Would you rehome a dog snapping at your toddler?(not a knee jerk reaction to events in media...trying to resolve this for months)

(83 Posts)
Louisiasb Sat 09-Nov-13 23:16:33

Hi, I have 7 year old cockatoo and 18 month old dd. dog growls at dd if she walks past crate or sleeping. I have taught dd that she is not allowed to approach dogs when sleeping or in crate.however she has ignored this when I am busy and dog has snapped at her 3 times.

Dog is only allowed to sleep in crate and I know warning signs.however I am nervous that I can't trust dog as dd was very traumatised after incidents. Growling has also progressed to snapping.

I am not sure what to do. House is too small to keep separate unless dog crated all day. Dd very boisterous and don't trust her to leave alone. Have spoken to behaviourists but as house is too small there isn't much i can do.

Louisiasb Sat 09-Nov-13 23:17:29

Obviously meant cockapoo! Autocorrect!!

mrslaughan Sun 10-Nov-13 08:15:11

I would, it is very hard to "teach" an 18 month old, and if your house does not allow you to keep them both safe, I am sad to say, yes I would.

saintmerryweather Sun 10-Nov-13 08:16:32

yes i would for the dogs sake. cant be easy for her living in a constant state of anxiety

Methe Sun 10-Nov-13 08:19:55

In a heartbeat.

TodgerDodger Sun 10-Nov-13 08:22:25


Louisiasb Sun 10-Nov-13 08:23:14

Thanks.i agree that better for dog as in state of anxiety all time.its just dh is so anti It that I am scared it will ruin relationship.i have to put child first but he doesn't think it's an issue! I love the dog but think he will be happier with retired couple in peace.

sonlypuppyfat Sun 10-Nov-13 08:24:17

My spaniel snapped at my DS he went to the vets and didn't come back. Could you look at a scar on your child and know it was your fault.

Louisiasb Sun 10-Nov-13 08:26:52

No i feel worried about what could happen and know the dog is stressed. It's just hard with no support and older ds to consider who loves and is fine with dog.

Howstricks Sun 10-Nov-13 08:27:26

Are there any other relatives/friends you can get onside to help persuade dh? I definately think rehoming would be incredibly sensible.

McMardyBum Sun 10-Nov-13 08:28:09

speak to the cockapoo club gb www.cockapooclubgb.co.uk/contact-us.html , they have people who can help find a home with people wanting a cockapoo who is a little older and may be able to foster first. they will find a suitable home but you must be honest with the level of behaviour the dog has shown so that they can deal with it fully. hope you get sorted

idirdog Sun 10-Nov-13 08:44:23

Or you could get some professional advice from a qualified behaviourist who can see the situation in real life.


rather than rely on opinions from people on a forum who have not seen the situtation and have no behavioural qualifications hmm

Louisiasb Sun 10-Nov-13 08:44:34

I have a 'poo' rescue who put into foster care until rehoming sorted so know he would be well looked after.i just keep worrying as dh so unsupportive that I worry I am over reacting.deep down I know I'm not.

Louisiasb Sun 10-Nov-13 08:45:37

I have taken professional advice from 4 people.just looking for other opinions now..not as you suggested.

idirdog Sun 10-Nov-13 09:01:10

The stick with professional advice (as long as they were qualified) they are the only ones with knowledge to assess the situation.

The professionals will tell you if you are over reacting how on earth can we reassure you?

Louisiasb Sun 10-Nov-13 09:36:58

I am not asking you to reassure me.i am asking opinions.helpful to think through own thoughts.

idirdog Sun 10-Nov-13 09:55:47

Well generally a snapping growling dog is an easy one to sort out which is what you would have been told by the professionals. The dogs will be giving a clear message and indication about what is worrying them.

A qualified behaviourist will have given you a behavioural programme to follow. With counter conditioning this can generally be sorted out.

It will take consistent training. However I don't feel that is what you want to here.

SleepyFish Sun 10-Nov-13 10:09:10

No, not knee jerk. It's snapping at your toddler, why does your dh not see this as a problem? Aside from the obvious risks the dog is not happy. The main problem you'll have is the effect on your older child, he may end up resenting the toddler if you get rid, you'd need to discuss this sensitively with him.
It's all very well people recommending behaviourists and training but that can take a long time. What happens in the meantime? Unless you have eyes on the back of your head or keep the dog crated your child will still be at risk.

Mignonette Sun 10-Nov-13 10:17:00

I think you have to put this very plainly to your partner. Who does he have higher regard for? The children or the dog?

Maybe he would prefer you to rehome the younger child? (I'm not getting at you OP as i really feel for you and think you want to find some hope that will let you appease everybody.)

Ultimately your partner could find himself having to explain a much more unpleasant outcome than that of rehoming the dog.

I wish you well but yes, you do need to find a new home for the dog where it will be happier and you can have some peace.

MissMarplesBloomers Sun 10-Nov-13 10:28:26

Is the dog getting enough exercise & attention? If your DH wants to keep the dog he has to do more to help, & take responsibility for the safety of his own child.

Personally I'd rehome, both dog & daughter deserve better. Not worth the risk.

EasyToEatTiger Sun 10-Nov-13 10:33:07

Do you have room for a baby cage? They are fantastic things and useful until the baby is big enough to climb out. I think it is perfectly normal for dogs to dislike small people. Your dog lives in fear and is protecting himself. You probably already know that. What a difficult situation. Poor you and poor dog.

LEMisafucker Sun 10-Nov-13 10:36:09

"My spaniel snapped at my DS he went to the vets and didn't come back. Could you look at a scar on your child and know it was your fault." Wow - just wow angry How can you look at yourself in the mirror??

OP - sadly, i do think you need to rehome your dog, she sounds very stressed around your DS and that will be difficult to change as the association is always going to be there, despite the fact that as he grows he will be able to understand more about respecting the dogs space etc.

Does this always happen in the crate? I often wonder about these - they clearly work for lots of people but having seen many perfectly lovely dogs kennel guard like some sort of demon animal, i can't help but wonder if you are creating an area that belongs to the dog and the dog will then display gaurding behaviour of? I have had lots of dogs and they have never had their own bed - but they are allowed on sofas and bed, which doesn't suit everyone, that way no-where belong to them and needs guarding. General rule - let sleeping dogs lie, so if i a dog is asleep leave him be, wait til dog comes to you rather than approach it etc. I expect most people will disagree with me on this one but that has been my experience.

I think there is alot of guilt surrounding rehoming, but it is often the only fair option for the animal - the problem is that there are more dogs needing homes than suitable homes. I would approach breed rescues that have foster homes as your first port of call, also your local vets as they often know of people who are looking for a rescue dog and will know that they are genuine.

Really sad for you OP

ender Sun 10-Nov-13 10:36:18

Playpen for your dd for when you can't closely supervise her, won't take up much space. Then you can follow training program for dog that behaviourist(s) must have given you.

LEMisafucker Sun 10-Nov-13 10:37:51

Baby cage grin or play pen could be a good idea though.

deepfriedsage Sun 10-Nov-13 10:38:13

A child comes before an animal in my humble opinion, what is your dp on?

LEMisafucker Sun 10-Nov-13 10:40:04

ah, i see that you already have breed rescue set up - so good to go, its sad for your DH but help him see its best for the dog x

Geneticsbunny Sun 10-Nov-13 10:44:40

I would definitely re home the dog. Dogs and small children are a really difficult combination. Maybe have another one when DD is older? If you got the dog from a breeder they might take the dog back or suggest someone else who would like it?

It is a really hard decision to make though especially when you have had your dog a long time.

mrslaughan Sun 10-Nov-13 14:47:16

Iridog - did you not read the last line of her post?

sonlypuppyfat Sun 10-Nov-13 15:08:48

LEM am I supposed to feel guilty for putting my dog down? Sorry I don't.

idirdog Sun 10-Nov-13 15:44:57

MrsLaughan last line of her post - give me a clue?

If you mean the comment re the behaviourist by the OP. Then I am very surprised that she needs to ask on here. As mentioned already a qualified behaviourist would have seen the situation given her a treatment plan and fully assessed the situation in RL. The OP would have no need to ask a bunch of strangers who can not see the situation and have no training in dog behaviour.

If that did not happen then she did not speak to a qualified professional hence my question to see what professional advice she had been given. If she just spoke to a person who trains dogs it is like asking a first aider to treat your terminal illness.

Ecuador Sun 10-Nov-13 15:55:14

Trouble is all the training in the world isn't going to help if you have an 18 month old toddler in the mix. The dog may well get it but a small child just won't and unreasonable to expect them to.

I would say sadly you will need to re-home for your piece of mind, as for your DH mmm.... that is harder. Have you had a proper sit down discussion with him about it?

hettienne Sun 10-Nov-13 15:59:54

If it is not possible to separate/supervise the toddler and dog at all times then I think your options are limited. Both of them sound stressed by the situation.

idirdog Sun 10-Nov-13 16:54:57

Ecuador do you have dog psychology and training experience?

Counter conditioning and stimulus control can in most cases sort out dog anxiety in specific situations - it does require work from the owner though

LEMisafucker Sun 10-Nov-13 17:15:00

That says quite alot about you then. I Worked as a vet nurse for ten years and had to assist with many pts. The owners were heart broken and often so were we. Yes. You absolutely should feel bad unless there are factors you haven't included you dound heartless. Sadly its not unusual, for some people animals are dispensable.

sonlypuppyfat Sun 10-Nov-13 17:34:01

The dog adored my DH it was a gun dog and well trained it did anything he said. BUT as soon as my DH went to work the dog would make our life a misery it would lie on the stairs and go for us if we walked past him he would growl and snap at my 3 kids he just didn't want us there.

Ecuador Sun 10-Nov-13 17:40:14

iridog, no but I have a dog and children. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to know that you can't 'train' an 18 month old toddler no matter what headway you may make with the dog.

LEMisafucker Sun 10-Nov-13 17:44:44

So the dog was a working dog that was loyal to its master and then expected to fit in with family life. What a way to repay him . sad

PoshPenny Sun 10-Nov-13 17:55:48

I think the answer would be to re home the dog in a family with older or no children, heartbreaking as I am sure that will be for you. We had a tricky dog years ago and I did everything I could to resolve things, but I failed and there was unprovoked attack on my then 3 year old, he got her on her upper lip and we had to have maxillofacial guys stitch her up. Just not worth the risk or the distress and guilt we felt for letting our little girl be hurt like that, before then it had just been hands he had bitten. In our case there was a problem with the dog, he would fly without any warning. we were absolutely honest about what he did to give him the best chance in a new home, but he bit someone badly there without warning, and we all agreed the best thing for Chas (the dog) was one final trip to the vet.

sonlypuppyfat Sun 10-Nov-13 18:58:54

Oh LEM I can just imagine what you are like. Perhaps we should have moved into the shed and left em to it.

Lilcamper Sun 10-Nov-13 19:10:03

Will just reiterate what Idirdog said, this can be fairly easily overcome with environmental management and an APBC qualified behaviourist. Vet referrals to a behaviourist are often covered by pet insurance.

Frankly disgusted at a working gun dog being rewarded for his work by being euthanised. Says it all really when the poster refers to the dog as an 'it' instead of he or she.

LEMisafucker Sun 10-Nov-13 19:26:53

Can you? do you think im over sentimental then? well, i'm not but you can think what you like. We used to get folk come into the vets all the time who used animals rather than loving them (despite their claims) , had to put down many a healthy dog sad but we maintained our professionality and were polite and friendly - didn't stop us from calling those people cunts when they left though.

sonlypuppyfat Sun 10-Nov-13 19:33:19

Sshh you are being a silly girl now no dog that bites a child unprovoked deserves to live and if you think that then I'm not the cunt.

mrslaughan Sun 10-Nov-13 19:33:30

Yes Iridog - I did mean that she had consulted Behaviourists and none had a plan that was workable in her space. I am not going to judge whether the behaviourists know what they are doing, whether the OP could follow it if she tried harder...she is saying she can't......with that said, personally I think she would be better to re-home, before the dogs ends up with the same fate as one of the other posters.....

The dog is stressed by the child, I am guessing it is not an option for the OP to rehome her child.......though no-one has asked that question?

LEMisafucker Sun 10-Nov-13 19:37:07

And no, don't be so fucking ridiculous, you shouldn't have moved to the shed, you should have moved the dog to the shed actually, it was a working dog and obviously not able for family life. I have quite a lot of experience of working dogs and some of them will not do well as part of the family, but thats why you shouldn't be over sentimental and keep them as part of the family home and then kill them when it goes wrong.

lilcamper sadly this happens alot, we used to have people with working dogs who treated dogs as that really, workers (although to be fair, most of the people who had gundogs treasured their dogs and would have not pts they would have made the effort to find the dog a suitable home) and worst of all was the greyhound owners - many a time we had to euth beautiful dogs that were no longer "any use" to their owners cunts. It was part of the job I hated, yes you have to be quite objective as a vet nurse or you couldn't do your job properly but it didn't stop me forming an opinion.

Anyway - this is digressing from the OP - I absolutely think you are doing the right thing by rehoming the dog, I can understand why your DH feels as he does, this is your dog and she is part of your family but she is not happy with your child around, not your fault, it happens and the key thing is that actually rehoming is by far the best thing for your dog, even if she never actually bites your child, its stressful for her. She will find the transition hard but she will find a loving and happy home (she is a very desirable breed and you already have foster home in place) and sorry but she will forget you and be happy (not that you haven't made her happy). I found myself in a very similar situation, took on a rescue dog, with issues, huge dog and then out of the blue i had a baby, it becamse apparent quite early on that i wasn't going to be able to keep the dog so i set about trying to find him a home, sadly fate took over and he passed away, but had he not i would have had the heartbreaking decision you face, but you have to put your child's safety first. As others have said, don't let this put you off having another dog when your DD is a bit older.

LEMisafucker Sun 10-Nov-13 19:40:27

I'd rather be then cunt then....... it was your fault your dog ended up like it did and you should be ashamed of yourself.

sonlypuppyfat Sun 10-Nov-13 19:42:43

Well I'm not.

LEMisafucker Sun 10-Nov-13 19:43:31

idirdog, i usually agree with you on these sort of threads, however as far as I can see the OP has got something in place for the dog (she is actually very lucky!) and i thnk its the right decision for the dog to go to a family without children. Its not the dogs fault, i don't think its the OPs fault either. Sometimes rehoming is the best choice and i would recommend it everytime if the situation was different to the reality (that suitable homes are so difficult to find).

LEMisafucker Sun 10-Nov-13 19:44:11

No, i wouldn't think for one minute that you are

LEMisafucker Sun 10-Nov-13 19:48:24

Rehoming isn't a bad thing, it is sometimes not achievable and dogs end up long term kennel inmates (that makes me sad and angry) but when it is achieved, if its the forever home then its fine - after all, my little brown rescue dog is sat on my lap while i type this and he has a pretty good life, i don't know his history actually as i think him and his brother were abandoned as strays, the same as my old dog that was a rescue - we didn't have him many years as illness took him from us, but he had a good life with us and would have had a good life with whoever took him on from us (becaue i would have bloodywell made sure of it).

Lilcamper Sun 10-Nov-13 20:00:42

LEM wear your cunt label with pride, OP hasn't said what type of behaviourist she has had in, there are some dodgy ones out there, anyone can hang a shingle out an call themselves one.

Lots of dogs find little humans scary, lots of families work through it.

DeathByLaundry Sun 10-Nov-13 20:14:51

In my fairly broad experience of qualified behaviourists it's unusual for owners to consult more than one, because good ones usually provide pretty much unlimited follow up support. Unless the owner is seeking a quick fix or hasn't properly the advice given, in which case they will often seek second or third opinions in their quest for an effort-free solution.

I've lived with children-fearful dogs in a small house - I still do. It's very much possible. But at 18 months of age your expectations of your child are totally unrealistic. I don't trust my three year old to remember the dog rules, it would have been completely insane to rely on her to follow them at half her age.

A room divider is what you need. And a plan from a behaviourist, which you follow to the letter with their support. A proper APBC counsellor, not some random person who calls themselves a dog whisperer or who has done a vague course on 'dog psychology'.

This is not about whether the problem is surmountable OP. It is about whether you are willing to devote the necessary time and effort. If the first 4 behaviourists were worth their salt and you followed their plans, you would have made progress by now or at least taken steps to better manage the situation.

LEMisafucker Sun 10-Nov-13 20:19:37

But surely if the OP has been able to secure a home, this would be better for the dog?

idirdog Sun 10-Nov-13 20:19:47

To make it clear I do not have an opinion on what the OP should do.

How can I - I have not seen the dog in RL.

What I feel very strongly about is that asking on a forum what someone should do is just ridiculous and no-one can give the correct advice as many people on here do not have the qualifications, experience or can see the situation in RL.

The OP should seek professional advice - although she says this has been done she does not seem to have a plan from a qualified behaviourist to use so I question who she has had advice from.

If the dog does need rehoming the behaviourist would be involved in this.

In my job I have daily phone calls from owners who can not be bothered to help their dogs deal with the situation when a toddler or baby is around - most of these can be sorted out easily but people can just not be arsed.

I do not know if this is the case here but again will say contact a qualified behaviourist they will help with the situation what ever the outcome.

bellasuewow Sun 10-Nov-13 20:21:35

This must be really hard for you sounds like the only solution is the dog staying in the crate until the little one is less clumsy and more aware which could be years or moving to a larger property so the dog can have its own space. Appreciate that you have got expert opinions but seems pretty simple the dog is saying stay away I don't like it. I think you are right and responsible to re home if moving and crating are not an option. Just a thought but can the dog be crated upstairs away from unpredictable toddler. I really wish you the best of luck. Not all dogs suit all homes.

LEMisafucker Sun 10-Nov-13 20:23:38

That is good advice, i agree, I was using a behaviourist to help me with my boy, it was the same behaviourist we used when we got the dog, to help us rehome him i was actually buttering him up to have the dog himself before he passed away. I used him to help because he would have helped me find the right home for my dog as it wouldn't have been straightforward to rehome him (rotweiller with issues). As it was, fate took over and he passed away, am so thankfull that he had his final few years with us, I miss him terribly and his picture still on the wall.

LEMisafucker Sun 10-Nov-13 20:24:31

Has anyone any thoughts regarding crates actually contributing to guarding behaviour?

DeathByLaundry Sun 10-Nov-13 20:29:46

LEM dogs only guard when they feel the resource is threatened. Taking away this haven which is so important to the dog that it will guard it would actually heighten anxiety. I'd put the create behind a room divider so the dog had somewhere it feels truly safe.

DioneTheDiabolist Sun 10-Nov-13 20:42:15

Lem, I don't think Puppy did anything wrong. Her DP was the one who behaved negligently when it came to the dog. It was his dog and instead of dealing with his dog appropriately, it sounds like he made it a "put up with the dog or PTS" thing.sad

I am wondering if the OP is being put in a similar position by her DP.

LEMisafucker Sun 10-Nov-13 20:50:50

I hope not Dione sad

I get what you are saying about the resource thing, i think that certainly was the case with our dog - he came with food/toy possession issues (an a few more we wasn't told about!) which he got over with time, he never really got over kennel guarding and became the spawn of satan on the occasions i had to kennel him at work (vets) I remember one day he was there (i can't remember why he was in) and they called me to go fetch him because everytime someone went in the kennel room he was launching himself at the cage door and they were scared to let him out, as soon as I got there and opened the door he was back to his "hello everyone, who's gonna play then" self. He had clear issues as you describe though so i can see this - he was also like this in the car, we would put him in the car ready for walks and it became "his" and he would be terrifying, he actually had his head in my mouth like a circus lion once! The thing is though, we would see this with lots of the dogs that came into the vets with the kennel gaurding, i wonder if them being in an enclosed space made them feel more vulnerable? Also i had a chihuahua when i was a teenager and he was a bastard about his basket. I have never given any of my dogs (as an adult) its own bed, so nothing to guard - i have two JRTs now and they just sleep on the sofa or on the bed, but have no where that is "theirs" so no place to get possesive of, my DD is 8 though and respects the let sleeping dogs lie rule.

DeathByLaundry Sun 10-Nov-13 20:57:45

Kennel guarding when hospitalised is a very particular thing. Many dogs have a fear of vets but once they're kennelled they are left alone. The door being opened often signals handling or treatments they resent. So they will fiercely defend their haven. In the case of your dog it sounds like a more generalised resource guarding issue. I think wards are actually horribly stressful for dogs. We're looking at a new building just now and it's something I'm really keen to build into the design (not just because kennel guarders are a nightmare!).

LEMisafucker Sun 10-Nov-13 21:02:23

Our kennels were bloody awful to be fair DBL smile I think because my dog had been in battersea for a long period of time contributed to his behaviour but yes, i was always shock at how the loveliest of dogs would turn into Damien once they got into the kennel. I don't work at the vets anymore, however they are looking into a new building..........!

Mattissy Sun 10-Nov-13 22:36:48

I'd be devastated but yes I would.

boyshouse22 Mon 11-Nov-13 10:25:43

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

bellasuewow Mon 11-Nov-13 13:33:45

have thought about this post overnight and i am concerned about the amount of dogs in rescue due to a new baby or child. Please consider exhausting all options before getting rid becasue when you get a dog it is a 10-15 year committment come children or whatever. me and DH have really prioritised the dogs in our home as there is no way we will get rid of them and they would be very difficult to rehome plus we adore them. We have rearranged the house/lives costing a considerable amount of money to give them the space and time they need. I know many folk who have also gone to considerable lengths to keep or accomodate a dog. Perhaps you and DH can sit down and write a list of all the things you could really try like heated kennel for her to have some alone sleep time, upstairs room for dog, putting a wall up so you are not open plan, DH making sure dog is walked and has quality time to keep her happy, dog daycare, friend or family member day care, telling baby no i assume you tell her no to touching hot drinks etc really be strict. If you really want to keep this dog then there is a way and you can get through it. Also be totally honest if you feel you do not want to cope with a dog now that you have a child but in that case dont blame the dog or try and create a situation where you can say it is the dogs fault so you feel less guilty as you will label the dog as a baby killer when she is not and make it more difficult to rehome. Agree that is is strange to have consulted 4 experts perhaps they were not telling you what you wanted to hear. Sorry to sound harsh i dont know your situation at all i really wish you the best.

bobbybearmummy Mon 11-Nov-13 16:51:35

OMG the world has gone mad,dogs put down,dogs rehomed and for what a natural behaviour growling.We were brought up with numerous dogs,some working,some lap dogs.Yes I got snapped at as a toddler,but I learnt a healthy respect for the animal.It is very,very rare that a dog will take a situation any further as they wish to avoid confrontation,hence the growl.
Do you not think we now blow situations out of proportion due to all the media on dog attacks?
I feel sorry for these dogs,its often the owners that really need to see a behaviourist.
Some people are just not "dog" people and they do not know how to keep a dog properly.Lack of exercise,mental stimulation and a crap diet are a recipie for disastor.

idirdog Mon 11-Nov-13 17:00:55

bobbybearmummy grin

sonlypuppyfat Mon 11-Nov-13 17:12:55

When I was a girl most dogs were cross breeds now they are pedigrees and I think so inbred they are half mad.

Tillypo Mon 11-Nov-13 17:15:51

Can' t believe that people are trying to condone the fact they get their dogs put down for no reason when they could go to other homes with no little people. As for vets putting healthy dogs down is even worse surely vets have contact numbers for rescue centers to come and collect the dog and have them signed over from the owners.

Booboostoo Mon 11-Nov-13 17:23:03

OP did you say you have consulted 4 behaviourists? Did they visit you in your home to assess the dog? If not then you need a fifth one.

If yes, what did they advise? Did they all advise the same thing? If yes how long have you been implementing their training ideas? If not which ideas did you chose to implement and how long for?

No one should advise on a potentially aggressive dog on the internet but what you describe does not, in principle, sound insurmountable.

LEMisafucker Mon 11-Nov-13 17:35:38

Surely if the dog is unhappy enough to be growling at the child then the best thing FOR THE DOG, is to rehome him/her? Obviously not PTS, that is ridiculous but if this were my dog i would probaby re home.

The flaw in my argument is that new homes are not readily available.

I agree that inbreeding and irresponsible breeding has alot to answer for. Most of the breeders of these designer dogs tend to be backyard breeders - by the very definition of the fact that the dogs will not be registered there will be no garuntee that the pedigree can be followed and therefore no sure way of knowing that inbreeding hasn't taken place which is a major concern. Google "cocker rage" this is something that a good cocker spaniel breeder will be aware of especially with the fawn colour ones and will select against, im not sure how this is followed with designer dogs that are bred because they have a comical sounding name.

SleepyFish Mon 11-Nov-13 17:36:18

Tillypo A pet is considered an owners property in the eyes of the law so a vet cannot rehome without an owners permission. They can refuse to euthanize on ethical grounds but usually don't due to the possibility of what would happen to the animal if they did.

LEMisafucker Mon 11-Nov-13 17:38:04

Sleepyfish is exactly right, have had to PTS some lovely healthy dogs "on owners request" sad

Tillypo Mon 11-Nov-13 17:42:34

Surely you can say to the owners have you considered rehoming the dog instead of putting him/her to sleep. Here is a number of the center that can come to collect or you can drop it off.

LEMisafucker Mon 11-Nov-13 17:45:18

But tilly, it just isn't that simple, often the owners are adamant that they want PTS and sadly it isn't always a case of ringing the rescue centre and they will rush out to collect the dog, even if they do have room. Once an owner has come to that decision they wont change their minds.

Frettchen Mon 11-Nov-13 17:45:24

Hi OP -I hope you're still reading this. Sorry you're in this horrid position.

I can't really advise/opine on what you should do - I don't know enough of the details. However, here's what I would do;

(Disclaimer: I'm in the 'keep the dog and fix the problem' camp)

Give the dog his own space. All depends on your house layout; is there anywhere your daughter is already not allowed to go? The kitchen? Utility? A spare bedroom? Somewhere with a single access point. Get a dog flap; install it in a sheet of MDF cut to fit the lower part of the doorway; hinge it so you and your husband can get in. This should effectively create a babygate which the dog can pass through but the children cannot. This room is now a child-free zone; leave the crate in there, door open, as it's the source of the threat. Now dog can keep out of the way when the children are awake/active. Make sure you use the room - coming and going and basically reinforcing that it is your space and he is using it, rather than it being just his space.

I'm not sure what crate you have/where and how it's set up; but the crates I use are the metal barred ones - if you have a fearful dog, a crate like this might be too open. If you can't do the above, then my first action would be to cover the crate with throws/dog blankets - make it dark inside so he can't see the kids. Also you'd have to be very proactive about teaching your daughter not to go close to the crate if the dog's in it and the door is open, this means being constantly vigilant and acting before your daughter has got too close. Bloody hard work, but it will reassure your dog that you are protecting him, not just shouting when he is scared and protecting himself.

Also, as a PP says, it might be worth looking at your dog's energy levels. Talk to your husband and explain that he is going to have to take the dog out for an extra walk in the early morning/evening (or whenever timewise it fits) as it's good for the dog to have that exercise time, and also it's a calming/rewarding activity for the dog.

Finally - my main soap-boxy/opinion-stating bit, and my reason for advocating going to all the above effort is two-fold;
1 - I do believe that when you take a dog into your family that dog is your responsibility and that all possible solutions should be attempted before rehoming (or destroying as another PP mentioned)
2 - Whilst it is good that your breed rescue would put your dog into a foster home, he might not settle in that foster home and end up being stressed and uprooted a good many times - it's impossible to know how that will affect him. Not to mention that most people aren't looking to rehome a 7 year old dog. So I'd just want you to understand what it would mean to rehome him - he might live out another 6-8 years in a myriad of foster homes, stressed and scared. He might take to it really well and just accept it without issue - so I'm not trying to put an emotional spin on things. I just think it's important to be aware of the potential consequences of rehoming. Just as it's important to be aware that if you do keep the dog and not make any changes then there could be some very real consequences of keeping a frightened/uncomfortable/territorial dog with a toddler.

Tillypo Mon 11-Nov-13 17:59:35

I understand it is not that simple, I have had two rescue dogs and I just can't get my head round the fact that people have dogs look after them then just disgard them like a piece of rubbish because they don't fit in with there plans anymore.

EasyToEatTiger Mon 11-Nov-13 18:48:57

We have child-averse dogs and when the children arrived we lived in a building site. If you want the family to remain a family, you make space, however small. What then if you have another child? No doubt you would make room. Of course your dog may be better off in another home. Dogs are hard work and children are hard work. Dogs are probably easier to train and quicker than children to train. I think you've gone away, OP!

Louisiasb Tue 12-Nov-13 13:50:35

Sorry I haven't gone away but haven't had the luxury of time to come back!

My oh and I have sat down and tried to find a way to create a space for the dog. We are in a very small house and struggle to fit the crates in let alone partition a space for him. There just isn't a space we can designate as his. We have considered moving to some where that has a utility room etc but we just can't afford it. We could definitely keep him if we had a house big enough to give him some space.

My oh has been getting up at 5.45 every day to walk him for an hour and then playing with him in the evening to he honestly can't do any more.

I fell that if he were to stay he would have to be crated during the day and I just don't think it is fair to keep him locked up and stressed compared to rehoming him to a quiet and safe home.

My dd knows she musn't touch but like all 18 months they don't do as they are told al the time. I am not willing to risk her safety over this.

I have tried desperately to think of a way round this as it has been a problem for 9 months. The times I have slipped up and dog has gone then gate etc is when he has snapped. It isn't a way I can live for next 2 years a least until dd is older.

I also have to consider dcs friends coming over and their safety and the dogs stress levels.

Booboostoo Tue 12-Nov-13 17:30:40

What have the behaviourists advised you OP? Have you been able to implement any of their ideas? A vet specialising in problem behaviours may be another port of call as there are a lot of medicines that can help nowadays.

If none of that is possible for you then rehoming seems like the best plan for everyone. Just be careful who you rehome to, ideally go through a rehoming charity.

LEMisafucker Tue 12-Nov-13 17:36:25

i think you are doing the right thing, really i do. You have tried your best, your dog will be happier in a child free home sad for you

CarolineKnappShappey Tue 12-Nov-13 17:41:48

For God's sake, rehome the dog!

I cannot believe we are even discussing it.

Mattissy Tue 12-Nov-13 18:51:06

By posting here you're showing you care about the dog, you're not simply discarding him. If you find him a nice home or maybe someone you know is willing to take him then that's the best all round.

You can't take chances with your child, however heartbreaking it is. It also sounds like the dog is miserable too, rehoming is best all round.

serin Sat 16-Nov-13 20:38:10

I'll have him grin (well we can't actually but I would if circumstances were different!!)

Bet there are tons of people without toddlers who would adore him and have more space for him to run around in.

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