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Beagle Rage (cross-post from HandicappedPets.com)

2420 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Genie
I'm hoping someone here has some ideas on this beagle.

Quote:Originally posted ni westminster pet sanctuary at HandicappedPets.com
We have had a beagle here in rescue for over a year and a half. He was sent to us from a HS with a "serious heart murmur". Got him here, two Vet's checked..no murmur..huh??

After about a month or so of him being at the Sanctuary, he appeared to be a nice beagle, so we put him up for adoption.

The new family loved him (and they had Beagles all their life)..two months later I got a call, saying the dog bit their child and the wife unprovoked. They were in the kitchen, he was lying in his basket in the living roiom when out of no-where, he came charging up and bit them.

My first thought was "What did THEY do?" (sorry it is something pretty much all who rescue assume first)

Brought him back to the Sanctuary, all was going well, until about the two month mark, when he was sitting in a chair, and my daughter walked by..out of no-where he lunged and bit her hand (she is okay) I saw it unfold..completely unprovoked.

Brought him back to the Vet..she initially suspected dominance aggression. Suggested taking away all possesions, and taking a stronger alpha position. We also did a FULL health screening and all bloodworks..nothing abnormal..by all accounts a physically healthy dog.

Well..that was a miserable failure, as this dog stared me right down to nothing (keep in mind I have dealt with dangerous breeds before, and can read some warning signs) In my mind, no doubt, had I stood atop him, I would have gotten nailed no question.

I put him under a self imposed muzzle order in public and around the children. The Vet agreed in order to avoid him be determined as a "dangerous dog."

He continued to snap over months here at the sanctuary..stare you right in the eyes almost wanting you to challenge. I was bit once by him. My husband told me, the dogs know I am a softy at heart and can read me like a book, no matter how alpha I try to be.

So my husband (who BTW is gentle as a lamb with animals..just has that more authoritative voice)..The dog listened to him..until one day..SNAP..was right up in his face ready to go.

So why am I writing today?? Well everything was quiet this morning when all of a sudden the dog "snapped" and started to growl up close and personal to me..no reason I can assure you.

The Vet suspects he is a case of a "known bad line" of beagles that suffer from something similar to Cocker Spaniel rage.

I have worked with the Vet (who is also a behaviourist) who said..he must be put down before he seriously injures someone, and he is a walking cannon.

I asked about MRI's, CT 's etc..she said "Why..if there is an abnormality..you can do NOTHING about it and the result will have to be the same."

In my head..I know she is right..however in my heart I just do not feel right about it.

Our sanctuary has NEVER put down an animal that was not already dying without hope and without every possible medical intervention being done. When they die..I KNOW in my HEART and HEAD it was the ONLY option for the sweet soul of the animal that was suffering. I hold each one in my arms while they pass to their new journey and watch the pain change to peace..

I could not even do this if that was the decision we made for this dog..he would have to be retrained first, probably muzzled. It is a thought that makes me literally ill.

Does anyone have any experience with this type of behaviour? Would you say it is aggression or a rage issue?

I know we have done NOTHING to provoke the dog..he just snaps out of no-where (sometimes even sleeping)..and up close and personal, growling and staring you down.sometimes managing to bite if we are not quick enough to move..other times we are quicker (keep in mind he is muzzled around the children and in public)

Do I keep him muzzled 24/7?? To me that is no life either...

Any thoughts advice most welcome and appreciated.
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This is a difficult one. I know a dog trainer who reckons there is no such thing as an untrainable dog. We went to him with our last beagle, Spotty, who turned agressive in later life, but hers was an Alpha problem. Also she had advanced cancer at the time and it was suspected she may have had a brain tumor. So we lived with it and knew how to avoid being bitten. It never happened in the home.
There is always a reason why a dog is aggressive, it could be that brain damage is present in which case there isnt much one can do. Do you have any specialist dog trainers in your area? There is a website called Agbeh a Yahoo group, that deals with aggressive dog problems. I'll see if I can find the actual website details. It is in English and based in the USA.
If I were you I would insist on a brain scan, just incase. Has the dog got any signs of epilepsi? If it were a large dog (Rotweiler etc) I would have to part with it, but maybe there is hope yet with a beagle. Good luck and I'll be back with website details.
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The website is htt://groups.yahoo.com/community/agbeh
Once a member they expect you to read through the files to see if the help you are after has already been mentioned. It is a very strict group with lots of rules.
Reading your post again, has the beagle had any history of being badly treated? The original owner might have been cruel to it and now its a case of I'll bite you before you hit me? It sounds like a dog that shouldnt be in a home with children. Maybe a period living alone with a dog trainer would help.

Good luck and keep us informed.
Just my 2 cents worth. It sounds to me like some sort of a seizure. I think I'd have more tests done to see what is going on in the brain. Or, like A Doghouse suggests, maybe his first owner did something to him that people now are unknowingly triggering the behavior. (Does that make sense?)

Keep us posted on this little guy.
Reading your post, my first thought was also a brain disorder of some type, perhaps coupled with environmental/behavior issues in a previous life. When I was a child, Our family had a beagle stolen off our farm by a man running a dog fighting ring (it's a long story, but he was found during an investigation and was returned to my father.) He had to be destroyed for similiar reasons, because my father wouldn't allow him to be around other animals or us kids.

I applaud your efforts and dedication to help this poor pup. Not many would go to that extreme to help, and perhaps your search will provide a miracle.

It's nice that maybe I can be helpful.

Kylie, our 4 year old female had 6 owners in her short 9 months of life when she came into our lives forever.

I wasn't told this when she rescued us, but I KNOW she was abused. At first we couldn't touch her hindquarters (tail area) without her snapping. I had to warn everyone NOT to touch her there. She also has "issues" with LARGE people and dark clothes, hats. Some people she is JUST afraid of.

As time went on, she learned that we have nothing but love to give her. Although she still isn't the happiest (wagging tail) beagle in the world...like my other beagle-mix, she is better with strangers than she was at first. She's been with us for nearly 3 years now.

I think that once abused it take YEARS for them to trust and sometimes they never get over it.

Kylie never charged people for no reason...it would be only if she felt threatened.

I do think it may be an alpha thing. My potbellied pig became aggressive because he was top pig in his herd (us) and we had to learn to be alpha.

When she gives you that stare (that you know all so well) can you tell her NO and she stops it or does she continue to test you?

My advise other then more health issue and tests (like tumor, epilepsy)is to be TOP DOG. Do not let her win. I am not an expert on dog training but with the pig I'd back him into a corner until he submitted. I never let him win.

Reading this I don't know if I helped or not. I wanted to give you my experience. I think an abused animal of any type will have issues that may never go away.

I'll be thinking of you for the "right" answer. It's true that you can not risk her hurting someone...

I'm so sorry that you are going through this. It's so hard.

Good Luck and keep us posted.

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MD: My suggestion would be to first have a consult with a veterinary neurologist. I took Maggie to one down here and she was remarkable. I expected the visit to be outrageously expensive but it was very reasonable; of course, if brain scans, etc. are recommended, they might be pricy.
I looked at the original message and one reply suggested trying Cesar Milan's techniques. I would want to make sure that there weren't any physical causes before trying any behavior modification. If nothing physical, then they might also want to try a consult with a behaviorist. If there is a veterinary teaching hospital in Ontario, they might have both a behaviorist and a neurologist.
............How sad. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/frown.gif
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I'd never heard of cocker spaniel rage, so goodgled it, and found this interesting site, Joe, if you think it might be helpful to the folks at handicappedpets.: http://www.cockerspanielrage.org.uk/
I feel so bad for this lady--I hope she can find some help for this beagle and won't have to put him down.
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