What is Rage Syndrome?

It is a genuine, however uncommon unique behavioral issue that has been accounted for in a few breeds (especially in Spaniels). Fierceness Syndrome is frequently misdiagnosed as it is in some cases mistook for different manifestations of hostility.

What are the common indications?

Sudden assaults for no clear reason; the canine will regularly be dozing and afterward assault without cautioning. The eyes get to be enlarged and once in a while change color amid and after the assault, the pooch is completely befuddled when assaulting and won’t react to any endeavors to prevent it. The assaults can be exceptionally capricious. After the assault pooch will regularly seem disorientated and completely unaware of its activities, then come back to its typical self not long after. Assaulted people are typically family members and because of the absence of caution from the canine, often experience injury that will require medical attention.

Is it true that Rage Syndrome is an enormous issue in Cockers?

No, the quantity of influenced Cockers is little. Shockingly, this issue was sensationalized in the 1980’s by the press, this brought about this breed picking up a somewhat undeserved notoriety.

I have heard only Red and Gold Cocker Spaniels experience the ill effects of this syndrome?

Studies have demonstrated that red/gold Cockers are more inclined to experience the ill effects of Rage Syndrome contrasted with particolored Cockers, yet it is critical to express that cases are uncommon and most reds/goldens live out typical, content lives as family pets with no personality issues whatsoever. Demeanor and conduct issues are usual problem for all types of pooches, behavior can be impacted by numerous factors such as raising, genetics and general well-being. Poor demeanors (perhaps unrelated to this syndrome) sporadically happen in all shades, since the Cocker is a quite popular breed and unfortunately, some puppies originate from irresponsible raisers. Another problem is that some Cocker owners commit training errors which can bring about personality issues.

Is Rage Syndrome reported in other breeds?

This issue has likewise been accounted for in American Cocker Spaniels, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Dobermanns, English Bull Terriers, English Springer Spaniels, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Pyrenean Mountain Dogs and St. Bernards. Once more, the quantity of influenced creatures is not high.

Are there any proven causes?

Despite the numerous studies, especially in the ’70s and ’80s, it still can’t be precisely anticipated. There are numerous hypotheses on what this illness is and what are the exact causes. These speculations are: a dog type of schizophrenia, a manifestation of epilepsy; insufficient amount of serotonin in the cerebrum and thyroid problems. Some also accept that this syndrome is basically a type of dominance aggression and cannot be considered as an isolated condition.

Is there a genetic cause for this condition?

Despite the fact that there are no significant studies which can prove this hypothesis, it is surely conceivable and some geneticists and behaviorists accept that a hereditary part of this issue is quite certain.

Can Rage Syndrome be dealt with effectively?

Each case obliges singular consideration and what is endorsed for one canine may not work for another. A few medications that have been proposed and attempted are: change of eating methodology, the utilization of d-amphetamine, vitamin B12 help, Oculucidon, fixing and progestagen treatment, anticonvulsants and conduct adjustment systems went for changing the predominance status of the managers.

I think that my puppy has Rage Syndrome, what should I do?

Please remember that genuine Rage Syndrome rarely happens. Concerned dog owners ought to counsel their vet and request their pooch’s case to be alluded to an accomplished behaviorist who can figure out whether the puppy is really experiencing this exact syndrome or has some other sort of animosity issue.


  1. Lisa Harrison

    My papillon ONLY does this when asleep. Attacks me with GREAT FEROCITY, Only after repeating ” Luca, it’s Mom” 4 or 5 times does he seem to ‘wake’ up. He ALWAYS appears very contrite , sad , even embarrassed. From deep sleep to teeth-bared, snapping and biting until he appears to waken. Any knowledge or suggestions would be great my appreciate d.

    • Daisy

      My dog only does this when he is asleep too. He attacks with great ferocity. I can’t touch him because that aggravates the situation more. I have to first, get out of the way, second, clap until he wakes us, and yes, he always appears very confused, sad , even embarrassed as well, then lies back down and goes to sleep. He’s 20 pounds so I feel that I can control this, and will be talking to my vet about this syndrome as we have been trying to figure out what the issue is. I just stumbled upon this ‘rage’ syndrome in the last week and reading it all is very disheartening. Especially when alot of these articles say euthanasia is the only option. Not for me. I don’t have kids or other pets so there’s no issues with safety. And I’ve trained him to sleep on his bed beside mine, which is sad, because he’s such a cuddler but in the end, it’s safer for me and my significant other to protect ourselves from these attacks in the best way possible, I’d say it happens anywhere from 3-4 times a week and the severity sometimes is not as bad, he just waked up growling madly, but doesn’t get up. But when he does get up, he jumps straight for the face with ferocity. It really is sad.

  2. Joanna Jacobs

    I have a 10 year old chihuahua who started this behavior about four years ago. If she is startled while sleeping, she comes up snapping and biting. Afterwards she acts embarrassed and ashamed and wants to cuddle to apologize. After she had drawn blood a couple of times I did take her to our vet. She was already on meds for seizures (mild and infrequent). He added prozac for anxiety. It helped tremendously but over a period of about three years, apparently she became used to the prozac and the attacks worsened. He increased the dosage and she is doing well. The attacks haven’t stopped completely. We’re both more comfortable with her sleeping on her own bed next to mine instead of on my bed, but most of the time she just prefers to be left quietly alone. The vet did not put a name on this condition; I ran across this site quite by accident and it’s the only time I’ve read anything about it. Perhaps my experience with it can help someone else.

    • Mary Nielsen

      Hi Joanna, I hope she is doing well after increased dosage. I’m sure your experience will help many readers..thank you for this insightful comment.

  3. Christina

    I adopted my 2 yr old girl from a shelter 6 months ago. I believe she is mainly mini fox terrier & is 10lbs. When she wakes up from a nap, she goes right for my 7 yr old 5lb min pin. She’s extremely vicious with her & has made her bleed once. I keep a harness on her often now so I can grab her before she attacks my min pin. She’s not attacked me but I have been bitten when trying to stop her from attacking my min pin. I put her in my room alone for a minute & she comes out her normal playful self! It’s like she’s possessed – even when I’m walking her to my room she’s twisting & trying to get free & looking around me growling horribly at my min pin. 1 minute later she’s completely normal & loving again. I’m not giving up on her & I don’t want to drug her, so I’m just going to try to keep being aware & ensure her harness is on her when she naps. It’s awful since my min pin is often scared of her – but they also play like best friends every day too. Thankfully both my girls are little so I can intervene & pick them up & separate them when necessary. Her attacks may eventually be directed toward me, but I’ll cross that bridge if I come to it.

  4. Fiona

    My 16 month old golden English cocker is doing this regularly. He is playing lovely then just snaps at us. He has just tried to “go” for me about 10 mins ago, but is now snoring away fast asleep? He was castrated on 17th to see if any improvements and is on zanax-not really happy about that bit. But interesting to read about the epilepsy part, we have a vet appointment on 27th so will have a chat with my vet

    • Maggie L.

      A few years ago, I regularly walked and dog-sat for a beautiful Portuguese Water dog. He was young and always very energetic, but when he was about two, something changed in him. At first, he was increasingly reactive to outside stimulus, like seeing a deer through the window. I had to walk him with a harness because sometimes he’d want to go after other dogs. He had a big yard at home and would play fetch endlessly. He could be taught, though: I trained him to sit and wait at the backdoor instead of pushing ahead of me. He kind of loved knowing the rule. He’d sit, trembling, waiting for me to say “Okay”.

      But it quickly began to escalate. First he seemed to get aggressive when I tried to leave the house. I resorted to tossing him a treat as I went out the door, and still sometimes he’d leap up and tear the arm of my t-shirt.

      Then came the attack events. They happened just as described in Rage Syndrome. He’d stiffen up, his eyes would go hard, and then he’d just go nuts. I was always careful not to startle him if he was dozing and I always talked to him before standing up or moving around, but the final time, I was sitting on the sofa, he was lying nearby, I spoke to him and moved my feet a little getting ready to stand up, but he just went nuts. I pulled my knees up to protect myself and he bit me through my sweatpants and got me pretty good on the knee – a fair amount of bleeding. I kept still and repeated his name in a lower calm voice, and within minutes he calmed down and come over to sit by me again.

      Obviously I had been in touch with the owners about all of this. They’d had incidents with him as well. I told them I didn’t feel safe with him. I accompanied them with the dog to our local Humane Society for an expert assessment. The advisor was not optimistic, but offered a comprehensive plan of retraining. Then when the owner mentioned that her daughter was expecting their first grandchild, the advisor stopped and said “No. This dog cannot be around an infant”.

      The owners tried to follow the plan, but after a dangerous rage event where the dog almost got out of the house to attack a delivery person, the owners had this beautiful boy euthanized. There was no other choice. I loved that boy, but something went wrong in his brain. This was not poor training. There was something wrong that couldn’t be fixed. I don’t know if anyone is still reading these comments, but I still feel bad about this beautiful, damaged dog.

  5. Dannis Thornton

    I have a little mixed breed Formosan Mountain Dog from Taiwan.
    She has these attacks straight out of sleep for the most part.
    She has “raged” when sleeping on my lap, but hasn’t even tried to bite me. But my poor labrador mix is getting lunged at daily. He is SO patient with her. He just opens his eyes WIDE and leans his head back until she comes to her senses (usually 5 – 10 seconds) Then she feels horrible and tries to snuggle with him (literally sleeping over his front paws with her head against his chest.) Then she will do it again a couple of hours later. She has never attacked another dog when we are out walking – she runs up to them with her tail wagging. IT just seems to be waking up,or coming out of a doze that triggers it


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