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AIBU to want our agressive dog PTS?

(99 Posts)
sazz1 Wed 17-Jun-20 11:12:32

We have 2 dogs one is a cockapoo. She was fine until 9 months then slowly started becoming more and more agressive. She actually bit one of my daughter's friends when she tried to touch her. We spent hundreds on a behaviour specialist but they were doubtful that it would improve, and advised to rehome.
It's gone from growling to actively running at you snarling and barking when you enter the room. The only person she's ok with is my OH he worships her. Even him, if he tells her to do something she will growl at him. She is fine when we're out great with strangers, great at the groomer.
First thing in the morning she is really loving to me but after 5 minutes I can't touch her as she would bite me. It's so unpredictable but I don't feel safe walking around the house most of the time. It's guarding behaviour and the outbursts are escalating but OH loves her so much. He's even had to get out of bed several times to put her out when I'm trying to get my phone from the lounge or other things I need. She has bitten my shoes while I'm wearing them several times but not me or OH yet. But she's the love of OHs life. My other dog has started trying to defend my by standing between me and the dog and barking at her. It's as if she knows how agressive the cockapoo is and wants to protect me. She's agressive to my son and daughter too if they stay more than a few hours but friendly when they first arrive. It's a nightmare.

Granarchist Thu 18-Jun-20 10:40:02

Iam64 - I am with you all the way. Genetics has a huge part of play - which is why I am always alarmed when people think that breeding from a bitch with a dodgy temperament is a good idea. Ditto mares. Irresponsible to say the least.

Furret Thu 18-Jun-20 10:41:47

Echoes of Marley and me there Iam ?

The telling point is that your madcap was like that from when you brought him home as a puppy, so yes, nature - genetics at play there.

The OP thinks her dog was fine until she months, so more like nurture.

Alexa Thu 18-Jun-20 10:45:03

I Am64, this conversation has alerted me to potential difficulties I could not cope with if I ever adopt another dog.

I do believe in genetic inheritance according to breed. I have a little hound at present despite I have preferred GSDs collie types who are easy to train. I know my dear little hound was never going to be clever enough to work out how to open door handles or obey a compound command.

The other popular designer dog ,the jackapoo , seems to be a great mixture of compliant poodle with JRT fire. One of those visits us and has a lovely personality.

Granarchist Thu 18-Jun-20 11:13:35

vets do not like 'designer' dogs. They are concerned that crossing two pedigree breeds can result in genetic problems of each or either breed being exacerbated.

Granarchist Thu 18-Jun-20 11:20:30

The research vets refer to the problem as 'Cocker Rage' and 'Sudden onset Aggression' and it almost certainly has a genetic link. Usually first signs are at around 8 months old but can manifest itself for the first time much later ie 3-4 years old. The problem is that if it does not appear in a dog until later, then the dog may already have been bred from, either as stud dog or as breeding bitch and it is too late to prevent that line from being continued. So it is vitally important to choose a puppy you know comes from a long line of well disposed dogs. I waited over two years to get a Jack Russell puppy from a particular line - she is 8 now and a delight. Perfect with babies and adults alike. Worth the wait.

Iam64 Thu 18-Jun-20 20:20:05

Granarchist, I agree with you about 'cocker rage'. It's very rarely seen in show type cockers these days because good breeders don't breed from dogs or bitches who have 'difficult' temperaments in their family history. the problem with the many poodle crosses, is that in some puppy farms or other poor breeding environment, any old spaniel x with any old poodle. The apricot cockerpoo is hugely popular, which links back to many red show type cockers being used to breed, with no checks on health or temperament.
Vets are right to express concern, as do all my dog training friends, about the problems with breeding early and often from dogs and bitches with disregard to health or temperament.
My current young spaniel has a distant pedigree link to my first spaniel (over 40 years ago). The line is of well bred pups from parents with proven health and temperaments. She's an absolute sweetie, exactly what you expect from her breed and colour. As Granarchist says - find a good breeder, get on their waiting list and wait. Or if you're lucky as I was, buy a slightly older pup they kept to show, but whose second tooth wasn't 100% perfect so they reluctantly let her go.

Whitewavemark2 Thu 18-Jun-20 20:35:26

Our vet said that these new type of cross breeds were throwing up a lot of problems.

Breeders are so irresponsible. Look at dogs like the bulldog, I think it is abuse.

Furret Thu 18-Jun-20 21:18:20

Many breeders are worse than irresponsible they are downright cruel and their breeding stock are just money making machines. Even so called ‘good breeders’ are not always what they seem and their dogs don’t know how to be a dog.

You’d think that KC judges for example would be beyond reproach. Not so owners of filthy kennel fined but you would be wrong.

I could describe scenarios that would leave you in tears.

BlueBelle Thu 18-Jun-20 21:30:14

Totally agree whitewave

patcaf Fri 19-Jun-20 14:30:37

SOA or Sudden Onset Aggression is a common problem in UK cockers and some other breeds. This sounds exactly like the issue we had with a cocker. It is in certain breed lines but the owners keep breeding because of the money. There is usually no solution no matter how much you spend on retraining. It has nothing to do with bad owners or training. We tried everything but in the end had to accept our vets verdict that the only solution was for him to be pts. Your husbands attitude to this is very odd as surely he can see how this is ruining your life. I cannot understand or help with that kind of attitude in a relationship.

You cannot rehome such a dog as it will become more aggressive and the Dogs Trust would certainly put it down before taking any risk. There is only one answer but if your husband will not listen then there is little hope of a solution.

DillytheGardener Fri 19-Jun-20 14:41:20

To add to this, I once had a bigger breed of dog, that I threw every trainer at the book at and followed through at home and still it didn’t improve. Unfortunately I kept it and didn’t surrender it to dogs trust, and it bit a guest drawing blood and making puncture wounds. I feel sick about this to this day and it could have been so much worse. Ring up and arrange it to be handed over ASAP, you will never forgive yourself if it hurts your friends or family. Safer for the dog too, because if it bites someone causing injury it will likely be put down.

Spice101 Sat 20-Jun-20 03:26:00

The vast majority of “ proper” breeders i.e those registered with the Kennel Club are responsible with their breeding of pure bred dogs and most do not get absurb prices for their pups.
While the general public is happy to pay the price and support dodgy greeders then they will continue to breed unsuitable crosses without thought of any consequences from that breeding.

Iam64 Sat 20-Jun-20 08:15:23

Quite so Spice101. I follow a couple of breed specific facebook groups. Over lock down they've been dominated by people who never had a dog before, who work full time and have young children yet believe lock down is the ideal time to get a pup. No research, no finding a reputable breeder and waiting, its meeting dodgy folk in car parks, going to houses where the pup is 'the last in the litter and its mother is out visiting a friend who had a stroke, so you can't see the pup's mother'. These puppies never have kennel club registration - and are often sick or are are 5-6 weeks old so far too young to leave their mother. Rescues will be inundated. Those same people are now returning to work and posting requests for advice as the puppy is howling and chewing everything now they're left all day. The other frequent request is advice because "our puppy is aggressive. He's 14 weeks old and bites the children".

Furret Sat 20-Jun-20 08:46:10

“Hello, you are through to the Dog Rescue. All our volunteers are busy taking other calls at the moment. Please listen carefully to the following options and choose the one that best describes your situation.

Press 1 If your 11-year old dog needs a new home because you are moving house today, your new landlord will not allow pets, and that’s fine by you as she was never that important anyway.

Press 2 If you have just had a baby and want to get rid of your dog because you are the only person in the world to have to cope with a baby and a dog at the same time.

Press 3 If your male dog has just started to cock his leg on the furniture because you never got around to having him neutered and he’s shut-in for 8 hours a day anyway while you are out working.

Press 4 If you want to rehome your 15-year old, arthritic dog who has just started nipping your children when they manhandle him, and you want to get a new puppy for them to pester.

Press 5 If your unchipped young Akita escaped from your garden through the fence panel that blew down in that bad storm of 2016 and has been handed in to the local dog rescue, again, and you are angry at being asked to pay the small fee that keeps the charity running and looking after dogs like yours.

Press 6 If you want us to rehome your dog with a ‘slight’ aggression problem, having just bitten the postman, your neighbour and killed their cat.

Press 7 If your dog is sick and needs to visit a vet and you need the money for your holiday

Press 8 If you are a breeder wanting to shift your old breeding stock so that you can make room for new puppy producers.

Press 9 If your new partner of two weeks doesn’t like your dog and you are too stupid to get rid of the new friend rather than the dog.

Press 10 If you have just found a ‘stray’ and when we call to collect it, you slip up calling the dog by his name, and he cries when we take him away.

Press 11 For more excuses if we haven’t covered yours yet. We have plenty more for you to choose from.

sodapop Sat 20-Jun-20 08:50:15

So true and so sad Furret sad

Bathsheba Sat 20-Jun-20 09:46:11


I am sorry but there is NO way I could ever have a healthy dog PTS, Poor dog obviously needs some help. I would definitely try another animal behaviourist.

I think the danger is describing a dog as healthy in terms of their physical health alone. Mental health should also be considered and it's clear to me that this dog is not mentally healthy.

Sazz1 frankly I am staggered beyond belief that your husband is putting this aggressive dog first, ahead of you. Does the dog seriously mean more to him than you do? shock. How on earth can he justify this? I would be giving him an ultimatum: the dog or me. And I would stick to it, if necessary making the arrangements myself to have the dog pts.

sodapop Sat 20-Jun-20 13:00:46

Alternatively the husband could go Bathsheba

Sussexborn Sat 20-Jun-20 13:16:30

Furret: You forgot the people who think a puppy or kitten would make a cute Christmas present.

We ended up with two rabbits. One kept in a packing case in a shed after an uncle thought his nieces and nephews would like one and a similar story with the second one.

OH was not impressed as we had to get a hutch with a run and alter the garden fencing to make it escape proof. Then the bigger rabbit kept mounting the little one so we needed an escape hutch as well.

All after me persuading OH it wouldn’t cost much!

Bathsheba Sat 20-Jun-20 13:57:40


Alternatively the husband could go Bathsheba

Totally agree, as long as the expletive deleted dog went with him.

sodapop Sat 20-Jun-20 15:39:55

Goes without saying Bathsheba

Still no word from the OP.?

Puzzled Fri 26-Jun-20 17:54:40

Sad reading.
But a sudden change of temprament does suggest an underlying problem, such as brain tumour, even a small incipient one.
If no physical cause can be found, much as it saddens me, there is only one solution, to keep everyone safe.
It will be heartwrenching, but has to be done.
I have hated having to have our cats or dogs PTS but it was the only kind way to end their suffering.

sazz1 Sat 25-Jul-20 10:03:05

Just to update you all and thanks for the replies.
Dogs Trust refused to take her due to the agression and sent me a list of other rescues to contact. That's it no other help or advice offered. So I guess they don't ever put a healthy dog down as they don't accept problem dogs!
OH has now agreed to me getting rid of the dog as the agressive episodes are becoming much more frequent.
Going to contact the other rescues next week and if none will take her I'm sad to say I will have to put her down.

midgey Sat 25-Jul-20 12:24:49

Please don’t contact rescue centres, some times through human error or whatever such dog are rehoused. You know the responsible thing to do sad as it is.