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Posts: 1
I feel so guilty and ashamed for making the choice of putting my dog to sleep. He's a 1 year old Rottweiler cross and I've loved him with all my heart since I adopted him at 4 months old. I was stupid and didn't know much about his parents all I could see was that he was a perfectly behaved, loving and social puppy. He had all his vaccinations and he had lived together with kids. I was sold on him and all I wanted was to take him home, so I did. He taught me patience and the love I felt for him was nothing I've ever felt before. My heart and life was full with him in it. I had a fair bit of experience in dog behavior and lots of experience with dogs, especially after studying Veterinary nursing for the last 7 months. I was told he had been to puppy class already and I took him to the dog park to play with other dogs 2-3 times a day EVERY single day. He was famous as the "gentle giant" who played so gently with all the dogs including the smaller breeds. He would fall asleep in my lap and never ever showed any signs of aggressive behavior until he turned 8 months.. I noticed he was lethargic one day and that he was vomiting, I instantly took him to the Vet and was told he needed emergency laparotomy because of a suspected foreign body in his intestines. He had a massive surgery with an incision going from his chest to his penis. He was in so much pain and the recovery was longer than I thought. Adding to it he also was burnt by the hot water bottles during surgery so he had a large burn on his hip that got infected = extra antibiotics and E-collar on for a total of 4 weeks. During this time he couldn't go to the dog park anymore and only short walks on lead. He was still used to always having people around him as we had a house with 5 people living, all madly in love with him. I noticed a change in his behavior after these 4 weeks. When we took him back to the park he stopped with his play bows and started eyeballing other dogs and sometimes snapping at them. He short after bit my partner when he tried to stop him from eating something he wasn't supposed to. Me myself also got bitten one time when I played with him, nothing severe but enough to hurt. I decided to have him castrated to lower his testosterone levels. On the day of his castration the Vet called my partner and asked her to come down and help to muzzle him as he was extremely aggressive and tried to bite everyone. My partner managed to calm him down and muzzled him. She got another call later on where they said he could not be castrated today as he was too stressed and could not cope with being handled anymore and was now cage guarding. We had to come get him and got prescribed Diazepam to give him 1 hour before we came in the next day. I had to muzzle him and stay with him until he was sedated. Me and my partner had to restrain him and calm him down while he got injected with the sedation. The Vet was concerned and said that he had aggression problems. I remember being told earlier by the other Vet during his Laparotomy that he showed signs of aggression and tried to bite the nurses. I could see the stress increase in him after this. At 9 months old he started lunging at everyone we passed on the streets, dogs and humans. He one time jumped up on a person we passed by and luckily we had a good hold on him to prevent anyone getting hurt. He would bark furiously when we met other dogs even if they were on the other side of the street. 

We had to move house and I could see that this increased his stress levels too. I tried to do everything to keep his home environment as calm as possible and to give him lots of mental stimulation and exercise, which I always have done. My housemates mom came over to drop something off, my dog sniffed her and wagged his tail, when she tried to pat his head he lunged on to her arm and did not let go until my partner literally dragged him off and crated him. She had to go to the hospital to get a tetanus shot and there was blood. He gave us no warning sign before he bit her which made me extremely worried and I stopped trusting him. I took him to a Vet behaviourist specialized on behaviour modification and she told me he had severe anxiety and was in a constant Fight or Flight mode and that he therefore made bad decisions and was unreliable. She told me I did everything right with him and that I should continue the positive reinforcement training but she wanted him to be put on Zoloft (anti depressant) to lower his anxiety levels. She also suspected he had early signs of Hip Dysplasia and prescribed 800mg of Gabapentin to be given daily with the Zoloft. I even bought him an Adaptil collar that sends out calming pheromones for dogs that I heard works on a lot of anxious dogs. Nothing has so far worked. His anxiety is worst in the evening and when he gets told off when he jumps up on the bed or starts destroying furniture/clothes etc he doesn't listen and sometimes tries to bite us. Last night he was growling at us while we were sitting on the bed. At this point me and my partners relationship had suffered severely by all the arguments about Nalo. Me always trying to convince her that he would indeed get better, to give it time, that he's just an innocent dog etc. She always loved and cared for him but today told me she can't do this anymore. She feels like our future is on hold and that we can't even have people over in fear he will hurt them. That he is a prisoner in his own home. He can't play with dogs. He's constantly anxious. He's aggressive towards dogs and people. He's unreliable and a possible dangerous dog. Her opinion is that we have tried everything and I do after all agree. I decided today that he is going to be put down tomorrow afternoon. I love this dog to bits and I hate myself for doing this but I also know it's the best choice for us all. He's not a happy dog and rehoming him is not an option as he wouldn't accept a new person and would most likely try and harm him/her. and a new home would just increase his anxiety. I need support and convincement that I am doing the right thing!!! I'm so anxious about tomorrow and the thought of never seeing his goofy face, smelly breath, his beautiful eyes and silly smiles... it breaks my heart and it feels like I will never get over it. I'm scared I will blame myself and my partner forever. 

Posts: 1,010
I am so sorry you have to go through this with your precious boy.  I've never had to deal with aggression, but many here have.

May I make a suggestion?  Search for the member here named Ghatten and look for the post entitled "For All who have had to fight the aggression demons."  In that post is a wonderful story called "The Gentle Ones."  I hope this helps you.

I will keep you and your partner in my prayers.

Angel Brandy's and Angel Miriam's Mom
and now foster mom to Clarissa
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