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Thread: Spaniel Rage

  1. #1

    Spaniel Rage

    OK. I will say from the start I have never owned a Spaniel but..... I was chatting with a chap today who was telling me that there is such a thing as 'Spaniel Rage' and it occurs in single coloured Spaniels. He also went on to tell me how a Spaniel had got the hump/rage and had bit a digit off its owner's hand. Has anyone else come across 'Spaniel Rage' in single coloured Spaniels?

    I would admit that I did chuckle when he was telling me the story (I know - I am a bad person), but since he works in the medical profession I do believe the story to be true, and it did raise the question of how frequent does this rage occur (apart from 'once per dog before meeting a vet and a syringe for the long walk' being the likely answer)?

    Please - I am not having a dig at single coloured Spaniels, or their owners, or trying to ruin the trade in one colour Spaniels. But has anyone else heard of this 'Spaniel Rage' or had experience of it? It was the first I had heard of it.

    A pat on the back is often just a recce for the knife.

  2. #2
    I heard of it several years ago, usually solid colour cocker males,
    placid all their life then one day they turn.
    not heard of it recently.

  3. #3
    Thank you for the reply - Some days you just don't know if you are being wound up.

    The bit of the story that made me chuckle was the fact the dog ate the digit. Typical dog, not just happy to take the piss by chomping off your digit but has to rub your nose in it as well by making a meal of it.
    A pat on the back is often just a recce for the knife.

  4. #4
    If you google cocker rage, the subject is well covered.

  5. #5
    yep its true it can happen

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by bobt View Post
    If you google cocker rage, the subject is well covered.
    I think this article is fair -

    It wasn't something i had heard of before, looks like there are a few dogs that have turns for the worst (without being generally aggressive to start with). Sadly they can't take a turn on the dog psycho couch, explain their actions and then get some meds, so pay the price for the mistake.
    A pat on the back is often just a recce for the knife.

  7. #7
    More evident in the show strain. I have enven seen it in what appeared to be a working cocker but on closer inspection the grandsire was show strain. Avoid show strain dogs like the plague, working breeders dont breed for colour and it was the show breeders trying to isolate the red gene which caused the problems.

    However, sadly any behaviour problem in a cocker is now called cocker rage even if it is man made.


  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by mel View Post
    I would take that with a large pinch of salt - breed societies are not known for being objective!

    The Wiki article is a more realistic view:

    It's not so common these days, although I've seen one case this year. It seems to have been generally declining in frequency since the 80's, probably because there is a genetic component and many/most of the affected dogs will have met an early demise from euthanasia due to the problem.

    Personally, I've only ever seen it in golden cockers, although it can rarely occur with other colours. The best way I can describe it is that suddenly - like flicking a switch in its brain - a normally placid and affectionate dog will turn in to an uncontrollably aggressive monster that will frantically attack/bite anyone and anything in front of it. The episode of "rage" usually ends as suddenly as it began, and the dog will then exhibit normal friendly behaviour and act as if nothing untoward has happened. It's like an aggressive temper tantrum. Sometimes there's an obvious trigger, like being approached in the wrong way, being frustrated in some way, or encroachment on what the dog thinks of as "its" territory, but sometimes it occurs at random for no particularly evident reason.

    As I said, I have seen one case this year - a golden cocker that started to exhibit this behaviour at around 6 months of age. Over a few months, it had several episodes of "rage" that usually seemed to be triggered by jealousy of the owner's partner, and it had bitten both of them repeatedly - and severely enough that they'd been to hospital 6 times to get treatment for dog bite wounds, once badly enough the partner was signed off work for a month! When it wasn't biting them, it was apparently a sweet-natured dog - but that's typical, it's a real Jekyll and Hyde syndrome.

    Eventually, after taking the dog to several vets and a couple of behaviour specialists - all of whom agreed that the problem was rage syndrome - and failing with any attempt at treatment, they faced the inevitable and had the dog euthanased.

    It's just one more reason to be wary of the show strain of a breed.

  9. #9
    I came across this a while ago when sourcing a springer for my parents, the jist of it that i got was that it was a trait that comes out of show breeds as aposed to field spaniels bred for working. dont know how much truth is in it but thats what i was told.
    They are in fact, men apart.
    Every Man an Emperor

    Field Marshall the Viscount Montgomery of Alamein.

  10. #10
    I've heard of it in springer spaniels. I grew up with a springer and will never forget that dog. Greatest child hood dog a person could own. It is very rare.

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