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a very difficult decision

This is a discussion on a very difficult decision within the General Off Topic Discussion forums, part of the Life Beyond Horses category

     
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        06-08-2011, 02:14 PM
      #11
    Super Moderator
    Have you consulted with a vet about this?

    Your comment that "He is a Jekyll and Hyde, two completely different sides to his personality." makes me wonder if maybe there's something that's going on mentally that could be helped with the introduction of a mood balancing drug of some sort as well as behavior modification. You would eventually wean him off the drug but by that point he'd have learned to have more low key reactions to things so he'd be safer.

    I used to work at a dog kennel where there was a dog that sounds similar to yours. He was a guarding breed (Tibetan Mastiff, HUGE dog) in a home setting and he was the sweetest thing, most of the time. His owners got him on some kind of drug that helped him be less afraid of things (I don't remember what it was) and then they were able to get him to a place where he was a safe dog.

    I obviously don't know all the details of your situation, but it might be something to look into. :)

    He's a beautiful dog. Whatever you decide to do will be the right thing. You've given him a good life and I'm sure he knows and appreciates that.
         
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        06-08-2011, 02:19 PM
      #12
    Green Broke
    I think honestly that putting him down is best for all. Many years of vet teching, makes me stand outside of these situations and be able to see without emotion....and the potential for harm he is presenting is not good. Not only can he harm someone, if he does you could lose your entire farm.
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        06-08-2011, 02:21 PM
      #13
    Weanling
    Don't think of it as 'destroying' him , think of it as doing him a service. My thoughts on 'dangerous' dogs aside you have given him a good life , and more of a life than he would have had otherwise. Perhaps it is best to let him go now BEFORE his memory is tainted by a severe attack. That way you can remember the dog you loved , rather than the dog he has the increasing potential to be? Like you say having a dog like that is like having a loaded gun - a very unpredictable one, and could you handle it if he mauled a child or one of your animals?

    It reads to me like you know what you have to do, he's had a good innings perhaps its time to let him go?
         
        06-08-2011, 02:51 PM
      #14
    Weanling
    I understand how hard this decision is. My dog, Thumper, was the best dog ever but he was extremely dog aggressive. He was a danger to my other pets and other dogs that we came across. Not only would be aggressive towards them but he would have redirected aggression towards anyone that was around him when he was upset. I was stuck and didn't know what to do. I felt that I couldn't rehome him because that would be giving someone else my "problem" and I felt selfish that no one else would love him as much as I did. In the end I decided the best outcome was to send him to the Rainbow Bridge. Its been 2 years now and I think about him almost every day and miss him terribly but I know I did the right thing. It may have taken me a few months to finally believe I did the right thing, but I did. Only you can make that decision.
         
        06-08-2011, 03:04 PM
      #15
    Foal
    Wallaby -- I haven't looked into meds before. I wonder if they would make a difference. I forgot to mention that his reactions to strangers significantly decrease when off-property: ie, he's good with the vet and groomer (still muzzled, though). Even with meds I would not trust him. I will bring it up with my vet and see what he thinks, though.

    Cakemom and Scoope -- thank you. I want to be proactive about this, it's true. I just shudder to think of what might happen if something unfortunate takes place. I want to remember Chui for the sweetheart he is with me.

    Puddingtat -- I'm sorry for your loss, but thank you for sharing your experience. You did a brave and sounds like the right thing.

    Thanks for your support everyone.
         
        06-08-2011, 05:45 PM
      #16
    Started
    As a dog trainer, vet tech and dog breeder/handler, this type of situation that you talk about is a deadly combination. Unfortunately, the dog has bitten, whether provoked or not and once they do bite, they will continue to bite when they determine they bite. A trainer might make a difference, but when you own a dog that is in constant unacceptable behaviour as this, you are looking at huge liabilities, which you already know.
    We just put down a 3 year old boxer at the clinic. The owner and I had been talking about this dog for a couple of weeks, I gave him some things to try, however, I told him that this was a liability and an accident waiting to happen. This guy also reacted to fear with charging and biting.He was a family pet, yet had decided to start biting and chasing people in and out of the yard, would break through a fence to chase folks. When he snarled and snapped at his own child, then the owner made the correct decision.
    The problem with meds is it might work and about the time you feel so confident that the dog is doing okay on the meds, somebody will forget the muzzle or forget where he is or something unsuspecting happens and he will still attack. It is only masking a problem, if the meds work, until a further time down the road.
    I always tell people DO NOT give these dogs away to rescues or humane societies, as they are so full, they will quickly adopt out a dog, and not tell them that the dog has bitten, or they do not know that. Even a well meaning friend who offers to take dog, will at some point face the same situation you are facing and instead of putting the dog down, give to someone else and the cycle goes on.
    A shot at the vet is the most humane thing to do, it is quick and painless and YOU will know your dog is at rest. If you are concerned about how the dog will act, go to your vet ahead of time and have them give you a sedative you can give about an hour before your appointment. This will calm your dog down and will be less stressful on all of you.
    It is hard to do, but in the situation you are talking about , this is a time bomb waiting to explode and you would be mortified if he ends up biting a child or even worse.
         
        06-08-2011, 06:54 PM
      #17
    Super Moderator
    That has to be very tough situation and hard decision to do. I'm sorry.

    For me it sounds that it's time to let him go. Maybe you could try to consult a dog trainer or animal behaviorist like suggested before but when you need to make special arrangements for an animal because of his aggressiveness and still can't trust that, for me it sounds that the best decision to the animal and the owner is euthanize the animal. Then the animal or you don't need to stress anymore.
         
        06-08-2011, 07:57 PM
      #18
    Weanling
    While I know this is a difficult decision for you, IMO, the legal implications to you and your family outweigh the emotional attachment. Dog biting litigation is not anything you want to contend with and I think you realize that. Thank you for caring enough to do the right thing.
         
        06-08-2011, 11:05 PM
      #19
    Foal
    Wyominggrandma -- thanks for sharing. That is a sad story. While Chui has never EVER shown any sort of aggression towards our family (he is in fact more submissive than our labrador), I get what you're saying. And I agree -- I have thought about the possibilities of finding him a new home, but that simply transfers my problem onto someone else, and puts a new group of people at risk.

    Thanks again everyone. You've helped me clarify the reasons why this needs to be done and given me some courage going forward. I need to talk to my family, but he is technically my dog and the final decision will fall to me.
         
        06-09-2011, 02:36 AM
      #20
    Foal
    Look In to finding a rescue that has time to work with him. I think it would be unfair to not give him a chance at living out his life happily...7 is young.
    You knew the dog was aggressive when you got him.
         

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