View Full Version : It's me or the dog

17th October 2006, 08:56 PM
This weeks show really upset me. For the transatlantics (or down-unders) among you that don't see it a black cocker spaniel was put down by his owner at the end of the episode after he mauled one of the young kids. He had bitten her several times before when she got between him and his food.

It upset me so much, partly because I could really relate to the owner who loved his dog and felt he could do nothing else. I really cried when he had to bury her :cry*ing: Partly it upset me because surely it was avoidable, with better training, more consistency...??

17th October 2006, 09:11 PM
OMG I am glad I missed it :shock: {{{{{{{{Cecily}}}}}}}} that was something you really didn't need to see :(

I just don't understand people having small kids and untrained dogs together. I never ever left my kids and dog/s together when the kids were small and especially not at mealtimes. So I do know that it can be done.

Last week when I had Whitney here as well, I looked after my friend's little boy and every time I left the room I made sure the dogs all came with me - you just never know (saying that, it was the dogs I wanted to keep safe as I trusted them more :lol: ).

:hug: Hugs for you :hug:

17th October 2006, 09:25 PM
It was devastatingly sad. I cried buckets too.

The poor hubby so loved the dog too. :(

17th October 2006, 09:30 PM
Oh I'm another who cried! I had Chloe on my lap, and when I started crying Holly jumped up too for a cuddle. That was a first.

I used to own a Cocker, so seeing the 'merry Cocker' wag on the way to the vet's- and how angelic the dog was in the car- really broke my heart.

brid kenny
17th October 2006, 09:34 PM
Yes, also balled my eyes out.

17th October 2006, 09:38 PM
Given the behaviour of the dog in unprovoked situations, I'd guess the cocker might have rage syndrome -- its behaviour is consistent with this, the dog just goes berserk and will maul things -- and sadly is a known problem in some cockers thanks to the usual suspects, backyard breeders, unethical show breeders who don't make temperament in this breed paramount, and puppy farms. It is believed to be neurological and also believed to be more prevalent in wholecolour cockers, usually reds. For this reason many trainers do NOT recommend cockers for family homes with young kids -- some can be snappy and difficult. I have seen this said by many experienced rescues so it isn't a 'myth' as some would have it. At the same time the issue probably isn't as widespread as some would say. It is also known in springers -- a friend's springer had it and would just start going nuts and bite, though others he owned were fine and well trained and loved.

That said I would have liked to see her actually temperament test this dog!! Not advise to pts by phone!! On the other hand, this dog should not be in that home around children any longer, given the number and nature of bite incidents -- and finding someone very experienced to take on a deeply troubled dog if the problem WASN'T nneurological, when so many others need rehoming, especially in a breed as common in shelters as a cocker, would be very hard. This is the very tough part of rescue and training -- you need to know when to make such hard decisions and be able to manage what you take on. Quite frankly I would not have kept that dog in that home roaming free after it bit the first THREE times! I am a bit shocked she allowed the dog to continue to roam around with the children.

Again I am going to get on my soapbox, annoy everybody :) and say this is why it is so unethical to breed dogs just because you think you'd like to (for whatever reason!), you think yours are healthy but don't actually know anything about their background (no one could look at a cocker and 'know' it had the genes for rage syndrome -- that dog was beautifully cared for and looked in the prime of health otherwise), or you'd just like another dog like the one you already have (you can't duplicate individuality). These are the kinds of problems that arise in animals simply because WE made poor choices in mating them... and the gradual result of indiscriminate breeding over several years for poor, popular cockers has been a known incidence of rage syndrome -- which results in dogs being pts -- and very distraught and devastated owners.

molly+charlies mum
17th October 2006, 10:45 PM
i to found it upsetting i had a friend here who said i would have given it a good kicking that would have sorted it out what he said upset me more ,and when they buried the dog that was sad hope i dont see any like that again :(

17th October 2006, 11:46 PM
Is this a TV show over there? It sounds awful to put down a dog for that reason.....I hate it when people get mad at dogs when clearly kids have provoked the dog!! I work with about 4 women who all have dogs, and I call them "dog owners" and not dog lovers. One woman got a stray from the local Humane Association, and it wasn't long before she had it put to sleep "beacause the dog was peeing all over her house and was untrainable...." I was so mad at her I didn't look at her or talk to her for weeks. Her idea of "training" the poor dog to go potty outside was to just open her front door and let the poor dog run loose in the neighborhood. And I am also mad at the vet who put a perfectly sweet and healthy dog down. This dog was very sweet and and very trainable...... There are so many awful people out there who should never ever have dogs.

18th October 2006, 12:03 AM
The kids didn't provoke the dog at all, as that of course would be an issue otherwise. The kids were all amazingly good with the dogs given how badly behaved the dogs were to begin with, and also were very calm and understanding about being attacked! which I don;t think I would have been!

The dog in quesiton attacked their very young daughter and bit her three different times because the child dropped food and went to pick it up. In the final case the older daugher, around 6, was attacked and it was completely unprovoked, she was just coming in with laundry from the garden -- and he mauled her, as he did with the 4 year old once too. The 6 year old was bitten everywhere from her hands to thighs to chest. :shock: In such a case the dog absolutely had to be removed from that situation and if there is no option to put it somewhere else (who would take this dog?) -- sometimes pts is the only option. I firmly believe this. It is the hardest thing about rescue and about working as a trainer but sometimes is the right and the only decision. In the case of this dog I'd have liked to see more consideration given to the whole notion of a dangerous dog though as it could have seemed it was just hard to train and therefore had to be pts.

18th October 2006, 12:44 AM
I must agree with Karlin here. This attack was unprovoked and frankly the dog was a danger to anyone. It is sad and I feel for the owner but the little girl was covered in bites. This dog had lost the plot. It isn't usually clear on this program but the training goes on for a few weeks and still the problem escalated. I do wonder though if the new house rules which had to be inforced ie. not grabbing food from the childrens hands and table, growling over being removed from the parents bed etc., prompted the dog to assert his threatened leadership. What do you think?

18th October 2006, 04:50 AM
What is that show? Is it a reality show? It's not actors, right?

I had not heard of rage syndrome before. Interesting. At the dog park one night, i was walking up the walk toward a man sitting on the curbside of the walk, there was a bassett hound sitting next to him and a couple of cockers, i'd seen them before on other days, had chatted with him before.

As we approached, i guess because the man was sitting on the ground, Zack ran up to him and wanted to lick his face. The man said something about one of his cockers getting angry if he paid attention to another dog, but he returned Zack's affection anyway. People always find Zack irresistable. Anyway, as that happened, one of the cockers (they were both golden colored) started snarling and growling aggressively at Zack, the man picked her up and told her to stop, it only lasted a second or two.

I was not getting what was happening, it was happening too fast. Zack ran up to the man again, as friendly and affectionate, and the dog lunged at Zack, and got on top of him, growling and roaring. Zack was crouching down as low to the ground as he could get, the man was on his feet and was yelling at his dog, and grabbing for the dog, and i was yelling Zack's name and reaching for him, i was about 3 feet away when she attacked him, i picked him up off the ground and walked away to another part of the park.

She was a small cocker, not much bigger than Zack, but huskier. The intervention happened so quickly, there was no injury, but i was surprised at the sudden viciousness of this dog without a reasonable provocation, she was fine, calm, friendly, wagging her tail as we approached, but as Zack moved up to her owner, she went berserk.

From a distance, a few moments later, i saw the man get up and head toward the exit with his dogs. It was a sad forlorn image. I don't know if this is rage syndrome--according to the man, the dog only does the behavior if another dog gets near him, otherwise, he says, she doesn't do it.

18th October 2006, 09:27 AM
oh my gosh ..this all sounds so heart-breaking and terrible!! i sure wouldnt want to ever be in that kind of situation...is this a tv show that comes on over there?? what is it showing,,like what kind of tv show is it??
..i have never heard of the "rage syndrome" before in cockers..i was actually considering a cocker before i decided on the cavalier (best decision ive ever made btw :p )..but i never knew that that was an issue..i sincerely hope everything worked out ok with the family they were showing.,

18th October 2006, 11:55 AM
Cocker Rage syndrome is usually in wholecolours of Cockers and it is just something that happens 'out of the blue'. It could be something that only one pup out of a large litter might get.

I did quite a lot of research on it before we got Maxx as I was having such a time finding a good healthy Cavalier puppy that I thought I might get a Cocker instead.

It would appear that in some cases they are now treating for low serotonin levels in the brain and having some success with it too. I have heard of Cockers being given B6 and B12 vitamins and if that hasn't worked they are given a mild dose of Fluoxetine to stabilise the serotonin. In many cases this has worked. Putting the dog on a whole food or holistic diet also has had some successes.

I really do feel for anyone who has a Cocker with rage syndrome (a friend of mine has one and they muzzle him for walks), but training isn't always the answer. It would be like trying to train a human with Bi-Polar disorder not to have the highs and lows that they get - completely impossible.

Cockers with rage syndrome quite obviously need their whole beings 'looked at' and diets changed as well as good training and possibly medication.

They can be extremely loving, loyal dogs and healthy ones have a temperament similar to our beloved Cavaliers.

18th October 2006, 01:25 PM
There are arguments that cocker rage is more a media-created problem --and is very rare -- however trainers and rescues I know have all encountered some cockers with this issue. It's not just occasional nipping but a full on attack out of the blue.

Just on the point of meeting aggressive dogs: If anyone is ever told by a dog owner to be cautious of their dog I would never doubt them for one moment, and would say 'Thanks for letting me know" and either pick my dogs up and leave or get them away immediately. I'd never allow a dog to go up to someone who has given a polite warning about a dog's behaviour. Not only is this a danger to your own dog but can be very worrying for the owner who can't simply tell someone to go away without appearing rude when they've already given a polite caution. Think of their position. By ignoring their warning and allowing one's own dog to keep meeting and greeting it can quickly exacerbate the situation into a full blown fight or worse, a death. An owner of an aggressive or wary dog cannot do much more than warn someone so please do listen to such warnings.

It's really important to acknowledge that some dogs (including cavaliers) and some breeds simply do not get along with other dogs and it may have nothing to do with the dog's personality or training. It may well be that such dogs were rescued from bad situations in which they were never well socialised. Or they may have been poorly bred with no regard to temperament. Some people are comfortable managing such dogs (indeed they may be the ones who are willing to rehome a dog like the snappy cavalier I am potentially going to be dealing with, or a dog like this programme's cocker) and we as responsible owners need to listen to others when they tell us things about their own dogs, not just assume everyone wants to visit with ours. Problem dogs need to be walked too and a wise dog owner cannot make assumptions, ever, about someone else's dog's behaviour. Even a cavalier can terrify a child or an elderly person, annoy someone who dislikes dogs, or cause a jealous dog to go on the attack -- so remember, dog etiquette goes two ways. :) Not just what we expect from others but what they expect from us. If a dog isn't excellent on recall, able to come right to your side and stay there when asked, then put it on a lead when another dog or children are spotted, until again the dog can be released in an area away from others. This is just good manners. Personally I HATE other people's dogs with no recall coming over and fussing over me or my dogs while I have to wait around for them to retrieve them. I like MY dogs but I don't necessarily like everyone else's! :)

Personal example: I have consistent problems with Lily. She dislikes other females, as some females tend to. She especially dislikes small female dogs. She will sometimes even snarl and nip at them when they are doing nothing more than coming over to say hello. To me it is a constant source of low level annoyance that even when I say to people, Lily doesn't like other females and is inclined to snap sometimes, they do nothing to control their dog. This isn't an issue on cavalier walks where we know each other and are there to meet and walk together, and everyone has seen how Lil barks a bit then settles into a happy walk, but it is an issue when I am on a walk and have her drawn in next to me to part-block her access to another dog she doesn't know, and the people have theirs on a lead and allow the dog to keep coming up to try and sniff Lily. They seem to think I am talking to anyone but them when I give a polite warning. :lol: More seriously, this makes it harder for me to manage Lily and harder for me to try and distract and refocus her while the other dog sits or waits at even an arm's length away -- which helps me to de-condition her.

Barbara Nixon
18th October 2006, 01:37 PM
Bath Cats and dogs home had a Blenhein cavalier, called Sam, who they reckoned had rage. He was beautiful, but could change into a demon, in seconds. A friend had Cavalier Rescue get in touch to see if he could be helped, but even they felt that he was too much of a risk, incase anything awful happened at a later date.

When he disappeared from the website, I asked their rep on another forum, what had happened to him, but got no reply. I hope he did get a home.

The programme, in question,has been widely discussed elsewhere, with people saying that there will always be someone willing to work with aggressive dogs. However, they then go on to say that they can't because of this and that. Sadly, those who will, probably are already, so there's not much help and there are thousands of dogs without issues languishing in rescue or worse.

18th October 2006, 01:52 PM
From my perspective, and I know from trainers Tara and Lisa's, it's an issue of how risky the dog is. At some point you need to weigh whether it is responsible to try and work with a really aggressive dog that could cause serious harm. And also, to weigh up one's own resources to manage such a dog or rehome it. Very rarely, the responsible decision is -- hard as it may be -- to pts.

In the case of the cocker, I am disturbed that the trainer continued to advocate keeping it in an open home environment after it had mauled a young child once, not just nipped. I know this trainer's methods are considered controversial by some -- some approaches are good, some are more questionable, I think, though I actually do enjoy the programme. I think in the case of this dog, she was not very responsible and this had a worryingly predictable result -- the dog attacked another child in the family, seriously harming her. I dont understand why such a situation was even allowed to happen.

I am not a believer in old theories of dogs and dominance -- dominance in the dog world is complex ans subtle. The kind of old style training based on clumsy dominance theories that do not recognise this subtlety have led to aggression problems rather than resolved them. EG pinning or rolling supposedly dominant dogs, eating before them, not letting them be 'elevated' on to beds and couches... More modern approaches to training deal with bad behaviour as the owner problem that it is. :lol: Seriously -- it is the owners who need to be taught not to indulge their dogs and give it messages that the bad behaviour is actually desireable behaviour! It has nothing to do with the dogs trying to assert their control of the family in some grand scheme. If the dogs seem to be running the house that is because the owners are reinforcing such behaviour so that the dog thinks it is the right thing to do -- and the reward is that they are allowed to get whatever they want, whenever they want, by manipulating their owners. Put it another way -- a child that tests a parent's limits is not trying to be 'dominant' and run the house, but to get his or her way and to get attention (attention is the root of all eveil! :lol:). So act like a resposnible adult with kids and dogs -- set clear limits, expect certain behaviours in certain situations, and make sure child and dog end up as good citizens. :)

18th October 2006, 06:59 PM
Just on the point of meeting aggressive dogs: If anyone is ever told by a dog owner to be cautious of their dog I would never doubt them for one moment, and would say 'Thanks for letting me know" and either pick my dogs up and leave or get them away immediately. I'd never allow a dog to go up to someone who has given a polite warning about a dog's behaviour.

Karlin, did it sound like i was using the kind of poor etiquette you were warning against here?! It seems like you could have been responding to my story. If it sounded like what you were talking about, oh dear! That's not what happened. I guess it could have sounded that way. I should provide some more information.

I had previously met this man and his dogs at this and at one other dog park. He had never mentioned this issue before. He enjoyed and welcomed petting zack in the past, the first time i met him, zack was up on a picnic table he was sitting at and he was enjoying and encouraging zack to come to him, he was talking about wanting to get a cavalier and asking questions about them.

On the occasion of the attack that i related here, this was at least the third time I'd chatted him, and one of several times i'd seen him and his dogs.

When Zack approached him, he did not warn me. He reached toward zack to pet him and with both arms, to hold him, and as he was doing that, he mentioned in a semi-humorous tone that one of his cockers was always friendly except if he paid attention to another dog, and immediately, while he was holding zack, his dog began threatening and snarling, it happened so fast, and then his dog backed off as he pushed her away and Zack was approaching him again, and his dog attacked.

This was in 2 or 3 seconds time. Then I picked up Zack and left.

Zack is very consistent and good on recall. I don't know why, it surprises me, but ever since we've been going to dog parks (and Yappy Hour) since the age of about 6 months, even when he's in the midst of dogs playing, if i call him, he comes, before having had any training. Now he's had training and he continues to respond immediately when i call him. At the time of the attack, i called him and he tried to crawl toward me, but the other dog was on top of him, i was picking him up, it happened very quickly from beginning to end.

As for the kind of owner/dog behavior you were cautioning against, i certainly agree. Fortunately it's rare that i have encountered what you were describing at the dog park. Usually, dogs are well mannered, and owners watch them closely and are nearby. maybe that's why no one has been hurt there, and the rare snarling dog fight is quickly stopped by owners.

In this case, it wasn't a strange dog we had not met before, and it was an owner who did not give any warning until the situation was quickly erupting, he had given the opposite signals, even after the first indication of a problem, and if he had used a different body language and been more emphatic, I would've understood faster--it was just seconds in which it happened.

I don't know what yours and others opinions are about this, but i think if an owner is aware that a problem of violence and viciousness can happen in such a hair trigger way, the dog should wear a muzzle at the dog park, or else go for walks and exercise elsewhere. This man comes often to the parks and acts casual and friendly, lounging around, talking with people, and there has not in the past been any warning from him to be careful of his dog, he has eagerly sought to hold and pet Zack before and his dog did not attack. However, as i think about it, he has two cockers that color and size. Maybe he didn't have the problem one with him when i saw him before. I guess it's possible. I can't remember now, it's been a while.

Surely his dog, and all rescue dogs and other dogs, need to be walked. but if a dog is known to be likely to attack under predictable circumstances, i think they should wear a muzzle or be otherwise controlled by their owner, and the owner should, as you described, warn others of a problem, and do it proactively, not just after the dangerous situation has been allowed by him to unfold with the other parties unsuspecting.

The culture of our dog park is that dogs run free and they approach other dogs and people freely. I know that, he knows that. It's a huge park and there is room for people and dogs to separate if needed, including a small fenced park within the park. All dogs are off leash in the park, that's why people go there. In a culture like that, i consider it the responsibility of owners to make good judgements about safety. No one at that park expects anyone to keep their dog on lead or to be closely controlling their dog, unless there are behaviors in need of control. What Zack did was just normal expected behavior for that park.

Obviously if i see the man and that dog at the park again, I will keep a distance. He brings his dogs into the small dog park within the big dog park, sits and chats with people for hours, and the only problem i've seen with this in the past is that he has a large bassett hound who is undoubtedly larger than the weight limit of the small dog park, and who slobbers heavily and constantly, and frequently approaches people, strangers, people chatting with the man, and puts his face in their laps or rubs his face on their legs, because he wants to play fetch, and he gets slobber all over people, the only example of this I've seen at this park, he's friendly and sweet and disgusting. I've watched people frowning as they get huge amounts of slobber on their clothes which i can easily see from a distance. I've heard people complain out loud. I have looked at the owner to see how he reacts and he is ignoring the problem or not seeing a problem, perhaps thinking people are jokiing when they complain. When i encountered them the night of the attack, i was worried about the bassett hound, hoping he would not run up to me.

:grnyuk: :*gh:

I have petted his cockers before, chatted with him about them, admired their beauty, their color, and never known or had any reason to think there was a known danger with the one dog.

18th October 2006, 09:37 PM
There is a rumour going around that the cocker had already been handed into rescue but when Victoria Stillwell heard of it, she said it had to be PTS and the family reclaimed him from rescue in order to be put down. :(

IF that is true, why on earth didn't they keep the dog in rescue until the show had been broadcast?

If anyone is interested, here's a link to Cockers Online. They apparently have an e-mail address for anyone who wishes to complain to C4.

I will be complaining but find it difficult to put together a reasonably logical complaint at the moment, because the subject is so emotive.

My opinion of Victoria Stillwell has gone down substantially .... btw, when I was at the Wag & Bone Show, we witnessed the filming and Victoria appeared to be DIRECTING too. She was definitely the boss of proceedings on that day in any case. :(

18th October 2006, 10:00 PM
hi hope noone takes this the wrong way but this dog would not have had the chances it had had it bitten one of my children in an unprovoked attack and this would have broken my heart as my dogs are all my babie.Fair enough this dog might have had something wrong with it but these peop[le are lucky that this was not a lot more serious. Also knowing that the dog had already bitten should they not have seeked advice about this I did not watch the show but have heard about it.
I will apoligise now if my views upset anyone

Heather Cassie (ruby) belle(b/t) :flwr:

19th October 2006, 05:02 PM
i was thinking something similar, i was wondering why the people weren't worried about their kids getting seriously hurt. someone could've lost an eye, or had terrible facial scars for life, and worse. i didnt' see the show, just going by what people here are saying, but it seems like no one was looking out for the kids. The problem is, the dog is a family member too, and when family members, including human ones, are hurting other family members, people often don't know what to do, they go into some kind of denial of how serious things are, and damage gets done. In the case of a dog, if the only option people are seeing is pts, death, then i imagine people may try to see the problem as less serious than it is, rather than face making that choice. When the harm is being caused by an abusive parent, the nonabusing parent sometimes stays in the relationship, despite kids getting beaten. When it's a kid who's doing violence in the home to siblings , that is sometimes minimized by people as just normal sibling rivalry.
sorry for this tragic situation. Like you, i am sorry to see that such a dangerous situation was being allowed to continue. These people were very lucky nothing worse happened.

19th October 2006, 06:54 PM
i saw "its me or the dog" too, it was very sad, me and my husband had tears in our eyes! very sad, especially when he had to drive him to the vet to be put down. ... but if a dog bites your daughter once and you give it a second chance, then it bites your daughter again, it really is the best thing to be done. how could you trust that dog again? the daughter didn't have one bite either, she had several, on her arms, chest and legs.

19th October 2006, 10:43 PM
I think if its true that they handed the dog over to a pound or rescue group then Victoria was right to make them get it back and pts. Its very very wrong I think to take what looks to be a very normal dog that shows no signs of problems and let someone rehome it. If they have never seen an attack they are not going to believe how serious it was. I don't believe in fostering serious problem dogs on to others. If the dog did indeed suffer rage then there was no hope for the dog, no training was going to fix it. I believe Victoria thought this was so, otherwise she wouldn't have been so firm about it and it made the family take responsiblity for what had happened as I believe they too are to blame. If the dog had attacked before and they had done nothing before then they should be the ones to do the hard dirty work rather than leave to those poor people who work in pounds and already have to put enough dogs down!!

19th October 2006, 11:10 PM
This dog almost certainly had a temperament problem, not a behaviour problem. No amount of training is going to address that. Often such problems don't emerge until the dog reaches a certain adult age, either, so I cannot see that it was the owners' mishandling of this dog. For example, the second dog didn;t have these problems, it simply was a bossy and rude dog and probably bored. It clearly enjoyed training and quickly was learning to be polite.

Given the type of attack that dog did -- two bite attacks and one mauling on one small child, one mauling on the next oldest child -- she was right as far as I am concerned to try and get it from rescue for it to be pts, if it had been handed to a rescue. That is not a dog that should have gone to rescue unless rescue knew the FULL story behind those attacks, and it would be extremely irresponsible for any rescue to rehome such a dog except to a very experienced dog handler.

In addition, the story does not sound right. Rescue doesn't have to hand dogs back -- though the police could have arrived with an order for the dog to be pts on the grounds that already existed -- no warden would have rehomed such a dog, it would have been pts about two bites earlier. Also, not all rescues are alike. Some are little more than very inexperienced people who want to do something, but aren't equipped to handle difficult dogs, or even recognise them. And all rescues have diffeent standards. It's why I only work with a very small number of other rescues whose policies and people I know or who come recommended from other people I trust completely.

Not all dogs can integrate safely with people and finding someone who is experienced and responsible enough to manage such dogs is both risky and difficult to do in the first place. And right now there are hundreds of cockers of good tempermant sitting in rescues and shelters all over Britain, and no one will start a letter writing campaign on behalf of all of them, much less offer them a home.

There is so much work to be done in rescue and to me complaining about this programme would fall at the very bottom of the list. Maybe each person who is going to write would also go out tomorrow and home one dog from the pound themselves. That would be a lot more productive. Or maybe a letter to MPs regarding puppy farms in the UK, which could help many cockers in dire circumstances right now.

20th October 2006, 01:04 AM
This is really an interesting topic, I'm learning a lot. I had never heard about the rage issue with Cockers, altho now that I recall a friend's Cocker, I can see that my friend's dog no doubt had some issues along those lines. He pretty much had to keep his dog away from all people at all times, it would just snap and try and bite. And if you stopped by to visit you had to be darn sure to never approach the dog and keep your hands away, if you didn't approach the dog, the dog was OK. I do give my friend credit for working with the dog tho, he and the dog got along great, and he was a responsible owner by keeping the dog away from people (he got this dog when the dog was already a mature dog). He is a single guy with no kids, and there were never any kids around the dog.

Sort of off track here but, a friend of mine takes her dog to the dog park pretty frequently, she has a very large dog, and she has had several run ins with aggressive dogs attacking her dog. She has had to take him to the vet once already to have a torn ear checked out. She had asked me at one time if I wanted to bring my 2 dogs with her to the dog park, and I told her absolutely no way. I know that most dog parks are fairly safe, but I have heard too many horror stories about the dog park here in our city. There are too many irresponsible dog owners in my area that like to own a pit bull-type dog for the wrong reasons (nothing wrong with the pit bull, it is some idiot people in my area). My 2 dogs are much too small and much too friendly for their own good to go to our dog park....it is a shame. In my area hunting dogs are popular, and a lot of the hunting dogs in my area, for some reason, are very hyper and some are very aggressive. So, no dog park for us!

20th October 2006, 11:07 AM
My wired haired pointer had rage syndrome. She was a beautiful dog and I loved her to bits. She was great with the kids and was going really well in obedience, but then one day when she was about 2 yrs old she suddenly turned on one of my dogs and killed her. It broke my heart to find find my little girl dead and there was no mistaking who did it. Anyway, I kept my pointer away from my other females thinking it was a dominance problem. She continued to be her sweet self until one of my bitches got into her part of the garden. My husband picked the dog up to get her out of the way, went through the gate that seperated them and to his horror, the pointer flew over the gate and grabbed the dog out of his hands. He managed to fight her off and the little one was not badly hurt. So I spoke to several professionals about this and they all pretty much said the same thing. Just keep her away from the other dogs. Anyway the last straw was when she attacked in front of me. I was letting my old girl have a stretch around the garden when out of nowhere comes my pointer grabs her and starts shaking her. It was such a blind reaction. You could see that the dog only saw red and wasnt going to back down for anything. I managed to get her off and put away. But I started to really worry that she might do this and get one of my children. I had her assessed by a behavioural dog psychologist and she put it down to rage syndrome. I felt I had tried everything with her and nothing worked so I made the horribble decision to have her pts. That was 12 months ago now and my heart aches every day for that dog. I miss her very much, but for the safety of my family, animals and humans I know it was the right thing to do.