thing so far is that is that mum is still clearing up the puppies poos! We have never seen this before as normally with a cereal based puppy kibble mum won't touch it. www.orijenpetfoods.co.uk Also we don't have to worry about mum finishing up any puppy food when she goes back to see her babies. Previously the cereal puppy food would upset mum's tum.
It is so tasty that our cockapoo and poodle boys love it as a training treat. Which is a lot cleaner and easier to use than cheddar cheese.

The other company Helen told us about was www.naturalinstinct.com which is pre-prepared frozen BARF diet in the most convenient form.

If you are going to see any significant difference by changing the food then I would suggest that it has to be completely cereal, grain AND rice free food.

On a different tack we give an 'idiots guide' to puppy ownership leaflet with each of our puppies when they leave. It's all the questions we have ever been asked answered in leymans terms. I would be happy to e-mail you a copy just let me know your e-mail address and I'll send it by return. [email protected]

Take care
Julia
 

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Hi Sarah, glad there is some sign of improvement. I just looked up Natures Menu. It's a little confusing - the pouches seem to be cooked food and the frozen seems to be raw, but with cooked rice. The raw frozen does appear to be good stuff although I cant find any prices. Most of the suppliers seem to offer the pouches but not the frozen. :confused: If you are happy to feed raw, then it would probably be good for her to go back to that. The raw supplier I use is http://www.naturalinstinct.com
Take a look and see how that compares to the Natures Menu.
However even if you don't change her food, it sounds as if things are on the mend and as mandy said, don't let it spoil your enjoyment of her x
I saw Natures Menu in Pets at Home and the frozen stuff is raw chunks but it does have at least rice if not other grains (fillers) with it, so BARFish. I still think Natural Instinct is the front runner as the best convenient BARF option.
 

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Thanks to Helen's advice we have just discovered Orijen 100% grain free puppy kibble. It's 80% meat and 20% veg and fruit in a convenient dry kibble form. Last week we have just started to wean our first litter onto it. The puppies love it and the AMAZING thing so far is that is that mum is still clearing up the puppies poos! We have never seen this before as normally with a cereal based puppy kibble mum won't touch it.
That's really interesting and in a way proves the quality and ingredients in Origen are more appropriate. Good idea to use Origen kibble as a training treat for a BARF fed dog.
 

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Poppy did have what I would call an overactive phase when she wanted to bite a bit more than just a nibble.
I remembered years ago there was a theory about the amount of protein in the food when I checked the food we were using it had a high protein content.
Did a bit of research and found Burns holistic pet food and have been using it for about 12 months. She still has her Cockapoo moments but on the hole is very balanced.

here is a link to thier web site.
http://burnspet.co.uk/petcare/burns-pet-nutrition-advice.html
 

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While 'Lo wouldn't have really crazy hyper times (I thank D for that) She did often bite too hard and go a bit rabid lol. I think your pup sounds normal, I'd try upping her exercise, both mental and physical.
 

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I remembered years ago there was a theory about the amount of protein in the food when I checked the food we were using it had a high protein content.
Did a bit of research and found Burns holistic pet food and have been using it for about 12 months. She still has her Cockapoo moments but on the hole is very balanced.
It's actually the high carb content of some dog foods that leads to hyper-activity, also the additives. A trainer I once had said that she could always tell a dog fed on Bakers, because they were bouncing off the walls! Dogs do best on mainly protein.
 
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