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Hello,

I have a deaf dog who is now 2 years old, as well as another dog in the household who is 3. We got our deaf dog when he was 6 weeks old, and automatically him and our other dog were best friends. We never had any issues, they were always together. A month before our deaf dog turned one, we were all playing with a toy and our deaf dog ending up attacking our other dog over it. In the process of trying to pull them apart, I got bit and had to get stitches. After I returned from the hospital, we obviously kept them apart. But all they wanted to do was be together. After that one incident it was like nothing happened.

We had little problems after that here and there but nothing severe. This past summer, he just seemed to have gotten worse. He would watch her every move (and not in a good way) it was like he would leave his body and something else would take over. He would occasionally lunge at her but we were always able to separate him.

It came to a place where we had to separate them, and when they were together he wore a muzzle. We went and saw a behaviorist who prescribed him some behavioral medications. He was doing really well after that. We still kept the muzzle on when they interacted just incase any incidents, but we never had any.

Within the past month he has snapped and lunged at multiple times. Our other dog is completely terrified of him and I can tell it is starting to take a toll on her health. All the behaviorist said is that she recommends we take him out of the household for both of their sake.

When its just myself and our deaf dog, he is nothing but a sweet loving boy. He has very bad anxiety and does not take well to other people he does not know. He is not good with any other animals or children. I know if we try to re home him (if we could even find him a home), it would not be good on him at all.

We love him so much, but we have to start thinking of both of their health if nothing is going to make him better. We are thinking of euthanasia in our home so he is comfortable and goes peacefully.

I am so in love with this dog and have been crying everyday just thinking about him not being with me anymore, but I know I have to do what is best. I cannot be selfish anymore.

Was just wondering if anyone else has ever been through this and how it turned out for you?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I should also add, 4 of his siblings have been put down for aggression as well. So I know it is sadly something his brain is wired with.
 

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It just seems extreme to me... it's just dog aggression. It's not like he did bite you on purpose either... my husband got bit trying to separate our dogs once too, and from our mellowest dog. What kind of dog is it and where did you get it? Were the other dogs only aggressive to dogs, or humans as well? I really hope that whoever bred their parents will never do it again.


That being said... My young female started attacking my 14yo male out of the blue a month ago, and we now we keep them separated (except at night, she sleeps on my bed and completely ignores him). We have a gate for our den (where we spend a lot of the time), and rotate them in and out... It's a bit of juggling but it's manageable... yes, it means that they have to take turns being with us, but so be it.



So, if you can't keep them separated at all times, I'd still look for a rehome option. My young female is anxious and does NOT like strangers either, but she eventually did fine when we had a sitter come over for 10 days 2 months ago. Really, I can't imagine putting a dog down unless ALL options have been explored. Contact rescues.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
He is a pit mix we got from a humane society.

The mother was found as a stray and gave birth in the shelter. They had a behaviorist go back after a couple of the dogs have been returned, and believe the dogs were born with a fear hormone the mother let off during birth since she did give birth a day after being put in the shelter. 3 of the dogs were human aggressive and one was dog aggressive. So it's really hard to say if my dog will too become aggressive of us, he has only tried to bite my husband once.

The lady who stays with our dog when we go out of town is the owner of a rescue, she believes that he would not do well being re homed.. I trust her judgment because she knows him just as well as we do. If she doesn't feel comfortable placing him another home, then it shouldn't happen. I would feel responsible if we placed him in another home and something happened.

I was not looking for judgement, I was looking to see if anyone has dealt with the same situation I am in. This is not easy for me, and I would not be thinking of this if I didn't explore all other options.
 

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This sounds like a very tough situation and I'm sorry you're having to go through it.

I would definitely agree with not rehoming this dog. One, there's not many people actively looking to add a dog that has shown aggression to the level of biting in the past and is fearful of strangers, kids, and other dogs. Two, you're passing along a dog that sounds like unless it is very carefully handled, is very likely to bite and injure someone. Three, many shelters and rescues will not even place a dog with a bite history and/or a dog whose intake history shows aggressive tendencies; that means that while they may accept a surrendered dog, they will often euthanize the dog anyways if they do not feel it can be safely placed. On the whole, re-homing aggressive dogs is often recommended against by people actually in the professional field for the above reasons, unless the dog's aggression is triggered mostly by its environment and/or the aggression is something that another home IS likely to be able to handle safely.

The fact that 4 of this dog's siblings have been euthanized for aggressive behavior indicates that 4 other homes experienced aggression at a level that they did not feel they could live with and that conceivably eliminated the option of rehoming the dog. Because multiple dogs from this litter are showing this problem, I would be willing to guess that there is a strong genetic component underlying this behavior, possibly (as you suggested) exacerbated by the stress hormones the puppies may have experienced during the pregnancy. At this point, I think that the main take-away from the genetic component is that you didn't probably do anything to cause this behavior. Likely, this dog would have needed early intervention and a lot of work from a young age to not have ended up displaying this behavior, beyond what the average dog owner would have been able to provide.

Have you talked this through with your behaviorist? Defintely get in touch with them and explain the situation if you haven't. A (good) behaviorist will be able to help you with this decision and will acknowledge that sometimes behavioral euthanasia must be on the table. Whether or not that is a good option would depend on how much of you consider euthanasia has to do with the "problem" dog's quality of life (are they always in a crate? Can't ever go outside? Getting enough exercise and enjoying life or constantly micro-managed?) and YOUR quality of life in caring for this dog (if a large part of this is you feeling like you're not able to live life because of this dog, that IS a consideration).

Plenty of people (a lot of them people who have never had to live with a dog they love dearly but cannot trust and must carefully manage to avoid high level aggressive outbreaks) will argue that behavior euthanasia is never a good option. I would have to disagree. Definitely talk this through with your behaviorist. Don't let people on the internet demonize this as an option.

Here are some articles on this topic that might help, written from the perspective of professional's in the field:
Harsh Truths And Difficult Choices: The Reality Of Behavioral Euthanasia – Dr. Jen's Dog Blog
https://www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/when-is-it-time-to-put-down-a-dog-who-is-aggressive-to-people
The Unfair Necessity of Euthanizing an Aggressive Dog | DrAndyRoark.com
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you so much for understanding and for all the kind advice.

We have gone to a behaviorist twice, this last time (which was on Friday) she suggested re homing. Both my husband and I (along with the opinion of our good friend who owns a rescue) decided that re homing is not going to be an option due to the points you said. We would feel so guilty if we re homed him and he got worse. I wish I could afford to go to another behaviorist, but at the prices I just can't.

I feel he has had a very good life. He gets lots of love, treats and playtime. He just spends a lot of his life in a crate or with a muzzle on, which is no way to live. And my other dogs health is starting to decline due to the stress she has of being around him.

My husband and I are only 24 years old, newlyweds and looking to start a family. We thought we were going to have a long life with our two dogs and our hearts are completely broken that our dreams will probably soon be crushed. We feel like we have done everything we could to help him. He gets all the love, cuddles, treats and play time any dog could ever dream of. He is so loved and I hope he knows that when we have to make our decision.
 

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Man this sucks. Im so sorry for you.

I work in healthcare and there was an individual living in a house with his mom and they had 11 dogs most of which were big pit bulls. The alpha pit and beta pit got into bad fights at least once every year or so and they would get into smaller fights often and it was very scary for everyone involved so i kind of know how you feel.

If its hurting the health of you and the rest of your family then you should remove the dog from the situation since its not good for him either. However i really dont think euthanasia is the only option.

The pitbull breed tends to be very human family oriented but not so good with other dogs. Most of the time they have to be the only dog in a home. Once you get him out of that situation and if you find him an only dog home then he might do really well. Also, dogs are not like humans in that they are very very adaptable beings. Even if he seems anxious around other people. You just really have to find him the right person. But if like you said he does well when its just you and him then i have no doubt in my mind that he would do well in a single dog home if given the chance.

I mean i dont know your dog like you do so whatever decision you make is what the right decision is and its never easy. But just know that there could be another option!
 

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But you really know your dog better than anyone else. Ultimately you need to do whatever you think is best and it isn't an easy decision to make and im sure youre not making it lightly. I'm really sorry you have to go through this at all. i know how hard it is to lose a dog and i wish you all the best!
 

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I am so sorry that you are going through this. It is not an easy decision to make. I had a friend who went though a similar problem. She ended up putting her fear aggressive sheltie to sleep. She did all the things that you have tried but his aggression continued to escalate. It broke her heart but she simply did not want him to suffer anymore. He was never comfortable in his world that he lived in. Her last gift to him was the freedom from his fears. May you find peace in this difficult decision.
 

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Look for a Pitbull rescue group. You said he's "a sweet loving boy" when it's just you and him. It may be hard to rehome him, but doesn't he deserve that chance? Being deaf likely contributes to the problems you've mentioned and maybe he just needs a different environment. If he was straight up mean and uncontrollable I'd think differently, but you know he is nice and loving when the other dog isn't around, so basically you're making this decision because you think he can't live without you. However the decision you're making will make it so he can't live with or without you. He just won't live.

You didn't want judgement, but someone needs to try to save his life, and not just avoid offending you. He's only 2 years old. Very young. If every resource is looked at you might just be able to grant him many more years of life in a happy home.

"he is nothing but a sweet loving boy" Your words. Scrap the euthanasia idea and really put effort into finding him the right home.
 

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When I adopted my dog Brisco, the shelter told me nothing about him. I had gone to the pound to rescue a dog. I had plans of taking this dog to the park, to friends' house, dog friendly businesses, the works. Instead, I adopted a dog that is fear aggressive, cannot be with most animals, and would definitely bite if given the chance. I can't take him for fun neighborhood walks, and if I take him anywhere, I have a muzzle ready.
If I had known this at the shelter, I would not have adopted him. By the time I did know, I loved him.
So as it is, I am a young adult whose life is on hold for this dog. My boyfriend hadn't even met him. There can be no children while Brisco is with me. He's already eight though, so I don't worry too much about it. Like your dog, Brisco is an angel one-on-one.
I have often thought about what I'd do if I couldn't have him anymore. Rehome? He'd have to go to a very specific situation. Could the owners guarantee he would never come in contact with an animal or child? Could they still make sure he didn't live his life in a cage? How many people WANT a dog like that?
Rescue? Not many where I live. Almost none take owner surrenders. How many rescues want Brisco when they could be saving more adoptable dogs?
No kill shelter? Likely he'd live the rest of his life in a kennel, and what kind of life is that?
Euthanasia? Definitely an option, as much as it would break me.

The point of all of this is, sometimes you have to weigh your options and make tough decisions. You could make sure your dog lives and breathes, but what kind of life would he be living?
Listen, you know your dog best. You know your situation best. Do what's best for him. And IF that's euthanasia, just know that you gave him the best possible life and outcome.
 

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You are talking like we haven't explored our options.

He DOES deserve that chance, he deserves to go to someone who can love him. I wouldn't just kill him for no reason.. But no one wants to put him in another home. We contacted the humane society we got him from, since they euthanized 4 of his siblings they said it would probably end up being the same result for him.. so why wouldn't I do it myself so he's surrounded by people he loves rather than in a scary shelter?

We are close friends with 4 other rescues in Detroit, who have all told us they are not comfortable putting him in another home due to his aggression and due to the known PEOPLE AND ANIMAL aggression in his siblings.. it is a RISK to put him in another home. People will tell you whatever you want to hear to get a dog.. so when we say NO KIDS, NO ANIMALS, NO MEN and when they bring one of them around and something happens its MY FAULT. Because I made the decision to put him in a new home. We have are very close with a lot of people in the Pitbull community in Detroit.. it's not like we are not trying. We are going to try until all of our options are out.

I simply asked for advice from people WHO HAVE BEEN IN MY SITUATION. Not judgey people who have nothing better to do than to be an *******.
 

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I was in your situation and my dog lived a good and long life

You are talking like we haven't explored our options.

I simply asked for advice from people WHO HAVE BEEN IN MY SITUATION. Not judgey people who have nothing better to do than to be an *******.
I HAVE BEEN IN THAT SITUATION. I had a German Shepherd mix that was extremely dominate and if she came in contact with another dog they would either submit to her, or I have no doubt she would have fought them to the death. There was no chance she'd ever let another dog be in control. We had two dogs at the time. We had to muzzle her to go to the vet and we had to be the one to show the vet her teeth or help with other exams. She would have been very difficult to re-home and would certainly have specific requirements. But we loved her and it was never a thought in our minds to put her down. She was our dog and our responsibility, we just had to make sure she was kept away from other dogs. She was protective of my family, but unpredictable with strangers. We worried about her possibly biting someone or hurting another dog. We had to adapt quite a lot to meet her needs, but there was absolutely no other option. She was family.

My sister has a dog that is dog aggressive and can't be around other dogs. She would never put him down.

So you're asking for advice from people that know your situation. I know it well, but it never even occurred to me to put her down. She lived a long and full and happy life.

It's not being an "*******" to express an opinion that isn't in support of what you want validated. Why else would you post this thread and then say you don't want a negative response. You want everyone to cheer you on and support you. I'll pass on that.
 

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I definitely agree that it's better to have him cross that rainbow bridge surrounded by family. I think rehoming a dog like that- like mine, to be honest- is risky and borderline irresponsible.
It's a tragic situation to be in, and one that I always worry about being in. Sometimes euthanasia really is the kindest option.
 

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I am baffled that people would even SUGGEST re-homing a dog that is known to be dog aggressive against a dog that he has been bonded to and has bitten a person to the point they you needed stitches. Re-homing would be irresponsible and dangerous.

I am so sorry you're in this position. I can only imagine how painful this must be. You know your dog and your lifestyle. If you don't think containment and management will work then I recommend you speak to your behaviorist about euthanasia. While it it a horrible end for the dog sometimes animals just are mentally wired wrong.

I do remember a thread of a member who went through similar a few years ago. I have attached it below. It may help, it may not.
https://www.dogforum.com/dog-training-behavior/finnegan-bit-me-unprovoked-299377/
 

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I am baffled that people would even SUGGEST re-homing a dog that is known to be dog aggressive against a dog that he has been bonded to and has bitten a person to the point they you needed stitches. Re-homing would be irresponsible and dangerous.

I am so sorry you're in this position. I can only imagine how painful this must be. You know your dog and your lifestyle. If you don't think containment and management will work then I recommend you speak to your behaviorist about euthanasia. While it it a horrible end for the dog sometimes animals just are mentally wired wrong.

I do remember a thread of a member who went through similar a few years ago. I have attached it below. It may help, it may not.
https://www.dogforum.com/dog-training-behavior/finnegan-bit-me-unprovoked-299377/

The dog's bite was an accident. If I read that wrong and he actually attacked OP when he was trying to separate the dogs, then that's my mistake, but there's absolutely nothing in this post that suggest that the dog has shown any type of aggression towards humans. Or do you suggest that being dog aggressive is such a problem that such dogs should never be adopted out and just be put down? That's really what baffles me.


And as I said, I'm exactly in the same situation - my young female attacked my old male out of the blue a couple months ago. She still loves other dogs (as long as she's not leashed). I just don't put her in situations where she'll be leashed around other dogs, and I make sure that she doesn't interact with our old dog at all. I would NEVER in a million years consider putting her down (I did hire a trainer to help with her nervousness around strangers however, and she has to be crated when we have strangers over).



And that's my issue here - OP says he's done everything he can, but there's no mention anywhere about why keeping the dogs separated is not an option. Yes, it's a real pain in the butt, yes, it requires a lot of management, yes, sometimes a dog is not happy because he can't be with me, but that's not the end of the world and certainly less of an overreaction than putting a dog down.


Now, I do realize that sometimes separating the dogs just doesn't work (I lived in an apartment and one of my dogs would just bark all day if he wasn't with us, for example), OP just hasn't said a word about just separating the dogs.
 

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The dog's bite was an accident. If I read that wrong and he actually attacked OP when he was trying to separate the dogs, then that's my mistake, but there's absolutely nothing in this post that suggest that the dog has shown any type of aggression towards humans. Or do you suggest that being dog aggressive is such a problem that such dogs should never be adopted out and just be put down? That's really what baffles me.

And as I said, I'm exactly in the same situation - my young female attacked my old male out of the blue a couple months ago. She still loves other dogs (as long as she's not leashed). I just don't put her in situations where she'll be leashed around other dogs, and I make sure that she doesn't interact with our old dog at all. I would NEVER in a million years consider putting her down (I did hire a trainer to help with her nervousness around strangers however, and she has to be crated when we have strangers over).
It is not uncommon for people to argue that a lack of human aggression, even in the face of quite severe animal/dog aggression, means that a dog could ethically be re-homed. Sure, I agree with that as a super general and non-specific framework. The reality of the situation often does not align with that goal.

There is not always a rehoming option for a severely dog aggressive dog. For one, that dog can't be put into a shelter, because it can't live in a kennel environment. In a kennel, constantly exposed to other dogs, that dog is likely to turn very scary very quickly. Rescues may or may not accept the dog. You're talking about finding a foster that doesn't have dogs (most do) or is willing to completely restructure their lives to do a crate/rotate, but is also experienced and confident enough that they can handle this dog, lives in a place where a dog aggressive pit mix is going to be OK (i.e., doesn't rent), and is willing and able to provide long term care (because it is likely that the dog is going to take a long time to place). The OP has stated that they've gotten in touch with all the shelters and rescues that they could in their area and were told that the dog would not be placed if it was surrendered.

And that's my issue here - OP says he's done everything he can, but there's no mention anywhere about why keeping the dogs separated is not an option. Yes, it's a real pain in the butt, yes, it requires a lot of management, yes, sometimes a dog is not happy because he can't be with me, but that's not the end of the world and certainly less of an overreaction than putting a dog down.


Now, I do realize that sometimes separating the dogs just doesn't work (I lived in an apartment and one of my dogs would just bark all day if he wasn't with us, for example), OP just hasn't said a word about just separating the dogs.
Complete separation is not always a viable option in someone's lifestyle. Perhaps they have people in and out of the house that can't be trusted to maintain the barriers they've set up. Perhaps they work hours that don't accommodate the completely separate care of 2 dogs. Perhaps they don't live in a space that is physically large enough to allow for separation. Perhaps, as has been said is the case here, their other dog is showing signs of fear and avoidance even when full separation is in place and is clearly not comfortable having the other dog in the house at all, even if they're being kept separate.
 

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I have to be honest, Francl27: I don't really understand the goal with your arguments. The OP has clearly spent time, money, and effort working with a highly qualified professional. That professional has said that this dog should not remain in the home. The OP agrees. The OP has reached out to all the rescues and shelters they know. All have told them that this is not a dog that they would place.

If you want to assist, help the OP find a shelter or rescue in their area that says they WOULD place this dog. I can almost guarantee you that you're not going it.

Shaming a person by saying "well, *I* had to deal with this and I made the *right* choice" and insisting that a dog that isn't outright human aggressive can and should be rehomed and/or that a person should forget about whatever kind of life they wanted to have and change the entire fabric of their life to accomidate a crate/rotate setup for the next 10+ years doesn't really seem to accomplish anything more than helping you feel like you've made someone feel sufficiently bad for not doing so.
 

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OP asked for people who have been in this situation. I am, and I gave my opinion. Clearly OP was just looking for people to validate his choice of putting his dog down, I'm sorry that, with the information we've been given, I can't agree with his choice. And yep, rotating dogs sucks (and I highly doubt their 10yo dog will live another 10 years, so no, it wouldn't be for 10 years). But dogs are not disposable and it's your responsibility when you get a dog to try and make it work, as long as the dog is no danger to someone in the household. I'd totally support OP's decision if he told us why separating isn't a viable option.



Also, It's really a shame that a dog wouldn't be able to be placed in a rescue just because his siblings had to be put down, but I understand that it's totally out of OP's control.


You're asking for my goal? Just saying that you don't just put dogs down because they've become an inconvenience.
 

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The world needs better pet parents

Shaming a person by saying "well, *I* had to deal with this and I made the *right* choice" and insisting that a dog that isn't outright human aggressive can and should be rehomed and/or that a person should forget about whatever kind of life they wanted to have and change the entire fabric of their life to accomidate a crate/rotate setup for the next 10+ years doesn't really seem to accomplish anything more than helping you feel like you've made someone feel sufficiently bad for not doing so.
You accuse someone of shaming, but by your attack here, you're shaming someone as well for having their own opinion on a matter. Some people (rightfully) believe that when you take on the responsibility of an animal that you need to do everything in your power to provide a good life for that animal. Making adjustments to your life for 10 years is actually a small price to pay for the payoff of having that animal in their life. If you don't agree...as you clearly don't, that's actually the view that is shameful. You're attempting to "shame" someone that really should be praised, for doing a good thing and going above and beyond to provide for the needs of their furry family member, and for mentioning to someone that is in a like situation that there can be options other than putting a dog down just because it fights with their other dog.

Your view "that a person should forget about whatever kind of life they wanted to have and change the entire fabric of their life to accomidate..."...uh, yeah. Sometimes things happen that you don't expect and having an animal does change your life. What if your dog ends up paralyzed or has some disease that takes up a lot of your time in providing care? Or a large vet bill? You took on the job of being a pet parent, either step up to it or find someone that is able to. Your statement here is saying that if things get tough... "well, too much in life will have to change and I don't want to deal with that so it's fine to put the dog down." Seems like someone needs to reevaluate being a pet parent themselves.

Francl27 is RIGHT "Just saying that you don't just put dogs down because they've become an inconvenience." 100% accurate.
 
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