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Thread: Agressive pup (springer)

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    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default Agressive pup (springer)

    I've got a field breed Springer thats five months old. He comes from some high caliber lines and I didn't expect behavioral issues.

    He is always barking at other dogs. He gets in their face, gets his hackles up and just carries on. He doesn't bit just sort of insigates things even if the other dog is being submissive and not in any way threatening.

    I want to put this to a stop.....

    What are your recomendations? I've got a collar but I read that you don't want the dog to think the shock is comming from the other dog. So wouldn't a strong command and a shock in response to incompliance be appopriate?
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    Default Springer Behavior

    Over the last 30 years I have owned about 6 Springers. One male showed aggressive behavior towards other male dogs- this was after he was attacked by an older Lab. He then later came down with what is commonly known as "Springer Rage" One moment he was Mr Wiggle Butt and the next He was wild eyed- Hair straight up and out of control. These episodes would last 2-5 minutes - during which I had no control over him- I was told by vet to just yell but not handle the dog while he was in this state and he would come out of it. Near the end of the dog's life I read an article where some Vets thought that these dogs actually were sick and were actually having seizures-- a form of epilepsy and that a shot could cure the condition. I'm not saying your pup has either of the two above issues- just saying that it may not be totally behavioral. And if it is a behavior issue why? At what age did the pup become aggressive? Is it a gender thing? Mine only went after male dogs - my logic tells me that is because he was attacked by a male and not a female. I would ask the Breeder if any of his sire and dams and their offspring have had aggressive behavior issues.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    i found this old thread and have springer issues my self.. we have a new baby in the house 7 months old.. the springer has ALWAYS been one of the kids dogs.. sleeps on them protects them plays with them all of it..

    of late he has begun growling at the kids when they walk by his chain. and if the wife walks through the room with the baby he growls at her. he also isolates himself from the family even when he is invited to remain in the room he disappears under the kids beds. he is now 6 yrs old and has been around the kids since they and he were tiny If need be my ex wife will take him so that i don't have this issue but i would like more information on the behavior issues behind them first.

    he is tolerant and play full with the wifes little dachshund ( male ) and never shown aggression to him. (9 months old)

    any help?
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    Hey Vince,

    Whenever someone comes to me and says, My dog never used to be like this, my first thought and advice is to get the dog to a vet. Many, and I mean MANY health problems can cause a dog to become aggressive. Anything from a thyroid disorder, to a tooth that is bothering him. I don't mean just get a physical exam, but also get his blood work drawn to make sure all his levels are normal. I have a friend who had the sweetest lab that became aggressive. He was diagnosed with diabetes's, it is under control now for 4 years and he's back to being the sweetest dog in the world. When you have ruled out any health issues, then start thinking training, They are no different than us when they don't feel good, they just cant voice it.
    I notice as our boy Harley gets older he's less tolerant of things. He's 5 and is starting to get stiff in the rear, You can see some days when he doesnt feel good, but other days he acts like a pup.

    Hope this helps!


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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    well i was putting it off to old grumpy dog syndrome.... but the more i read on the new pups and research i do says it may not be so... any way i have vet visit scheduled for him. he's kinda like me.. hates to go to the doc with out good cause. maybe he's grumpy cause i quite smoking... he dont get his second hand fix...... thats the excuse for mine...
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    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default Update

    So that agressive puppy has slowly started to warm to other dogs and is not barking as much. I've given him a strong "no bark" command and that is starting to stick in his dog brain. He's a super dog and has drive and personality. He's just more high strung than my other dog but not mean or anything. Here he is at 11 months.
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    My springer can get his hackles up too for no apparent reason.
    He had shown signs of kennel rage but that has passed. Some people he will just go up to and immediately be their friends and others he will growl at.
    I have just accepted it as his nature. He is three and extremely high strung but he is my little boy.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Well... took the old boy to the vet today. the recommendation was to have him neutered, he is a healthy 6 year old dog.. in great shape. they can't find any concerns as to why he is growling at the kids now. and if the fix don't fix; they recommended having him put down.....
    Last edited by Vince; 09-16-2008 at 18:13. Reason: spell
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    we had a male springer 6-7 years ago one of the smartest dogs i have ever had . at 2 y.o. middle of night after my adult daughter had let him out and was petting him as she dozed off and he viciously attached her.
    that was the end of him ....appearently they can get what is called rage syndrome?????some type of seizure disorder is what is speculated from what i gather. with two grandaughters around i was not going to tolerate that kinda of unprovoked behavior. esp since proir to that the same daughter had spent 9 days in regional hosp. from dog attack.
    i don't think there is any test for rage syndrome. some breeds seem more prone to it.
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    Years ago, I had a lot of problems with one of my dogs and I had no idea how to deal with it. My dog would bark constantly, break everything that she would get her mouth around, steal food from the table, run after cars. She even tried to bite the neighbor's kid. I was so frustrated with all her annoying behaviors that were driving me crazy. I got sick and tired of not being able to control her. I couldn't stand the idea that I was going to spend years to come with this mad dog. Then Finally I took a chance to try, "Dog Embarrassment Reversal Techniques".
    Actually this is a audio CD which is very inspiring and helpful. 'The "Insider Secrets" To Having A Well Behaved Dog', free audio CD will reveals how easily I can train my dog with positive reinforcement in almost no time! Now I can say it proudly that I have learned professional dog trainer's insider secrets to training my dog and learn exactly what to do to and not to do to get that well behaved dog, which I so desperately want and crave for...
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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    Well... took the old boy to the vet today. the recommendation was to have him neutered, he is a healthy 6 year old dog.. in great shape. they can't find any concerns as to why he is growling at the kids now. and if the fix don't fix; they recommended having him put down.....

    heres an update, I got up this morning to a dog snarling at the wife and baby again... so i guess the old boy goes for his last walk in the woods with me... i don't expect every one to understand, and it breaks my heart to have to do it. but it was the recommendation of the vet and i would rather it done in love, at home, in his woods. then in the sterile environment of the office.

    he has been a good friend to the family and will be missed.
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    I don't place any blame on you necessarly.......what your facing is the result of the irresponsible breeders before you. Somewhere, someplace individuals ignored the characteristics of the dogs they were breeding and reinforced a line with poor character.

    While my dog is a barker he gets mauled by my 3yr old and takes it or moves away. Its an odd combination getting a good agressive field dog to be docile in the home. Somehow it works in many cases and I think it involves two major components.....good breeding and good pack establishment. You know what I mean.....each dog needs to know it's place.

    I was very critical before I laid money down on my Springer. His breeding was the second go-round and I was able to talk with other owners that had these dogs. That makes a difference when you know it will be a couple years before a dogs true potential really starts to show.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    heres an update, I got up this morning to a dog snarling at the wife and baby again... so i guess the old boy goes for his last walk in the woods with me... i don't expect every one to understand, and it breaks my heart to have to do it. but it was the recommendation of the vet and i would rather it done in love, at home, in his woods. then in the sterile environment of the office.

    he has been a good friend to the family and will be missed.
    Vince,

    I feel your pain and understand what a difficult decision you have made. I know most folks don't understand but you are doing this for the safety of your family. Most people would say "why not give your dog to another family without kids", but if you did and the next owner got hurt it would be on your conscience. My father had to put my childhood dog down when I was 8 years old...He took him hunting one last time. It crushed me when it happened but it was the best way to do it. He had heart worms and had been bitten by a snake in the throat. He was old and would not have lived through the treatments he needed. I hope you make piece with your decision. Good luck!
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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKMuddy View Post
    Vince,

    I feel your pain and understand what a difficult decision you have made. I know most folks don't understand but you are doing this for the safety of your family. Most people would say "why not give your dog to another family without kids", but if you did and the next owner got hurt it would be on your conscience. My father had to put my childhood dog down when I was 8 years old...He took him hunting one last time. It crushed me when it happened but it was the best way to do it. He had heart worms and had been bitten by a snake in the throat. He was old and would not have lived through the treatments he needed. I hope you make piece with your decision. Good luck!
    giving him away was not an option, Buddie was never particularly fond of other adults to begin with, with the exception of one or two people. sending him to a new home would have been a mistake for his happiness and well being, he was first and foremost a kids dog. he loved the children unquestionable. these last few months he had taken to playing one second to aggressive the next. and back to playing. The Vets could find nothing wrong with him after spending several hundred dollars to have him examined and neutered. they were beginning to believe it to be a neurological disorder. we got him as a pup when my 7 year old was a baby and they had been crib mates and of late she could not play with him because of fear of being bitten.

    we had ordered my self another hunting puppy and he will soon be arriving. but we are now in the need of a good kids dog as well. one they can play with while the working pup gets his training.

    my reason for pulling this old thread up, was for information on the springer rage syndrome i found out about... and I have come to find out that it has not been explained outside of over breeding here in AK.

    I am sharing this personnel issue because i wish others to be aware of the problems we had with him lately and to be cautious of it while selecting one of their own... I would defiantly own another springer . he was an ABSOLUTELY wonderful dog.. that reached an age when something else turned on, or off as the case may be...

    I may be overprotective on this issue as growing up with a dog Breeders for parents i lost several family pets to a Dobbie, or Shepard suddenly attacking, and killing, one of the smaller dogs the folks had in the house. OR our herding dogs going on killing sprees on the livestock we raised.

    My decision was not only based on the safety of my 6 children, but of the friends of theirs the come over as well.

    Vince
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