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Cocker rage

(10 Posts)
LeChien Thu 02-Jul-15 16:50:31

Sort of a TAAT, but I didn't want to start quizzing this on another thread.

We had cocker spaniels growing up, and I remember being warned off solid coloured cockers because of cocker rage.
In the last year I spoke to a vet nurse who specialises in training (using clickers and positive rewards, not dominance stuff), who said it was a myth, some breeds of dogs (not just cockers) can tend to be a bit nervous, and if they are trained using dominance methods (very popular throughout 80s and 90s) there is a good chance that the owners won't recognise the subtle signals the dog gives that they're not feeling happy, and the dog may seem to suddenly turn with apparently no reason.

Is it genuinely a thing, or just a misunderstanding?

barkingtreefrog Thu 02-Jul-15 17:18:41

My brother has a plain coloured cocker and a close friend also has a plain coloured cocker. We've looked after both of them during holidays etc. I've not noticed anything I'd see as 'cocker rage' and it's not something I've ever heard of. They have very different personalities and behaviour, I think all dogs are different and it's down to their training. Different breeds have different traits and it's not always an incorrect stereotype (my collie cross can be neurotic at times!) but essentially they have their own personalities.

Mimigolightly Thu 02-Jul-15 17:23:32

Cocker rage used to be quite common in the golden, solid Cockers. This was due to a lot of inbreeding to try and achieve the colour. In recent years though, selective breeding has almost got rid of it. I used to have two orange roan girls who had the most fantastic temperaments.

tabulahrasa Thu 02-Jul-15 17:25:50

It's one of those ones that's in some people say it definitely exists and others that it doesn't.

It's not just in cockers though and it's often attributed to a form of epilepsy...the difference between what the vet nurse is talking about and rage syndrome is that with the latter episodes are often reported with a dog sleeping and waking up uncontrollably aggressive and disorientated.

LeChien Thu 02-Jul-15 17:30:49

Tabula, that's interesting, I hadn't heard that before.

QueefOfTheSporned Thu 02-Jul-15 17:31:24

I know a few CS breeders who would say it exists (and a colleague who maintains that he has his young CS PTS because of it) but, as stated, it could be attributed to poor breeding practices. It's apparently uncommon these days but, as with any breed, only buying from a reputable, ethical breeder who breeds for health and temperament is the way to go to minimise risk.

tabulahrasa Thu 02-Jul-15 17:59:49

I've never actually come across it...I just randomly read up on stuff, lol.

I don't doubt the accounts of it though so suspect it exists and is a medical issue and that also people with aggressive dogs for fairly normal reasons have also attributed dog behaviour to it.

LeChien Thu 02-Jul-15 18:07:21

I'd never heard of the dogs waking up disorientated, I'd heard stories about dogs randomly turning on owners but in a way where it could have been explained by poor handling, I think this is the scenario the vet nurse was talking about.

tabulahrasa Thu 02-Jul-15 18:29:13

I can't remember who they were by, but I did read some small scale scientific studies and they definitely mentioned disorientation and successfully medicating for it.

I have a rottie (which is one of the breeds supposed to be prone to it) with pretty severe behavioural issues...they're caused by painful health issues and some negative experiences he's had, his warning signs are very subtle and he's a pretty enthusiastic dog with everything he does, so he to an unwary person is fine and then goes into a huge aggressive display.

My thinking is that had I gone to a dominance based trainer for help with him, well firstly it would have more than likely escalated the problem, but also it could well have been decided it was something like rage syndrome.

Compared to anything I found that had any sort if scientific basis though, his is definitely 'normal' behavioural problems.

AMcoffeeLover Thu 02-Jul-15 23:08:29

I have 2 staffies both of block colours and was warned by loads of people about the colours indicating temperament problems.....and mine are the biggest softies ever.
Thinking about it all the people who warned me were 50+ years old, maybe what their generation thought was true? To me its rubbish.

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