This is beautiful ten-year-old Springer Bracken when we first sat down and before the lady wanted to move from her chair.
It is hard to believe that this dog, about half an hour later, had exploded into a blind rage. There was no hint to look at her just how she would transform when either the lady or gentleman wanted to move.
Their Springer Spaniel attacks them
If I had moved it would have been okay – it’s only the lady or gentleman.
To quote the lady, Bracken is ‘sweetness and light’ in the morning, but as the day wears on her anxiety, stress and resulting aggressive behaviour increases.
By the evening they have to leave her in the kitchen after tea and dare not go back in there again until the morning because their Springer Spaniel attacks them.
Naturally this isn’t the full story of Bracken and her medical history. They have been in contact with their vet. I feel that had the vet actually witnessed an episode like I did she would agree that there may be more going on.
A neurological problem?
I wonder whether Bracken has some sort of chemical imbalance or neurological problem.
This is what happened. So that I could meet Bracken and maybe see how she reacts, she was allowed to join us yesterday evening. I suggested she trailed a lead – just in case – never dreaming how fortunate that was to be.
When the lady wanted to move it began, as usual apparently, with signs of acute anxiety followed by snarling and growling. I asked the man to lead Bracken away from our end of the room in order to remove her from the situation that was making her so anxious and so the lady could get up to make us a cup of tea.
The dog lost it.
Bracken didn’t want this at all. The dog lost it. She went wild.
I have never seen anything like it my life. She was in a total frenzy. Fortunately she attacked the lead while the man held it away from him – sort of climbing up it. He let go and the snarling dog immediately cornered the lady by the front door. The man managed to get her into the kitchen – where she instantly went quiet.
Fortunately no blood was drawn this time.
How truly terrible for people to have a dog that loves them during the day but in the evening morphs into this frenzied, angry animal.
Because it gets worse as the day wears on, we listed all the things that arouse Bracken. They will be doing all they can to de-stress her. During the calm mornings they will teach her a couple of strategies for when someone is walking about.
Along with a few other things, her diet needs to be changed and controlled; food may be the one route to gaining her willing cooperation because confrontation and commands only make her worse.
It could be an extremely slow process but there should be some evidence quite soon whether a behaviour approach is likely to be the answer. We will most likely need to get some backup form the vet by way of medication.
This is a distressing nightmare for the owners who have loved and cared for Bracken since she was a puppy – and it must be hell for Bracken. This isn’t the true dog.
She is being driven by something she can’t control.
A couple of weeks later. “Thanks Theo for all your help. We are having a calmer week – due to the most part to your helpful advice”.
Three weeks later. “We are keeping up the training methods suggested by you and she seems a calmer happier dog”.