What do we tell the kids

(37 Posts)
MadCap Wed 18-Sep-19 14:35:36

I've posted previously about issues with my Caucasian cross. Bitten 2 people, badly enough to break skin. Nearly dragged me in front of a car. I have severe mental health issues that exacerbated by the isolation caused by this.

I think we have come to conclusion that pts would be the best and kindest option. Vet and behaviourist both agree. We have some sanctuaries to contact first, because we're really finding the idea difficult.

DH and I can't decide what to tell the DC's if we do. He's a healthy young dog so we couldn't tell them he's sick. Should we say that he's gone to a new family? They're 8 and 10 and quite switched on kids. They know he has issues and that we can't take him out in public.

Please be kind.

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Windydaysuponus Wed 18-Sep-19 14:46:10

We have had a similar ddog for 10 years.
Ime knowing a pet is pts is better than lying. The not knowing may have them worrying about him.
Our ddog has been a nightmare for years. Never bitten a stranger but nipped at a friend of the family who grabbed her.
Have you sought professional help with him?
I didn't but wish I had in the early days.

MadCap Wed 18-Sep-19 14:55:31

Yes we have been working with behaviourists and the vet since we got him just over 18 months ago when he was a puppy. I've put so much work in and I think it's down to genetics. He's a guardian breed which we didn't know when we got him. This is very much the last resort.

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Jouska Wed 18-Sep-19 15:04:04

Why would you lie?

If it is the correct decision then you need to tell the truth.

MadCap Wed 18-Sep-19 15:07:10

Because we don't know if they'd understand. Because they're children. I don't know. We don't know a child friendly way of explaining it.

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Windydaysuponus Wed 18-Sep-19 15:12:23

Do they watch animal programmes? Any family deaths that they have gone through?
We watch Yorkshire vet etc and mine grasp pts and dying. We all know our ddog is a 'hassle' also, haven't got your strength to act on it. Don't feel guilty if it's the best decision for your family - and ddog.
Passing him on to bite again isn't a wise idea.
I fostered a family members ddog and with help from mn I got him a place in a rescue. They rehomed him very unwisely imo and he bit a dc's face and was pts...
Better to prevent that ever being the case ime..

Floralnomad Wed 18-Sep-19 15:16:12

I’d just explain that the dog has issues that make him very unhappy and pts is the kindest option for him.


Whitney168 Wed 18-Sep-19 15:17:13

I suspect PTS is the only answer for this dog now, in the absence of someone being found very promptly indeed who knows the breed/type of dog and is qualified to give it the right home.

It is utterly ridiculous that hard-core dogs like this are being put in to families who are not aware of what they are and what they need - or indeed, sorry OP, that people are just seeing a big bear of a dog without doing more research.

MadCap Wed 18-Sep-19 15:39:21

We certainly weren't after a Caucasian. He's technically a lurcher and as a pup looked like one. We all the, the rescue we got him from included, that he was a gsd lurcher. It's neither here nor there now I suppose.

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LochJessMonster Wed 18-Sep-19 15:56:57

Agree with pp, I’d just explain that the dog has issues that make him very unhappy and pts is the kindest option for him.

Then make it clear that it was no ones fault he was unhappy, and he loved everyone in his family.

TeacupRex Wed 18-Sep-19 18:15:27

It's always difficult to tell the kids. But I would tell the truth. You could say that he is poorly in the head - you've had plenty of help from behaviourists and vets and it hasn't worked. I personally don't think adopting out a powerful LSG dog that has bitten hard enough to break skin is an option. I am all for responsible rescue, but it would be absolutely irresponsible to pass this dog onto someone else. Humane euthanasia is the kindest thing to do, and will give you the peace of mind that he'll never injure anyone else.

Crockof Wed 18-Sep-19 18:32:32

Hmmm I understand your concern, I'mnot sure I'd want my 8 year old to link difficult behaviour with being pts, will they think they will be pts if they are difficult?

I'm all for telling the kids the truth normally but I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable with this. Especially pp 'feeling very unhappy so death is the answer? `

Op I'm not against what you are doing from what you say pts would be kinder, just not sure primary kids are mature enough to understand.

Crockof Wed 18-Sep-19 18:35:39

More I think about it more I can't accept that being poorly in the head equals death. Mental health affects so many of us, I wouldn't want a young child thinking this is the answer. Appreciate you may all think I'm over thinking this but with my MH experience it just doesn't sit right.

MadCap Wed 18-Sep-19 19:07:02

Crockof I get what you're saying. I have serious mental health problems myself (I am under the care of the crisis team atm after a suicide attempt 2 months ago).

Maybe if I explain that ddog's behavioural issues could hurt someone very badly and get taken away from his family and pts and that it's much kinder to everyone to pts while he's with everyone he loves.

It's just so bloody difficult. He got loose when he slipped his collar in the 4 ft between my front door and the car boot. I had 999 pressed in my phone just in case he headed towards the busy playing fields at the end of our road. I was terrified. Luckily I managed to catch him, but it just confirmed that what needs doing.

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Jouska Wed 18-Sep-19 19:17:19

Children deal with the truth better than any lie however hard the truth is.

The example you give above is not one that warrants being pts. Why can you not return to the rescue?

Mummyto2munchkins Wed 18-Sep-19 19:20:51

Have your children witnessed Ddog biting OP?

MadCap Wed 18-Sep-19 19:34:28

No that incident alone doesn't. That just demonstrated to me that his and everyone else's safety is precarious. The time he bit me and a total stranger minding her own business are reasons to put to sleep as we can't find anywhere willing to take him as a permanent stay.

The kids saw me get bit and the blood pouring down my arm. So they know he is dangerous and they know that's the reason that no one can come to our house.

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Alwaysgrey Wed 18-Sep-19 19:39:39

My kids are pretty much the same age. I’d tell them the truth. That you’ve worked with the vet and behaviourist but his brain isn’t wired correctly and he’s biting and has become dangerous and that the safest and kindest option is for him to be put to sleep. Good luck. This must have been a very hard decision.

MadCap Wed 18-Sep-19 19:39:53

The rescue won't have him back Jouska. We've really tried to work with him. This isn't being done on a whim. I've worked with a good behaviourist and a vet, both who agree that he is a very difficult dog. Our vet even said that it was the worst aggression he'd ever seen.

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Jouska Wed 18-Sep-19 19:45:55

Which rescue?

TeacupRex Wed 18-Sep-19 19:49:20

We do have to remember this is a dog and not a human being, anthropomorphising dogs in this way can be detrimental to their wellbeing. I also suffer from mental health, as well as having autism, but I'm not going to put the lives of others or myself at risk. People that have mental health and DO or have put other people/themselves at risk are either imprisoned or sectioned so that they can't cause any more harm and hopefully get the care and help they need. Unfortunately no such facilities exist for dogs, and when vet care and behaviourist treatment has failed, the only options you have for dogs is to adopt them out knowing they are a dangerous dog and may be like that for their entire life, or PTS. And in the eyes of the law, this is a dangerous dog with a bite history - a huge liability for anyone to take on. Why wait for him to bite again, only to have the law come down on you and end up with the same result of euthanasia?

Mummyto2munchkins Wed 18-Sep-19 20:09:07


Some information about help with after the euthanasia OP

MadCap Wed 18-Sep-19 21:24:40

Thank you Mummy. That link looks really helpful.

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Ginger1982 Wed 18-Sep-19 21:58:38

We had our 3 year old JRT pts earlier this year due to severe aggression. It was the hardest thing we have ever done but it was the right thing for all of us, including him. I didn't know how stressed I had been feeling until he was gone, though we do miss all the good times.

My DS was only 20 months at the time so we didn't have your issue but I think that honesty in some form is best.

Drogosnextwife Wed 18-Sep-19 22:04:36

In most cases I'm all for telling kids the truth about death, in this case I think I would just tell them that the dog has to go and live somewhere else where they can keep him from harming anyone, because it is too dangerous for him to live in a family environment. They are unlikely to ever find out that the dog was pts.

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