Registered: 1523003916 Posts: 1
What would you do?
Please no judgement , struggling with decision.
From about 2 years old our male American staffy started to become extremely aggressive towards other dogs. It started out as a dog fight with a friends dog who was living with us for some time. They were fine together for months and then all of a sudden they couldn’t be left alone together. She soon moved out and I took him to obedience training where he was great with other dogs and also had him desexed. I presumed it was a territory thing at home wth my friends dog.
The next incidence included him getting under the neighbours fence and ending up in a massive dog fight with their male bulldog where we could no seperate them and had ripped shreds off each other and resulted in me being bitten (by her dog)and both dogs needing to go to the vet.
The neighbour and I fixed the fence and both took responsibility for each others dogs behaviour as hers had been trying to get under my fence also.
We realised he could not ever be social with other dogs which was upsetting. We took him to secluded beaches and paddocks etc to walk him and exercise him and spoke to council who advised us to put dog warning signs up etc and ensure he was muzzled when he was out and could be near other dogs.
I need to add here that he has never ever shown aggression to a person in his life. He has been around people and children with not one bit of aggression. He is a big sook and every single person that meets him loves him as he has such a beautiful nature.
We were cautious for years until recently when someone has forgotten to shut our gut properly and he has gotten out and attacked another dog and as a result was impounded. He has now been assessed and deemed a dangerous dog. If we were to get him out of the pound we would be required to build a cage for him to live in. He wouldn’t be allowed out unless he was muzzled and supervised and restrained at all times.
I am devastated. He has never hurt a human and don’t feel he would but I am feeling extremely guilty and terrified for other dog owners. I would be horrified if someone else’s dog got out and attacked my pet. I don’t think I can bring myself to lock him in a cage for the rest of his life while I’m at work being let out an hour a day for supervised attention.
I worry to have him re-homed for the safety of other dog owners if he were to get out and I don’t know who would want to take on a dog that was deemed dangerous.
I’m really struggling as I know what I probably need to do but obviously devastated. They won’t even release him from the pound until a cage is built. Just need some kind words I guess. :(
Registered: 1387660479 Posts: 46
That is such a sad situation. Are there such things as dog psychiatrists? I wonder what is going on in his brain to be so vicious with other dogs. I've never had a dog like that, so have no first-hand advice, but I sure can relate to how you feel. If your yard is big enough and you can afford it, could you not fence it all in, or a lot of it, including above, so that it would be a giant cage? That would give him more space to be in and he might not mind it too much.
Have you asked a vet if he could have some brain tumour or something that might be causing his aggression? Or if there is some medication he could take to control it a bit? I hope you can work out a solution. It must be heartbreaking. Good luck.
Registered: 1523569714 Posts: 4
Sammi I am so sorry you are going through this...I feel your pain as I am going through this too. My Peanut is going to be 10 we adopted him 5 years ago and was not informed by the shelter of his many issues, Peanut has reactive aggression toward human and dogs, he lives daily with fear and anxiety, pacing and panting all day long, he is a repeat offender when it comes to biting and I do not mean little Chihuahua nips, full on K-9 Police dog attacks!
After 5 years and $7,000 on 30-day behavioral rehabilitation, Veterinary Behaviorist, 3 different anti-depressants, Valium and Xanax we have made the very painful and heart wrenching decision to put him down. The first time he bit my adult son and left 6 puncture wounds in his leg, I could have returned him to the shelter where of course he would have been put down but I wanted to help him and we did everything possible you can think of to help him. My Vet told us that any one of the things we tried to help him should have worked, which brings her to believe that perhaps Peanut suffered neurological injury as a puppy or that his fear & anxiety which is causing all this aggression is just inherited, our Vet has also drilled into our heads that just because Peanut does not have any physical illness, what he is suffering from is as debilitating and painful and that putting him to sleep is the final act of love we can give him....I know she is right, but it sure doesn't alleviate the guilt or pain any less :(
Registered: 1524035483 Posts: 14
My angel Koba was also dog aggressive.. though his fate was sealed when he guarded me from my aunt, biting her in the face. He too had never ever shown aggression to a person, other than the vet. He definitely had a trauma with other dogs and would often have nightmares. I do feel like you should attempt to save your pup if you have the means to. I would seek out a behaviorist ASAP if you do bring him back. They may help to indicate when exactly he's triggered to go over that threshold.
The thing is.. when a dog displays that degree of aggression towards dogs.. it means they're capable of that aggression towards anyone/anything. It doesn't mean they will, but it's a possibility. I always used to say Koba would never hurt a human but anything on 4 legs is a different story... til it happened. The person smelled like her dogs at the time.. and I always wonder if that played a part. I do believe most dog aggressive dogs could go their whole lives without doing harm to a human but these are all just things to consider. If you need anyone to talk to, I'm here. Whatever decision you make, know that you did the best you could with the options you were given.