Is there anything I can do to help this dog with Springer Rage Syndrome?

by M.R.

This dog is a 6-month-old Springer Spaniel that was gotten from a breeder September 2010. He is sometimes very aggressive. I've heard that Springer Rage Syndrome is incurable, but it would be nice if he didn't have to be returned to his breeder.


Just today, an eight-year-old girl in the family who owns him was bitten and scratched above her eye when she tugged on him and got too close to his face. The dog showed no signs of anger before he jumped onto her, but the family knows he needs space. The girl's father (understandably) became angry and squeezed the dog's neck, shoving him into his kennel. This wasn't the first time the dog became aggressive when provoked - or the first time he was handled so roughly. Is there any way this problem can be solved without euthanizing this dog or returning him to his breeder?

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Comments for Is there anything I can do to help this dog with Springer Rage Syndrome?

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Dec 15, 2011
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springer rage NEW
by: Anonymous

Our springer had insecurities, separation anxiety, and aggressive/protective behavior toward us and strangers. She died at an early age of 5 from lymphoma, so the symptoms could be related, also runt if the litter. Looking back, obedience training classes at early age in addition to setting clear, consistent boundaries and non provoking responses would have made a big difference. I tried training and calmly reinforcing, but sometimes she would snap for no reason and my boyfriend would react similar to the Dad in your post. I could see it only instilled the fear in her instead of calming her. She would immediately run to her crate after snapping, knowing that it was wrong, but her crate then became a place for her to protect as well. We couldn't shut door or come near at times.

That being said, we loved her tremendously to try and make changes to the problem. She was so sweet smart and caring, it hurt to see her turn on us like that without clear warning. My advice is to seek professional early in the dogs life to have greatest chance of success.most likely the owners are contributing on ways they cannot control without professional trainer. I wish we had done that earlier, could have improved our 5 short years so much.

Mar 29, 2011
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have thyroid checked
by: Anonymous

this is also a cause for aggressive behavior in springers -- mine is on thyroid and thyroid herbal support -- if she misses her doses, she will growl at me at night when she is tired...and she tested low-normal...

started all this with aggressive behavior toward her older "brother" at mealtimes...

it has helped...good luck!



Jan 20, 2011
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reply to Is there anything I can do to help this dog with Springer Rage Syndrome?
by: Suffolk Maid

I would say a few things could be going on here.
Firstly, I always warn my puppy onwers to be, that about 6 months, is a potential time for dog to show terrotorial or possessive or gaurding behaviour, if subtle things aren't in place, with you having calm authority and the dog knowing its boundaries. This beginning of puberty time, can be a bit like teenmage time- hormones are coming into play, the dog starts to think like 'I'm 16 and can do what I like sort of thing' and begin to test the boundaries. A dog, who starts to get a bit above itself, They might hide under chair and if someone goes to get their toy, growl and snap where they haven't before or get possessive over food, with another dog, where it didn't before- things like that. An owner behaving in an equally aggressive way,out of frustration makes the dog more unsettled and behaviour can get worse. calm consistent boundaries, where you are in charge of the home and the setting is the key, where the dog trusts and understands its place- If dog gets possessive over toys for example remove them and gradualy allow back, when the dog sees you as pack leader/authority.

These thngs can usually be sorted within a few days to a week, once patterns put in place with everyone understanding what to do or not to do.

Also, a child or anyone going to close and getting in a dogs face is disrespectful to a dog, and tugging at collar and like with people, could make it more likely to snap. People often miss the early warning signs, that a dog is feeling uncomfortable, licking its nose, turning head away, avoiding eye contact, slight grumble..be aware of the dog's body language when with your dog to understand when its more stressd and just needs to be left alone sometimes, like we do.

When you are aware of the different stages of dog's life, it is helpful to understand. Its not usually down to the breeder but often just a lack of understanding and realising what is best to do but hopefully breeders would warn you of various dog stages and always be there for back up advice to help you on your way.

Hope it works out.

Jan 07, 2011
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Springer Rage - Epilepsy
by: Anonymous

We suspected our Springer had Springer Rage - starting at an early age of a puppy. We were so in love with him and did not and would not return him to the breeder. Lots of training helped and giving the dog lots of confidence will go a long way. Sadly our Springer started having seizures at 2 and a half yrs old and I believe it was directly related to Springer rage and it was epilepsy. We treated it with meds - but his seizures came in clusters and kept getting worse. This was extremely hard on his body and did some damage on his last bout of seizures we had to put him down at only 3 years old. People kept telling us his behavior was related to lack of training - but we truly believe it was direclty related to something just not right in his brain. We miss him very much!! Just thought this could be helpful info - as it could be related to an illness...I will say that the rage issues got better as he built his confidence and was a little older.

Jan 03, 2011
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springer rage
by: Estie

Your dog does not have springer rage syndrome - which is a term where there is much discussion on and may not exist at all. It is a term that is losely thrown around and people don't know what they are talking about - some vets included. Anyway, your precious springer needs some training and some good obedience classes. It will have a happy ending.

Jan 02, 2011
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Springer Help
by: Michele

First of all, though I understand fear and anger follow dog aggression, choking the dog and throwing into the kennel only make the situation worse. If the dog has been properly obedience trained, one word sends the dog to his crate without anyone having to touch him.

Secondly, OBEDIENCE TRAINING. All dogs need it and Springers in particular. Springers are excellent dogs that make wonderful pets and companions, but the downside is they are headstrong. Meaning, if allowed to take charge they will do so. This Springer has been allowed to take over and your situation will only worsen until a person takes control. That doesn't mean yelling or hitting. It means training.

Find an obedience class in your area. Reputable boarding kennels and dogs clubs usually offer these classes for a minimal fee. The dog will learn and so will the humans. The dog will be happier and so will you.

Good luck and please don't hit the dog - it only makes things worse and it's not fair to him.

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