|Barked: Thu Apr 12, '12 8:54am PST |
|Dear Jax, Zephyr, Bruno, and Missy,
I feel so much better just being able to share all this and get some feedback! You all are great, and I thank you. Jax-parent, true, at least I do know what I am dealing with. Right you are: dogs like these will be put down, ultimately, because people just cannot tolerate aggression, whether from fear, dominance, whatever. This is why I could never give up Tony: I know what would happen to him.
Zephyr-parent, ha ha! Yes, I am partly crazy, and thank you for saying so. Honesty is the best policy! It is somewhat crazy to put up with dangerous and bad behaviour. Ponder, ponder. I have tried all sorts of training methods, with some improvement, but Tony will never ever be trustworthy, and that is the bottom line. I really should not have called him a herder: he only herds ME when it is dinner time. Basically, he's an adorable little terrier attack dog.
Bruno-parent, thank you for acknowledging the frustration!! Tony totally flips out when he espies a dog 10 yards away, let alone a few feet away, sigh. Dark days were ours, too, that first year. As you say, I too made the decision that all I really could do is hang in there with him, as doing anything else would have pricked my conscience intolerably. Some people will say that if a dog is incorrigeably aggressive, one should not feel guilty to have him euthanized, but I just can't do this! I would have to live with that action the rest of my life.
Missy-parent, you're right, Tony may well have many more years ahead of him, but also possibly not. Actually, I do have a long bond with this dog, as he was my dear friend's dog for 5 years, and I saw him every weekend and for vacation weeks at a time. But when my friend died (of cancer, sadly), I became the sole parent. And I do feel like a single mother, somewhat held hostage, as you said, Zephyr!
So in short, as you all really have said, there is just one option: try to train him further to decrease all his attack behaviour. Seems impossible, given his age, his breed, his genes (-anyone see the amazing Nature program on Wolves and Foxes? Genes are really hard to fight). I feel a sort of despair when I think of all this. I will try, but in the end, I think careful management of Tony -- cum muzzle! -- is really the bottom line, and it is frustrating, embarrassing out there on the sidewalk, vexing, sometimes upsetting to others, and so forth. Maybe this is my karma, something I am burdened with and have to work off in this life!!
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