Rage? How to help him.

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Rosco P- Coltrane

Rosco aka Steer- Clear
Barked: Thu Aug 19, '10 7:57am PST 
We adopted Rosco from a breeder. I did all my research prior to bringing him into our home. The mom and dad were on site. There was nothing against them from anywhere.

At 5 months old, we noticed something wasn't right. He would be happy, then just change. His eyes would glaze over and he'd viciously attack! I had never come across this in all my research of this breed. I was stunned. It kept happening. Being I have 5 children, who the youngest was only a year old, I was deeply concerned.

The vet said it was bad breeding. My heart broke. I had him in three different trainings (with different people over different times). Nothing helped. Nothing.

He's now 6 years old. He has hurt 5 people seriously enough that there was an emergency room visits for them. There have been other times as well, but not severe enough for an ER visit.

I've seen 3 vets who say he needs put down. I refuse. He's my baby! It's not his fault. He has hurt me and my husband, but we still care for him.

Don't get me wrong. If he was a serious dangerous dog, I'd consider it, but I won't. Why? 95% of the time, he's a sweet loving dog that just loves his tennis ball, cuddling with me, and going on runs with me. When he's usually like this, I cannot see taking his life over somethign that isn't his fault.

Our last vet, yesterday, finally asked us if we heard about Cocker Rage. I never heard the term before. (We adopted Daisy Duke who is also a pure bred ACS a year after Rosco and she's completely fine, no agression at all). The vet told me they aren't sure why it happens, but he is a classic example of it. He said a lot of families put the dog down, becuase rescues won't take him. I don't want to put him down and do not want to give him up!

When he goes into this attack mode, it terrifies me. The kids are really careful around him (the youngest is 7 now). The know Rosco can "snap", but they still love him. though they are really cautious of being around him. After two were hurt seriously by him, I can understand why they are.

My question is: HOW can I help him? Is there anywhere to make this go away?? My husband is becoming increasingly worried about a lawsuit, which I cannot deny. The last time he snapped, a person had stopped in that we didn't know to talk about their church. While we were talking to them I had Rosco on the leash (was walking him), and he was sitting, happy. Out of the blue, he just went after the poor woman. He took a part off of her leg!! It was small, but enough that she had to go to the ER, and the police and humane society came out. They talked to out vet and said that one more attack he'd be put down. I nearly cried. He's not like that all the time. The person did nothing. Which is usually the case. The time he attack me, I was sitting on the couch. He came up to me, he normally lays his head on my lap and hangs out. That day, just seconds after he laid his head on my lap, he turned and bit severely into my thigh! I was terrified.

But it's not his fault. At the same time, he's nothing like Daisy. She is 5 now and has never bit anyone. Not in playing. The most she's ever done is pee on your feet when she was a puppy becuase she was so excited! lol

HOW can I help Rosco? I have to cut his hair myself now becuase he went after the groomer, but he was leashed to the table and couldn't get her. But she said at that time that there was something not right (that was my first clue something was unusual with him). I want to get him professionally styled. I want to be able to have people here and not worry. I want my kids to be able to play with him and not be scared. Is there any hope? Anything?

Since we all love dogs here, would you consider putting him down if he was your beloved pet? Should I take my heart out of the equation?

Thank you for reading this, I know it's long. I just don't know what else to do and all the sites I'm coming across are not helping.

I should also add we tried anti depressants on him three years ago, it didn't help. We are looking at trying the anti seizure meds. Has anyone tried them with sucess?

Edited by author Thu Aug 19, '10 8:02am PST