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Discussion Starter #1
In the past few weeks we have had 2 golden retrievers come into daycare. They were doing great playing, not showing stress, lots of wiggly, bouncyness, play bows; then flew into a rage and went after the other dogs over very minor things. Then they would not come out of that state of mind. They of course are not coming back. My boss said she has seen quite a few goldens with that issue, where they get into that state of mind over something very minor (one of the dogs did simply because another bumped into him slightly while playing) and not coming out of it.

Is this something that is seen in the breed sometimes? Or do we just have some one breeding aggressive/short tempered goldens around here? I've met plenty of goldens that were not particularly friendly but hadn't seen ones that flew into a blind rage like that.
 

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I'll offer some 2nd hand information and some 1st hand observation. A retriever guy once told me that serious injuries resulting from dog fights (at field events) are caused by Goldens, way out of proportion to their numbers. He said it was mostly bitch fights but that the boys tangle, too. All dogs do it but Goldens get serious quick. I have no reason to disbelieve what he said, but have no stats to back it up.

My observation is that Goldens tend to be quicker to excite than some other breeds. Goldens are naturally very friendly but they get amped up to a high level, and very quickly. We all know that a dog at a high level of excitement can be more easily triggered to the next level (fight or flight). I've never had an incident with my dog, but I have seen the potential. He loves to train and he'll work his great big heart out, but praise had to be kept very low key or he'd get completely out of control. Total berserker. It's much less of a problem than when he was young, but I've put a lot of work into teaching him calmness and focus. Not an easy thing.
 

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Thanks for your input. I have noticed that they will get to a high level of excitement very quickly. I've never owned a golden and don't know much about the breed so I was/am just curious if its a problem in the breed like how spaniels have the "rage syndrome".
 

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Willow was like that. She was a Lab, not a Golden, but they're similar. She was just too excitable, too reactive.
 

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I'm sorry those Goldens have that problem but am very glad to hear about it. I adopted a Golden/BC (mostly Golden though) 2 1/2 yrs ago. He is a gorgeous, sweet and very intelligent dog but he does the same thing. He has gotten a bit better but it is still an issue in our house. For sometime there I was nearly at my wits end with him. He could be sound asleep and then suddenly jump up and go for the kill, literally, on one of my others. Or maybe the other dog is sound asleep and then Helios would quietly walk over and begin a low growl. He would stand still and continue to growl until someone, anyone, made any sound or move and then that was it. He would be out for blood. It's as though he has gone completely insane.
I've had GSD's all my life and know them in and out and every which way from Sunday but am a total beginner on these other breeds I currently have. I hope someone else knows more about this and will chime in here. I am very interested in 'hearing' what anyone has to say.

Jihad
and the pound puppy crew.
 

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Hmm, have you tried putting him on phenbenotrol (sp?). Its a seizure medicine, I know with the spaniel rage thing they are sometimes put on that and it seems to help.
 

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Willow was like that. She was a Lab, not a Golden, but they're similar. She was just too excitable, too reactive.
Eddie can be like that as well. He, too, isn't a Golden but also a Lab. Between Uallis and Eddie, I have to worry more about Eddie flying off the handle in terms of aggression. I've always attributed it to not being as well socialized as Uallis. Occasionally, Eddie will start growling for no apparent reason. He's never been aggressive with me and I'm not afraid he ever will be, but sometimes he does get angry for a reason that I can't find. *shrug* Sometimes, I don't know how he'll react in certain situations. He's so unpredictable. Some dogs he likes, others he wants to kill. Some people he likes, others he wants to kill.

I had a Golden a few years ago. He was the nicest, well behaved dog. He was very docile and loving. He was like that all the years I knew him. I remember him only one time, completely losing it and he kicked our Basset Hound's butt six ways from Sunday. I can't remember what started the fight. I do remember though that he was out for blood. He never reacted that way again though. It was the first and only time I saw him behave like that. Also, knowing how our Basset used to be so bossy and dominant with our Golden, I could see how Montana finally got fed up with him. It certainly wasn't normal behavior with him. Like I said, he was a very docile, well behaved dog.
 

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He could be sound asleep and then suddenly jump up and go for the kill, literally, on one of my others. Or maybe the other dog is sound asleep and then Helios would quietly walk over and begin a low growl. He would stand still and continue to growl until someone, anyone, made any sound or move and then that was it. He would be out for blood. It's as though he has gone completely insane.
That doesn't sound like a normal behavioral issue, and certainly not normal Golden behavior. Even "Spaniel Rage" has been found to (in the vast majority of cases) to have identifiable triggers--the difference being that the escalation of aggression seems to leap-frog several levels.
 

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Hmm, have you tried putting him on phenbenotrol (sp?). Its a seizure medicine, I know with the spaniel rage thing they are sometimes put on that and it seems to help.
Nope, no meds at this point. I'm trying to take care of it through training and exercise, and learning to recognize triggers and helping him avoid those situations. However, if this is a common, possible genetic, problem in Goldens I really want to, need to, know as much as possible about it.

Jihad
and the pound puppy crew.
 

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I've been reading the Retrieverman's blog (http://retrieverman.wordpress.com/ ) and he talks a lot about the retriever breeds, especially Goldens and Flat-Coats. He's mentioned in a lot of his posts that aggression is becoming more and more of a problem in Goldens, especially the heavier, "show"-bred goldens (also referred to as English goldens).
 

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I think a lot of the problem is due to the mass production of the breeds. I have met some very aggressive, unbalanced Labradors and Golden Retrievers...none of them were well bred. At all. When people just start churning out puppies (like my neighbor and her three Goldens - from BYB lineage to produce BYB offspring) and they don't care about temperment as long as the dog is a "good family dog" (and even at times that doesn't matter, because all dogs have quirks, right?) then we will continue to see "friendly" breeds with questionable temperments and low tolorence.

The well bred Goldens and Labradors I have met have been saints. The poorly bred ones are demons.
 

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The well bred Goldens and Labradors I have met have been saints. The poorly bred ones are demons.
Oh, yeah. Willow was definitely NOT well-bred. I didn't know any better at the time, unfortunately.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Both of these goldens conformationally were awesome and appeared to be so tempermentally until they just went off.
 
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