put an aggressive dog to sleep? HELP!

Whether a dog dies, is lost or stolen, or must be placed in a new home, this is the place to gather together to give and receive love and support when you experience the loss of a beloved dog.

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Is that for me?
Barked: Thu Sep 28, '06 11:34am PST 
I see that I'm jumping in here at the end, but it really gets my fur up to have posters say "PTS isn't the solution". You have NO idea. It may be the only solution, and making an absolute statement like that is not helpful to the poster at all. Some of you have had dogs with minor aggression issues and severe aggression issues, and had them solved through a behaviorist/trainer. Some of you have spent months with a behavorist with the end result that the behaviorist recommended the dog be put to sleep (oh, yes, my dogster friends, that happens quite a lot).

Holding a dog while he takes his last breaths is a much harder and more loving choice than fawning him off on a rescue that will then put him down, in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar, but hopefully still loving, hands. Aggression is lots of times textbook, and lots of times not, and I think that in a decision as tough as this one throwing a lot of guilt at the poster is just plain mean.

Sorry if anyone thinks I'm showing my teeth, but these judgements make me sad. There are dogs that can be fixed, and there are dogs that cannot. It is sad, but as responsible pet owners we owe it to ourselves and our dogs not to become another statistic that hurts all dogs.

Ethics Matter!
Barked: Thu Sep 28, '06 6:16pm PST 

I couldn't have said it better!

Edited by author Thu Sep 28, '06 7:05pm PST


Barked: Thu Sep 28, '06 7:27pm PST 
I totally agree with Duchess -
I just read a fantastic excerpt from Jon Katz new book "A good dog the story of Orson" in it he talks about his dog Orson and how he became agressive and his (Jon's) decision about what to do with Orson - of course it was only an excerpt but it was wonderful, he said that he was thinking of putting Orson to sleep because he couldn't in good faith give him to a new family and didn't want Orson to live penned up - I don't know what he ended up doing, I'm planning on buying and reading the book when it comes out this weekend.
Sometimes the kindest thing a person can do is to put their dog to sleep - it's our job as owners to make the hard decisions. A dog that can't live a happy, "free" life isn't really living !


Chia Kitai!
Barked: Thu Sep 28, '06 9:17pm PST 
Pups if you go back a few pages and read all of the posts you will see that Jake's Mom did find him a good home all on her own. It sounds ideal as he is with a more experienced dog person, in the country, and lives close enough that they can visit him each week.

Let's hope this is Jake's happy ending.
Miss Bear at- rainbow- bridge

Miss Bear
Barked: Fri Sep 29, '06 5:59am PST 
How old is Jake? Sometimes older dogs get grumpy just like any of us. They don't want to play and have anyone hanging on them. Have you took Jake to the vet lately? Maybe there are health problems and he is hurting somewhere, but he can't tell you, so maybe he should be checked out completely by your veterinarian. I don't know what to tell you though, I've never been through what you have been going through, every dog we've ever had has never bit anyone, but Miss Bear is getting older and she is grumpy sometimes so I make sure people don't bother Miss Bear and she doesn't have any problems....She's never bit anyone, and I'm pretty sure none of mine would. Good Luck and if I was you I would take Jake to my vet and ask many questions and be sure to tell your Vet everything that is going on with Jake. hugs, Heidi, Miss Bear and Tala

let's go- swimming!
Barked: Fri Sep 29, '06 6:03am PST 
I'm so glad to read now that Jake got a new home in the country, we live in the country too. I didn't know that when I posted the first time, but boy I'm glad to know it. I hope Jake has a happy furever home and never bites again. hugs, Tala, Heidi and Miss Bear

Gehorchen Sie- Dem DACHSHUND!
Barked: Fri Sep 29, '06 3:04pm PST 
Check out Cesar Millan "Dog Whisperer" on National Geographic channel. Or better yet get his book "Cesar's Way". He rehabilitates agressive dogs. He has a dog psychology center in Cali where most of his dogs were just like Jake. In danger of being put to sleep, Cesar was their last chance at living! It is something to check out.

Barked: Fri Sep 29, '06 7:39pm PST 
I feel that my two cents might be worth sharing on this subject as I was just bitten in the face by a friends dog that required emergency room care and stitches. Having had this experience, I can honestly say that it truly does have a lasting affect on the mind of the one who is bitten. I am inordinately afraid of strange dogs now, which breaks my heart. I am however a firm believer that a dogs reaction to life situations is due to circumstances that we humans may not see as obvious. It is not a conscious vicious act like that of a human who is fully aware of their act and its consequences. At the same time, we as the human who understand the consequences are responsible for the actions of those other species family members we share our lives with. The law is clear on this subject in most every state. I would say the worst thing that could happen to a dog who was deemed vicious is to be put down after quarantine by the state. And if the "owner" of the dog chooses to not have them put down, there are many costly and astringent requirements they must follow.

I did not want my friends dog to be put down so I lied at the hospital to avoid a report being filed. Lying is not something I take lightly, but I could not live with the guilt were it to have gone the other way. However, I do expect that he be muzzled from now on when around others who might be at risk. I understand your not wanting to put Jake down. That is a very final decision. But after reading your story, it does not sound as if his reactions are predictable, and as unfortunate as making a dog wear a muzzle is, were I you, I would keep a muzzle on Jake when he is in any situation that could possibly be a risk.

I respect and admire that you would come to this forum and pose the question you have. It shows responsibility and serious mindedness about your situation, and a great deal of love for Jake.

Ivy and I wish you and Jake the best.

Member Since
Barked: Mon Oct 2, '06 5:59am PST 
Hi...I found this forum in my many searches for solutions to deal with a fearful dog. I have a rescue dog that has had issues since the day I brought him home. He was probably close to 4 months when we brought him home, and he had all the classic symptoms of a fearful dog. I have done everything I can to keep this dog as part of our familiy, but there does come a point when an owner's responsibilities to humans should become more important than their love of their dog. My dog has bitten my 4 year old son in the face....we made the excuse that my son had food and the dog was trying to get it. He has bitten a friend of the family at least twice..when the man's back was turned. He bit a 5 year old neighbor friend of my daughter. We made the excuse that he had a bone and she accidentally stepped on him. He has snapped at people on numerous occassions. Last week he bit my father n law...a man who has been in our house on numerous occassions and with whom the dog was very familiar. This bit happened in our house and was the worst bit yet. He not only penetrated the skin with this teeth but attempted to tear flesh. I have tried behavior training. I have read countless sources on ways to deal with a fearful dog that bites. We have rules in the house in an attempt to be responsible pet owners...such as any time one of my 3 kids has friends over, the dog must be kenneled. This has been a mentally exhausting experience for me. Like most dogs, this dog is lovable and friendly with the immediate people on our house. But I have three children; we have constant flow of people in our house, and unfortunately I can't control every situation. We have made the decision to put the dog to sleep, and I have agonized and agonized over the decision. I have been told that I should not even try to give him away for liability reasons. Also, I can't guarantee his next owner will treat him with even half the consideration I do. I can't imagine what kind of dog he would become with a pet owner that did not respect his needs. The decsion is hard, but there does come a point where humans are more important that the dog.

I am the- Dreamsicle-you- may kiss my nose
Barked: Thu Oct 5, '06 12:02pm PST 
I hate to sound cold here, but if your dog has bitten that many people-then you are doing the right thing. Making excuses for the behavior doesn't change the fact that he bit your child and the little girl next door. It is better to give him a humane passing than to allow him to hurt more people or go somewhere else and start the cycle again and possibly die from a beating when he bites the wrong person.

I know we all want to help the dog-but you just can't continue to overlook severe aggression issues. If you do your dog could end up maiming someone, killing another dog or in some cases person, or you may end up being sued for all you own in the world by a bite victim. The little girl I know who was so badly bitten is going in for yet another graft. I deeply respect the owners on here who have tried so hard to deal with an aggression issue and find it is above what is managable. It is such a hard call to make, but you do it out of love for your dog and having a deep enough respect for other people to see that this dog could seriously and profoundly injur someone else. You should be thanked for giving so much of yourself.
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