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Old 08-12-2010, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
1,300 posts, read 3,093,516 times
Reputation: 1218

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About 4 months ago Charlie, my german shepherd mix, attacked my boyfriend after my bf picked up his chew that Charlie had hidden. The attack was bad, he had about 20 puncture wounds from elbow to wrist on one arm. We have always used positive methods with Charlie and started using NILIF when he snapped at me a couple years ago. Please don't judge me for using a trainer that uses electronic collars, we have done other training and were basically at our wits end...Charlie stayed at the training facility for 3 months, during which we visited and did training sessions with him as much as possible, sometimes every day. I didn't feel safe with him in our house. Oh I should mention that before training he went to the vet and there is no physical reason for his aggression that they could find.

While he was away I took care of a litter of kittens that were abandoned and we decided to adopt one. Which in retrospect was a terrible idea. A couple weeks after Charlie came home he killed the kitten. I never let them alone together, but I turned my back for a second I'm guessing the kitten was in the area of Charlie's food and when I turned back around the kitten was on the floor barely breathing, bleeding from the nose and died later at the emergency clinic. I bottle fed this kitten and I loved him.

I completely blame myself, I should never have kept a kitten. I should have fed Charlie in his crate or another room. I am devastated and I know this is my fault. The kitten died about a week ago. We have been struggling with what to do with Charlie. It has become clear that his resource guarding will never stop, he will always find something to guard and protect. He has gotten worse it seems since coming home. I don't want anyone else to get hurt and am terrified that Charlie is going to go after our other cat, Cooper. I want to euthanize my dog. My boyfriend says he cannot put Charlie down. I don't want to rehome him for obvious reasons and I can't live like this. I am emotionally falling apart, I am no longer angry at him for the kitten because I accept the blame for setting him up for failure like that. But at the same time I don't want to wait for something else to happen and I KNOW it will. I need help, advise, suggestions, please help.

Last edited by SouthernBelleInUtah; 08-25-2010 at 04:19 PM.. Reason: update title
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Old 08-12-2010, 07:13 PM
 
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Sorry you're having to go through this.

Best suggestion I can come up with is to look for a GSD rescue organization that's willing to take Charlie.
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Old 08-12-2010, 07:35 PM
 
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I would seek help and advice from the GSD rescue - good luck!
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Old 08-12-2010, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
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I'll try the rescue, he is a mix though. And he's 7 years old. I'm just worried about anyone else getting hurt if he's rehomed. I would want his new home to know his entire history and not have kids or other pets and be fairly dog savvy with regard to training. I don't know anyone like that and I wouldn't blame someone for not wanting to take him on...I don't know. I thought being at the emergency clinic and telling them it was ok to let my baby kitten go was the hardest thing I've ever had to do...but this is really hard.
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Old 08-12-2010, 08:36 PM
 
3,083 posts, read 3,433,545 times
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I see a number of mixes on the rescue sites. There is also a decent percentage of older dogs.

There's a good chance a rescue can place him with a person that's familiar with the trials of dealing with difficult dogs.

Again I'm very sorry you're having to go through this. It speaks well of you that you're looking for a solution rather than heading straight for euthanasia.
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Old 08-12-2010, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Ladysmith,Wisconsin
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Call rescue like suggested and yes tell them history. protective of his food and hid his bone for a reason. Mostly sounds like food aggression. If keep him just make sure he has HIS area for food and water and his own den area so he has his own safe zone and if puts a bone in there leave it.
Did this food aggression just happen or been there all along?
When I had cats they had upstairs and basement as their safe zone as dogs could not go there.
Has his exercise schedule changed or a recent move anything like that before this happened?
I got a hound back as was used to 2 - 1 mile runs everyday and winter came runs shortened, guy working on house kept in kennel most of time when working on house and all day while at work. Dog tried to grab me when went to get him, leashed up wrapped leash around nose so not try to bite again and took outside. I was going to teach him a lesson and not want his kids to see it. Well when he got outside his temperament did a 180 and he became a sweetheart again. That is reason asked about changes before all this happened.
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Old 08-12-2010, 10:03 PM
 
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Of the millions of german shepards (pure and mix) there is bound to be some that are just plain aggresive. No amount of training is going to break them of their natural animal behavior and aggression. You may have to accept that your that person who ended up with one. Fact is fact, they are out there. It sounds like you have tried and it sounds like you know what Charlie is. I know you completely care and love him, but sometimes the best option is the hardest option to make.
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Old 08-12-2010, 11:37 PM
 
476 posts, read 1,092,263 times
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I would support the decision to put him down humanely - definitely. It sounds he's aggressive and unpredictable and training has not worked with him. Maybe a rescue would help you out, talk you through it, give you info. This is a tough undertaking and I would want to talk it out with someone who knows and loves the breed. I am sure they see this situation frequently.
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Old 08-13-2010, 02:00 AM
 
13,345 posts, read 25,601,842 times
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A terribly sad situation- one that I've faced twice, and the first time, was fortunate to be able to return my adoptee to Best Friends in Utah.
A few months ago, I had to euthanize an adoptee I had for over a year. She was attacking the smaller dogs, and when I broke it up once, she ripped my ankle open. I had daily IV antibiotics for a month and barely missed a bone infection. I spoke to the animal control officer who sent her my way, and she said that they couldn't consider placing or taking a dog who'd bitten a person- not a nip, but a real attack, unfortunately, like the OP seems to say. I doubt any rescue would risk placing the dog even if he did attack over resource guarding. I would say that euthasia is the only solution and it's a heartbreaker. So sorry.
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Old 08-13-2010, 03:14 AM
 
3,627 posts, read 12,835,248 times
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A dog that has done that much damage to a human member of his family...I am not sure you can rehab him and there are many other dogs without serious agression issues looking for a home......

Were I In your situation I would put the dog down. I know that you are going through an awful lot of suffering with this right now. I just want to be one of the voices that does not support putting a dangerous animal in someone else's hands. I am sorry - your pain and taking ownership for responsibility is clear in this thread. Sometimes it could just be the dog - some are just "not wired" right.
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