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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I fear that my fiancée is considering the age old ultimatum of "me or the dog". I love them both to death, but she's insisting that the best thing to do is to return her since children are in the future plans and this 5 year old staffie just doesn't like them (barks and lunges at the squealing, stumbling toddlers). She loves her too, don't get me wrong, she's just concerned about what-ifs and is slowly buying into the media hype against them. Granted, a lot of stress I have stem from this dog, it's just feeling like I have no choice in the matter of my best friend or my unborn children. I need help, and I feel desperate :(
 

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How long have you had the dog? Have you had her for all of her 5 years, or did you just get her in the last year or so?

What type of shelter was it? Was it a high kill shelter? Was it a no kill shelter? Was it a rescue that's no kill?

How long have you and your fiancee been together? How far in the future are these children planned for?

If you've had the dog since she was a puppy and the shelter you are planning to return her to is a kill shelter, then she'll likely be put to sleep. How fast she'll be euthanized depends on how crowded the shelter is and how many pit bulls are in the area. The unfortunate truth is that at many shelters owner surrendered pit bulls are among the first to be euthanized, some as soon as 3 days of entering the shelter.

If you just got the dog then she'll likely have a better chance at not being euthanized right away.

If you got her from a no kill shelter or rescue, that's the best outcome and she may very well find a new home, BUT it may take months or years to do so.

If you and your fiancee do not have a relationship of long standing, then you might want to take a long, hard, look, at the relationship and decide just what compromises you are willing to make.

If you are not planning on having that child in the next month or so then it would be best to try and rehome your dog yourself if that's what you decide to do. If you do so make dang sure to screen homes very carefully so that she does not end up in the hands of dog fighters.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How long have you had the dog? Have you had her for all of her 5 years, or did you just get her in the last year or so?

What type of shelter was it? Was it a high kill shelter? Was it a no kill shelter? Was it a rescue that's no kill?

How long have you and your fiancee been together? How far in the future are these children planned for?

If you've had the dog since she was a puppy and the shelter you are planning to return her to is a kill shelter, then she'll likely be put to sleep. How fast she'll be euthanized depends on how crowded the shelter is and how many pit bulls are in the area. The unfortunate truth is that at many shelters owner surrendered pit bulls are among the first to be euthanized, some as soon as 3 days of entering the shelter.

If you just got the dog then she'll likely have a better chance at not being euthanized right away.

If you got her from a no kill shelter or rescue, that's the best outcome and she may very well find a new home, BUT it may take months or years to do so.

If you and your fiancee do not have a relationship of long standing, then you might want to take a long, hard, look, at the relationship and decide just what compromises you are willing to make.

If you are not planning on having that child in the next month or so then it would be best to try and rehome your dog yourself if that's what you decide to do. If you do so make dang sure to screen homes very carefully so that she does not end up in the hands of dog fighters.
I first adopted the pup this year back in May and my fiancée and I are a couple months official (known each other for over a year now). I got the dog from a no kill rehab/rescue center that pulls dogs from New York and other overcrowded areas. Granted worse case scenario there is dog becomes part of the permanent pack there where she becomes part of rehabilitating other dogs. Thank you very much for respondin!
Beyond that, they make all adopters sign contracts that gives the shelter inheritance of custody if it doesn't work. So I can't really rehome her.
 

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Surrendering a 5-year-old staffie with behavior problems to a shelter, at least where I live, is a death sentence for the dog. You don't have children yet. I see either two options: either train your dog or find her a good home yourself.
 

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I just caught up on posts after it was too late to edit mine. Anyways, since you don't currently have a child, I don't see the rush to return the dog. What kind of training have you done?
 

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I first adopted the pup this year back in May and my fiancée and I are a couple months official (known each other for over a year now). I got the dog from a no kill rehab/rescue center that pulls dogs from New York and other overcrowded areas. Granted worse case scenario there is dog becomes part of the permanent pack there where she becomes part of rehabilitating other dogs. Thank you very much for respondin!
Beyond that, they make all adopters sign contracts that gives the shelter inheritance of custody if it doesn't work. So I can't really rehome her.

Would your fiance consider consulting a veterinarian behaviorist, or certified applied animal behaviorist on the dogs behavior so y'all can get an unbiased opinion on whether or not she thinks the dog will be able to live with children? Doing that one of three things may happen. Your girlfriend might learn that the dog will be fine around children with the usual precautions you'd take with a baby and any dog, or you'd learn that the dog would be best in a home with out any children and you can rehome her knowing your doing the best for her and your future family. You might also learn that the dog would not be good around children now, but that with a behavior modification plan she likely will be, if that happens you have time to work with her and have her reassessed before any babies arrive.

I'm glad that you say if you did have to let her go she'd be going back to a no kill shelter. That really is the best case scenario, other then staying with you and your fiance.
 
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All of life is one 'what if' after another. IMO you can't live life based on what might happen, because it might not too. If you are both attached to this dog, why not involve a trainer, now while you still have lots of time.
 

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Considering you don't have children yet, don't have any immediately planned, and don't have any on the way, I think you should make an effort to train the dog and socialize her with children. Find a behavior specialist or a trainer and explain the situation to them, and see if you can get the dog on a training schedule to make her less reactive to children. Even if your fiance got pregnant right now, that's still 9 months to work on the dog's behavior with kids.
 

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I fear that my fiancée is considering the age old ultimatum of "me or the dog".
I'd choose the dog.
In my opinion there is no place in a family home for a dog that attacks or bites, but you have reported neither an actual attack or a bite, only some behavioral issues which can be worked on.

I think the real issue here is your engagement. If your fiancé is trying to change your life now, even before the marriage, it may be that you need to stock up on bandaids, to cover the future hen pecked areas.
 

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So you can return to her a no-kill shelter/rescue if needed. That's good.

You have some evidence that she lunges at small children. That's not good.

I guess the missing piece is the unborn children. They aren't really "unborn" yet...they don't exist. And children aren't a guarantee in life.

I would tell your fiancé that if the time comes when she is pregnant, you will then seriously consider how the dog is doing at that time and you will make a decision based on what is best for the family.

In the meantime, yes, find a good trainer/behaviorist and work with her. You'll be doing the dog a favor anyway in terms of ever rehoming her, if it does come to that.
 

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I'd choose the dog.
In my opinion there is no place in a family home for a dog that attacks or bites, but you have reported neither an actual attack or a bite, only some behavioral issues which can be worked on.

I think the real issue here is your engagement. If your fiancé is trying to change your life now, even before the marriage, it may be that you need to stock up on bandaids, to cover the future hen pecked areas.
I think that's a bit harsh, Lucille.

There are two sides to this story. I can certainly understand the fiancee's point of view. She doesn't want to make the mistake of having a child with a man who's going to give priority to a poorly behaved, possibly dangerous dog. I don't blame her.

It's up to Firefox497 to make sure that he's doing all that he can to make sure that the dog is reliably safe around small children if he wants to keep the dog and plan for a future with his fiancee.
 

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I think that's a bit harsh, Lucille.
You are entitled to think whatever you like. However, the OP presented the situation as a choice given to him. I gave good advice based on the evidence presented, and advice is what he asked for. He need not follow it, but there are other opinions besides yours.
 

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Well, a couple of short paragraphs, written by only one of the two individuals involved, is not much evidence to go by, and certainly not enough evidence to provide any sound relationship advice.

The OP stated that the dog "barks and lunges at the squealing, stumbling toddlers," and I think it's reasonable for his fiancee to be concerned about there might be problems in the future if they have children. Both of them are clearly looking at making a lifetime commitment to each other, and they should be having these kinds of discussions now. Suggesting that he may be setting himself up for a lifetime of "hen-picking" is really a bit overreaching.
 

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Well, a couple of short paragraphs, written by only one of the two individuals involved, is not much evidence to go by, and certainly not enough evidence to provide any sound relationship advice.

The OP stated that the dog "barks and lunges at the squealing, stumbling toddlers," and I think it's reasonable for his fiancee to be concerned about there might be problems in the future if they have children. Both of them are clearly looking at making a lifetime commitment to each other, and they should be having these kinds of discussions now. Suggesting that he may be setting himself up for a lifetime of "hen-picking" is really a bit overreaching.
SusanLynn, there are other opinions in the world besides yours. You could have simply presented your own opinion, but no, you had to mention a name and criticize. You are a hen pecker, IMHO.
Is her concern reasonable? Sure. Is it the basis to present the concern as 'the dog or me' type choice? No, of course not, and if that is done at this premature stage, it is cause for concern about the relationship.
 
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