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.
Last edited by wyominggrandma; 06-08-2011 at 05:48 PM.