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Aggressive rescue dog that i am reluctantly going to have to put to sleep

(35 Posts)
marcimoo Sat 15-Dec-18 22:46:34

My rescue dog has been getting progressively more aggressive and nobody can knock on the door without him lunging and growling/ barking. Plumber was scared to come in the house etc. Went for step sons (aged 32) ankle 2 weeks ago and husband wants rid. I love the dog to bits - he is wonderful with me, but a couple of hours ago he went for my husband and bit his knee. I know it is time to let go and my husband wants to take him back to the shelter tomorrow, but i would prefer for me to take him to be put to sleep because i don’t think he could be safely re homed and can’t bare the thought of him stuck in a shelter for years, after sleeping in a warm house on the sofa and getting constant love and attention from me! I sound selfish and pathetic, but would rather be with him at the end, knowing i gave him a great 6 months, than thinking he gets euthanized anyway, with strangers. So upset - to be honest i would keep him, but he is a danger to others and so i have tobe sensible - no grand kids yet, but i know if there ever are any, they would not visit because of the dog. Heartbroken😢

Jaxinthebox Sat 15-Dec-18 22:48:05

you cant do that! You MUST give him back to the rescue you got him from advising of what has happened.

DeepDarkWoods Sat 15-Dec-18 22:49:38

Sorry to hear this. What breed is he?

LEMtheoriginal Sat 15-Dec-18 22:52:32

Im a vet nurse and sadly, i agree with you OP. Depending on the rescue, there is a good chance that they will PTS if you return him as it would be irresponsible to rehome him.

What is his history do you know?

He sounds incredibly stressed and anxious.

Have you spoken to your vet?

Villanellesproudmum Sat 15-Dec-18 22:58:16

Is he scared of males, or both female and male, is he aggressive/protective of you?

What training and advice have you had. Difficult situation for you.

ClementineWardobe Sat 15-Dec-18 23:00:51

Nope. No no no no no no. You have absolutely no right to put the dog to sleep. You take it back to the rescue. They will make a call on why he’s doing what he’s doing. He won’t be the first to have trouble settling. He has the capacity for affection towards humans because he is bonding with you. You have absolutely no reason not to return him. Putting him to sleep would be an awful, unforgivable thing to do.

cowfacemonkey Sat 15-Dec-18 23:03:13

I kind of agree with you OP. Have you had any support for a behaviourist or the rescue since you got him?

Fairylea Sat 15-Dec-18 23:08:27

When you rehomed the dog what background information did they give you? Any indication he would do anything like this?

Evidencebased Sat 15-Dec-18 23:08:44

Ex Vet nurse: I agree with you OP.
No shelter I've come across would re-home a dog who's bitten a family member, not after six months.

So let this dog have a kinder way out.

Lots of people on here will vehemently disagree.
You could check with the shelter what is likely to happen if the dog is returned.

Or consult your vet.
Or just do what you believe to be in the animals best interests.

cowfacemonkey Sat 15-Dec-18 23:22:00

I’ve done volunteer work in a local rescue and although run by well meaning animal lovers it is a miserable existence for a dog, especially one that might be there long term. I just could not imagine my lovely boy having to go from a loving home to rescue kennels. I really feel for you sad

Inkspellme Sat 15-Dec-18 23:29:07

I think that you're making a very honest decision. If I was in your shoes I would do feel the same and get the vet to put him to sleep but I would be there with him so that the last thing he hears is a familiar kind voice.

I do think that once he has bitten someone you cant ask a rescue to rehome him. For me, that would be irresponsible

Bufferingkisses Sat 15-Dec-18 23:31:54

Contact the rescue, tell them what you are wanting to do and why. Ask them if they have any advice before you go ahead.

We had this with a breed rescue. She had a brain tumour causing aggression although we didn't know that until after. She never went for me, I think because she was so bonded to me but there was a moment where it nearly happened and her behaviour had got steadily more erratic. It was horrible but everyone agreed it was the only fair thing to do for her.

Speak to your rescue. flowers

Rosieposy4 Sat 15-Dec-18 23:36:03

What a difficult and sensible decision, we made a similar one about ten years ago. Rescue dog never settled, had dog psychologist in, dog trainers etc, then without warning and without provocation he bit a regular visitor outside of our ( and his ) house boundary

WhyDontYouComeOnOver Sat 15-Dec-18 23:41:54

Have you tried a behaviourist yet?

Snowwontbelong Sat 15-Dec-18 23:47:37

I fostered a family dog after a relationship break down. He went into a shelter - as helped by mners . He was rehomed, badly imo, he bit a dc's face, just a nip. The owner took him back to the rescue where he had an emotional breakdown and was pts.
Better your ddog is pts in your arms than suffering like Oscar did... I feel for you op. Truly. I will never get over how he suffered those last weeks in a shelter.

Stripyhoglets1 Sat 15-Dec-18 23:49:17

The OP has every right to have the dog pts if that's what she feels is best rather than him go back into a rescue kennels. He won't know what's happening but he will know, and be very stressed by going back to a rescue environment. I would suggest a good dog behaviourist first though. He's probably aggressive as he's protecting you and is a very anxious dog.

marcimoo Sun 16-Dec-18 01:03:14

Thank you all so much for your messages of support and even those saying to take my dog back to the shelter. I have spent a fortune these last few weeks on getting extra help with a animal behaviourist, who was brilliant, but unsure if he could help with aggression as it just comes from nowhere and he was surprised at how quickly he can turn, but said he is used to it! If i am honest, he has been aggressive right from the start, but it was little nips that i thought was because of nerves and if male OR female tried to stroke him out on a walk he would snap. His previous elderly owner died and he was with his body for a few days, so this is another reason i am reluctant to have him back in a shelter - specially as he had been there ages anyway and there are two others just like him who are waiting to be re homed and they would have to tell new owners he is a biter, so who would want him except me? My husband and step son don’t want him and i cannot afford any more training help.
I have already been in touch with the shelter a few times due to his seizures and vets are unsure because they only last minutes then he is jumping around again! I love and care for the poor dog who is a Border terrier cross with a lakeland the trainer seems to think. The shelter unfortunately have not responded to my last two messages, so i will ring them tomorrow and see what they say.

I love the dog to bits, but have to think of family and the general public and to be honest i think it is more cruel to leave a dog in a shelter that has been through previous owner dying and then me just leaving him there - i think he would miss me and become stressed and even more aggressive. Breaks my heart, 😢😢😢

tinymeteor Sun 16-Dec-18 01:12:20

Heartbreaking situation, but I think PTS is sometimes the responsible thing to do. If he can't stay, the choices are back to the rescue with very poor rehoming prospects, or a humane end after a good day with you.

Evidencebased Sun 16-Dec-18 10:15:15

* @ marcimoo * former Vet nurse again.

Now you've mentioned seizures, the picture changes. Because there could well be an unknown neurological problem. The fact that a behaviourist finds the dog difficult to ' read' supports this.

No way is this dog going to get rehomed. That's not going to happen, and rightly so.

You know what the only fair course of action is. The only way to minimise the suffering this dog will go through if you return it to a kennels. Don't put him through a distressing time before he is inevitably PTS.
Be brave, be loyal to him, do what you know is right.

And, congratulate yourself for having tried hard, and giving him a far better six months of life than he would have had without you. You've really done well, not many people would have offered him that.

Call the vet. With a clear conscience. You've really tried to do the right thing by this dog. And you won't fail him now.

Fairylea Sun 16-Dec-18 12:03:51

A dog like this shouldn’t be rehomed. You are doing the right thing. flowers

Snowwontbelong Sun 16-Dec-18 12:35:38

When I had Oscar and tried unsuccessfully to rehome him I wish I had skipped that bit and gone straight to pts. He had issues and I knew it, the rescue knew it and still rehomed him. Pts was the right thing - living was causing him stress and anxiety.
The worst part of loving a ddog is the letting go. At least you know he won't be suffering - which mentally he is - and no new owner /dc will be bitten thanks to your courageous decision.

NicoAndTheNiners Sun 16-Dec-18 12:44:17

I feel for you.

I've been in a similar situation though my dog was direct from the breeder not a rescue. He was six months old when I got him and went for dh the day we brought him home. Breeder ignored any attempt at contact. And this was a KC dog froma breeder who has won crufts year after year with this breed so not a "backyard breeder".

We spent 18 months trying a few different behaviourists and his behaviour didn't improve. Dog was fine with dd but bit everyone else repeatedly.

After he ripped dh's eyebrow off one day I knew we'd reached the end of the line. I did ring a few rescues but they all turned him down and to be honest my heart wasn't in sending him to a rescue. Like you I couldn't stand the thought of him languishing in a kennel. Someone on here said that being put to sleep isn't the worst thing that can happen to a dog and I do agree with that. I did feel I had a responsibility towards him rather than taking him to a rescue where the chances are he'd be pts anyway and be stressed at the change, have a stranger take him to the vet, etc. Instead he had a nice walk, sausage breakfast and I held him while it was done.

The only thing from you say with your dog is there a chance that he would be ok in a one person household? He may bond with one person and then need to protect that person from all others. You're lucky that he did come from a rescue and you could talk to them. Maybe he could stay with you for a few weeks until a suitable home is found so he could go direct from you to them without needing to be in a kennel?

NicoAndTheNiners Sun 16-Dec-18 12:45:46

Oh just seen about the seizures......he could have some sort of medical issue also causing the aggression. And he's less likely to be rehomed with both aggression and seizures. It definitely ring the rescue tomorrow. Good luck.

marcimoo Sun 16-Dec-18 18:25:09

I have been doing lots of calls and thinking and crying today!
The rescue centre did ring me back and i was able to say to them that my dog has a POTENTIAL new owner. At first they were reluctant until they realised i was 200 miles away and could not just drop the dog back off to them.
As i feel safe with the dog, but my husband doesn’t, it is sadly time to let go. A friend of mine who already has a dog and wants another one, contacted me this morning to say she would be willing to take my dog IF it gets on with hers. She is aware of the issues and so i said would she like a more honest opinion from the dog trainer, so he rang her and she is willing to go ahead.
I told the rescue centre this and so they are speaking with the potential owner tomorrow and are going to have a good chat and a phased introduction to my friends dog to see how it goes. The trainer is also being contacted by the rescue centre and IF things can be worked out, they agree to do an adoption and transfer of my lovely dog to a new owner.

I am so pleased, but also very worried because of course if it doesn’t work out, then it is back to square one again and that will once again break my heart. I have to give the poor dog a chance and my friend is amazing because she is wanting to help in this way. She is a friend i met at work, who i only see maybe every couple of months for lunch, so i would not be seeing her with my dog IF she keeps him because this would only confuse him, but at least i will know he is with someone who cares.

Thank you deraly for all of your posts. I will not be on here for a bit now until i can let you all know what has happened re adoption or not xx

WhyDontYouComeOnOver Sun 16-Dec-18 19:15:46

That's really good news, OP. My fingers are crossed for you.

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