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Putting aggressive dog down.

(139 Posts)
Blackfellpony Wed 09-Nov-16 10:59:24

Not going into loads of detail because it's really identifying but I'm asking whether anyone has any experience of making the decision for your dog if you can't cope with it any more?

Did you ever get over the guilt?

Dog is the sweetest most loving dog at home yet outside is so fearful and unpredictable. We have already had trainers, behaviourists and vets opinions yet it feels never ending, it's one incident after another and I don't think I can manage it any more sad

Soubriquet Wed 09-Nov-16 11:00:36

Course you will feel guilty

Bit aggressive dogs are a danger and it isn't worth your suffering

Some aggressive dogs are so fearful of everything that the constant anxiety would mean it was kinder to pts.

ItMustBeBedtimeSurely Wed 09-Nov-16 11:02:23

You will feel guilty, but compare that to the guilt you will feel if your dog ever really injures someone.

You've done what you can. It sounds like the responsible thing to do.

Ilikegin Wed 09-Nov-16 11:06:26

Not an easy decision but I think you are doing the right thing.
You already know the dog is unpredictable so if it ever hurt a human in the future you may be culpable. I wouldn't take that risk!

HerOtherHalf Wed 09-Nov-16 11:11:03

I would try and rehome rather than put it down, if all other options have been exhausted. Contact your local rescue centers.

MackerelOfFact Wed 09-Nov-16 11:14:19

What a difficult decision and I admire your strength in considering it. I think if you've got to this point, you know what the right answer is. sad

In terms of guilt towards the dog, being PTS by the vet in a calm way with you being present is going to be much less stressful for the dog than what would happen to it if it did go on to attack someone. It would likely be seized, impounded and PTS in much more horrible circumstances. Try and think of it as protecting your dog from that, as well as also protecting those who it might go onto attack. Also it will provide it with relief from its discomfort and distress as a result of anxiety - in humans, anxiety is an illness, so maybe try and see it as your dog having an incurable illness.

OhBollocksFuck Wed 09-Nov-16 11:23:55

I made the decision to hand back an aggressive rescue dog knowing he'd be PTS.

It was heart-breaking and I felt so guilty but I got over it because he clearly wasn't happy and had problems. I saved him from that by having him PTS.
He wouldn't have been rehomed again because me and DH were perfect for him. If he was aggressive in our house, he'd have been aggressive anywhere. The only other option was that he lived the rest of his life in an RSPCA rescue centre. That's no life.

In your case, your dog clearly has problems being out and about in the wider world which are very serious for him, for you and for other people. To avoid this, you could keep him indoors for the rest of his life. Does that sound like a good life to you? It might well do so you keep him. However, it probably doesn't in which case, given that you've had trainers and vets involved, it seems like the kindest thing to do for yourself and for him.

It'll be hard but it's the right thing to do and you will get over it. Spend a few days spoiling him rotten, get all of his favourite food, take lots of photographs. When he's gone remember the good times.

You sound like a lovely and very dedicated owner OP smile

OhBollocksFuck Wed 09-Nov-16 11:26:09

I would try and rehome rather than put it down, if all other options have been exhausted. Contact your local rescue centers

I wouldn't do this.
With his history he likely won't be rehomed with a family with children and he'll likely have to have trainers involved with the new owners. That sounds like a lot for new owners to take on and many people will be put off by it. He'll languish in kennels for months even years. Freezing cold, noisy kennels. That's no life.

CalmItKermitt Wed 09-Nov-16 11:30:17

Agree with OhBollocks. Passing on the problem isn't the answer.

Blackfellpony Wed 09-Nov-16 11:33:25

Dog is always muzzled, on lead, walked at quiet times, never around visitors or strangers. He is well managed and has never bitten anyone. He plays with other dogs and socialises with people he knows. He will allow other people to touch him if he knows I am there and it's okay.

Today an accident happened, the lead wasn't on properly, I don't know how. I normally have it attached in two points but didn't out of laziness. I'm an idiot. He saw someone in the distance that I didn't and ran up to him barking and circling him. Normally he is on lead and so this couldn't happen but not this time. No damage thankfully, just one understandably very angry person who was barked at aggressively and proberbly was terrified but I am having panic attacks about it, replaying it over and over.

I'm embarrassed to leave the house and have anxiety about seeing the person again, or about what people may say or think about me.

I didn't think it would be so hard. Dog has never shown aggression to me or family, raises orphaned kittens, plays with other dogs, loves cuddles and kisses and has been raised by me from a tiny baby. He is currently fast asleep on my feet like he always has done. Dog has never bitten anyone but I don't trust him. He has attended training classes and socialisation sessions since 8 weeks old. He isn't likely to attack someone, and even if he did it would be pretty difficult as he is muzzled, but it's soul destroying to live with a dog who can't be trusted outside of the house.

He couldn't be rehomed. He is devoted to our family, he can't be separated from us for a moment. He is aggressive in a kennel and nobody would get near him. On top of this he has a serious and very expensive medical problem (not related to his aggression issue-we've checked!) which means he is very unlikely to be rehomed. If I can't cope, I would rather he was PTS in my arms where he feels safe and loved sad

I feel so guilty, this is the worst decision I've ever considered in my life.

MrsJayy Wed 09-Nov-16 11:34:23

If you are having a hard time then the dog is suffering a worse time surely its kinder to the animal to be pts than hwve years of suffering and anxiety every time you take it out. Tough decision op you will feel guilty but if it has got so bad that every day is misery for you and dog then it might be your only option.

PikachuSayBoo Wed 09-Nov-16 11:36:14

I had to do this.

I agree passing the problem on is not fair on the dog. Rehoming places have enough non aggressive dogs to deal with without a problem dog. I figured I would rather take my dog to the vet myself rather than stress him out by putting him in a strange rescue and a stranger taking him for the same ending.

Like you OP we had exhausted behaviourists and trainers. So I always felt I had done everything I could. Two years on and I still miss him because I lived him so much but I don't feel guilty. I know it was the right thing to do.

However my dog was aggressive to Dh and visitors in the house. If your dog is only aggressive out of the home could you muzzle him out of the home? Walk him In less busy areas, early in the morning or late in the evening?

OhBollocksFuck Wed 09-Nov-16 11:38:25

I feel so guilty, this is the worst decision I've ever considered in my life

Reading your last post, OP, I actually think it's the best decision you've ever made.

You sound lovely and a great owner.

Don't worry about the person who got barked at. Yes, they'll be pissed off and shaken up for a bit but they'll calm down and get over it. If you see them out again, go over and apologise and tell them the situation.

I think you should give your dog all the treats before he's PTS. As I said, all his favourite food and games, take a couple of days off work and just give him your full attention. Can you invite some of his doggy friends around for the day? Take lots of pictures.

You're doing the right thing for him.

PikachuSayBoo Wed 09-Nov-16 11:38:43

X post with your last post.

Don't make any rash decisions after a stressful event today. If he's normally muzzled and on the lead it's unlikely to happen again. I'm sure you'd be better at double checking the lead is secure.

Blackfellpony Wed 09-Nov-16 11:45:02

I have been working with a behaviourist and have left her a message so am hoping to speak to her and DH and make a decision from there.

At the moment I can't even look at him, it's daft but I'm so angry that he could screw everything up again just as we were getting somewhere. He's never done this before, he sits politely for a treat when people pass (on lead and muzzled) so why today did he chase someone?

I guess I let my guard down and got complacent. Regardless it will never happen again which ever way.

Should I report this to someone? I didn't stick around or ask if he was hurt as he was very angry, should I try and find him to explain?

MrsJayy Wed 09-Nov-16 11:53:41

Ok you need to calm down your dog barked at a stranger, the stranger was annoyed and maybe frightened but they are ok who are you going to report this to? You have an unpredictable fear aggressive dog i have 1 too it's very stressful speak to your behaviourist see what they say but please calm down I know you are agitated and anxious but try and not be over emotive about it.

Deadnettle Wed 09-Nov-16 11:56:57

I've put an aggressive dog down. We debated it for months but then we had an incident. No one was hurt but that was down to luck and the intended targets ability to jump over a gate. Dog was put down the next day.

Dh feels guilty about it but I don't. I feel sad that we had to do it but know it was the right thing to do. Our dog was dangerous and keeping everyone safe was a stressful job. One he was gone I realised how big an impact he had on us and tbh it was a relief when he was gone (I was home with him all the time and as such I received the most bites).

You need to consider what kind of life your dog has and what kind of life you have. A dangerous dog is not a fun and happy dog to have around.

Deadnettle Wed 09-Nov-16 11:59:59

Is your dog a collie? Running up to and then running around people/dogs whilst barking is a thing that they do and it doesn't mean he's more aggressive than normal iyswim?

Blackfellpony Wed 09-Nov-16 12:01:56

Thanks Mrs.

I think I do have over anxiety, he is a big dog and I hate confrontation. I literally feel sick about it as he was circling, barking and lunging at him. The man was trying to kick him and the dog was going back for more, I was trying to catch him but couldn't and it felt like it lasted ages although in reality it was only a minute or so.

I don't think it's this isolated incident though, it's proberbly a combination of lots of incidents that's making me feel like I can't do it any more rather than this one thing?

I just thought if he was to report me it would be better to explain it first?

Blackfellpony Wed 09-Nov-16 12:02:41

No deadnettle he is a very large German shepherd.

crayfish Wed 09-Nov-16 12:04:25

You know the dog, but I'm struggling to see how you have got from this one incident to having him PTS, if he is normally great at home and is usually muzzled and on a lead when out. What opportunities is he getting to be aggressive? And how does this manifest itself?

If you feel in control when he is muzzled and on the lead then can't you just be extra vigilant about that? Yes today's incident must have been scry for the other person and for you, but it very much sound like a one-off.

OhBollocksFuck Wed 09-Nov-16 12:06:05

crayfish I think it sounds more like a straw that broke the camels back than a one off.

CalmItKermitt Wed 09-Nov-16 12:07:24

There are some brilliant behaviourists and also some godswful "behaviourists".

Can I ask what methods you've been advised to use?

Deadnettle Wed 09-Nov-16 12:08:15

Shepherds are also herding dogs so may do the same thing.

I don't think anyone would blame you for putting the dog down. You've called in experts and made a real effort to help him, he is also having a massive impact on your life.

When I put my dog down for aggression everyone just asked why I had waited so long.

MrsJayy Wed 09-Nov-16 12:10:50

Yes this is probably the last straw for the op but the man who was barked at probably is cursing the dog no more than that, it just sounds so difficult to manage

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