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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Samuel Jacob- (4/1/97-4/4/- 08)

We had seasons- in the sun......

Barked: Thu Aug 3, '06 4:56pm PST 
Well, I have "leash aggression" too, so does Bernadette.

Mommy calls it my "hold me back" thing. Like I'm saying, DARN, I'm so tough, you'd better hold me back. I do it when I'm behind a fence too... Or inside the house.
Madeline- "Maddie"

Will you throw- my ball? NOW!
Barked: Thu Aug 3, '06 5:40pm PST 
I agree with others that you should talk to your vet and a trainer. If there is nothing else that can be done, I hope others can respect your decision and support you. It is obvious that you love your dog or you wouldn't be asking this question. I had a dog growing up that would bite people unprovoked - you would be snuggling with him 1 minute and the next he would bite. The last straw came when he bit one of my friends (she was about 10 at the time) in the face and came close to blinding her in one eye. After talking to the vet my parents decided to put him down and it was an awful thing to go through. I hope for the best for you and Jake.

Don't worry,- I'll protect- you!!
Barked: Thu Aug 3, '06 6:30pm PST 
Thank you all so much for your input.

I am going to see my vet tomorrow to discuss things with him.

I feel so guilty for even considering putting Jake to sleep as an option. But when I think back on everyone we've been through, I feel as though I'm always making excuses for his behaviour. But I can't this time... he snapped out of control completely unprovoked... and who knows when this could happen again and if that ends in tragedy?

I have always done whatever I can to keep Jake out of situations I know cause him stress, for his safety and the safety of everyone else. He is almost always leashed(the exception being vacation this week), and I never leave him unattended with someone he doesn't know. It's not that Jake is disobedient or out of control... 90% of the time he listens and is just fine. But it's that uncertain 10% that I don't know if I can risk anymore.

I feel like at this point I have 3 choices: a) ignore what has happened and let it happen again b) keep him leashed and muzzled and virtually away from almost all human contact other than myself or c) put him to sleep.

I feel like no matter which one of these I chose, I'm screwed. It's a lose lose situation. Obviously I can't pretend this didn't happen and risk someone else being hurt. And Jake already lives so protected and sheltered because of this that if I do it any more it almost seems cruel. And well if I put him to sleep, I've just killed my own dog.

As much as I wish there was something more I could do "see a behaviourist" "go to obedience classes" etc... I just don't feel like these are even really options. Jake, like I said is obedient and well behaved most of the time. I know he does have fear aggression issues and I have found ways of dealing with these situations when they arise, and avoiding them if possible. But now that he has started showing aggression for no apparent reason? It just seems like such a big risk.

I'm so MESSED UP right now I don't even know what to think anymore. I can barely look at Jake and I can barely talk to anyone I know about it because I either get yelled at for letting him hurt someone and told to put him down or I get yelled at for giving up on him and even considering putting him down.

frown I'm sorry, just needed to vent I guess.

Suzy- ♥- Dreyfus

Gramma Suzy
Barked: Thu Aug 3, '06 9:27pm PST 
I think talking to the vet is the best solution here. None of us actually know Jake, your vet does and will be a better guide as to what to do.

We are crossing paws and saying a prayer for wisdom for you. We're sad that you are hurting.

Mum of the Fun Loving Five
Buddie D.- Smith- 1993-2006

Love- Never- Dies
Barked: Thu Aug 3, '06 11:36pm PST 
I have to agree with the majority. Putting him down is not the answer. It will be a decision you regret for the rest of your life unless you explore ALL of your options such as the ones mentioned above. Bud was very aggressive at times, especially with children. I never even considered putting him down because of it. Best of luck to you. We will say a little prayer for you & your boy.

&hearts Missy

edited to add - After thinking about this I have to say I am torn. I know what you are going through because I went through a very similiar situation years ago with Bud and it was VERY hard. None of us can tell you what to do or what not to do, we can only suggest. You are obviously a great Mom to him, I'm sure whatever decision you make will be based on his best interest. Please let us know if we can be of any help, and vent all you want. That is what we are here for. Keep us posted. &hearts

Edited by author Thu Aug 3, '06 11:46pm PST

Rosalita Lola "Rosie"

Love is never- being told you'- naughty!
Barked: Fri Aug 4, '06 5:16am PST 
Funnily enough Cesar Milan had a mini pin on his program last night that was agressive. He was a little ball of growls and attacks and that was to his family (other than his mummy). Of course he cured this by various methods (he stayed at his place for two weeks and got socalised with his pack). He also showed the family how to treat him. It worked. You do indeed need a behaviourist to help you. As others have said, don't put him down. Try everything else. That really should be the last, not first, option. Good luck. PS - you do need to keep him leashed at all times when he's outside.
Tessa- Sue~*In- loving- memory*~

Gone. But the- ledgend lives on
Barked: Fri Aug 4, '06 10:44am PST 
There was an ex-abused dog on TV just like this... He had been hit on the head and it brusied his brain, it caused hem to have aggressive outbursts that would happen out of the blue.. The vet gave him some meds that fixed the problem... It could even be hypothyroidism, some dogs become aggressive because of hypo-t.. Even with out having any other sgines.
Samuel Jacob- (4/1/97-4/4/- 08)

We had seasons- in the sun......

Barked: Fri Aug 4, '06 1:43pm PST 
I'm glad you are going to take hi to the vet. And if the vet says it is time... then you can do it in a calm place... not at a shelter where he is scared.

But if you can, behaviorists do help. And if they can't, they will tell you.

Try to get out of the mind set that you are in a "lose/lose" situation. Maybe you feel that way now, and maybe you feel you shouldn't protect him, but if I didn't have the protection from Mommy, I wouldn't be alive.

How long did you say you have had him? In time, you learn the body language, and you learn to scope out the potential problems. But it really sounds like you already know how to do that...

No matter what you decide, this is the place to "vent". Just love him, as long as you can. If you decide he needs to go to the bridge and wait for you... well, then at least while he had you, he was loved.

IMO, I wouldn't give up yet. I would try the behaviorists, and a muzzle. But that is me... everyone is different.

Barked: Fri Aug 4, '06 2:34pm PST 
Just putting in my two cents...Putting him down is NOT the answer. My guess (given his breed) is that he feels that he is protecting you. Collies have to have everything in order and know everything that is going on to feel safe. When my sisters and I were very young, we had a collie. She was the most protective dog I've had to date, and it wasn't until we were old enough to tell her to back down that she calmed down.
Etta James

Non speakin de- English
Barked: Sat Aug 5, '06 12:52am PST 
"b) keep him leashed and muzzled and virtually away from almost all human contact other than myself "

This really isn't a bad option if Jake is happy.

In Europe it is quite common for a dog to be leashed and muzzled at all times when in public.

I am about three years young and was abused and in a shelter and then in a rescue organization. Nobody wanted me. My foster mom told my Mum that I was an alpha dog and could be aggressive and hard to handle in certain situations. Well my Mum took a chance on me.

We are learning that there are just things in life that I don't like. She doesn't take me many places. I get overstimulated very, very easily. I have no interest in meeting other people or other dogs. Heck, I don't even like car rides. But I love my Mum & my Daddy and am super happy and content to hang around at home. I am supervised 24/7, yep even when just napping in the sun Mum sits with me & watches me, and I think my life is pretty good.

Not every dog needs to be a social bunny. If they are socialized early enough that is wonderful but for interesting characters like ourselves it can't always be that way. And that doesn't necessarily make us bad dogs.

We're just extra special.
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