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sea4th

Does he live or does he die

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Guest JoeysMom

Vicki, I'm so sorry. This whole thread is bringing me to tears, but you have to do what needs to be done. And the others are right--think of the lucky dog who gets to take his place. So, even though Sam won't be able to be rehomed, with his last act he will be saving another dog, and another person from a future bite. Thank you for making this difficult decision, and for the rescue work that you do. We're all here for you.

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I don't love Sam. I don't have a bond with him.

 

Well, I think that's it in a nutshell right there.

 

You all know I have a dog with issues. But he is my heart's dog. Solo and I have a very unusual bond and we did from the moment I brought him home, even if I didn't realize it yet -- he certainly did. He knew I was His Person. I know now that he is My Dog. If we hadn't found each other, I'm not sure there would have been a place in this world for him. I would be in a very different place than I am right now. Solo changed everything for me. We are both lucky that we found each other.

 

Solo has never offered and would never offer to lay a tooth on me. I am also pretty confident that he would never really injure another person, as he's had plenty of opportunities to really nail someone (not that I am proud of this, but it's what happens when you first get a dog with problems you are not prepared for) and he never has. I don't consider Solo a dangerous dog. If he were in rescue again, he'd probably be unadoptable, yes, but actually dangerous, I don't think so. Still, rescue is about triage. I personally think the Solos of the world are worth saving, but they have to find Their People, the ones with the heart and love to put the work in. Without the bond, the heart and love simply isn't there and there is no chance of success.

 

Maybe Sam is someone's Solo. If that person doesn't find him in time, they'll both miss out, but that's life. If Sam's foster is not His Person, then you don't have much of a choice I guess.

 

I don't like these discussions. My position is usually, to be honest, "Don't give up on this dog. The whole world has given up on this dog." But my experience is different from most people's, and so I see things differently.

 

Most people I know who have had a dog like Solo (a) don't have the dog anymore (the dog is dead), at least in part because (:rolleyes: they were never really bonded to the dog, and © will never have one like that again. Well, I still have Solo. If I could fix things so that he would live forever and be with me to the end, I would. Failing this, I would do it again -- I would adopt another Solo. Not while I have Solo, but sometime in the future, I am sure some damaged dog will find his way to me, and I will take him in. If he has half the heart and soul Solo has, it will be worth it.

 

If you can find someone like me, let Sam go. He and she will both learn worlds of good from the experience. But, I realize I am unusual. There aren't many like me to go around, and a lot of damaged dogs who need to find Their People.

 

Good luck, whatever happens.

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But Melanie, here is the difference:

 

"Solo has never offered and would never offer to lay a tooth on me. I am also pretty confident that he would never really injure another person, as he's had plenty of opportunities to really nail someone"... " "and he never has. I don't consider Solo a dangerous dog."

 

Sam nailed Vicki quite freely. He didn't like what she was doing, so he nailed her. I agree that many dogs who are euthanized could be great pets with rehabilitation. I specialize in rehabilitating undersocialized dogs in my rescue work, because they are worth saving, they DO just need to find someone special to lead them into the world of humans. I have 2 such dogs myself. One is a big nutter who is a perfect dog under the right circumstances but I'd never ever adopt him to anyone else. We are willing to rearrange our lives to manage his, so that he can be safe from himself. But even he would never look me in the eye and bite me, and I think that is where the difference lies between our situations, and that of Vicki and Sam. Some dogs are a poor, but worthy risk. Others are just plain bad risks. I understand how you feel and I agree in part, but I do think that this dog sounds fundamentally different from our dogs.

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If you can find someone like me, let Sam go. He and she will both learn worlds of good from the experience. But, I realize I am unusual. There aren't many like me to go around, and a lot of damaged dogs who need to find Their People.
I too believe that there is a person somewhere out there for Sam. I also believe that very few dogs actually have to be euthanized for behavioral issues. I'm hoping against hope that the guy who was supposed to meet him will e-mail me back and say he'd like to give Sam a try anyway.

 

Even if that special person is out there for him, do I hold onto him indefinately until that person materializes? I've thought about it and thought about it. Every dog out there deserves no less than their own special human, someone who'll make their eyes light up when they are together. That's what I look for----a look that says "where have you been all my life"--on the human's and dog's part.

 

I think if Sam lived with me, a bite might never have occurred. I think if he lived with me, I'd have bonded with him. If I had a bond with him, I'd probably try to work out his "issues".

 

Melanie, you went to the nth degree to have what you have now with Solo. All dogs should be as lucky as Solo. Any dog owner should be so fortunate to have the bond that both of you have.

A story like your's and Solo's story is the exception rather than the rule, unfortunately.

 

Lots of things are going thru my head right now. First, that I took Sam with the intention of rehoming him. Those odds within the last 24 hours have been greatly reduced. OTOH, I've taken in dogs with the same intention, and they wound up staying because they were pretty much unadoptable due to behaviors, neurological issues, etc. Billy is one dog. He is a PB border collie, good bloodlines, but something happened along the way. Before he came to me, he was called "Crazy Billy" or "Poor Billy". While Billy is still crazy, he's no longer poor Billy. He's nipped me in the past, but those couple of incidences were different from last night's episode. Billy and I have a bond that no one who knew him before, would believe was possible.

 

Is it possible with Sam? I don't know.

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I too have a dog with issues. I never bothered me that I had to be cautious all the time. It is just how it is. My new vet said to me after one of our many socialization visits, that if I had not adopted her, Cocoa would probably have been put down. When I first got her you could not touch her. The wind blowing terrified her. As ignorant as I was about how to live with and train this dog, I refused to give up on her as I had made a commitment. A promise if you will. She is turning into an incredibly loving dog. She will always have issues and I will always be cautious but we deal with it. She has never bitten me; attempted once. I agree that dogs like this need to find their "person". Unfortunately, this rarely happens.

 

Toni

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You can't rescue them all. Nice theory, but not realistic. Sam bit Vicki, someone he was not familiar with, he has also bitten his foster who he runs to for reassurance. Big difference between Sam and humans and Melanie and Solo, Melanie said it herself, Solo would never lay a tooth on her. A dog like Sam, if adopted out is a huge liability, personally and financially for the rescue that places him. Basically there are two choices, Sam could perhaps stay with Vicki and be "managed" and hopefully not bite her or someone at her home or Sam could be released from this life that he doesn't understand and be safe to humans and himself. Tough choice. Again for your own safety and to prevent taking a chance on losing everything you own and/or love put Sam down. Hold him, love him, cry for him and the future he will not know, but let him go.

 

WWBC

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Vicki, ((((HUGS)))) for you and Sam. Sam's soulmate may never show up. They may not be meant to be. If they are or were they will be there before you have to put him down. I agree with what the man told you yrs ago, Sam is hurting but he has a loving foster ( "mothers anything on 2 or 4 legs")and he still intentionally bit. Love and care are not healing him. May he find peace and his confusions and hurts disappear.

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Vicki,

I have been following this thread and I just re-read your starting post. You wrote "He's the same about his nails being trimmed and he had to be muzzled at the vet's when he got his shots a couple of months ago."

 

I am sorry that you got bitten and that now you have this dilemma. From reading your post it is hard to get an exact picture of Sam's behavior. In view of what happened a question arises: since Sam had to be muzzled at the vet's then might it have been a good idea to muzzle him again with a real muzzle before trying to work on his ears? My intent is certainly not to make you feel any worse, but I can't help but think that a more cautious approach would have prevented him from biting you.

 

Could it be that in his "previous life" a human was rough in handling Sam and he now feels that he needs to protect himself from unwanted advances from potentially mean humans that might hurt him? Just trying to look at it from the other end of the leash.

 

I don't know if the euthanasia option is cast in concrete, but in case you are still considering alternatives here is one that might be worth checking on. Visit here: http://bestfriends.org/

 

It is the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab Utah which is a no-kill shelter. You can e-mail them at [email protected] . It might be that they could take Sam rather than having him euthanized. Then the problem would arise as to how to ship him there. I would contribute $30 toward an air-freight ride to get him to Las Vegas, NV. From there it is a four hour drive to Kanab. That sounds like a long trip, but at least you could look into it if it sounds feasible.

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My heart goes to you - such a tough decision.

 

I, too, have one of these dogs and for the first year we were together I often thought that if I couldn't turn her around she'd have to be put down. There was no way I could in clear conscience place her in another home. She was a fear biter. I think fear biters can be the worst. Like SoloRiver, though, we had a bond and fortunately for us things worked out. She's still with me and most people, not knowing her past, think she's a normal dog. And for the most part she is.

 

Some years back I attended a seminar given by a well-known & well-respected rescue/shelter personality. A couple questions she would ask when faced with this kind of situation are, "Is the dog adoptable now?" "Will training make the dog adoptable?" "What is the quality of life the dog has now?" "Will it ever improve?" She showed me that in some cases the more humane, kinder thing to do is to put the dog down.

 

It takes a lot of time, work, patience, knowledge and effort to turn these kinds of dog around. If it works, you can't ask for a more loyal pet. If it doesn't work, well, you have a dog going through life on pins and needles, never confident, never relaxed or assured. To me, not a nice way to go through life.

 

Again - my heart goes to you...

 

Good luck

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Originally posted by sea4th:

Dilemma here. One of my rescues is in a foster home. Sam is possibly PB BC, but there is just as much of a chance that he may be a mix. Certain behaviors---just don't click.

 

Sam is a lot of dog, but very affectionate with his foster mom, very bonded to her, but Sam's got "issues", such as resource guarding, an aversion to being handled to have his nails clipped, getting shots at the vet.

 

I might have a prospective home for Sam---BUT---and this is a BIG BUT---today, I went over after work to wash out one of his ears since there's a little gunk in it.

 

The SOB laid my hand open. He nailed me once on the finger and drew blood. I wrapped the lead around his muzzle and tried to apply the liquid to his ear and this time he laid my hand wide open.

 

The bite was intentional and not a reaction of pain because his ear doesn't hurt. He just did not want his ears (this time) touched. He's the same about his nails being trimmed and he had to be muzzled at the vet's when he got his shots a couple of months ago. He knew damn well what he was doing when he bit me.

 

The foster just plain does not have the mentality to work with a dog like his, although he adores her, but will growl when he doesn't want to relinquish something. He did nip his foster mom one time when she tried to put a Halti on him.

 

So now Sam has a bite--me--under his belt.

 

So what do we do with him now. I'll probably bring him to my house---and it's gonna be a culture shock for him--my own dogs who don't take any guff from anyone and me---and I don't tolerate biting.

 

Now, I wonder if Sam is pretty much unadoptable. I can see where he'd be OK with a knowledgable dog person, but knowledgable dog people are few and far between.

 

So my question is-----is it curtains for Sam?

THAT DOG BITES! - That's what my Dad used to say.

I know, I know, lots of you will say he's trainable, I disagree. I love dogs, period. I had a dog that bit someone - for no reason and it was intentional - it's dangerous to people and a liability.

The dog has to go, and you can sleep good at night afterwards knowing he won't bite or harm a child.

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Originally posted by Jabawaki:

The dog has to go, and you can sleep good at night afterwards knowing he won't bite or harm a child.

Ouch. I don't think it's that easy. At this point, this could turn into an ugly, semi-philosophical "are humans worth more than other living things?" discussion.

To me, they are not. Who is most important to someone depends, in my personal opinion, not on species but only on the "bond" described by SoloRiver.

 

I think this story is heartbreaking, and I wish so much that I could help somehow, but I can't :rolleyes: . I can only do what someone else has already done, and wish you peace of mind.

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Vicki, I hope your finger and hand heals up quickly with no complications. I'm so sorry this happened to you. I'm even more sorry that you are faced with deciding whether this dog lives or dies. I know this is weighing heavily on your mind.

 

Yes, there is someone out there for Sam. Realistically it would be a while before you connect with that person - if at all. In the meantime Sam apparently has no bite inhibition and that makes him a real risk. That's the sad truth.

 

I think quite highly of you and know that you will do what is best for everyone. God loves dogs too you know, and it's my belief that they too will know a world where there is no evil or pain or suffering or bad things that they feel the need to defend themselves from. Surely there will be lots of someone's for Sam in that world.

 

Lots of love to you Vicki, and lots of love to Sam also.

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how sad :rolleyes: ... I have no advice, except that no matter what decision you make, you've given Sam a chance to be happy ~ and there are innumerable other BC's, well-adjusted and sounds BC's, out there that could REALLY use your help. If you do decide to pts Sam (it def sounds like that is warrented) you and his foster Mom gave him more of a chance than anyone probably has in his life, and you're doing Sam and the general public a service in helping to end his suffering.

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sandra s. Ditto to everything you said, my sentiments exactly...

I too wish peace of mind

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Spottydog,

 

Regarding the foster dog that bit your friend in the face....

 

Last I knew, Patricia McConnell, Ph.D. dog behaviorist and author, has ALWAYS recommended euthanasia for a dog that has bitten a person on the face. She believes that dogs that bite legs, hands and arms can be worked with successfully (or at least managed), but dogs that actually lunge up and bite people in the faces are a whole different ballgame and very dangerous.

 

I'm speaking from the point of view of someone who owns a fear aggressive dog that has lightly nipped one person and has never bruised/drawn blood. My oldest BC was genetically fearful from birth. I quit my day job when I first got him and spent 6 months, all day, every day, desensitizing him to people. He was handfed by 4000 people during that time and has met more on a daily basis since then. But he will still erupt in an aggressive display with no warning--all but one time he has been on the far side of a fence during these displays.

 

Luckily, I know his triggers and can manage the situation. He is 100% safe at shows and with kids and visitors. His triggers are ethnic men appearing "out of nowhere" while we're on a walk and running up to him (he ignores them if they don't run), or people approaching my very isolated, 5' fenced backyard when I'm not home.

 

As much as I totally adore this dog, I have to say that I NEVER want to go through life with another fearful dog. Fear aggression is FAR worse than aggression due to dominance. Dominant dogs are usually easy to change through NILIF and generally the owners can avoid situations that set the dog off by removing rawhides, feeding in a crate, moving the dog off furniture using a long line, and using positive training methods. Fear aggressive dogs can have so many triggers and be uncomfortable in so many situations that they can "go off" with no warning. The only justification for keeping such a dog (IMHO) is the knowledge that the dog has great bite inhibition or a very high threshold for biting.

 

Good luck with your decision, whatever you choose.

 

Columbia, MO

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I keep rereading this thread. A lot of things are going through my mind.

 

I do want to say that I don't blame Sam for doing what he did. It was my mistake. I slipped up. I should have known better. I attempted to do with him what I don't even have to think about doing with my own dogs. I should have taken the precaution of muzzling him, but coulda, woulda, shoulda, doesn't change the fact that Sam has some problems. It's better that he bit me than some person unaware of his "issues".

 

I had immediately e-mailed the guy who was supposed to meet Sam on Wednesday. I apologized and told him what happened and that Sam would be euthanized. I was sort of hoping he'd respond by asking me not to euthanize the dog that he could take him and make it work.

 

He did respond and guess what. In his e-mail to me, he said that he started to ask me to do just what I was hoping. But he thought it over. He said that a few years ago, a roommate of his had a dog who also also had little bite inhibition. The roomie wasn't doing much with this dog, so this guy--Sam's prospective adoptor-- sort of took over the dog and began working with him, to the point where eventually this dog responded and the guy could do anything with him. And then one day the dog got out and bit two people---a child and the mom. He thanked me for being honest and feels bad about the situation. He did agree with most of the responses on this thread. (OTOH, he is looking forward to meeting Chase this weekend)

 

Another thing that I keep thinking about is about our family dog that bit my daughter. We got him as an adult. Had the people we got him from been honest, she might not have made the medical books as a guinea pig for microsurgery----52 stitches to sew her face together.

 

Another thought here. I have Juta, my Caucasian Mt. Dog. Therapy dog material, she's not. She is a reactive dog whose philosophy with a stranger would be to bite first and ask questions later. Living close to other people, I have to manage her life carefully so that she does not become a liability. What's the difference between her and Sam. First, to those humans Juta knows, she is absolutely devoted, but she does not freely make friends and she probably would bite a trespasser. That's what the breed was developed for--as a fierce protector of home and flock. I don't expect them to act like Goldens and I wouldn't think of approaching one that I did not know. But what's the difference here, that I manage Juta, but have a problem managing Sam. I know what to expect of Juta and the behaviors that her breed is known for. I expect a totally different behavior from a border collie, and would much more readily approach a strange BC. If a border collie, behaves like one of my mt. dogs, then I would consider that BC to have some serious issues. There might be more predictability for me with a dog that behaves in a manner characteristic for it's breed, than a dog like Sam, whose behaviors are different from most of the bc's I've known. If he's a cross, that might explain it, but I don't have a clue what the cross would be, to give me a clue as to what to expect in the way of behavior. IOW, Sam might just be more of a liability than my Mt. dog.

 

These are my ramblings and generalizations. I'm trying to come to terms with what's best for everyone, especially Sam. I value his life. I need to do right by him, because someone in his past didn't. And it's not looking too good for Sam right now.

 

Thanks all.

 

P.S. Kind of a "duh" moment--when I compared Sam's liability to Juta's---it all boils down to bite inhibition. I ramble when I'm tired.

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Originally posted by Spottydog:

its a shame that she, and so many others, have to pay with their lives for what humans have done to them.

I'm writing in hopes of clearing up a common misconception. That is, that all (or even most) dogs who bite people are somehow not responsible. Many people blame "bad former owners," the fact that the dog was teased by kids once, lack of socialization by the former owner, etc. This is a huge fallacy. Just like with people, there are plenty of psychopaths, sociopaths, etc. among all animal species.

 

There are plenty of dogs that are just dangerous from puppyhood and no amount of training and counter-conditioning can make them totally safe.

 

I personally have owned dogs that have had terrible experiences with people. I once left my ACD, Dagger, tied outside my university library for 15 min. When I came back out, I found a large group of Chinese kids throwing rocks at him. He continued to love kids for the rest of his life, and in fact happily went up to meet the rock throwing kids so they could learn that dogs were friendly.

 

My JRT won an award for visiting 8 nursing homes a month while we lived in England. We went to a brain injury hospital weekly, and my dog was routinely picked up by his tail or his lips, had his skin pinched by people who were physically incabable of unclenching their nails, got hit contantly by people swinging/jerking their limbs uncontrollably. And he loved going there and never developed even the slightest fear of people.

 

I adopted two rescued BCs this year (one now rehomed with a stay-at-home clicker trainer and dog sports competitor). One was 9 months old, from a rural trailer trash kind of place--turned in to the HS due to "moving." She had never seen a collar, leash, strange dog, car, stairs, TV, toys, etc. But she quickly learned the ropes and was bombproof with everyone and everything--no fears, phobias, aggression, etc. I had to grab her a couple of times by her tail the first week and she thought that was a super fun game! She'd happily jump up on the grooming table and offer her nails for clipping, and tried to have me clip them again as soon as I was done, she liked it so much!

 

My other rescue was taken from a puppy mill seizure at 15 weeks old--before that he had likely never met a soul other than the breeder. He loves all people: men, women, kids, people of different ethnicities, men with beards, people in wheelchairs, etc. He was leery of other dogs the first couple of times he saw them, but now loves all of them too. He has no noise phobias either.

 

My show dog, purchased from a respected breeder is the only aggressive dog I own. As outlined in my earlier post, this dog was hand fed by 4000 people and still has numerous fears and phobias and does aggressive displays towards certain strangers in certain situations. He was BORN bad... it was certainly not due to a lack of positive training (he's 100% clicker trained) or lack of socialization (10 hrs/day for 6 months, then almost daily meetings with strangers for the next 3 years). And it is DEFINITELY not due to any mistreatment or bad experiences while with me or the breeder. It is just GENES.

 

A dog with a good temperament will keep that good temperament DESPITE any amount of abuse, neglect or lack of socialization.

 

A dog with a bad temperament will still keep that underlying tendency for aggression despite massive socialization and total LACK of any bad experiences with people.

 

Please do not blame yourselves, your dogs' socialization (or lack thereof) or your dogs' former owners for the aggression that you are observing!

 

Columbia, MO

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I recently read the book "How Dogs Think" by Stanley Coren, PhD. It is a fascinating book based on a lot of scientific research and the author's own first-hand experience with dogs. It gives a good explanation of the many factors that can cause a dog's personality and behaviors to be "bad". For example, stress in the pregnant bitch can cause the puppies to have problems. And the way that the mother dog punishes puppies for out-of-line behaviors can have a major effect on how the puppy's personality ends up. There are factors like this that you would never suspect, but scientific studies have shown they definitely influence the puppy's personality for his entire lifetime.

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I'm writing in hopes of clearing up a common misconception. That is, that all (or even most) dogs who bite people are somehow not responsible. Many people blame "bad former owners," the fact that the dog was teased by kids once, lack of socialization by the former owner, etc. This is a huge fallacy. Just like with people, there are plenty of psychopaths, sociopaths, etc. among all animal species.

 

Dogs cannot be sociopaths. Or, since all dogs lack a conscience in the human sense of the word, I suppose all dogs are sociopaths in one way or another.

 

Dogs cannot be immoral. Dogs are, by nature, amoral, like small children. If one cannot blame a small child for misbehavior, one also cannot blame a dog.

 

If a dog is aggressive for organic reasons -- nature, rather than nurture -- he is less responsible for bad actions than he would be if he could make choices in the matter.

 

It is obvious that many behavior problems in dogs have a genetic component (which is largely the reason the project that I'm currently working with exists). It is also obvious that training and management affect how a dog interacts with the world around him. For example, I do not believe it is possible that a dog could be born with a genetic fear of "ethnic men." (I also don't see why you felt it relevant to specifically mention that "Chinese" kids were throwing rocks at your dog... but it does give me insight into why your other dog has a fear of "ethnic men." Just my opinion.)

 

Dogs are not humans. Humans are not dogs. Dogs live in a world of rules made up by people that are sometimes hard for dogs to follow. They are harder for dogs who are born with certain issues, but this doesn't make those dogs "bad." "Bad" is a value judgment that implies a "good/evil" dichotomy" that I think is totally inappropriate here. Demonizing dogs with behavioral problems doesn't help anyone understand these dogs, help these dogs, or even let them go when circumstances demand that euthanasia is the course to be taken. It is completely unproductive. It does not lead to mechanistic explanations, nor does it suggest appropriate courses of action.

 

But then again, people are really good at demonizing things. It's so much easier than actually trying to understand.

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Nicely put Melanie!

 

I'm suddenly reminded of Jack London's The Call of the Wild. Dogs do what they have to to survive, it's neither good nor bad, that's just the way it is.

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Originally posted by sandra s.:

quote:
Originally posted by Jabawaki:

The dog has to go, and you can sleep good at night afterwards knowing he won't bite or harm a child.

Ouch. I don't think it's that easy. At this point, this could turn into an ugly, semi-philosophical "are humans worth more than other living things?" discussion.

To me, they are not. Who is most important to someone depends, in my personal opinion, not on species but only on the "bond" described by SoloRiver.

 

I think this story is heartbreaking, and I wish so much that I could help somehow, but I can't :rolleyes: . I can only do what someone else has already done, and wish you peace of mind.

It's not easy and it is heartbreaking.

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Yes, I do agree that breeding a fearful dog is as bad (likely worse) than breeding a dog with a known health problem. I am no longer on speaking terms with the breeder/co-owner of my fear-aggressive show dog. Even after realizing how problematic my puppy was, they went on to do a repeat breeding, then scheduled a third breeding between my dog's mom and a son of my dog's dad. I convinced them to cancel at the last minute... but they still bred the mom again.

 

The breeders definitely know they are breeding fearful dogs, as 10-20% of the puppies they have bred have been returned to them, some for biting. Several have been excused from the ring for biting judges, including the bitch they kept--a littermate of my own dog.

 

The problem with fear problems is that they are still the one problem that not a single breeder will talk about. You can see tons of websites where breeders show a photo of their champion, with the accompanying text: "Roscoe will not be bred and has been neutered due to hip dysplasia" or CEA, or PRA, or having produced epilepsy, or whatever. Breeders are admired for doing this (as they should be) and this kind of disclosure is a sort of "badge of honor."

 

I know of several lines of sport BCs that are known by many BC people to be dog-aggressive, fear aggressive towards strange humans, etc. However, I have yet to see a single site--whether an ABCA or AKC breeder--where they say "Roscoe was neutered because he has bitten several people." Hiding bad temperaments is still considered the "normal" thing for breeders to do.

 

Some breeders may not be deliberately trying to hide something, but are simply falling for the outdated and incorrect idea that all dogs are GOOD, loving, kind, etc. until they are ruined by those darned HUMANS! Therefore, they will blame the bad temperaments of their dogs on: "The puppy buyer didn't get him out enough," "He got scared by that Golden when he was young," "I sold him too early/late." Anything except for the fact that it is likely a genetic issue.

 

Anyway, I hope that someday breeders will feel like they can discuss bad temperaments in their lines (and spay/neuter those dogs), just as they are starting to be comfortable about doing this for physical problems.

 

Columbia, MO

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I know of several lines of sport BCs that are known by many BC people to be dog-aggressive, fear aggressive towards strange humans, etc.

 

If you can help identify candidate bloodlines for the UCSF behavioral genetics study, that would be fantastic. Would you mind emailing me privately?

 

Thanks.

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Just another 2 cents on the genetic basis for bad temperaments...

 

My girl Maggie went through 3 other homes before she came to live with me at 11 mo. I have no idea what her life was like before I got her, but I think the worst thing that happened to her was probably a fight with another dog and lack of socialization, no actual physical abuse.

 

I think Mags maybe slightly genetically fearful, but she is not dangerous.

 

This dog that used to literally flip out when surrounded by more than 4 people spent a weekend with 50 kids, much of the time with 5 to 10 petting and hugging her at once. She has her CGC and is a therapy dog (her certification was renewed this year).

 

Even at her worst, Maggie would nip (no actual contact) at fast moving strangers and react to dogs, but she has never bitten - the closest she's come to that was when I stuck my arm out to block her from snapping at another dog: I got a small scrape before she swung her head away after realizing she had touched my skin.

 

I've volunteered at a shelter for 6 years and I have seen 12 week old puppies resource guarding so seriously that they offered multiple hard bites on a test hand!

 

There is are differences in genetic temperament and we need to be careful not to lump all genetically fearful dogs into the same catagory as those who are more predisposed to a serious bite. Yes any temperament faults that are genetic should be bred away from, but making sweeping generalizations can be pretty bad as well.

 

Not all fearful dogs are born that way or were abused or can/cannot be trained or will bite - the bottom line is to know *your* dog and what they are capable and to take that into consideration when/if you breed.

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