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We have a beautiful, almost three-year-old mutt named Max that we adopted from our local SPCA when he was 3-months-old. He was in a kill shelter in Kentucky before being brought up north. We love him dearly but he has a propensity for biting without provocation and we cannot afford to keep him anymore for fear that he will hurt another child. Again, he is phenomenal 99.9 % of the time but that .01% is going to cause us to lose our home.

Right now, the best home for him would be in a desolate area where he would be alone with his human, however, that is not our home with three children and people milling in and out all day. We are just too social of a family.

We called the spca where we got him to see if we could surrender him to them, because of his history they were not willing to take him. So, my question to all of you dog experts out there (who are not emotionally tied to Max) do you think a no-kill shelter would take a dog like Max or would they all say "nope, not safe, sorry". If at the end of the day wherever he goes, they are going to put him down anyway, I would rather do it myself so my face is the last one he sees before he transitions.

I have made and cancelled three appointments with the veternarian to have Max euthanized- we want to do the most humane thing for him. Any advice you give is helpful-thanks
 

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Hi there! Welcome to DF!

I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

What type of professional training have you tried? Have you consulted a behaviorist?
 

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The problem is that a known biter is a legal and financial risk, because you have to disclose the biting propensity and whoever knows of the bite history, and has the dog if it bites without provocation again and causes damage is on the hook for those damage costs.
Even with training the risk remains, and most people realize the overwhelming expense that can be associated with legal action for a bite.
For me it would be a moral risk as well if a confirmed biter later killed a child.

There are unfortunately many more dogs than there are homes for them, and many dogs are euthanized every year. I think that while it is a difficult choice, this dog should be euthanized.
 

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From what you've said, I would think most no kill shelters would say no. No Kill shelters tend to just reject animals a regular shelter would take in and might end up euthanizing. That's how they stay no kill.

How many times has he bitten? Who did he bite? Was it a stranger, child, family member, etc? What were the situations in which he's bitten? What was going on in his environment? Had he had a stressful day leading up to the bite?

Has he been seen by a vet? Maybe he's in pain or has something going on causing his aggression.

I agree with consulting with a behaviorist or experienced trainer (not a dominance based trainer though- look for someone who focuses on positive methods).
 

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Maybe a rescue might take him to rehome to a childless family? This would depend on the rescue, and the circumstances surrounding the bite.

In the meantime... Muzzle train him. Take the time to do it properly. You can find how-to videos on YouTube or get instructions from www.muzzleupproject.com
 

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The problem is that a known biter is a legal and financial risk, because you have to disclose the biting propensity and whoever knows of the bite history, and has the dog if it bites without provocation again and causes damage is on the hook for those damage costs.
Even with training the risk remains, and most people realize the overwhelming expense that can be associated with legal action for a bite.
For me it would be a moral risk as well if a confirmed biter later killed a child.

There are unfortunately many more dogs than there are homes for them, and many dogs are euthanized every year. I think that while it is a difficult choice, this dog should be euthanized.
Difficult decision but I agree with you. The risk factor alone........
 

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Personally I'm not comfy giving a recommendation either way! I haven't met and evaluated the dog. And there is not much detail (level/severity, situations they occured, etc.) about the bites in general.

What I would suggest is a vet check including thyroid panel and an evaluation with a behaviorist/veterinary behaviorist or at least a certified behavior consultant (if not already done) and then go from there.

If you do decide to have an evaluation done then the links in this thread may help you find a qualified pro.

http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/finding-trainer-behavior-consultant-behaviorist-113946/#post1347266
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Hi there! Welcome to DF!

I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

What type of professional training have you tried? Have you consulted a behaviorist?
Yes, we have worked closely with a behavior specialist, he is on medication and the last few times he has bitten my children and punctured the skin.

I am in complete agreement with all of you and feel that euthanizing him is the most humane thing to do- of course, full disclosure is mandatory with anyone we speak with since we do not want to put ANYONE at risk.

It is such a sucky position to be in. Max is beautiful, dopey, and hilarious. This will probably one of the hardest things I have ever needed to do.
 

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@Max4kentucky, I'm so sorry you are in this position. I know to even have to face that decision is a difficult one.

You said you have worked with an animal behaviorist? I would make one last ditch effort with them. It's impossible for us, people of the internet who have never met your dog, to say he is a lost cause. We have never met the dog, seen his behavior, or monitored his changes. You have, the behaviorist has, the vet has and those are the people that need to help you make the decision. Educated, professional people who know your dog and know you.

Again, I am so sorry you're in this position.
 

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@Max4kentucky, I'm so sorry you are in this position. I know to even have to face that decision is a difficult one.

You said you have worked with an animal behaviorist? I would make one last ditch effort with them. It's impossible for us, people of the internet who have never met your dog, to say he is a lost cause. We have never met the dog, seen his behavior, or monitored his changes. You have, the behaviorist has, the vet has and those are the people that need to help you make the decision. Educated, professional people who know your dog and know you.

Again, I am so sorry you're in this position.
You are very kind. I spoke at length with our vet and after listening to our story they said sometimes a dog just cannot be fixed, no matter what efforts have been made. I also found that no one can make the decision for us but us and I wish someone would make the decision for us. He truly is such a great dog but the unpredictability of when he bites is just too great of a risk for us, unfortunately.
thanks again for your support
 

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Yes, we have worked closely with a behavior specialist, he is on medication and the last few times he has bitten my children and punctured the skin.
Unfortunately, I think this sentence alone answers your question. You've sought out vet care for your dog. You've sought out help from a behavior specialist, and your dog has bitten your children on multiple occasions.

The reality of shelters and rescue groups is that they cannot place dogs with a biting history in homes. It's too much of a liability. Plus, there are too many adoptable dogs that being put down just because there are not enough homes for them.

Until you make a decision, please consider using a muzzle for the protection of your children and their friends. Supervision alone is not sufficient for a dog that bites without provocation.
 

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Consider also that long term kenneling is hard on a dog. They often develop stereotypical (repetitive, compulsive) behaviors like pacing, bouncing/jumping off the walls, and aggressing at humans/animals that pass due to frustration and lack of appropriate stimulation. I would expect these behaviors to be even more likely/pronounced in a dog who already has anxiety or aggression issues. That is no way for a dog to live, and I would be very wary of sending your dog to a no kill facility which houses their dogs in a kennel environment because of that. On the other hand, a dog which has seriously bitten children in the past also isn't likely to be put up for adoption, and appropriate foster homes (for life?) are going to be few and far between, as even most people who don't have children are unlikely to never have one living in close proximity (say, next door, and jumps over the fence to get a ball) or encounter one while out and about with the dog. Homes that can safely handle a dog with a bite history are few and far between, and that's not even taking into account the liability of owning and/or placing such a dog in a home, which is tremendous for you and anyone else who might take him on. You are in a terrible situation, and it sounds like through no fault of your own- some dogs just aren't "made" for life in today's world. Whatever you decide, know that you gave your dog a chance to experience a loving home and dedicated owner, which is more than many get.
 

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Not being confronted by your day to day living with your dog, I can't say for sure, but I think if it were me, and I was attached to this dog, I would work very closely with a professional trainer/behaviorist. Though I understand your dilemma, I would find it almost if not completely impossible to just discard the dog.
 

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You don't kill dogs for bad behavior. Seriously, I can't believe this is even a discussion. Dogs can't be fixed? Are you sure? How can you be sure? The answer is you can't. There is a reason that the capital punishment for humans has be relegated to ****holes like syria and sudan. Dogs are even less culpable than humans.

Turn him loose on the street if you don't want to deal with him but don't have him executed at least on his own he has a some chance.

There is a special place in hell waiting for animal abusers.
 

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Turn him loose on the street if you don't want to deal with him but don't have him executed at least on his own he has a some chance.
That is extremely dangerous and irresponsible.
 
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This person is making a difficult decision, 'discard' implies that the owner takes it lightly, the owner is not doing that.

You don't kill dogs for bad behavior. Seriously, I can't believe this is even a discussion. Dogs can't be fixed? Are you sure? How can you be sure? The answer is you can't. There is a reason that the capital punishment for humans has be relegated to ****holes like syria and sudan. Dogs are even less culpable than humans.

Turn him loose on the street if you don't want to deal with him but don't have him executed at least on his own he has a some chance.

There is a special place in hell waiting for animal abusers.
This is an extremely unkind post, in my opinion, to a person who is torn about what to do.
The fact is, that once you are aware that you have a dog that bites without provocation, you are legally responsible for the sometimes VERY expensive financial (and in my opinion, moral) damages if the dog bites again unless you find someone who will take the dog after full disclosure is made, and then they are financially responsible, although you may hold yourself morally responsible if you hear about the dog let's say subsequently biting or killing a child.
In addition, for some dog attacks that are particularly heinous, where the dog owner knew of the dog's proclivities, there have actually been criminal proceedings and the dog owner jailed.
 

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Unfortunately, I think this sentence alone answers your question. You've sought out vet care for your dog. You've sought out help from a behavior specialist, and your dog has bitten your children on multiple occasions.
I agree. I don't mean to sound harsh but I think it's a bit of a no-brainer.
 

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This is an extremely unkind post, in my opinion, to a person who is torn about what to do.
He shouldn't be torn. This shouldn't be a question.

This is a clear example of what the Milgram experiment proved. People are willing to totally ignore their own moral compass. The only reason the OP would doubt is because he knows its wrong. Lots of Auschwitz guards were torn as well.
 

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Margorie Knoller has spent years in jail, convicted of second degree murder when her dog attacked Dianne Whipple and she subsequently died.
I believe this site should be a place where people are not afraid to ask for help with difficult situations. There are moral responsibilities on both sides here, to both the dog, and to innocent adults and children who might get hurt in the future by this dog.
 
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