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Reactive and aggressive new dog

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Jo and Tex, this is a dangerous dog. I have worked with many over the years the fact that she left "small chunks of leg tissue on the floor) speaks volumes.

 

She may have health issues but the bottom line is this is a dangerous dog and most likely a liability for the rest of her life.

 

Having had one such dog (he never bit that badly) one option is a security dog. That is a dog that goes into an area and protects it from intruders. Security people love dogs that bite without warning. Other than that or a bunch of expensive therapy (drug and behavioural) which may not work euthanization is about the only option.

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Jo, it's always been clear from your posts about various dogs that you are a kind, knowledgeable dog person who takes that extra step for the dogs. Obviously I think you are making the right decision, not just for you but for Boots. There's no doubt she will be gently put down with you there holding her paw. That in and of itself is a kindness and blessing for her. If she bites the wrong person, she will be destroyed in a far less caring manner. My thoughts and prayers for strength for you.

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On the subject of liability, I see the OP is from Northern-Ontario.

 

As far as I know here in Ontario, while the dog owner is liable for the bite, it is generally covered under one's home owner insurance.

 

Of course one should check his own insurance papers. Insurers can also deny coverage after a first claim is covered (or hike premium or impose training conditions, etc). Courts can also mandate PTS if they deem the dog dangerous.

 

Generally speaking we don't have the same level of tort damages in Canada.

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I'm sorry that you have to make the decision, but it sounds like the right one in this case. I don't know you personally, but believe that I am grieving for you a little, and for Boots. We're here for you.

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Jo,

 

This is a dreadful decision you've had to make. So sorry for your injury and the painful choice. Please don't feel like you need to justify yourself.

 

Regarding advice on this forum: Jo came in here looking to use us as a sounding board, the same way I use friends and family as a sounding board when I have a tough decision to make. None of us can take the weight of this decision away from her, and she isn't asking to replace her own judgment with ours. But similarly, she shouldn't need to feel any burden beyond the already huge one she does because someone on the Internet questioned her commitment or willingness to go further than she has.

 

Mary

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I cant move forward with this untilt the Ottawa Public Health gives me the okay to put her down. They have to confirm her rabies vacc status as current (which it is). She is to be confined for 10 days and/or until they have proof of vacc and then they will allow me to do what I want with her.

 

It was believed that she was afraid of the dark when we got her. There was a train track very close to where she lived. We have never had any problem getting her to go out at night. Often, she's the first dog at the door when we need to go out at night. It is very rural here and quiet.

 

Last night, we had all the dogs out on the lawn at 9pm. We always go out with our dogs at night because we've had problems with coyotes coming into the farmyard. The phone rang in the kitchen and Boots went berserk, lunging and snarling at my partner who was holding her long line. He hoisted her up so she couldnt move and I ran to shut off the phone. We got her back into her crate and she settled down.

My partner been struggling with this more than I have. Last nights nuttiness was the final straw for him too.

Boot's problem is clearly set off by noise and its beyond us to help her with this.

So now we have to wait and manage her until I get the blessing from the Health dept.

Poor girl...she is what she is and I love her, but I cant help her or keep us all safe.

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I'm so sorry for all of you Jo. And the waiting and agonizing for 10 days certainly isn't going to help. I'm keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers.

 

J.

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It makes it so much harder when you can put a face to the name.

 

Something is seriously wrong, whether it's something medical (tumor, some issue to do with hearing, whatever) or something mental that isn't right or something that has happened to her in her past that has destroyed her ability to have a normal life or reaction to some everyday stimuli.

 

Whatever it is, you have tried so hard to make it work - but she is a danger, and I believe that you have made the right decision to put the safety of the rest of the family first.

 

My most heartfelt sympathy and respect for you at this most difficult time. And caring thoughts for Boots - she has been most fortunate to have had these days with your and all your efforts.

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I had a sound reactive cat (among other behavioral things that were wrong with him). Sudden noises set him off. It grew worse as he got older. He would attack the nearest thing (object, cat, human). It progressively got worse. I loved him dearly and I was pretty much the only thing he loved. He was gorgeous and that actually kept him alive longer than he should have been. The final straw was when he attacked my mom and put her in the hospital. Luckily I was working for a vet at the time and she came to the house to euthanize him. I held off for her. I felt it was my responsibility. After it was all over I found mostly I was just relieved. Its not easy managing an animal with issues like that. And I knew too that he finally would be at peace.

 

I'm so sorry you have to go through all this.

 

Hugs

Jennifer

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Regarding advice on this forum: Jo came in here looking to use us as a sounding board, the same way I use friends and family as a sounding board when I have a tough decision to make. None of us can take the weight of this decision away from her, and she isn't asking to replace her own judgment with ours. But similarly, she shouldn't need to feel any burden beyond the already huge one she does because someone on the Internet questioned her commitment or willingness to go further than she has.

 

Mary

 

Perhaps I missed the questioning of Jo's commitment & willingness [???] but I certainly never got that impression from anyone.

 

She did come asking for suggestions:

 

I'd welcome any suggestions and ideas that might help Boots and help me figure out what to do next.

 

I think we were all very supportive & offered her the best advice we could. I'm sorry if my advice was seen as burdening or questioning her commitment. That certainly was not my intent.

 

Personally I am just not comfortable advising euthanasia over the internet for a dog & owner I've never met. That does not mean that euthanasia is the wrong choice for this dog &/or owner. In fact, it may well be the best choice for all around but I am not in a position to say.

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I cant move forward with this untilt the Ottawa Public Health gives me the okay to put her down. They have to confirm her rabies vacc status as current (which it is). She is to be confined for 10 days and/or until they have proof of vacc and then they will allow me to do what I want with her.

 

Jo,

 

Here in the states (in MD anyway) one could pay for a rabies test if the animal is euthanized before the 10 day quarantine period. Perhaps that is an option for you?? The extra expense sucks but certainly the authorities should see the benefit to keeping everyone involved safe.

 

I'm sorry you are having to deal with this mess. Boots sure is a beautiful dog...it is a shame she has such serious issues & you've been left to deal with the tough stuff. :(

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Poor girl...she is what she is and I love her, but I cant help her or keep us all safe.

 

This says it all, right there. :( I am so very sorry for Boots, and for you and your partner. It's so sad for all of you, but I completely support your decision and don't doubt it's the right one for her and you. ((hugs))

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Thought and prayers for you and your family and that poor dog.

 

Hugs

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Julie wrote,

"My biggest concern would be--as I stated in my previous post--the liability of owning a biting dog."

(and)

 

" Is money a reason not to try *everything*? In some cases, I think it is."

 

There are good reasons to kill a dog. It's a murky and very personal decision. I expect the OP will make her decision based on the real situation she faces, not the advice of those (including me) who've never seen the dog,

 

Donald McCaig

[/quote}

 

Personally, your posts makes it sound like we are all idiots that know nothing about dog behaviour issues, and your posts indicate that the only way you know how to deal with matters is through punishment and physical intimidations, as you consistently post trainers that only know those kinds of training methods.

 

Many of us on this board have dealt with dog agression issues over the years, and have dogs with those issues living with us. Some of us deal with dog agression issues with clients that come to us with help. I am one of those. The last 30 years of canine research has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that punishment and physical/mental confrontation is counter-productive in the long run and only makes matters worse - that is when I usually end up getting called, when that type of training has suppressed the behaviour for a few days or weeks, and then it is back - worse than it was before.

 

The poster has given a lot of detail about the issues with Boots. The biggest issue is that no matter what created the agression in Boots, she has shown absoluately NO bite inhibition, as evidenced by the Level 4/5 bite that she inflicted. This is way different than a dog that has bitten more than once, but only on a Level 1 or 2 that shows that it has good bite inhibition. THe bite level is very important when determining rehabilitation of a dog that has bitten people.

 

No one on this board has callously or flippantly recommended euthanasia. A lot of people on this board have recommended that from their experiences. A dog that delivers a level 4/5/6 bite is dangerous, because of the total lack of bit inhibition.

 

Euthansia is always a painful decision to make. A person also has to determine the quality of life of a dog that lives in that type of mental stress/anguish. This dog IS NOT biting because it has just decided to be an asshole to people - there are serious mental issues that may be partially genetic, may be totally due to what was done to her by her previous owner, etc etc. We will never know, but unfortunately the results are a dog that is dangerous, due to lack of bite inhibition.

 

It is always a sad day when these decisions have to be made. But unfortunately, sometimes this decision needs to be made, and no one is ever happy about it - the person that has to make the decision, or the people that have been touched by this dog - i.e. the people on this board. We always hope for a happy ending, but sometimes we can't have that.

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I want to offer my condolences to Jo for having to Jo for having to make this call. Having to make that call once before, I know it isn't easy. My heart goes out to you and Boots.

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Such a sad story. At least you know that you've done all you can for Boots, no matter what you choose to do. At least for that small amount of time that she lived with you she had some love in her life.

 

Just a quick question, what are the bite levels? I'm guessing that a level 4 or 5 would have to break the skin and therefore the dog would be considered dangerous, right?

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We had Boots put to sleep this afternoon. The vet noted right away that her eyes were very cloudy. Boots was either much older than 6 or was suffering from a brain abnormality. Her assessment was that the dog had distorted vision and perhaps had distorted hearing as well. My vet was very reassuring that I hadn't done anything to 'mess up' the dog and that we were doing her a kindness by putting her down.

 

Bootie's behaviour went seriously down hill in the last 2 weeks since she bit me. We tried having her muzzled in the house and she attacked Loki when the phone rang. Just me walking past her crate was enough to make her bite the bars... or not, it depended on her mood. My partner, with 40 years experience of handling dogs in the family boarding kennel, decided that he wanted time to work with her.

In the end, no one was happy, least of all, Boots.

 

Poor sweetie, I think she wanted to be a good dog and just didnt know how. Run free, pretty girl.

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My sincere sympathies to you and your partner for your loss and the need for you to make this decision. To me, your decision was clearly in Boot's best interests. You gave her the best life you could, tried your best to give her a better life and in the end, gave her a dignified exit from a world that obviously confused her - whether from genetics or prior history or a brain anomoly.

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