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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everybody, I am new to this site, but I am desperate for help. Next to putting my dog down-which is the last thing I want to do-I am at a loss. This dog is a golden retriever/border collie cross. Female. Currently 9 and a half. She was never abused. Had her since she was 2 weeks old. We adopted her from a pet shelter. She listens very well. Is very well trained in all areas. From doing tricks when getting snacks to being able to herd sheep. Very good dog. Except she is violent. Very violent. We have several other dogs while we had her. We used to think she was just being territorial until she started attacking people. My brother was sitting on the couch watching tv one day and she was nuts and sunk her teeth almost to the bone in his knee. Another time she bit his face. She has bit my mother. I have a scar on my hand from when she attacked me. She bit my hand and would not let go. She is good with other people though. When we talk to people about it, they couldn't imagine her being violent because she is so friendly to people. Our other dogs have gotten beat from her. Sometimes my dog can be sleeping and she walks up and just tears into her. Just in the past two years, my dog has had her toe bit off, one front fang ripped out, stitches on her foot, four times, on the bridge of her nose. She has had multiple puncture holes on her sides, legs, underbelly. I've thought to rename her "lucky". But our golden doesn't get better. And when she fights, she does not let up. One fight, my brother really grew a pair and scooped her up, something I never would of thought to do. He picked her up off the ground and held her high while I grabbed my dog. But she had such a grip on my dogs mouth, my dog was suspended by the goldens mouth. She was off the ground by the top of her mouth because our golden doesn't quit. There is never a reason for the fights to start. Ever. She doesn't have any diseases. She's perfectly healthy. We got her checked last month and we told she would probably live to around 20 she is in such good shape. She just has a huge anger problem. My question, is what do I do? We have sedated her, she still picks half asleep fights. We have muzzeled her, she rips it off. We have to crate my dog because the golden will try to kill her through the crate, which is metal. She tries to attack her in it. She's crazy. I can't trust her. I'm actually scared to be around her because i don't know when she will attack me or anyone or anything else again. We cant take her to dog parks because she will kill any other animal there. She tries to go after people outside our fence when we let her out. Ii need help, big time. Any suggestions are welcome and much appreciated. Sorry for the long post. Just giving you insight.
 

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The problems with this dog's behavior are way beyond internet advice. Ask your vet to do diagnostic blood work including a thyroid panel and testing for tick borne diseases, and if it is all normal for a referral to a behaviorist.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for your reply, but we have had her tested for that. And rabies, parvo I think it's spelt and for other stuff. They say she's fine. Other people say just to put her down, but she's such a good and helpful dog, it would be a waste when we can just help her. But. Have thought of a behaviorist, like Caesar Milan, we watched a lot of his stuff, tried that, it hasn't done anything. I don't know what to do.
 

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The first thing that enters my mind due to her breed is Rage Syndrome

"Rage Syndrome" is in fact an epileptic seizure in the emotional lobe of the dogs brain. Like other forms of epilepsy (motor, or behavioral) the dog behaves normally 98% of the time. It is the 2%
that is the problem. This can happen in any breed of dog. I have seen it to date in a Labrador Retriever.Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, Mixed Breed,the aforementioned Doberman and Newfoundland, and about a half dozen Springer Spaniels. Yes, I said Springer Spaniels. This condition is common enough in the breed to be commonly referred to as "Springer Rage". Springers have more of a genetic predisposition toward this condition for some reason than other breeds. Again, I must stress that this is extremely rare and therefore just because you have a Springer Spaniel you should never assume that this condition will automatically be an issue.
Like other forms of epilepsy this condition can be treated with Phenobarbital which has the effect of lessening the seizures in the brain. The obvious problem in the case of "Rage Syndrome" is that even one occurrence is one too many, and therefore dogs diagnosed with this condition are generally put down. Because the stakes are so high it is recommended that at least two opinions are sought before a diagnosis is made. The best professional opinion you can obtain is a Neurologist. Your Veterinarian can give you his or her opinion, as well as a referral. In the case of one client with a Springer Spaniel, the owner was honest with us and explained that her Veterinarian had suggested that the dog be put down. She stated that she would be more comfortable if we would be willing to evaluate the dog and give her a second opinion. In this case we took the dog in under observation. It took about a week to see the normally sweet dog fly into a murderous rage for no apparent reason. The dog would then go back into a normal state without apparent memory of his actions. Unfortunately we had to concur with the owners Veterinarian that the dog should be euthanized.
This condition is also being studied in humans. Almost every condition that can be found in the brain of a dog can be found in a human being. These tests may some day explain some criminal behavior in humans. The symptoms of this condition are:
* Unexplainable aggression that comes out of nowhere.
* Aggression that seems unrelated to dominance.
* A marked change in the dogs eyes, snarling and growling, lunging.
* The dog seems to abandon the behavior as suddenly as it came on.
* The dog seems not to recall the previous aggressive behavior.
* Unpredictable timing of the aggression.
What to do if you think your dog has "Rage Syndrome"
*Do not try to diagnose it yourself. Owners many times are wrong about the causes of aggression.
*Do seek at least two professional opinions (Veterinarians and Trainers) At least one Veterinarian.
*Do give your professional advisors all of the facts that you can think of. Do not withhold information!
*Do not put others in danger. If you think your dog has "Rage Syndrome" do not leave him with
children. Remove him from all situations where he can do harm to anyone.
* Do not make excuses for behavior that frightens you or others. Being afraid of your dog should be
the first indicator that professional help needs to be sought for diagnosis and/or treatment.
For more information on "Rage Syndrome" as well as other causes of aggression I would suggest that you read Dog Training 101-The Book That Puts You In Control. You can locate this book on my website at: http://www.K-9Companions.com

Karen Duet is co-owner of K-9 Companions Dog Trainng and K-9 Security & Detection Int'l LLC. She is the author of 4 internationally recognized books on dog training: Dog Training 101, Advanced Schutzhund (nominated for a Maxwell Award), The Business Security K-9, and The Home & Family Protection Dog. She can be reached through her web site at: http://www.K-9Companions.com

Article Source: http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Karen_Duet


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/998912
Also, Milan is NOT a behaviorist and anyone using his methods might very well do more harm than good. If it's Rage syndrome it would be treated medically (anti siezure meds) which may or may not work. If hte meds don't work, then you'd need to euthinize for the safety of your family.
 

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You can ask your vet for a referral to a veterinary behaviorist (not a trainer) but honestly as much as it sucks if you are afraid of her and she is this much of a danger to people and other pets in the home, you need to seriously consider euthanizing her as an option.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you so much for that post, I don't think we had her tested for rage syndrome. Practically everything under the sun though. I think in the next couple weeks, I might have her tested for that. Thank you so much.
 

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There is no test for rage syndrome (or any form of epilepsy) there is only treatment with anti siezure medication, followed up by a veterinary behaviorist.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Trust me, we have thought of it many many many times. We just don't want to put her down incase it is something small we can fix and she wouldn't be so mean.

If it has to be done, I guess it has to be done, thank you so much for your insight.
 

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If it were something 'small' it should have been fixed after 9 years. Frankly if the dog is that dangerous, I'd have already put her down for the safety of my family members.
 

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There's also no test for rabies (except examining the brain tissue after death) so if your vet said he tested for that I'd be suspicious and find a new vet.

Even before you decide what to do and/or find an effective treatment, you really need to protect your other dog. Don't give the dogs a chance to interact. Keep them entirely separate. Same with humans. . .don't give her a chance to attack anyone. Keep her on leash when you're out of the house, and don't let anyone who isn't aware of her behavior in the same room with her.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
What you all have been saying about putting her down for safety and keeping her from contact with people and other animals is exactly what we try to do. She's my dads dog. I've mentioned to other people how she is and they said they would of put a bullet in her. They said the exact same you all are saying. But my dad doesn't feel it is a big deal. I want other people's insight on this, as extreme as they might go, just to show him that this is not a normal dog fight here and there. We have had to find another vet because she was recently shut down, for reasons I don't know. But thank you for telling me that we were ripped off. Might be a reason why she was shut down. I agree with you all on the euthanization. My mother wants to wait for the snow to melt and the ground to soften so at least we can bury her. But I don't know if we can hold out that long. It's a bit intense.
 

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I think shooting a dog is cruel. I hope you'll at least let the vet do it painlessly if you care about her.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I could never shoot an animal. But that's what other people have said. But everyone agrees she should be put down.
 

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I think shooting a dog is cruel. I hope you'll at least let the vet do it painlessly if you care about her.
Frankly shooting the dog is less cruel than allowing it to suffer and endanger people and other animals. If that is what has to be done due to the area being rural or someones life being in danger, that's what has to be done.
 

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I think the anti-seizure meds are worth a try before you decide to have her put to sleep. But, yeah, if she really does attack humans (I think animal aggression can be managed and isn't a good reason to euth in itself) randomly and violently like you describe, she has a mental illness. And if the mental illness can't be managed with meds, euthanizing is really the only option.
 

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If it were something 'small' it should have been fixed after 9 years. Frankly if the dog is that dangerous, I'd have already put her down for the safety of my family members.
Agree with above, this dog has lost it's right to exist in a civilized society whatever the reason
 

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Thank you for your reply, but we have had her tested for that. And rabies, parvo I think it's spelt and for other stuff. They say she's fine.
We have had to find another vet because she was recently shut down, for reasons I don't know. But thank you for telling me that we were ripped off. Might be a reason why she was shut down.
It really sounds like your old vet was a rip-off artist. Testing for rabies and parvo makes no sense whatsoever. If it were me, I would definitely dig into why that vet was shut down. It sounds like the person has been billing you for all sorts of lab tests and services, and that stuff isn't cheap. If it was fraudulent, you deserve to know, and have a chance at legal recourse. Not only for the money, but the time and energy that were wasted in trying to find a diagnosis for your dog.

Has your new vet seen the dog yet, and what does he/she think?
 

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Yeah, if your vet claimed to have tested for rabies, he/she is full of it. Try someone else. You could ask for a trial of the phenobarb and see if that helps before throwing in the towel.

And, tell your father that this is NOT normal, not in any way. I have a somewhat aggressive dog, she fights first and asks questions later. BUT, there is always an obvious reason for aggressive behavior...a dog ran up to her and jumped on her, a dog threatened her or our other dog, a strange man comes into our yard or house or approaches my car while we're in it, etc... It's totally predictable and, accordingly, manageable by managing her environment and keeping her restrained when there is potential for a trigger incident (i.e., she gets put away before I open the door for a repairman!). A dog who attacks for no reason at all? And attacks family members? That is not normal, even for a dominant and aggressive dog.
 
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