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I am writing regarding my Misty's half brother. He is 9 months old now. His owner is having problems with his aggression. He is biting all the members of the family without being provocked. He could be calmly sitting and all of a sudden he will intentionall bite of of them.

This behavior started when he was three months old. It has become progressively worse wih time. The hired a trainer but it hasn't helped. They have tried everything within their power to fix this problem.

A couple of days ago he went after their 13 year old daughter unprovoked and he bit her face. The owner just found out that cocker spaniels carry some kind of gene that may cause them to be extremely aggressive. It's considered a mental illness.

Eventhough this dog is fine 95% of the time it's the 5% that is causing them to be concerned for their safety. They have been told that this condition will only get worse. They may have no choice but to give him away or worse put him to sleep.

Those anyone have any suggestions to help my sister-in-law? Should I be concerned for my Misty (she's 4 months old) because both dogs share the same father?
I hope someone could offer some advse.
 

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was the father to poodle or the cocker, if he was the cocker then you should keep an eye on her but if is the poodle i dont think you will need to worry.


i think it is epilepsy that spanials suffer from, one of the boys i work with had to have his sringer put dow as he started this at 10 or 11 years old i think. i also know a cocker who was put down this year aswell at old 4 years old i think , he did have behavur problems when a pup but they got them sorted when he was almost a year and had been fine, but was now attacing her mum for nor reason.

i would say you need to get him to a vet and ask what tests are avilable. if he is jumpping from calm to snapping then something is wrong, if it was a case of over exited then that is a behavure thing. but the best bet is to got to the vet.


please let us know what happens, i hope it is something that can be sorted out.
 

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Misty's dad is the poodle.

Thanks for your advice. I hope my siswter-in-law can fix this problem without having to put him to sleep.
 

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so do i but i have no idea what treatment is avalable.

hope to hear good news.
 

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I used to have a golden retriever many years ago and she too was a young dog. Sometimes when I walked past her she would growl and bare her teeth, and one day my other half was playing with her and she went for his face just out of the blue. She was well trained and eventually we went to a dog psychologist who suggested she would be better off living with a pack of dogs. Very sadly we took her back to where we got her from and later found out she had been re-homed. The new owner contacted me and she told me that she had cataracts in both eyes. She was only 9 months old, the vet had never said anything to us [don't use them anymore]. Because I became frightened of her and she also sensed this plus her loss of sight, I suppose that is how she reacted. We went to visit her in her new home with 6 other dogs and she had settled in very well, so a very happy ending. Please go and get her checked out with the vet as it could be a health issue. Wishing you every luck as I know how frustrated and torn you become.
 

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Unfortunately my sister-in-law and her husband put their 9 month old cockapoo to sleep. My husband and I are both saddened and outraged that they would jump to such drastic measures. I don't think they did all they could do help their puppy.
 

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To Kendal: I suspect that not enough was done for Teddy and that my sister-in-law and her husband reacted to quickly. I can't understand how a vet would agree to put a puppy to sleep without exploring other options. I am still very sad and he wasn't even my dog. My heart breaks for my nieces and I don't feel I could have a relationship with my sister-in-law right now.
 

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I think Misty should be fine but i don't think there is anything you can do about the other dog.If youv'e already tried a very experienced trianer I'm sorry but I would have to say you should put him down.I just wantd to tell you the Petsmart trianers don't work for some diffrent types of dogs.It worked really well for my beagle and rotweiller but didn' work at all for my belovd but evil cockapoo.I'm really sorry for the oher cockapoo but there is probably nothing you can say or do to fix that dog.:(
 

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aalpine it's true some cocker spaniels can carry an aggressive gene (usually the plain golden ones) and it is a sort of mental illness. I know of two people who had to have their cockers put down for exactly the same reason. It's one of the reasons I went for a cockapoo as opposed to a cocker spaniel, making sure the mum wasn't a single colour. I'm afraid I would do the same as your sister- I was bitten by one as a child - it was a neighbour's pet and it bit nearly every child on our street before it was finally put down. It's still sad though.
 

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Hi aalpine,

It does sound a drastic approach and we get a sense that you are really frustrated by the course of events.

"Cocker Rage" (or "Rage Syndrome") is a well documented condition that is found in American and English SHOW Cocker Spaniels - predominantly in solid coloured dogs (The solid Orange / Golden being labelled as the most prone - then Blacks / darker colours) - Dogs more so than Bitches (and more aggressive with it) - though it is not restricted to just Show Cockers - as it has been found in other breeds. It has not been documented in English Working cockers.

It is considered by experts to be passed-on in family genes.

An attack is nearly always unprovoked with the dog's eyes described as being "glazed" - and as suddenly as it starts it can stop - normally with the dog looking confused then approaching you again but in a loving way. Again it is mentioned that the eyes change back to normal.

We have attached a really useful link which explains it in more detail:
http://www.doglistener.co.uk/aggression/cocker_rage.shtml

With Misty's dad being the poodle and assuming that they have different Show Cocker mums - then she should be at no risk herself.

If it had been your puppy with the 'Rage' it sounds as if you would have gone to the end of the earth to explore every possible avenue to try and find a solution. There have been SOME cases that are documented to have been helped with anti-convolusant drugs but not ALL. If anyone has the awful situation of ending up with a dog with 'Rage' it has to be their decision as to how best to protect people from the attacks. It would not be responsible to pass the dog onto a new owner and how would they feel if someone went on to then be seriously bitten or mawled by the dog ? How would your sister-in-law have been able to live with herself if their beloved dog savagely attacked and damaged one of your nieces ? Love dogs as we do we still personally believe NO dog is worth a person being harmed.

It is a sad situation but I appears that the decision was dealt with responsibly.

We hope that this experience does not taint the joy that you get from Misty.

Stephen and Julia x
 
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