4804873 tn?1360162537

My dog killed my cat

A few weeks ago my 6 year old female rottweiler killed my 13 year old cat when I was not home.  The rottie is fenced in the kitchen when we leave, and apparently my kitty went in there too and something happened.  They always always had gotten along. They lived 6 years together with no problems.  I'm heartbroken over the loss of my cat.  Just heartbroken.  My dog has had training from a trainer before and all that, yet she has gotten out of the yard once accidentally (gate was cracked open) and attacked another large dog that was being walked down the street. It was half impossible to get her off this dog as she is bigger and much stronger than I am.  Of course we paid for the dog's vet bill, and luckily the dog only needed stitches.  We once again hired a trainer and she passed with flying colors.  And these were trainers that came to our house and trained us to work with her.  Felt re- assured after that and kept working with her. Now this happened with the cat, and just today she was going nuts at our fence because the neighbor's boxer was out, and it was not because she wanted to play with the boxer...she's growling and wants to harm him.  I do everything I learned in training, and she entirely ignores me.  I have to go up to her and yank her collar to get her out of the fixation she has on the fence.  Anyways I'm just trying to give some background before I ask my question.  After the cat incident, and the dog incident, and the way she's acting as if she wants to attack the neighbor's dog,  I am very concerned having her around my 3 year old.  When we got the dog 6 years ago, I was told I was infertile after trying for 10 years to have a baby.  Then I was blessed 3 years ago to be pregnant.  So I didn't think I would ever be in the position of having a small child living with my dog.  Plus we had a male rottie before this one for 9 years until he died- that was a bundle of love.  I cannot recall even one problem we ever had with him as far as aggression.  Ever.  The female, completely different personality.  I talked to my vet and she have me basically a million different scenarios that could have happened between the dog and the cat that led to kitty's death.  I just will never know what happened.  But I've lost all trust (right or wrong, I'm sorry) in my dog.  I lay awake at night worried about all the scenarios that could happen to my little girl if the dog turns on her.  I keep my daughter completely away from the dog now.  Zero contact.  I always supervised, but I let her pet the dog before, and the dog was happy and would lick her, but now I will not even allow that.  I'm petrified.  To top it off, my husband is out of town for work 4 days a week.  I just have a horrible feeling in my gut about the entire situation.  I've never ever gotten rid of an animal, ever.  I've always loved all animals, especially dogs and cats.  Honestly I just feel like we have tried trainers several times now, and yet this behavior continues.  I know it must be something to do with me, I agree owners are to blame for their dogs behavior.  I just don't know what it is.  But now I'm so scared something will happen and she will harm my daughter.  I really don't know what to do.  The vet wasn't a whole lot of help.  She did say she understood my concerns, and said that animal to animal aggression doesn't have anything to do with animal to human aggression, but in the back of my mind I'm hinting, "yeah until something happens, then what?"  
I really do not know what to do.  I really could use some advice.  

Oh and I know any breed of dog can snap and harm a child or another animal.  It's just she is 140 pounds and her bite could be fatal.  I do not believe in breedism at all.  Just wanted to clarify that.  Thanks.
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974371 tn?1424653129
I can see you are really torn over this but glad to see you are looking at this objectively and the welfare of your child has to come first, absolutely.

So sorry about your cat and, no, you won't know what caused the dog's aggressive behavior but people often forget that these are animals and there is always genetic and instinct factors in play.  I admire you for getting the training!  She sounds like a nice dog except for these aggression issues.  Have you had her to the Vet fir an exam and blood work done?  You might want to get her thyroid checked.

Aside from that, yes, Rotts are big,strong dogs!  Been around a few, delivered a Rott litter some years ago and, thank goodness, it was a mellow dog cause she didn't know me.  

This is only my "personal" opinion from things I have seen and heard over the years but, if it were me, I would rehome the dog.  I know that is a difficult decision to make but, in the long run, you will continue to be a nervous wreck every day, your child will have to be restricted and watched as will the dog.  Are any of you going to be happy that way?  You might consider contacting a Rott rescue group and speak with them.  It is always good to speak with someone that is more breed specific.  

I will relay one story.  Years ago had a friend that had a 3-year old daughter.  She went to visit a friend that had a 3- year old son and they also had a Doberman.  There dog had been raised with the child and never a problem and felt the dog was fine around kids.  Well, the visiting child went over by the dog's food bowl and the dog got him right in the face, bad!  This dog had never shown any aggression but it is an animal.

I really think, after reading your post, you have answered your own questions.  

Some may not agree but that is my opinion and, in your circumstances, I would do the same.

Good luck and glad you are taking precautions just don't forget to give the dog the attention she still needs and deserves.
Helpful - 0
612551 tn?1450022175
I am worse of than a pet lover, I am also a sentimentalist, so I have a feeling how hard it would be, but "re-home" the dog, you can't take what appears to be a real risk with the dog and a new baby - I believe dogs can be jealous and this may be most severe when it comes to a human baby which takes lots of time with the parents away from the dog.   I am not an expert here and thankfully have not personal experience, check that out on some web searches you may find some experience based conclusions.

I am a big guy, and own and enjoy dogs in general.  But I will admit there are a few breeds that make me nervous and rotts are one of them.  That said the two that have lived in my neighborhood that I have come across in the street when the owner had them out for a walk and couldn't keep the dog from dragging them across the street to "see" me all passed with a pleasant ending.  I could tell by the body language of the dog it was a big "***** cat" that just wanted to be greeted and patted. I do not have any bad experiences with rotts... still I think you can't take a chance given what you have told us.
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612551 tn?1450022175
The word that was censored ***** might have passed if I had used a different but equivalent word such as "Kitty"  I was not saying anything nasty.
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Avatar universal
I would definitely rehome your dog.  She is going to be sensing how nervous you are with her from now on, and that is only going to make the situation worse.  Its not fair to the dog, you, and especially your child.  Start now to find her a good home or rescue group because it might take awhile, and I wouldn't waste anytime.
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4804873 tn?1360162537
Thank you all so very very much.  Yes, I am leaning heavily towards re-homing her.  I've even out the word out to everyone I can think of.  I really think she deserves a home where she can be a bigger part of the family and get more attention.  I still give her what I can, but now that I'm keeping her separated from my toddler, it doesn't seem like a fair life for her.  She would be great in an adult only home.  With no cats! I've cried and cried so many tears, because my husband is fighting me on this.  Which is not really fair as he is out of town more than he is here.  I am basically a single mom during the week, and I struggle just to keep up the housework, keep working on potty training my child, and attempt to (most times unsuccessfully) take care of myself a little bit.
I'm so very glad I posted here and got some support I so desperately needed.  I had previously posted in a breed specific forum, and the members are breeders, and experts on the breed, and owners of rotties...they basically ripped me a new arse for even considering re-homing her.  And it made me feel even worse.  I just want my daughter safe, and as much as a dog lover I am! I don't believe in gambling with her safety.  It's not like I'm listing her on craigslist for any weirdo or just dropping her somewhere.   Really want a good, loving, proper home.  
I agree Margot, dogs can snap at anytime, and she has shown that she will snap on animals, so how am I supposed to trust she won't do it to Chloe.  
Thanks Jerry, I agree, some breeds are just so strong and large, and it's just the way it is,  I'm not saying a Pomeranian couldn't do some harm(I actually needed stitches from one of those years ago!) but the difference is size, and a bite could kill or seriously maim my little girl. Yes linda I couldn't agree more.  I AM NERVOUS.  ANd I try not to be, but it cannot help it.  It's not just me and my husband anymore, in which case maybe I would consider other options.  But it's not fair to my little girl if god forbid she got hurt.  I would never forgive myself.

Thanks again so much for the kind advice and support.  This is not something that's been easy for me.   I've never ever gotten rid of an animal..I don't take it lightly. But it sure helps to get some opinions and views.  So very appreciated...
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441382 tn?1452810569
I normally never advocate for rehoming an animal, because most of the time the problem is not the animal, it is a case of the owner not fulfilling their duties as an owner and then wanting the animal to somehow be perfectly trained magically.  In YOUR case, however, you have gone above and beyond with this dog and training, bringing in professional trainers on more than one occasion.  I feel SO bad for you, losing your kitty and now beating yourself up over rehoming the dog because you are worried about your child around the dog.  Your fears are VERY well founded, and in your case, I wouldn't think twice about rehoming your dog.  You aren't being cruel to her, you are being a loving, responsible parent to your daughter.  A tragedy can happen in an instant, and even though you do everything in your power to keep the two separated and don't ever let them interact, one day your daughter could get up earlier than you and accidentally wander to within the dog's grasp and that's all it might take.  It's not worth it.  For your own piece of mind, find the dog a new home.  In fact, I would even go one step further and speak to a rescue about fostering her until a new home is found because you need to remove her from your daughter's life ASAP.  If she were a small breed the need wouldn't be as pressing, a bite is never nice, but the bite of a chihuahua is a lot less traumatic, even to a child, and while an accident COULD happen, the chance of needing a few stitches before a new home can be found is a lot easier to deal with than the thought that one bite could mean devastating injury or even death for your daughter.

You are in my thoughts.  Hang in there and don't second guess yourself.  

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1235186 tn?1549257619
I understand your concern, I would also be frightened.
my daughter was attacked by a husky at a friends house. the family had three children of their own and the dog had never showed signs of aggression before.
my daughter who was ten at the time was standing in the yard with the other children. for unknown reasons the dog jumped up and bite my daughter in the face and she received 100 stitches.
the health department was involved and the family felt they could no longer trust the dog. the shelter and the health dept told them they couldn't give the dog to the shelter to be "rehomed" because it had attacked my daughter.
the dog was put down.
you would have to be honest about why you are giving the dog away.
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974371 tn?1424653129
I am glad you are getting the support here on this forum and other members concur.

So sorry the Rott people you were dealing with jumped on you.  Maybe just the ones you were talking with and they need to wake up.  I used to know a reputable Rott breeder here and know she would have told you to contact rescue or rehome the dog in a New York minute.  

You have to consider the safety of Chloe, your sanity and the quality of life for the dog.  I have rehomed a few dogs over the years for various reasons (not aggression) and was able to get them into great homes.  

Good luck and do feel you can come here if need be.
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4804873 tn?1360162537
Thank you so much Ghilly and Margot.  And I'm so sorry that happened to your daughter Debbie.  Yes, I will be honest about everything that's happened before I pass her on to someone else.  Last thing I want is for someone to take her and not know her history then something horrible happen.  That would be terrible.  I don't want her in a home with small children or cats, no way!

I emailed a rottie rescue here in SC.  ( moved here in September, no longer in Nj).  Apparently there is only one in the state that I've found s far.  I've spent hours on internet.  I'm willing to even drive to another state if I had to.  I'm concerned though, because the Rottweiler Rescue here in Sc stated they do not accept dogs with unpredictable or aggressive behavior.  I was honest, so I'm kind of thinking they will not want her.  Perhaps they can advise me further.   I don't feel she deserves to die, yet I also don't want her hurting anyone or another animal.  
This is probably one of the hardest situations I've ever been in. My husband is in denial, really believing she would never hurt our daughter.  I on the other hand feel that is gambling with my daughter's safety, and. Just cannot do it.  It's actually causing us marital problems right now, but  feel he is in never never land, and I will never put my baby at risk.  He infuriates me right now.  My daughter is my number one priority, over him.   So really I'm moving forward with what needs to be done regardless of what his reaction will be.  I just have to trust my motherly instinct on this, and it's screaming at me that something will happen down the road.  The issues I've had with her training, is that she has done great- passed every time with flying colors.  Does what she's supposed to do when I work with her.  Yet when something comes up or she gets that look in her eye, it all goes out the window.  The connection is lost.  
I agree about finding her a foster.  I think I'm going to go to our vet's office personally and talk to someone.  It would only take a second for something to happen. I also will ask about her thyroid and see if something could be wrong with her.  But I'm still sticking with my decision to get her out of the house.  Feel so bad for her, but my little girl has got to be safe in her own home.

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5986700 tn?1380791380
Hi there,
I'm just seeing this thread now and omg, I'm so so sick for you, it really brought tears to my eyes.  I'm a diehard animal lover.......I will kill a fly with a swatter, yet if one's drowning in the dog dish, I'll fish it out and give it a
fighting chance..(ya I know, nuts)

I myself have 5 dogs, 3 are pretty big, a cat and a couple of sheep as pets.
I've had dogs all my life and my Rottie Zoe was one of my favs.  She wasn't half as big as your girl though, my goodness.  Anyway, she got out
the front door once and took after a small poodle and plunged teeth into
it's shoulder and underarm......omg!!! frightening!  paid for vet bills and was very accomodating.  Thank God the poor little dog was alright.  Zoe never
bit anyone but we did have to rehome her as we moved and couldn't bring.

But I had a Malamute that was a fear biter.  I was always stressed when there were children around him.  He "air" snapped many times.  He drew
blood on my hubby's cousin.  Long story short, we rehomed him as well to a farmer who's wife couldn't have kids.  He came a couple of times to the house to take "Shadow" for trips before he actually took him home.

Thing is I wouldn't trust either one of those dogs.  People should NEVER
put their complete trust in an animal.  The ones who say, oh that's crazy
Fido wouldn't hurt a flea, and never did till the day he died.  Well that's nuts,
not ALL humans are killers, but the ones who are..... People say, "Oh, he was such a lovely person, so unlike him."  Realistically you really don't know what dogs are thinking either.  They can snap just like us.

When we got our Rottie, I had a 3 very young kids.  My mom was freaked
about this.  She watched a special on 48hrs.or something about Rotties
biting kids faces.  Long story short....I did a sh*tload of research to appease
her mind.  Turns out, any dog that is at eye level to a child or anyone could
take a glance and interpret the child's gaze as a threat and BAM, snap!
Our Malamute did it all the time...even to adults bending down to pick up
something on the ground too close to him.

Sorry for rambling, this really scared me.  I def. think you should rehome
him.  No he doesn't deserve to die.  That's crazy.  It's just ........what if......
I just would never be able to relax again when she was around my daughter if I were you.  

Much prayers of strength on this decision for you and your family.

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5986700 tn?1380791380
OMG I'm sorry, I forgot the most important story.....

I have a Goldiepoo.....sweetest most gentle thing ever.  She's our
biggest girl....Well a few yrs ago. in our other house I was witness
to the horrors of nature "taking over".  We had a lot of squirels there.
This day, Darla took off after this one that was a little to distracted and
I was screaming and yelling and swearing and crying stop stop DARLA
stop help help,  this gentle giant of mine, ripped apart this poor little thing like nothin!  She finally stopped and I had to finish it off myself as it
was still alive and very bad.   Darla looked like a monster with blood all
over her blond muzzle.  I couldn't believe it!!!!  
Anyway point is........sometimes nature just takes over and we can't
foresee it.
We still have Darla of course.....love her.
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6839387 tn?1385678093
I agree.  Rehome her.  She wants to protect you and you being nervous all the time makes her go into protection mode all the time and all that heightened tension means something bad could happen more easily.  It is not fair to any of you.

Dogs adapt to new homes really well.  Surprisingly well.  I have rescued a few from bad situations and then rehomed them a few months later after training and "rehabbing" them, and I am always shocked how a dog that has lived its whole life in one home with one family can adapt to a new home and a new routine in a matter of days and attach to a new owner.

Your girl will thrive in the right home with a strong owner who is not afraid of her.  You are doing all the right things.  Everyone here is in agreement and we are all pet lovers.

Maybe try putting an ad on craigslist explaining that she will only go to an experienced dog handler in a childless home.
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6839387 tn?1385678093
Also, I am so sorry for your loss.  :(  It must have been horrific to find your poor cat.  Find your pup a great home and then take some time to grieve for the whole mess.
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4804873 tn?1360162537
Gosh I just don't know how I would feel without the tremendous support you all have given me.  It means more than I can tell you.  This situation has been weighing heavily on me.  I go to sleep worrying, I wake up worrying, I've spent hours on internet trying to find a rescue, a place, information, and crying. It is looming over my head.  (I am a natural worry wart as it is.)  This place is a complete 360 from the other forum where I basically was told I knew nothing about dogs, (although I've had one all my life), that I'm a terrible person for not wanting to keep my dog, that I need a trainer, although I've stated twice we have had two trainers come to the home on separate occasions, have completed the training, have done the home work.  Heck I was even told I was completely misinformed, that dogs do not suddenly "snap" without warning, that there are always warning signs.  Well if that's true their warning signs must be extremely subtle at times....and too quick for me to react and swoop in.   The difference is if she were bitten by a small dog, she would most likely survive...a rottie bite could kill her.   I just cannot shake that awful motherly instinct/gut feeling that if I kept this dog, someday something terrible would happen.  I need to trust my gut, as it's never proven me wrong before.  I wish it were different,  really do.  
I found a southern rottie rescue and emailed them, they emailed me back.   I put her on the site complete with background info.  Disheartening to see there are quite a few dogs on there, so I don't know if anything will come of that.   I left another message at my vet's office asking if they knew anyone that would foster her.   She is completely separated from my daughter, but that's no life for the dog.  I just think the sooner I get her out of the house the better.  And I don't mean that to sound heartless, but if she senses I don't trust her, I don't think that is good at all.

Spider6, thank you.  Yes I've learned that lesson.  Maybe I was naive because I've had cats and dogs together all my life and this has never happened.  But after I calmed down and read up, I do realize that dogs can see cats as prey animals and nature kicks in like you said.  I honestly thought after 6 years together it wouldn't have happened to my kitty, but I was sadly woken up that I was wrong. Lol, I'm the same way with bugs...I will pick anything up, except major big hairy spiders, and place them outside too!  That's funny! And yes my mom is exact same way.  She never approved of us having a rottie in the first place.  But when we got her I was told I could never have children, so I never thought this would be an issue.  She is actually mad at me right now because I've not just dropped the dog at the shelter....she is older and comes from old school of thought on dogs.  She is petrified for my daughter.  I kinda wish I hadn't told her about all this until I had the dog re-homed.  But she's my mom, and I was in such tremendous grief over my cat that I couldn't help but call her at the time.  She is totally one to watch dateline or 48 hours and call me about all kinds of dangers too!  Anyways thank you for the support and prayers.  :)

Thank you Melissa, that makes me feel better that she could thrive and be happy in a new home.  I feel like she deserves more than I can give her now that she is separated from the family.  I give her attention still, but not as much as she needs or deserves, as obviously I'm on the other side of the gate attending to my daughter.  I have zero experience in re-homing, so that eases my mind a ton.  :). thanks about kitty too.
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