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Am I being unreasonable to not want anything to do with this dog anymore?

(43 Posts)
ToDoWithChickens Thu 28-Feb-19 14:51:30

Our family dog has a history of showing aggression and we've literally tried everything under the sun to help him and nothing seems to work. The last straw for me was today. He was happily lying on the rug in the sitting room, he could clearly see me approaching him in a non threatening manner and I then sat down at the side of him with my hand out for him to sniff before I went ahead to stroke him. Well, he suddenly growled and went for me for no reason.

As of right now, I'm past caring and I frankly couldn't give a toss if he got ran over. I know that is horrible to say but that's how I'm genuinely feeling. I want the dog out of the house but I know most of my family will be against it. If he was a big dog, they might feel differently about it. Why subject other family members to live with a dangerous dog that is nothing but a ticking time bomb when the option of having him humanely euthanized is an option? It would be best for everyone especially the dog. What makes it worse is that my brothers girlfriend is due in four months time and they will all be living here until they find a house of their own.

I didn't mean for this to end up ranty, sorry.

Mumofaprinny Thu 28-Feb-19 14:53:38

No, yanbu. Find a rescue center and tell them his problems and that he needs a house with no kids. Or you could get some kind of dog trainer to see if it improves his behavior?🙂

TheVanguardSix Thu 28-Feb-19 14:57:59

I wouldn’t keep such a dog. Our dog started doing this type of stuff and it properly scared me as a kid. She ended up getting out one night, didn’t come home until the next day, but in the meantime had killed our neighbour’s cats. We put her down not long after.

Katterinaballerina Thu 28-Feb-19 15:01:22

You said you’ve tried everything under the sun. You haven’t. One of the simplest things is calling the dog to you rather than approaching it. Whether you want to try is a different issue. It’s not easy, the tendency to bite will always be there and managing it means that you have to remember all the ‘rules’ every single time you interact with them. The alternative is euthanasia, because no one will rehome a dog that has bitten repeatedly.

Megs4x3 Thu 28-Feb-19 15:04:53

It would be irresponsible not to do something about this dog, especially with a newborn in the mix. Pass him to someone without children who understands and will work with his issues, or have him euthanised. You don’t have time to deal with it. My GD was recently mauled by a dog who had already attacked 3 others. If he had been dealt with responsibly, it would never have happened. She has gone from a bubbly little girl who loved all animals to one who is terrified of her own pets. Please, don’t risk this dog causing anyone damage, especially a baby.

Technonan Thu 28-Feb-19 15:06:55

If your dog is doing this, then there is something wrong with the way it is being treated. In some way, you are giving it the wrong signals, making it feel it is in charge, making it scared, making it more territorial, something like that. You should talk to an animal behaviourist and find out why it is doing this and get some advice on training it. This is not the dog's fault, it's yours.

lunar1 Thu 28-Feb-19 15:07:08

What does the vet think? Could it be something medical?

FairyMoppings Thu 28-Feb-19 15:09:21

Is it a rescue dog with some past trauma?

TheHodgeoftheHedge Thu 28-Feb-19 15:11:33

we've literally tried everything under the sun to help him and nothing seems to work

So what have you tried OP?

kaytee87 Thu 28-Feb-19 15:12:01

When you say you've tried everything, could you go into specifics so people can suggest things you might not have thought of.
I thought it was generally well known that you should call your dog to you instead of approaching it?

Aprilshowersarecomingsoon Thu 28-Feb-19 15:13:56

My aunt had such a ddog. My dgm sat near it to get warm at the fire and it bit her face!! Aunt had a go at dgm for trying to nick his space!! confused
We all had to sit on the floor when ddog wanted to stretch out on the huge couch!!
Prompted me to always have a well trained ddog!
Yanbu op.

Strokethefurrywall Thu 28-Feb-19 15:14:24

I would euthanize too - historic and aggression without provocation is terrifying especially with a newborn in the house.

It is a dog. I have two of them. I love them. But if they'd ever shown signs of unprovoked aggression I would euthanize because they're not going to have any kind of life (where I live, not the UK). They can't be rehomed, it would be cruel to do that to them.

I know how it is to live with a nervous, jumpy and growly dog (with strangers) and that was tough enough to try and make him comfortable over the past 8 years, but short of keeping your dog muzzled in the house, or spending a fortune on a behaviorist (that you may or may not have already done), you've done all you can.

Some dogs cannot and should not be saved. Dogs don't look to the future or dwell in the past. Assuming he has had a good life, I would euthanize before he injures and potentially emotionally and physically scars someone else.

No judgement from me, I think throwing all resource and finances at an aggressive dog is a fools errand. You will live on eggshells for the rest of it's natural life, and that is no life for you or anyone sharing the house with the animal.

StormTreader Thu 28-Feb-19 15:15:45

Is it possible to dog has sight or smell issues? A sudden growl and lunge could be being startled. Has he been checked by the vet for any pain issues?

Hazlenutpie Thu 28-Feb-19 15:15:53

He was probably guarding the rug, although that's no excuse. Have you had a dog trainer give you support and help on a one to one basis?

Fiveredbricks Thu 28-Feb-19 15:17:14

What breed OP? Is it a Shih Tzu or a Lhasa? If so they can have problems with early onset instability/dementia basically and become very agressive and at the most random times. They were so inbred for so long they have so many cognitive problems it's awful.

Fiveredbricks Thu 28-Feb-19 15:20:38

Oh and no fucking chance would I ever have a dog that's ever shown any level of agression around a newborn baby fgs. We wouldn't even let our stunningly well behaved dog around our son for a few weeks until she'd adjusted to the smell and sounds and then never in the same room alone until he was over a year old.

Fiveredbricks Thu 28-Feb-19 15:21:13

I say this as someone who works with dogs several times a day & adores them. Just no!

Middlrm Thu 28-Feb-19 15:25:54

Have you tried a dog trainer I have seen my dad ( a dog trainer ) literally turn some really aggressive pets into loving animals ... it’s rare that the dog is not re trainable ... it may be something inadvertently you are doing ( sorry but often is , could be as simple as more exercise / not letting dog up on sofa/ bed ... learning timings and best method of addressing bad behaviour ) I would recommend speaking to a professional who understands dog and pack mentality and they can help solve the issue

Middlrm Thu 28-Feb-19 15:26:53

Never leave a baby alone with an animal regardless of temperament

PolarBearDisguisedAsAPenguin Thu 28-Feb-19 15:29:10

What has the vet said and animal behaviourist, and since you say you have tried everything I think it is a reasonable assumption both have been heavily involved with your dog?

WiddlinDiddlin Thu 28-Feb-19 15:30:44


Ignoring all the ignorant hysterical responses..

Firstly what HAVE you tried, because I can see in your OP that there are things you aren't understanding here.

Secondly - its not responsible to pass this dog onto a rescue without at least setting out his history, what you have tried, in what situations he uses aggression etc... which is what I am asking in the para above really.

Euthanasia is NOT the worst thing that can happen to an animal, but I do think you have a moral responsibility to actually have tried or at least, looked at, the work that may need doing. If you then realise you cannot do that... thats different to being unaware and not bothering to find out.

In the meantime, do not approach your dog, call them to you instead of invading their space - and constantly reinforce (throw a treat, away from you) the choice to move away from you.

DoneLikeAKipper Thu 28-Feb-19 15:30:56

What did the vet say? Has the dog been subject to training or medication in regards to its behaviour? Where did you get it - shelter/another home or got it as a puppy?

Veterinari Thu 28-Feb-19 15:33:23


It’s odd that you ‘tried everything under the sun’ Yet still seek out a sleeping dog to interact with (a no-no in dog behaviour terms)

What exactly have you tried? Which behaviourists have you worked with? and why are you trying to solicit interaction from a dog that you wouldn’t care about if it was run over?

ChakiraChakra Thu 28-Feb-19 15:36:27

Have you been to see the vet with him about this? Either he is in pain/has brain tumour or something affecting his behaviour, or you're not reading him well. Or he's badly socialised and trained. None of the above are promising for a baby in the house or for rehoming, unless it's medical and can be solved.

I'm the first for wanting to sort out and help problem animals but a dog who bites in a random seeming and unpredictable way, that's a dog who would be better off PTS in a calm and planned way, rather than waiting for an incident too happen and then be PTS. Please don't try to re-home him. I doubt rescues would re-home him anyway, and if they did he'd be in situ for ages until the right person came along, all the while getting more stressed and miserable and costing a charity money when he shouldn't be their responsibility, he's yours.

The decent thing to do by him would be to take him to be PTS. Xxx

IggyPoppers Thu 28-Feb-19 15:37:53

I read the OP as the dog was awake as she said the dog could see her approaching. Either way a dog that "goes for you" when you stroke it would be a non-starter in our house. I love dogs and I've had them since I was small but a dog that aggressive and reactive isn't safe. You couldn't really have guests. Most people will absent mindedly stroke a dog lying in the middle of a room. I'd be willing to work with a warning growl but no more.

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