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To Put a Dog Down?(LONG)

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  • To Put a Dog Down?(LONG)

    I've got a dilemma that is tearing at me:
    We have had dogs all our married lives (26 years, 2 grown sons), as we live out in the country. Dogs are always current on shots and grooming.....fed, watered, and played with daily. The latest of these are an "odd couple" of a neutered Chow, and a male Rottweiler. Rott outweighs Chow by 3 to 1 ratio, but always is the loser in the pecking order skirmishes. Neither dog has shown aggression to any immediate family members, but dislike strangers....protective, but have never bitten.
    Last nite the Missus stepped out in the back yard, and both dogs came to greet her. After a bit of petting, the Chow began to act a bit stand-offish, and she called him back over to her. He responded by growling and barking at her in a definitely agressive manner.
    She called me, and I thought she was joking around, but as soon as I stepped out the door, the Chow lit into the Rott like it was life or death, kil or be killed. I hollered to get them to break it up (I have more sense than to get between two fighting dogs!), and the Chow broke away and started snarling at me, teeth bared, crouched low, eyes white, etc.
    I always have a piece of pipe handy for the BBQ, so I grabbed it, and had a "Mexican Standoff" with this mutt for a minute or so, then slowly backed into the house. It took a LOT of convincing on my wife's part to keep me from grabbing a handful of varmint rounds and the .223 & taking the SOB out.
    Today it's as if it never happened, but I feel that this dog can never be trusted again, and after showing that kind of aggression, should be put down. At this point, I don't even trust him enough to get in the car with him to go to the vet.
    I thought the Chow might be the victim of a poisoning or drugging, but he is an extremely picky eater, and will not accept food from strangers....the Rott is the one who would be susceptible to this, as he is a glutton.
    Anybody else have something like this occur?

  • #2
    I was watching something about this on the Animal Planet. A dog that had been very sweet started attacking family members and they just couldn't figure it out. The only injury the dog ever had was a head injury as a pup. Tests showed that the animal had epilepsy because of the head injury. He was put on valium and that seemed to help.
    Chows are way up there in the aggressive dog class, if not on the top of the list. Call your vet and see if he can give you something to tranquilize him to get him in for tests.
    Bottomline tho, he is extremely dangerous. Talk to your vet. I'm sure he's dealt with this before.
    I would lean toward putting him down if he so dangerous. It could be a seizure but then again, it could be because he's a chow.
    To me, it would not be worth him hurting a family member. He could kill a child. Your vet could probably lead the way in helping you make the decision.

    [This message has been edited by Mitzi (edited 07-13-2001).]

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    • #3
      Ditto to what Mitzi said, get the dog to the vet ASAP and find out if there is a medical problem with the dog.

      I had a beagle that was the about the friendliest dog I have ever seen, he literally loved everybody he met, one night he snapped and bit me, I couldnt believe it. Well I took him to the vet the next day and found out he had a problem with his stomach and something to do with his digestion of food. The vet gave me some pills and a few days later all was well. Had the dog for about eight years after that and he never so much as growled at me again. I hope it all works for you, and the dog.

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      • #4
        We also had another incident here. A little 8 year old neighbor girl patted the haed of a very well known dog here in the neighborhood. He's a super sweet dog and it stunned everyone when he pinned her and bit her in the face, requiring stitiches.
        The owners were so upset. When they took him to the vet, he was found to have severely infected ears. When the little girl patted his head, she must have touched his ears, causing excriciating pain.
        Like I said, the vet can give you something to tranquilize hin in the car so you can get him checked out.

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        • #5
          I agree with the above posts stating check it out first.

          If the dog has never been aggressive before and hasn't been since, there may be a medical explanation. I would certainly take the extra step of having him checked out by a vet before euthanization. Like Mitzi said, you can tranquilize him for the ride to the vet's office. Hope it works out for you.

          G.A.
          No cops, know anarchy.

          "He aint finna come all up in my house and act a fool and be gettin away with it cause I will go smooth off." -Movista

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          • #6
            Sorry, I have to disagree.

            You are the "Alpha male" in that house. From the dog's perspective, you lead the pack. Showing any agression towards you is a sign of challenging your authority. A dog that does this cannot be trusted as if it does not follow the leader, it will turn against the rest of the pack...your family.

            The dog should be put down.
            -Sparky

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            • #7
              I don't know whole lots about the Alpha thing. I think all medical things should be ruled out if this is the first time he has done this. But, if it continued, I would put the dog down, much as I would hate to.

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              • #8
                It would be a quite reasonable decision to put the dog down now, and I would not disagree with any dog owners decision to put a dog down that had behaved as you witnessed the chow behaving.

                On the other hand, there is some latitude for pet owner discretion in the situation. But if I let the dog live for a trial period, I would definitely keep it physically unable to harm children or strangers. And of course any further agressive behavior would earn an instant death penalty.

                I've owned two dobermans in my life. Some time after I adopted the first, there was a single agressive encounter in which I had to establish myself as the boss, and the dog had to lear to submit. This dog learned his lesson and was never a problem afterward. My second doberman was not only defensive of his home territory against intruders, he left the property and threatened a neighbor's daughter. I put him down the same day.

                Michael Courtney

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                • #9
                  Dogs can be replaced. Scars stay with a person for life. An injury to a child from an aggressive dog is unacceptable to me. I'll put any of my dogs down in a heartbeat if they think they can take me on or hurt anyone.
                  RADAR is the 8th wonder of the world.

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                  • #10
                    As much as it would pain me to do so, I would probably also put him down. It just isn't worth the risk.
                    Our neighbors had a pit bull that was so sweet in her front yard. But, in the back yard, she would hit the fence if she heard us in our pool and she was truly scary. They had their first child and the dog loved her dearly. But, when she was 2, it growled at her and started toward her. Tearfully, they had her put down that very day. Like they said, there was no choice. She was starting to show characteristics of being dangerous.

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                    • #11
                      Your first instinct was correct. Get the rifle, lead him off and get it over with. Once that dog knows he can get away with growling and snapping he'll never be the same pet again.

                      Chows were originally bred for war. They're fighting dogs at heart. Most don't make good family pets. Mine was the exception, but I don't trust them at all. He always went for people (strangers) when they turned their back to him. Hell of a watch dog though. Everyone was scared of him.
                      "Trust me. I'm from the government, I'm here to help."

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                      • #12
                        I've never run into a chow or a chow mix that I trusted. In my opinion, they don't make good family pets.

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                        • #13
                          I had a similar situation. My daughter stayed the day with my mom and her cocker spaniel bit my daughter in the face. Everyone was shocked because since my daughter is deaf, she has this thing with animals. They flock to her and are never aggressive with her. But my mother could not prove the dog had her shots and unfortunatly they put the animal down. I felt so bad but there was nothing i could do. I could not trust the dog anymore around any of my children because of one bite. After having this experience i would suggest taking the animal to the Vet. It might be something as simple as a thorn in the bottom of the dogs foot and the other dog might have stepped on it. Good luck.

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                          • #14
                            Putting a dog down for challenging your role as the Alpha is not the way to solve this problem. It is unclear in your posting if your dog has been in any sort of training programs. If so, he needs to be evaluated and his role in your family needs to be reaffirmed. I went through this with a 90 lb German Shepard. If he didn't want to do something, he barked, snarled, and tried to intimidate. I hired someone to come and teach me how to "be the Alpha" and within weeks he learned his role. He shows his might when strangers come to my door, but with me and my wife he waits for us to make his decisions and listens to commands. We didn't break his spirit, he's the same playful dog as he always was. Now he's just a lot easier to control.
                            As for your particular problem, it sounds like a brain-scan is needed. Dogs suffer from brain damage as a result of several factors and it can take quite some time for symptoms to show.
                            Bottom line is that your couse of action depends on how much a part of this family your dog is. Taking him for treatment at the vet willl be costly. Working with a trainer, if he's healthy, will cost money and takes a lot of time and patience.
                            Good luck to you. I hope some of this helped.
                            "The streets of Philadelphia are safe...it's the people that make them unsafe"---Frank Rizzo
                            http://hometown.aol.com/ppd9886/PhillyCopSpot.html

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