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Would you put up with a dog that bites?

(232 Posts)
Sweetdisposition91 Tue 18-Oct-16 16:56:21

My dog in question is a 5 year old Rhodesian ridgeback. I've owned him since he was 9 months old, he was very nervous aggressive, aggressive to strangers, hadn't been socialised, dominant etc.
I took him training classes, made him experience all different kinds of social situations (whilst muzzled!) and gradually over time he became a confident dog who enjoys human attention. However, there has always been on going issues and I've never met another dog like him!

He has bitten me various times over the past 5 years, causing me to bleed, scar etc. Although he does growl at certain times, every time he has bitten me he gives no warning, and goes into a frenzy attack where he will grab my arm/hand 3/4 times before he calms down. I have seen some behaviourists with no such luck as there is no specific triggers, although it is predominantly when I try to stop him from doing something or over food if he shouldn't be eating it (but will let me take bones and food off him under a normal circumstance)

So basically, has anyone had any experiences of dogs that unfortunately will always have this side to them? a trainer told me this and said I just have to manage him!

And would you just put up with it?

I honestly can't ever see him changing as it's not just me he has also bitten my mum and brother. I love him so much but it's getting to a point where I am now becoming scared of him in certain situations which I know will never end well!

Please be gentle with me as I feel embarrassed to admit this and I am a responsible dog owner when it comes to walking him etc.

Sweetdisposition91 Tue 18-Oct-16 16:57:40

Oh and we are based in Essex if anyone can recommend a behaviourist!

Amandahugandkisses Tue 18-Oct-16 16:58:51

Um. No I wouldn't shock

EnoughAlready43 Tue 18-Oct-16 16:59:26

No I wouldn't.
that's the long and the short of it.

ReggaeShark Tue 18-Oct-16 17:00:23


Branleuse Tue 18-Oct-16 17:02:25

No. I think you need to accept that he is dangerous and needs to be PTS before he does serious damage to another person

ShaunPaul Tue 18-Oct-16 17:02:40

Personally, no, I couldn't. I couldn't live with a dog that I was scared of and him giving no warnings before an attack would terrify me. OTOH, I couldn't give a dog up that I'd had for five years.

I had a JRT who was like this. He was a rescue so we didn't know his history but he was very possessive over everything. We had him for a few months, we worked with a couple of behaviourists but to no avail. In the end we gave him back to the rescue centre and he was PTS. It broke my heart but it was the right thing to do.

Be aware that if you give him to a rescue centre, he's very unlikely to be rehomed quickly because of his age, breed and behaviour. He'll languish in a rescue centre for months, if not years. That's a hard thing to do to a dog which you've loved for five years.

ShaunPaul Tue 18-Oct-16 17:03:22

Sorry, posted too soon.

So in your situation I'm so sorry to say but I would look to having him PTS.

I'm sorry.

ayeokthen Tue 18-Oct-16 17:04:00

I'm really sorry but I think you know what has to happen here. I'd never flippantly say that an animal should be euthanised, but in this case I think it's best for all concerned before someone is seriously injured or worse. I know it must be really hard for you, and I don't say it lightly, but realistically there is no other safe option.

Soubriquet Tue 18-Oct-16 17:04:15

It would depend on the situation

In your I'm sorry

Owllady Tue 18-Oct-16 17:05:56

I don't think a rescue will rehome such a large strong dog prone to unpredicTable biting episodes tbh but I could live with a dog I was scared of either
It sounds like you've tried really hard to rectify his behaviour

TheCrowFromBelow Tue 18-Oct-16 17:06:18

Can you muzzle him indoors? Not ideal! Can you be any more vigilant to avoid his flashpoint and keep food he shouldn't have out of his way?
I know they are big dogs, I'm honestly not sure I'd want to keep one that still bites after amount of work, and I can understand why you are scared of him. sad really sad for you and your dog. Hope someone has more advice!

Owllady Tue 18-Oct-16 17:06:29

I couldn't not could!

theothersideoftheworld Tue 18-Oct-16 17:06:39

No I wouldn't. Think how you would feel if he grabbed hold of a child. Sorry

IfartInYourGeneralDirection Tue 18-Oct-16 17:06:44

No.I don't think it's worth the risk

PikachuSayBoo Tue 18-Oct-16 17:10:08

I had a similar predicament and it took me two years before I accepted defeat and had the dog pts. Hardest decision ever. My dog was only 4kg wet through and would bite and release. No frenzy and no real danger of anyone being badly hurt (no young kids).

Like you our dog didn't always give a warning. He would sneak up behind you and sink his teeth in the back of your leg. But bad enough to draw blood. However with Dh he would snarl and lunge at him non stop. It was so stressful and to be honest I didn't realise how stressful until after he had been pts. Being able to sit and watch tv without being on edge, etc was something I hadn't done in two years! I made the decision finally when Dh bent down to get something off the floor and the dog flew across the room and ripped his eyebrow half off. That was bad enough, with a bigger dog like you had it could be a lot worse. We tried behaviourists, inc some bloke who is meant to be the top bloke in the country. They just said ignore the bad behaviour and praise the good. They told Dh to back off when being attacked. I said what when the dog keeps coming and they said he wouldn't. But he did.

In your position with a bigger dog, who is even more aggressive and you've tried behaviourists then I would make the appt at the vets.

Isitjustmeorisiteveryoneelse Tue 18-Oct-16 17:12:48

Sorry for you that you have rescued a dog and tried your best but it's still not working out. I've owned so many rescue dogs and I know that sometimes, no matter how much (you think!) you know about training, how much you care and how much you try to do the right things, some dogs are just never going to be ok. It's hard to accept, especially when you really love the dog. I think the key things here are the size and power of this dog, he could really end up seriously hurting someone, and the unpredictability. If sometimes he's ok with you taking food away but sometimes not, I'm not sure how you can overcome that. Do you have a Dogs Trust anywhere near you? My local branch offer behaviourist advice and they're pretty good. On the other hand, if you decide you can't continue with him, then they have units to look after dogs that cannot be rehomed. Best wishes.

Isitjustmeorisiteveryoneelse Tue 18-Oct-16 17:14:13

And of course, if he's otherwise healthy, Dogs Trust won't have him put down like RSPCA and other rehoming charities would.

MrsJayy Tue 18-Oct-16 17:15:47

Wow that is a big powerful dog and it could really do you harm. Not giving warning is sign of a nervy dog I don't think I could keep it sorry .our dog is snappy occasionally he came to us much worse we have put a lot of work in and know triggers and he hasn't snapped in a year. Your dog is drawing blood it is proper biting I didn't know if there is anything else you can do if you don't know the triggers

averylongtimeago Tue 18-Oct-16 17:16:31

I am so sorry, this is not an easy situation to deal with.
You have tried training, a muzzle and behaviourists. You still have a severe problem.
The scary thing for me is that when he bites, there is no warning and no trigger - he bites hard, not a nip, 3 or 4 times.

Now I love dogs, currently have two goldies. Some years ago we were given a young male goldie by my mil. He had been dumped on her doorstep by a man who she knew slightly who said he knew she liked dogs, and if she didn't take him in he would be destroyed.
He was beautiful, but had lots of issues. He bit my son and nipped me, he went berserk if he saw a lead (and not in a good way) finally he attacked me, I still have scars on my arm over 25 years later. He would have killed a child. He was pts. I thank God it was my arm not a DCs face.

I think you know what you have to do. I am so sorry, it is a horrible decision to have to take.

MrsJayy Tue 18-Oct-16 17:18:39

The above advice about dogs trust is great they really helped us with our dog

LilCamper Tue 18-Oct-16 17:18:47

I am curious as to what the behaviourists advised?

BTW Dogs don't dominate humans.

Owllady Tue 18-Oct-16 17:22:08

I agree that you have to take it seriously. My mil friend was very seriously attacked by a dog who had 'got out' of its secure environment and its left her with life changing injuries, not to mention psychological ones. When it went to court it transpired it had bitten its previous owners before being rehomed and the new owners wife was frightened of it.

You sound like a lovely kind person but you have to think pragmatically about this sad

CheesyWeez Tue 18-Oct-16 17:22:16

My dad had this dilemma. The vet was very practical and pointed out that we have dogs as pets because we enjoy it. We were not enjoying our dog ownership any more.
Our dog became aggressive and bit everyone who came near and was banned from kennels etc so we couldn't go on holiday.
Dad had her pts and that was kindest, it would not be fair to try to give her to someone else or anything like that.
It was a hard decision but if he hadn't done it we would have limped along for years possibly not being able to have people over and so on. The vet actually found post-mortem she had an inoperable brain tumour which was probably causing the aggressive behaviour, but whatever the reason, we had to call it a day.
Sorry OP

GissASquizz Tue 18-Oct-16 17:23:06

I couldn't live like that. I dont envy you, you're in a very difficult position. But a dog that bites without warning, with no identifiable triggers, is dangerous and also quite likely in some mental distress. I would think of it as a kindness to put him out of his misery.

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