I don't know what to do anymore

Myah - posted on 07/27/2015 ( 26 moms have responded )

11

0

4

I don't where to start with this without it being a long post so I apologize in advance.
My husband had accidentally hit a stray dog about 5 years ago. The vet said the dog was severely dehydrated and had a really bad case of mange. This was when we were just dating.
At first when I would come over I loved his dog. He was super friendly. He has another dog too and he randomly gets attacked by the Pittbull that he hit. So fast forward a couple of years, when I became pregnant and we were about to move in together. I started to notice things more clearly, maybe a mom instinct in me kicking in. Him attacking the other dog randomly really started to bother me. I thought that he should get neutered and it took my husband awhile to agree to it. A few weeks before he was neutered I was over visiting with my dogs to see how they would get along and my dachshund walked by the couch, husbands Pitt bull was laying next to us and just attacked my husband and it was pretty bad.
Finally my husband got him neutered. He rarely got walked and I did try to walk him but he pulls me really bad and for the last 3 years we pretty much just kept him separated from our daughter. Things started getting too much. I'm pregnant and 10 weeks away from having our second child and his dog being so food aggressive with the other dogs is getting to me. Once a month he attacks one of our other dogs. For awhile he was scared of my daughter, would slouch down when she walked by. One time she walked by his food bowl and he ran over to it like he was guarding it. Another time when I was trying to get him comfortable with her, she put a blanket over his head and he growled. After that I started separating him from her again.
The final thing that just made me done was he attacked my husbands 15 year old dog over an almost empty food bowl for the 100th time. I keep thinking if one of my kids are in the middle of these dog fights they could get seriously hurt.
We fought really bad over it and I said I wanted him to get rid of his dog. He gave him to one of his friends but after a day she said we had to take him back because he got into a fight with her other dog and it was pretty bad. His friend said it wasn't our dogs fault but I wasn't there and I'm used to him fighting with our dogs. We took him back and my husband put him into the pound. I felt bad because my husband was so upset and he was crying and promised me up and down that he would take his dog to the vet. I've been telling him for months that he's going blind and finally the pound telling him that made him listen and he also still has a little bit of mange. He swore he would call a behavioral therapist and also that he would walk him every night, plus feed him separately. So he got him back out and within 2 weeks he never called a trainor, never called a vet. He was walking him every night but skipped a couple and started to complain about it but still did it for the most part. There were a couple times he didn't put the gate up to feed him separately. And that was really annoying. His reasoning was he was training him but I don't understand how.
His dog attacked my dog and my husband said we didn't see who started it but what I did see was he was the one who went for an extra couple lunges. I'm so fed up right now. Sad and just really mad that for two weeks not even a trainer was called.
My husband said he was busy and that he will call one.
I don't know what to do. I feel bad for putting our dog in the pound but I have these thoughts that one day he's going to hurt my child or the new baby when she starts crawling around. I feel like I've given so many chances.
If I'm wrong for feeling like this please tell me and any advice I would love to hear. I feel like I'm constantly being bullied into keeping him and then another dog gets attacked and all the promises get forgotten. Like, when my husband first got attacked by his dog he just conveniently forgets. He says he was breaking up a fight and his dog accidentally bit him but that was another time. He somehow forgets that when my daughter put a blanket over his head that his dog growled and this was 6 months ago.
We have 2 other rescues and their great dogs. In no way do I hate dogs, but in this situation I'm so torn and I don't know what to do. The first time my husband found him the vet said he was around 11 months so that would make him about 5/6 right now. The pound though said he was 9 so I'm really not even sure how old he is.
After he first came back from the pound for the first time ever he started to seem interested in my daughter. Interacting. But some days he seems more scared of her. The other day a mop fell 5 feet away from him and he was scared for 30 minutes and had his tail tucked between his butt.
Am I over reacting? Being heartless like my husband is saying? I want to do the right thing. Is this even fixable?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

~♥Little Miss - posted on 07/27/2015

21,273

9

3058

I don't agree with putting him in the pound either. Often pounds will not disclose the reason that a pet was given up. In his case, someone could be severely injured without the correct information. Either find him a home with people who know his situation, and will provide him in a home without kids or other pets, or euthanasia.

Raye - posted on 07/28/2015

3,761

0

21

I have worked in dog rescue, and I will tell you that this dog should be put to sleep. If a dog (of any breed) has a history of biting and aggressive behavior, most rescues will not take it. They don't want the liability of getting sued because the dog mauled the new owner's child, cat, dog, spouse, whatever. Why would you knowingly allow this animal to endanger someone else's family?

It is mostly your husband's fault that he has not worked with this dog over the years to make it a better family pet. It is partially your fault for allowing the situation to get worse and bringing children into the mix. It's the dog's fault only in that it has endured bad circumstances prior to being brought into the family, and has had a neglectful and lazy owner ever since.

Putting a beloved pet to sleep is very difficult. I had to make that decision with my 14 year old Husky earlier this year. It's very hard, but sometimes it's just the right thing to do. If the dog is aggressive, it's in distress. And its distress is causing distress for all the other pets and family in the house. Living every day with that distress is not a good way to live for anyone (let alone EVERYone in the house).

Suck it up and do right by this dog. The way I see it, you have three choices... 1) spend the time, effort, and money that it will take to rehabilitate the animal yourselves, 2) find a rescue that specializes in rehabilitation of aggressive dogs, or 3) have it put to sleep.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 07/27/2015

21,273

9

3058

The point of my story has already been said, but I will say it again. I WOULD NOT HAVE HAD HIM IN MY HOME WITH FOOD AGGRESSION!!!!

I fully support you making the decision to get him out of your home. I think it is in the best interest for your family. You are not going to have the time required to handle his behavioral issues with a new baby....especially if it isn't a priority. Good luck love, and congratulations on your baby.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 07/27/2015

21,273

9

3058

Just something to chew on that might make you feel better.

I have a rescue boxer. A client came in with him. She was updating him on shots. She had rescued him from a family friend that had him in his kennel for 15 hours DAILY. He was an intact 1 1/2 male who clearly had no training or manners. He is beautiful, and has a wonderful personality. VERY thin at that time.

She was going away for the weekend, and needed to find a kennel for him. Made it clear she was also looking for a new home. She saved him, but could not keep him long term. I took him for the weekend to see if it would work out.

The FIRST thing I did with him, was test him for food aggression. I have 2 young children, that constantly make a mess with food. I wanted to make sure they were safe. He did great. If he had showed ANY signs of food aggression, I would NOT have taken him in. He has been with us for 3+ years. I love him to bits. So do my kids.

The second thing I did, get him neutered when I decided to keep him. That was 4 days after I took him in.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/27/2015

13,264

21

2015

So...why haven't you called the behaviourist yourself?
Its obvious that the dog was never taken care of from the start, until your husband took him in. You have NO idea about how that dog was (mis)treated prior to your husband taking him in, but the fact that he was in need of medical attention (despite being hit by your husband...I'm assuming a car?) should have been a clear indicator of possible behavioural trouble down the way.
This poor pup was most likely mistreated from birth onward, which, unfortunately imprinted itself. Yes, he can be rehabilitated, but it will take CONSISTENCY.

26 Comments

View replies by

Victoria - posted on 07/29/2015

10

0

2

What breed is your dog?
With all due respect I have been briefly reading your post it seams like your husband needs to get a grip. And attend to the dogs needs. If your child was behaving in such a way you would seek advice from a professional? Right?
Intervention is a must as it would appear through no fault of the dog your children will be next.I have a Staffordshire bull terrier to which I am firm yet fair with and take no chances with my kids. Even tho they are "nanny dogs"
I totally understand that your dog is a family member and you do not want to give up on him easily I wouldn't either but if you don't seek advice from someone who truly understands your relationship and pack order with the dog like the American dog whisperer Ceaser.. Then your outcome may not be the one you would wish for. I hope this helps

Ledia - posted on 07/27/2015

204

0

1

I feel like you need to re-home him if possible, and unfortunately, if a suitable home can't be found, you need to take him to the pound.
In my area, every dog that is brought in is tested for food aggression and temperament around other dogs and people. If the dog fails any of the tests, the dog is euthanized. It is sad, but the shelter doesn't have the resources to rehabilitate or specially home those dogs.

This dog my very well be a WONDERFUL dog, but he needs to be in a home without children and where he is the only dog. If you cannot find a home like that, he needs to go to the pound.

There is no way you could keep up with consistently feeding him separately, keeping him away from your children, AND manage two small children. It is too much for you, and the dog will only get worse.

Be upfront with his needs. He could thrive in the right home, but your home isn't the right one. He will never be fully happy there--he will always be fearful over the food, and he will always be a threat to your other dogs, you, and most importantly, your children.

Sarah - posted on 07/27/2015

10,606

0

26

Since the dog is possibly 9 and may be going blind, maybe it is time to consider euthanasia? It would be kinder than the pound if you cant find a suitable home.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/27/2015

13,264

21

2015

Full agreement with LM here. If you don't want to continue to work with him, re-home him, but with specific restrictions. If you feel that even that would be too much work, pay to have the poor thing euthanized. I don't agree with that approach, necessarily, but it takes a person with a special mindset to handle animals, and especially to handle those who have been mistreated or abused. Doesn't seem as if you have that mindset, so it is better for the dog if you re-home it with someone who will be willing to take the extra time and put in the extra effort.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 07/27/2015

21,273

9

3058

It is NOT fine that he is aggressive with the other dogs either.

If you are not willing to work with him, then be the one to find him a home. Remember, NO OTHER PETS! NO CHILDREN! In the meantime, buy the muzzle until you find a new home for him. It is both of your responsibilities to find him a home, OR make the decision to put him to sleep.

I agree that if you are not willing to find a behaviorist and constantly work with him, then he needs to leave your home for the safety of your children, yourselves, and your other dogs.

Myah - posted on 07/27/2015

11

0

4

Thank you for all of your replies. I know some of you say keep trying and others say get rid of him. This has been very stressful and maybe I'm a bad person for this but I don't want to try anymore. Aggression with the other dogs fine but constantly having to walk on eggshells keeping him out of the same room as my daughter, and everything else I feel like I just can't anymore.
I'm so tired of living with fear that he's going to bite my daughter or newborn.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 07/27/2015

21,273

9

3058

Food aggression is so hard to deal with. One must be consistant ALWAYS, and aware at all times. Good for you being able to address it head on.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/27/2015

13,264

21

2015

Thank God I only have ever had one that was naturally food aggressive! He was a handful enough, even though we had him trained well before the kids came along. Plus, even though we knew he was trained, the one time the kids weren't allowed around him was feeding time...Best dog EVER...LOL...as long as food wasn't involved.
Then again, I'm the proverbial 'crazy animal lady' with all of my dogs/cats and other assorted 'pets'!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 07/27/2015

21,273

9

3058

The dog was a stray. Often times food aggression is from being a stray. They have to fight off other animals to get a meal. But some dogs are sooooo food motivated and food aggressive just naturally, that it takes a LOT of training to fix the problem. And it is a HUGE problem. This dog may never had human contact before them. In conjunction with him being intact (not neutered) for so many years, instilled certain behaviors in his little mind.

Sarah - posted on 07/27/2015

10,606

0

26

Those are good muzzles because the dog can still drink and pant with it in place.

Sarah - posted on 07/27/2015

10,606

0

26

Even if you found a muzzle that fit and he did not break free, it isn't kind to have him in a muzzle 24/7. You mention the pound says he is almost 9 and going blind, isn't kinder to consider rehoming over a muzzle?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 07/27/2015

21,273

9

3058

Look at the muzzle link I posted. These ones do NOT hold the mouth shut like ordinary muzzles.

Myah - posted on 07/27/2015

11

0

4

We actually tried a muzzle a few times. I'm not sure if we're getting the wrong one or what but every time he breaks free of it. It's one made with net. I don't know if there all made like that?
And even before he breaks free of it my husband feels bad because he says he can't breathe.

Myah - posted on 07/27/2015

11

0

4

I agree it was way too long to have him neutered. This was when we were just dating and I wouldn't move in with him until he did have him fixed.

Sarah - posted on 07/27/2015

10,606

0

26

I think that was the reason it was a viable solution for the greyhound. They are muzzled on the track and are used to them. Lucy, the dog, would patiently wear her muzzle when the kids came over. However, that was the only time she wore a muzzle.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 07/27/2015

21,273

9

3058

Sarah brought up an excellent point. Muzzle. In fact, there are basket muzzles that do not hold the mouth shut. But they cannot eat, drink, or bite with it on. In fact, they are used for the very greyhounds she was talking about. That is NOT a long term solution, but a short term fix to prevent more dog attacks, or biting humans.

Some dogs will freak out with it on, so best to do it outside if you are going to try. Away from the other dogs. Put him on a leash to do it. Once again, this is NOT a long term solution, just a short term fix.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 07/27/2015

21,273

9

3058

One thing to do for sure, once the baby is born, have someone bring home a receiving blanket from the hospital that has your babies smell on it. Give it to the pets so they recognize the baby before you even bring him/her home.

Also, ALL of your dogs need to be walked. Especially the aggressive one. This will help believe it or not. Lots of exercise.

5-9 years is a big difference in age for any dog, but especially a larger dog.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 07/27/2015

21,273

9

3058

Well, I don't know if his behavior can be fixed, but certainly a behaviorist can evaluate him and try. Also, your vet needs to be a part of this so they can prescribe the correct medications. It is best to find a behaviorist that is also a vet. Usually they are extremely qualified. You waited WAAAAYYYYY to long to have him neutered. That is quite frankly irresponsible and reckless. I hope the rest of your dogs are spayed and neutered. This can definitely help reduce aggressive tendencies/behavior. Unfortunately, the later you have it done, those are already behaviors ingrained in your pet.

As far as the food aggression goes, you BOTH have to address this. It is every adults responsibility to deal with it head on. Someone is going to get hurt, and it certainly might be one of the kids. You are not being heartless or over reacting. I think your husband is not seeing the full picture.

Your children should NEVER be left alone in a room with ANY animal, especially one that is known to attack when food is around. Kids are messy. Kids leave crumbs. Kids pick food up off the floor and eat it. But what if said kid, drops food on floor, goes to pick it up while the dog is around, the dog goes after the food and attacks your child? Scars your child for life? Takes an eye? Kills your child?

I have seen to many people make excuses over and over again for aggressive pets. Usually it ends up with someone in the hospital for people to realize this pet needs to be out of the home. (BTW I have worked with animals for 13+ years. I have a lot of experience).

If your husband is not going to address it, then you do it. Call the behaviorist. Why haven't you yet? You all live in this home with your dog. This isn't just yours or your husbands pet. it is a family pet.

Your dog has a lot of anxiety that can be treated, along with some hardcore training. But, if you are not also willing to put work into it, then it isn't worth the money or effort. If you attempt to find a home for him again, try to find a home without small children, and no other pets...even cats.

Sarah - posted on 07/27/2015

10,606

0

26

Good heavens, get rid of the dog! Do NOT wait until you face a tragedy and the county makes you put him to sleep. My MIL rescues racing greyhounds when they are retired. One of her dogs bit my daughter (she scared the dog) when she was 15 months. From that day forward I told my MIL (who I love and get along with) that she could either muzzle the dog every time my children came over or they would not visit.
You tell your husband that you will give him one week to rehome the dog or you will do it yourself. You do not want to be standing over your child's hospital bed or God forbid grave, wishing you had put your foot down. This is a pet, not a child and I know some people are very passionate about their pets. This dog is simply too unpredictable, period.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms