I have a lab / pitt mix dog who is about 6 or 7 years old. We got her from a chicken farm and she was a very good puppy. Very easily house trained, did little dog commands etc.
Long story short, my dog has two differnet moods. She can be a lovable dog. But I dont trust her at all. She has bittne me and my husband several times but not to the point where we needed to go to the doctors. You can be petting her and when she has enough, she will raise her lip. She does not like feet at all. She is petrafied of the wind and thunderstorms. We don't let her around anyone but us, and have not taken her to a vet in a long time b/c we can no longer get a muzzle on her. When she is lvoable she has the lab in her but you can tell when she is in her bad mood because the jaws of the pitt come out and the end of her snout gets very white - that's when we know not to bother with her/.
I know deep down she needs to be put down, but I can't in my heart do it because she can be a lovable dog.
Is there anything, any suggestions to get her to be more of the lab?
Ouch! That's a tough call. Can you talk to a trainer to see if such a dog as yours can be helped? Sounds like there's a lot of fear or something going on that she's so snarly and snappy. Is this behavior something new? It would be a shame to put her down if there's an emotional problem going on that might be corrected. I avoid being too anthropomorphic with animals in my line of work (wildlife) but dogs do respond to circumstances around them. It might not hurt to just ask a trainer. Nothing lost.
I honestly think she is bipolar, can animals have this? I love my dog; she is my child. I know deep down she does need to be put down, but I can bring my heart to do it because she not vicious all the time. You know? She has her lovalble moments. Like when she wants to play she will go up to my husband and run around him and like grab his arm (like biting, but like she want to walk him into the bed we have down in the basement for her)
I don't have kids so she is the only thing I have to be responsbile for. WE don't allow anyone in the house with her; we are very cautious about that because of her moodiness.
We did take her to a trainer but she was just a joke.
I would love to challenge the DOG WHISPER with her. Because I am only 50% agreed that she needs to be put the sleep.
Can dogs be bipolar? Because that is how she acts. She is not vicious all the time, if I had to put a % on it, I would say about 40%.
As I stated above/below (not sure how the comments post) but when she wants to play she will run around my husband and grab his hand like she is walk him into her bed (it's our old bed) so they can play. When they play, my husband can grab her face, paws and all and she doesn't become vicious.
If she was my dog, I'd try a trainer again or one of those animal behavior people. I don't know how good they are or how valid their training. Since you have some doubts still, it wouldn't hurt to try another trainer just for your peace of mind. Then you would be able to let her go if you had to.
i think it's very irresponsible of a DVM to make the immediate decision, based on a letter, without even meeting the dog, that it needs to be put down. i do not agree with this decision at all, and i think it's a bit harsh to say that without offering any other suggestions.
I had a pitt/mix that I got from someone who had crated her a lot when gone. I let her have free run of our home and she loved it but she was over protective of me and she turned on my other pitt and cats when given the chance and she was in that kind of mood. She would go nuts if anyone new came in our house and wanted to kill them. She would settle down as the person stayed and things quited down. She was also afraid of thunder storms and lightening, she hid under a chair. I tried so hard to make her feel safe and loved and ok. But she still had issues. She attacked her own pup and slit its throat. I gave her to a friend who raised pitts and they tried to care for her but she bit him on his thigh once and he needed 32 stitches the first time. The second time he put her down. I tried so hard to help Veronica but I think she had more abuse than I was even aware of at the time. I think all animals can be helped but I think not all animals can live in every home. Veronica would have been ok I think had she not had any other animals around her. I just really could not trust her and that scared me more than anything. It was not her fault by any means.
I think veterinarians base recommendations on their experience, It may be that Dr. Sims experience has involved some very serious injuries with cases like this. And I have seen cases like that that did need euthanasia. Also some dogs with epilepsy where the convulsions cause aggression, most medical recommendations are euthanasia. Also, any professional who has been involved as expert witness in a legal case involving dog aggression and injury to an adult or child will be very very cautious.
However, depending on the owners willingness to work with this dog, it may be possible to train them and solve or control aggression towards people.
I've asked our PhD Behaviorist, Dr. Suzanne Hetts, to enter the discussion here and offer her extensive knowledge and experience in dealing with some very difficult behavior cases.
As a professional animal behaviorist, I've seen and worked with literally hundreds of aggressive dogs in the course of my career. In my experience, when it gets to the point that the owners are afraid of their own dog, that does not bode well for successful behavior modification.
This is NOT a training problem, but a serious behavior problem that IMO is best dealt with by a certified applied or veterinary behaviorist. If you were to try the types of confrontational techniques with this dog used by Cesar Millan you would be placing yourselves in an extremely dangerous situation and could be severely injured. He even cautions people about using his techniques on their own!!
If you already in your heart are considering euthanasia then in my experience that's a sign you know that is the right choice. For your peace of mind you might consider an evalution by one of the professionals I mentioned. You can locate a CAAB or a veterinary behaviorist at CertfiedAnimalBehaviorist.com OR VeterinaryBehaviorists.org respectively. If one is not near you, a CAAB can do a telephone consultation (would be helpful if you could share video) OR a veterinary behaviorist can consult with your veterinarian.
Choosing euthanasia is never, ever an easy decision even when it is in the pet's best interests. You are to be commended for safely managing your dog so that he hasn't hurt anyone but the two of you. However, management in my experience always breaks down, and someone ends up hurt. I know you would feel awful if one of you or an innocent visitor - especially a child - were severely injured. Trust yourselves - if you are afraid of your own dog, that is no way to live. Pets are supposed to bring us happiness and joy, not worry and harm.
I may have just missed this in a previous post, but thought it would be worth it. I actually know of someone with a similar problem. He too can seem to be "bipolar". With a Veterinary Behaviorist and behavior modifiying drugs (Reconcile is what they use) they have made tremendous progress. With the behaviorist they were able to identify some of his triggers that set him off and built from there. I think it might be worth the time to look into it. Of course, it may not be the answer...you will know what you need to do, but I just wanted to let you know that SOME people in similar situations have been helped with this method. However, it does time much time and effort. Best of luck to you and hope this helps.
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