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Rage Syndrome

5467 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Mikey T
Hi all,
I know a friend through a forum, they bought a mixed cocker spaniel puppy, love him and raise him as their own kid. Now the dog just turned one year old, and started to show rage syndrome, attacking the owner for no reason. The bite was quite bad (they showed me the injury picture)...and this is not the first time attack.The young couple was thinking of giving up the dog for adoption.

I personally think it is not easy to find a good home for him, as the adopter has to be very experienced in handling this kind of rage syndrome dog. But to euthanize the dog also very cruel too...any other suggestion?
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I would highly recommend they seek professional help from an animal behaviorist. Dogs do not attack for "no reason", they attack for very specific reasons and "unknown" reasons are often labeled as "no reason".
Yes a professional needs to assess the dog. Also a complete medical exam. Oliwa is right - dogs don't attack for no reason. Sometimes it's just difficult to figure out the cause.
Symondneil quote:"But to euthanize the dog also very cruel too...any other suggestion? "

My opinion based on experience:

When my husband's former wife passed away she left him her much loved 6 year old dachshund,Hansel. Hansel was extremely aggressive, and was a biter. The people he bit were friends of the family, so my husband had never been sued. He was lucky.And because Hansel had belonged to his deceased wife, he was devoted to him.

I dealt with Hansel for 10 years until he passed away at the age of 16, and I cried when he died, but managing him was a 24/7 proposition. It was very very hard.

There is an online group called Agbeh that gives advice and support for folks dealing with aggression issues. There are behaviorists who can offer advice on dealing with aggression. But honestly, in my opinion most people are not up to this challenge if the dog is truly a danger to others.

Passing a dog like this on to someone else is not an option. There are legal issues involved, and the dog can end up in a sad downward spiral of abuse and neglect.

In some cases euthanasia is not cruel, it's necessary.
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Dogs do not attack for "no reason",
Granted not all cases of "rage syndrome" are that many are simply behavioral problems that the owner do not know how to manage, But in cockers and english springe spaniel, "rage syndrome" there is demonstrable evidence of medical origins for the condition which are largely untreatable. There even appears to be a genetic link. Current belief is that it is quite possible a siezure disorder. That said there is not a know cure or control.

Just as we have learned it is impossible to cure "sex offender" the same is true of some dogs. Giving up a known biter for apdoption is morally repugnant. In cases like this euthanasia is often the least cruel alternative.

It does pay to check out the links in SEVERE seperation anxiety!! for an animal behaviorist to elvauate the dog and determine if the cause of the biting is simply behavioral or has a neurological/medical component that is likely untreatable.

avalanche of rage
The results suggest a genetic and neuroendocrine basis for the differences in aggression. Dr Podberscek carried out a ‘cluster analysis’ (grouping together of aggression categories) which showed that there is some evidence that rage syndrome is an expression of social dominance, rather than being a separate or pathological phenomenon. There are 2 main theories as to what this syndrome might be:

a) An unusual form of dominance aggression

b) Type of epilepsy – might be part of a group known as complex partial seizures.

The study provided important information on the prevalence of different types of aggression in the Cocker Spaniel.


Although rage syndrome has been studied for a number of years, it cannot be accurately predicted and can only be diagnosed by EEG or genetic testing and these tests are not conclusive.
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