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Avatar universal

Putting down my dog

Hi there, Im baulling my eyes out right now.  I have 15mth old staffy x and another puppy 6mths old (different breed).  My husband and i have made a decision to put the staffy down as he is extremelly agressive and attacks other dogs all the time for no reason.  We have done so much training and everything you can think of so we are sooo worried about the other one being distressed.  Do I take him to the vet when the other one gets put down?  Cant stop crying right now - its breaking my heart!
22 Responses
675347 tn?1365464245
COMMUNITY LEADER
If ever I heard a cry for help, this is one!
One thing is for sure You will get help here. Whether you will be able to act on it, I don't know.
I wish I had the perfect answer for you, but I am not a dog behaviour expert. Hopefully someone here will have had similar experience, and be able to comment and give you more practical advice.

Please don't do anything irrevocable until you have heard what people have to say. Once he's euthanized, it's over, that's the end of him, so hang on awhile if you can.

His genetics, of course, count for a lot. If he's bred from aggressive types, it will be ingrained in him to a CERTAIN extent. But the right kind of upbringing and training WILL make him manageable.

Try, if you can, to get hold of a good, reputable Dog Behaviour expert. You may be able to locate one in your area, or fairly nearby.....ask at your vet's office, they may be able to help? Or search online. Even someone far away or in another country might be able to advise and help.

Until then, -an immediate "patch" on things....get a soft muzzle. They don't cost a lot. Put it on him, and keep it on him, except when he needs to eat. Some muzzles allow the dog to drink water, but do not allow the dog to open its mouth enough to attack or bite. Check this out. Make sure he can drink water, one way or another.
Try to keep your two dogs apart at mealtimes. Food jealousy can be pretty hair raising.

And hold on until you get some more reponses here.
Avatar universal
Thanks Ginger899 - I appreciate your comments.  The stress has been incredible ever since we got him.  He barks at kids, I cant have friends over with kids, I have to lock him up in a crate and if I do that he is fine until a child is in the room, he goes crazy at the neighbours kids all the time. He litterally jumped out of the car today and attacked a dog for no reason and the owner was shocked and Im scared that if that owner had a child it could have been a lot worse.  He has been banned from doggy day care for fighting with dogs.  He has been picked up by the council for breaking out, even though he is harmless to adults, it worries me if another dog is on the street and he would attack it.  The house is fully fenced - so high so he cant get out anymore.  We cant walk him on a lead as he has anxiety and even though we have been training him, he pulls until he sprews. I dont trust him 100% as he is so unpredictable.  The problem isnt with our other dog, they sleep together and all sorts.  Meal time isnt a problem, they share each others food.  We just cant take him anywhere and I cant take them together on my own as if Benny decides to flip out, I wont be able to control two dogs.   Im very stressed and upset.
1916673 tn?1420236870
Hi. You do have quite a problem and one that may or may not be resolved through hard work and a huge amount of effort on your part. In the short term, use a soft muzzle at all times when other dogs or other humans are in contact of him. This puts others and their dogs in a safety zone and will probably make you feel better and less anxious about things.

Second, yes, you are going to need a canine behaviourist, in aprt to give advice, but also to diagnose what kind of aggression this is. It could be the classic dominance type with a Staffie, or it could actually be fear and anxiety, both of which can ordinarily be treated.

It is also worth looking at any dynamics in your home environment that have changed that might have triggered this behaviour.

When my partner and I first got together, my partner had a Staffie that was somewhat out of control. The dog was constantly pushing the boundaries and overstepping them. I wasn't having any of this and laid down some ground rules - and kept to them. Slowly the dog started to recognise me as the human alpha and was perfectly well behaved whenever I stayed at my partner's home, but then reverted back to his old behaviour when I left. One day, my partner and I had a disagreement and, shockingly, his dog attacked him so abdly we had to go to the emergency department for stitches. We believe the dog thought our disagreement was a threat to me, and he therefore attacked my partner. Sadly, though we tried various remedies, none truly worked and we did have to euthanise eventually, just so our other dogs and other people could be safe.

If you can find out the reason behind your dog's aggression, you might be able to train easier and more successfully. That's were a behaviourist could come in, if you can find one in your area. Tony
Avatar universal
Try contacting Cesar Millan from TV, the dogwhisperer, who knows he might actually help you or know of someone in your area who can. He has a huge following and network.
Avatar universal
Thanks everyone for your help, I really appreciate it.  I will look into the behaviourlist.  I wish I could contact Ceaser Milan but I am in New Zealand.  Bit far away.  I will ring my vet and ask for a recommendation.  Really appreicate it. Cheers
675347 tn?1365464245
COMMUNITY LEADER
I understand now better. I had a feeling you meant there was aggression in the home, with your other dog. It seems that your Staffie accepts your other dog as part of his family. It's just any outsiders -canine and human-that are in trouble.
Dogs and children....they don't always mix. Even fairly nice dogs can be intolerant of children. I had a Jack Russell once who could not stand children younger than 8 or 9. I had to be very very careful with him.

The beauty of the internet -to a large extent- is that nowhere is far away any more. Places across the world are a click or two away.
If you are interested in the Cesar Millan method, I do believe there are experts who work his method in other countries apart from the USA.
You could check this out, do some research.
441382 tn?1452814169
The first part of my response is to those who have suggested re-training, or re-programming or Cesar Millan-type trainers.

NOBODY wants to see anyone have to put down a dog, but the reality is that sometimes there are just no other options.  I have worked for many vets over the years and in the veterinary field, the general opinion is that if a dog is aggressive, you can use special training methods, you can send him to a professional trainer, you can try something from column A, something from column B, something from column C, you can consult with professional trainers, you can try whatever the latest training fad happens to be, but the bottom line is that you cannot ever trust that animal.  

No matter how much training you might put into him the chance that he will revert back to his old behavior in the heat of the moment is too great.  Dogs like this are a liability to all concerned.  You can lose everything you own because of a dog like this.  Scarier still, depending what the dog laws are where you live, if the dog has a history of aggression and you are aware of that history, if the dog attacks someone, you could end up doing prison time because of it.  

Insurance companies will not cover a person who owns a bull breed, and ESPECIALLY a Staff or any dog unlucky enough to fall under the "pit bull" heading.  It doesn't matter that the dog  ISN'T a pit bull, it's just unlucky enough to be lumped into that category.   Homeowners are dropped by their companies every day because it is discovered that they have one of these breeds.  Heck, insurance companies are loathe to cover people who have multiple dogs no matter WHAT breed they are because of the perceived potential risk to the safety of others.  A friend of mine breeds POMERANIANS and her insurance company dropped her because when the rep went to her house to do an estimate, she had her five dogs out in the yard and they said that with five dogs the chance of something happening or someone getting bitten was too great, so she ended up having to use some obscure company that nobody has ever heard of who apparently boasts a client list of many people who show and breed dogs.  And even THEY won't cover anyone who has a pit bull, staffordshire terrier or other dog of that type or any mastiff breed.

Giving the dog to someone who has no children or other animals isn't really an option here either, because you know this dog has a propensity for going after kids and other dogs.  Can you really, in all good conscience, set someone ELSE up for the tragedy that you are trying to avoid by rehoming him?  

As I said, NOBODY wants to see a dog be put down.  It goes against everything that people who love dogs stand for, but there comes a time when logic and good sense just have to take over and the safety of others has to be considered.  

Now, to Jules18, my heart goes out to you.  I wouldn't want to be in your position for all the money in the world.  I have to give you a LOT of credit for arriving at the decision you made.  It shows that you are responsible and are well aware of the damage that a dog like this can cause.  It softens the blow not one bit, I know, but you are making a very well-thought out and smart decision.  This dog is only 15 months old.  He's basically still a puppy.  He should still love the world!   If he is this aggressive at this young age, then things only stand to get much, much worse, and it has nothing to do with any training that you did or did not do.  Nature vs nurture.  There is only so much that can be controlled by how you raise an animal.  Genetics do count for a lot, and unfortunately staffies are one of those very-in-demand breeds that has fallen victim to the backyard "breeders" who are working day and night to meet the demand for these dogs.  And it's the dogs themselves who are suffering at the hands of these uneducated "breeders" who have no idea that breeding dogs takes a LOT more than having their female whelp a litter of puppies.  

Please know that you are in my thoughts as you go through this.  If more people looked at situations such as this one as responsibly as you do, there were probably be a lot fewer people being hurt or killed by dangerous dogs no matter WHAT breed they are.  Aggressive dogs come in ALL breeds, your's just happens to be unfortunate enough to be one of the breeds who already has a bad reputation thanks to the media.  

I wouldn't take the other dog to the vet with the one who is being euthanized.  I think it will only be more traumatic for him.  It's not like he will be able to rationalize what is happening, all he will know is that you are terribly upset.   When you get home, let him grieve in his own way but don't let him just lay around languishing because the other dog is gone.  Show him extra attention and love, give him treats, take him for walks, just spend lots of time with him.  You will help each other heal.

Ghilly
675347 tn?1365464245
COMMUNITY LEADER
It's sad, but Ghilly does have some vitally important points to make. Particularly the fact that you may never -ever- be able to trust him with other people and dogs -EVER AGAIN. In which case he would have to live his life permanently muzzled if in contact with anyone at all, on every single walk, and whenever anyone came to the house.
If that were to be the case, it would solve a problem for sure. You would know he couldn't bite or hurt anyone. But you couldn't and would never be able to -rest for a second. You would always have to be prepared, stick rigidly to the discipline, no matter what, and never forget, even though he might calm down with behaiour therapy.

It really is an awful position you are in with him. It does depend on how ingrained his aggression is, and whether you -hand on heart- can honestly say whether his traits are in your opinion, a lack of ability to cope, or lack of management, and things have spiraled a bit with him....or whether he really has always been this way...?
Do you have any idea of his breeding history? Do you know his parentage? If so, what temperament were his parents?
Avatar universal
Even though you do not live where Cesar Milan is located, I would still try to contact him. It can't hurt to see what they tell you, and you would only be out the cost of a phone call.
1832268 tn?1326819610
I am sorry you have come to the decision to euthanize your dog.
However, before you euthanize him, can you honestly say to yourself, that you have given him a fair chance..?  This is a question only you and your husband can answer.
Please don't misunderstand me..I am not judging you, I am basically wondering if because of the puppy, your Staffy is not getting the training that he requires. After all, Training one dog is difficult enough, let alone having to try and train 2 of them.   Each dog requires one on one time and dedication, as well as individualized training unique to each dog.
You know your dog best,
Do YOU think that it would be possible for your Staffy to be rehabilitated?
If so, perhaps you could check into local Rescue groups in New Zealand, or even Australia.  There may even be a Staffordshire Rescue Group.   Try asking around, and do a web search.
Again, I am sorry that you have to make such a difficult decision. I know how much you love him.
My heart goes out to you.
Connie



Avatar universal
Thank you so much everyone for your thoughts and comments.  He was an SPCA dog that was 3 months old when we got him.  The agression progressed quite quickly and it was evident today when I spoke to my vet who has know him from a baby and we talked it through about the behaviour and what it would mean to euthanize him, we talked about rehoming and after a full on discussion covering every option, I didnt feel it would be a good idea to rehome him as I would be setting someone else up for the fall.  Someone suggested a pig farm, but I cant bring myself to give him to some ******* that would treat him terribly.  My beautifuly baby passed away today in my arms.  I was there the whole time and never let him go.  I hugged him, kissed him and told him that we love him and that I was so sorry.  I havent been able to forgive myself yet as I am still hurting.  To my baby Benny, Rest In Peace, I do love you. xxxx
Avatar universal
I cant stop thinking about him and my heart hurts.  Tears have been flowing all day.  How long do you think it will take for our other pup to go through the grieving process?  
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