Chui is a Sarplaninac, which is a breed from (now former) Yugoslavia. It is quite a fascinating breed and still very close to its origins as a livestock guarding breed. They are working dogs, most certainly. He is big: weighs around 90lbs.
Chui came to me from a surburban family at age 2. He bit a house guest in his quest to "protect" his house and his people. The couple decided to either give him to a farm, or to put him down. So we brought him home.
He is an incredible dog. He is obedient, well behaved, and so gentle with us, his family. He is very quiet, stoical and does not want a lot of attention but just likes to be around with us. He gets along very well with our yellow labrador.
However. He is extremely aggressive. His first response to something he perceives as danger (which is anything/anyone unknown) is to attack. For this reason he lives in a kennel when he is not in our house. He is on a rope or leash when outside, or when set free to run he wears a stainless steel muzzle (he can pant and drink through it).
Even with our precautions, there have been incidents. For example, someone walked into our house unannounced and he bit them (not seriously). And now, yesterday, he attacked a sheep that had got loose from her pen (he was tied). He gave her a superficial wound in her neck. It could have been much worse.
Chui is 7 now. The breed lives to be upwards of 12. I adore him. He is healthy, well integrated into our family, and a pleasure to be around. But is it time for me to think about putting him down? The possibility that some day a rope could break, a kennel door fail, a muzzle come off...it really troubles me because I -know- what he is capable of. Having this dog around is like having a loaded weapon.
Accidents happen, and I would never forgive myself if something were to happen to a child, or if one of our livestock were killed.
What would you do in this situation? I want what's best for everyone involved.