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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Stop BSL
Barked: Sat Mar 8, '08 9:29pm PST 
smile Glad to see he was helped ! I was venting frustration after reading the first few pages. Please forgive me. red face Im embarrassed. I just think there is always another option. If you don't' have the money there are organizations out there that will take the dog for you, like her friend who took Jake, and work with them so thats what you do if you don't have the money.

Edited by author Sat Mar 8, '08 9:35pm PST


Holiday Joy
Barked: Sun Mar 9, '08 10:51am PST 
Sorry about your situation. Jake looks like a beautiful dog. There must be some reason you ended up with him.........

You'll never know if you give up on him. Training with someone who specializes with aggression may make the difference you need.

I hope you find comfort in whatever choice you make. 20 years ago I had a dog I could not trust. Never bit.... but was really aggressive.

Barked: Thu Oct 15, '09 12:06pm PST 
You totally described my last dog Samson. He had bit 4 people in the face and another 6 in the hand. To my knowledge he had never been abused he had some sort of fear aggression and I know what you mean about the randomness. He started biting at age 2 and I trained him, got a muzzle, sent him to doggie boot camp, kept him away from kids and did all those things that these other folks have suggested. In fact, folks that say just get a muzzle or put him in the back yard do not understand your plight.

Problem is, people don't listen to you anyway and they try to hug and kiss him because he is so cute, then doggie bites them. Its not so simple to buy a muzzle and keep the dog outdoors, they are a constant threat and you never know when they will strike.

Samson bit me in the face 3 months ago and then I had him put down. Whats the point of having a dog if no one is safe around it? I guess I could have put him in a zoo cage and people could come look at him but what kind of life is that for anybody? Its a crying shame and I still cry sometimes but at some point I was going to get sued, or some little kid was going to lose an eye, or some enraged parent was going to kill him anyway.

Samson was a loving, playful, 0bedient, intelligent and loyal friend. I miss him terribly. He was the best dog I ever had, he was the worst dog I ever had.

Sometimes life just sucks.

I will say this. If you can keep him alive and away from people and you don't think he'll bite you, do not put him down, it is very painful and you will miss him for a long time. My theory is when you isolate them like that they will get worse, socially, anyway.


Barked: Mon Dec 14, '09 3:14pm PST 
My husband and I are going through the same exact situation right now and have been for 5 years since we adopted Gidget. She was abused and came with lots of baggage. We knew her circumstances and made a promise to love and take care of her. She started becoming possessive/obsessed with me in the beginning and then started exhibiting severe fear aggression and anxiety. We have seen numerous vets and gone through trainers. We have been told by several to put her down (5 years and again now). She is a dog with limitation and basically spends 90% of her day upstairs under our bed -- even when we are home. She cannot be around anyone other than our immediate family because of fear that she will bite someone. She has nipped at several family members, myself and my husband (which happens to weekly), as well as other dogs. We just had our first child in June and Gidget has exhibited all kinds of new anxiety related issues/problems. She does not seem happy and we are concerned about her quality of life and the safety of our child. Gidget is not adoptable and we fear that it is only a matter of time before she hurts someone -- like our daughter. Our hearts are breaking, but we are at the point where we believe that putting her to sleep is actually the most loving thing we can do for her. I cannot believe we are at this point. I am loosing sleep and cannot keep my mind on anything but Gidget. Please send me your thoughts. Thank you so much.
Donovan'sMajesticJet of Solace

Street sweeper!
Barked: Sun Dec 20, '09 4:19am PST 
AW, gidget, so sorry. Have you see a real behaviorist? My 115 lb fear aggressive dog was helped by a behaviorist the very first visit, which ended with me in tears of joy. Behaviorist hold BS degres and Phd or masters degrees as well.

Barked: Tue Sep 7, '10 2:02am PST 
hi, ive been reading all the posts and its very interesting. me and my family are going through a tough time with our dog. he is nearly 2 but 1 big pain as a puppy he was fine not a harm but just lately hes changed into a monster. hes eats anything and everything just attention seeking and he gets millions of attention, he jumps up and gets tea towles, towles, washing jumps up the washing line and pulls clothes down he challenges my dad (he has more power over riley then anyone) i have a 10 week old baby and i cant trust him anyway near, he always stays in the kitchen which might seem unfair but its for my babys safety!!
we as a familey just dont know what to do anymore, he has bitten my um at the vets ( we put this down to being scared) but the other day my sister took him for a walk with his nose strap on he he got out of it and randomly went for this old man and his little scotty! am moving out soon but i dont want to leave my familey with the stress of riley he just dont listen to anyone anymore, he can be the cuddliest dog and you can do anything with him but he has an evil side and very umpredictable! my uncle has said hes i ticking time bomb and dont trust him with anyone let alone a child!! he has a nose strap a muzzle, we even tried to rehome him but my dad is terrified of opening the paper one day and seeing tht riley has killed someone! we need help and advise please

I brought you- this cow
Barked: Tue Sep 7, '10 7:30am PST 
Riley - Have you tried a basket muzzle? A good basket muzzle is almost impossible to slip out of.

Barked: Sun Sep 19, '10 12:31am PST 
Thank you to the original poster for sharing your story and to all others for your thoughts. I've found reading this very healing. Dash is the dog we adopted 2 years ago from the shelter as a little puppy (8 wks old). He began showing guarding behavior at 3 months (biting/snapping over a toy, etc.). We began working with a trainer because our original intention was to train him as a service dog (my partner uses a wheelchair to get around). We worked intensively with a trainer on doggie manners, impulse control, re-directing energy, maintaining attention, etc. He loves to work so this was great, and he mastered these skills quickly, but his aggression still popped out as he went over-threshold. I read tons of books on dog aggression, dog body language, fear aggression, guarding. Our first trainer referred us to another, when, at 6 months old, Dash started attacking dogs at the park. We worked with an animal behavorist, who identified Dash as having guarding of us (his humans) in uncontrolled environments. We started a series of de-sensitatization protocols - and believe me, I followed them! Hours and hours of work and play and love and caring. And still, Dash was reactive, unpredictably so, and, sadly, injured two small dogs. He nipped my nephew at christmas 2009, and at that time I considered putting Dash to sleep. But everyone said "he's a puppy, he'll get better," yet the behavorist we were working with felt discouraged, especially because Dash's aggression seemed fear related and was extremely unpredictable (his guarding behavoir had really decreased due to the protocols, but he nipped my nephew after being poked a bit). Anyway, to make a long story short, we worked with yet another trainer for a number of months, who taught us more generalized de-sensitizing to unpredictable stressors. That seemed to help a lot, and I was beginning to feel I could trust Dash, even with a few instances of him snapping at people with no contact. But today Dash bit our neighbor. It was really strange. He was lying on his back, literally showing her his belly, and so she was petting his belly. I saw her bending gently slightly over him, rubbing his chest and saying "good dog," - I have been studying dog body language, and his was classic submissive, sleepy - and then he snapped and bit her, badly. She had to go to the ER and thankfully, there wasn't any deep damage. But holy wow, am I a wreck. We have literally tried everything to give Dash a chance - you can't tell me to try another trainer, to work harder, to use more control measures - Dash has spent lots of time with this neighbor and this occurred in our home, and he wasn't guarding me because I was across the room, etc. etc. - I've worked with nationally recognized professionals in the trade. Since his aggression is unpredictable, and now, very dangerous (the bite was deep and included puncture with tear - people who study bite inhibition will know that's no good) I feel the most humane and compassionate thing to do is to put him to sleep. My heart is breaking, and it's been very comforting to read this discussion - thanks all....

Live in the- present
Barked: Tue Dec 14, '10 8:17am PST 
Putting a dog down is a personal and difficult decision. Always seek the guidance of your vet as well. I had to put Buddy down after 10 years because he kept attacking our other dogs. Very very intermittent but when it happend... the other dog always ended up in stitches. After we had our daughter and the most recent time Buddy attacked one of our other dogs the vet recommended it because he said it may be between the two dogs but if the baby, or myself or my husband were nearby, one of us would get hurt. I am sorry but I think you need to put your dog down. You could end up in jail. I feel for you as I loved Buddy very very much. They don't deserve it, but it sounds like you have an aggressive dog.

Member Since
Barked: Thu Mar 8, '12 9:37pm PST 
Aggressive dog...
I am beyond heart break at the option of putting my yorkie down due to it's pat abuse issues.
It is emotional for me yes, but this isn't about me right now. It is about the wellbeing of a dog that was abused from the beginning of it's life until about 6 mo. Of age. I aman absolutely compassionate homehealth care giver so I have comet understand necessity over what feels good emotionally. After 3 1/2 yrs I still cannot walk my little baby from trying to attack everyone and eery dog that passes by. When a dog or runner walks by, even if she's in the carafe will bite me or whomever and draw blood. She is absolutely unaware she is doing it until it is over. I have had stithes, yet is shots, you name it. I don't think I cam do it anymore. I have trie a behaviorist that after seeing her didn't even want to tell me to try. That was 2 years ago. Gave the dog 3 good years but is it time to say goodbye? I cannot physically take it any more. I am a single mother of 2 and the fear of her biting a younghild terrorizes me. Any ideas?
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