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Old 04-25-2011, 02:11 PM
 
13 posts, read 48,802 times
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Thanks so much to the past few posters. J-CityRelo, our dog is a GSD mix, too.

I think a vet visit is definitely in order. If our dog is to stay with us I need to be confident that it's a responsible choice. Before resorting to euthanasia I think I need to explore other possible options, including training and anti-anxiety medications. Maybe we should have looked into medications years ago. If she was a human suffering from chronic anxiety, medication would be a route worth exploring after all. Maybe we can get her to a place where she's calm and confident. If not, at least I will know that I've tried my best and explored every possible solution.
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:27 PM
 
3,646 posts, read 9,025,367 times
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We adopted a dog years ago. We were not told she had an anxiety disorder. After 6 months, my life revolved completely around the dog, but it wasn't getting any better. The vet said medication, in her case, wouldn't help and suggested euthanization. The Humane Society told us that if they had known she had the disorder they wouldn't have allowed her to be adopted - and if we returned her, they would be putting her down. None of the rescues would help. She was a sweet dog and I loved her and cried and agonized over what to do - and had to do what was best for my HUMAN family.

Several judgmental people told us what we "should do" instead. One took the dog home because she wasn't "just going to let me kill a dog for NO reason". She called 6 weeks later and left me a very rude message to "Come get YOUR dog". By the time I got the message and returned her call (20 minutes) the dog had run off and she "wasn't going to waste any more of MY time with YOUR dog". While she was explaining this to me, the other line beeped. Apparently, she didn't change the collar (or the microchip info) and the woman who found her called ME. When I went to get her, the woman told me she was a dog trainer, had 30 years experience in dog training, owned 6 dogs of her own, yada, yada, yada, then the lecture to me about keeping a dog forever, if it were HER dog, etc... so I asked her to take her and put her proverbial money where her mouth was.

She called the next morning (about 15 hours later) telling me that I needed to come pick up MY dog. She ranted a few seconds about how irresponsible I was, before I cut her off and told her I had the dog for 6 months, she hadn't been able to handle it for 1 day. My dh, crying, picked her up and took her back to the Humane Society. It was years before we were able to adopt again - we hurt just way too much over her.

Unfortunately, the next one (rescue again) attacked my son and had to be returned to the rescue. I don't care what others say -Rescue dogs are a gamble. It took twice for me to learn that lesson, but I won't gamble with my children again. Now, we have a dog that we raised - no more rescues for us. God bless those who do rescue animals, but if you're going to do it, a child-free atmosphere is best.

Don't let anyone give you more guilt than you're already feeling. Sometimes our choices suck. But you've got to do what is in your HUMAN baby's best interest.

Good luck.
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Old 04-25-2011, 03:12 PM
 
Location: Plymouth,Michigan/Quad Cities, (IA/IL)
307 posts, read 572,297 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pennysnooze View Post
The dog is half whippet, and like a whippet, actually wants to spend much of the day in bed.

I really think you should contact a Whippet rescue. They probably would consider taking a Whippet mix in. You might be surprised how many people would be willing to adopt your dog.

Another long shot would be to contact your local Greyhound rescue. Whippets are very similar to Greyhounds and that rescue group may be able to help you with rehoming.
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Old 04-25-2011, 03:22 PM
 
18,856 posts, read 29,371,692 times
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You have worked with this dog more than anyone else would. I do not see re-homing as a viable or appropriate option here.

The most humane thing is to put this dog down. It is not your fault or responsibility to keep a dog that cannot overcome these issues.

I once got a shelter dog, and he had too many issues for us to deal with, he went back. The safety of kids is number one.

Get a new dog
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Old 04-25-2011, 03:23 PM
 
13 posts, read 48,802 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irongrl View Post
I really think you should contact a Whippet rescue. They probably would consider taking a Whippet mix in. You might be surprised how many people would be willing to adopt your dog.

Another long shot would be to contact your local Greyhound rescue. Whippets are very similar to Greyhounds and that rescue group may be able to help you with rehoming.
She's also part German Shepherd. She definitely looks like a shepherd mix with whippet ears.
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Old 04-25-2011, 04:04 PM
 
99 posts, read 445,556 times
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I would absolutely not find a home for the dog. Why would you put other people at risk. I know its a very difficult decision to euthanize (trust me, I know) but sometimes it has to be made. Some dogs truly are mentally ill. There can be issues in the brain that cause unprovoked aggression and there is no cure. Very sorry you have to deal with this.

I don't think that this attack was fear aggression. If you were just gently holding her, she had nothing to react to. It was unprovoked, which is very dangerous because its unpredictable. You can't avoid the situation, because you don't know when its coming.
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Old 04-25-2011, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Chicago
5,977 posts, read 12,874,190 times
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Realistically, would a rescue take in a dog w/ known aggression and anxiety issues? IDK, I see so many dogs w/o these issues languishing in rescues and shelters, especially medium to larger sized dogs (I assume a whippet/GSD mix isn't a small, apartment friendly size). I would try to contact some rescues and be VERY detailed about her issues and see if any are willing to take her on, but in the end, euthanasia may be a possibility.

sad situations like these are reasons why I hate it when people constantly push adoption as the only choice and even go as far as to berate those who seek out reputable breeders. sometimes, adoption doesn't work, through no one's fault (well, other than the original owner who failed the dog). I truly don't know if I could just pop down to animal control and adopt a dog if I had kids at home. it could end up working perfectly, but the chances of it not working are too great in my mind. in the case of a children in a household, the best bet is a reputable breeder or a rescue w/ a stringent foster care program where the dog is currently being fostered w/ young children
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Old 04-25-2011, 04:22 PM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
2,806 posts, read 6,130,259 times
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This is a truly gut-wrenching situation, and my heart really goes out to you.
(((HUGS)))
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Old 04-25-2011, 04:25 PM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,063 posts, read 13,657,812 times
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I had a German Shepherd mix that was born to my beagle/terrier. He initially was a wonderful dog, easy to train, he was my infant son's best friend and bodyguard. They were 1 month apart. My son would crawl to him, lay on him and take his nap. The dog would not move, not even for a bone. That was HIS baby and only my husband or I were permitted to remove my son from the dog.

He was our special dog. He had some aggression issues but not with the family - and then it started, little bits, first growling, then snapping. Vet found hip dysplasia and said he was in pain sometimes. We tried various things to help and were still working with the dog when one day, I saw him grab my son's foot. Yes, his baby boy who was now 7. He was laying on the floor with the dog near his feet when he bumped the dog and the dog grabbed his (luckily sneakered) foot - hard.

I couldn't trust him anymore and, after a family pow wow, we decided to PTS. I miss that sweet dog but my family came first. I had his mother for another 10 years.

It may be hard to do, but your baby is your priority. Your dog, if like mine, is part of your family - but no matter what, you have to put your baby first. It's a tough decision and I'm sorry you have to make it.
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
4,033 posts, read 7,966,468 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pennysnooze View Post
Thanks so much to the past few posters. J-CityRelo, our dog is a GSD mix, too.

I think a vet visit is definitely in order. If our dog is to stay with us I need to be confident that it's a responsible choice. Before resorting to euthanasia I think I need to explore other possible options, including training and anti-anxiety medications. Maybe we should have looked into medications years ago. If she was a human suffering from chronic anxiety, medication would be a route worth exploring after all. Maybe we can get her to a place where she's calm and confident. If not, at least I will know that I've tried my best and explored every possible solution.
I'm glad that you are going to try to work with her. It does sound like you truly love her. A vet visit is definitely in order.

I also agree with taking euthanasia off of the "possibility" list. Even if you were to have to give her up, I would at least advise that you give someone else a chance to rehab her. Just b/c you haven't been able to does not mean that someone else will also be unsuccessful. It would be selfish of you to insist that she is unable to be rehabbed for the sake of your own ego, but you do not sound like that kind of a person anyway.

I also agree that, the next time she has an "episode," you really shouldn't punish her through isolation and/or forced relaxation; that will create the opposite effect from the one that you want. If it was indeed her toenail that caused her to react, you essentially punished her for having a totally normal reaction, especially given her history. Although her reaction was horrific, it was not completely irrational--she had a reason.

Knowing that she simply cannot tolerate pain and will react violently when she feels threatened, have you considered a muzzle? That way, if she is startled, and reacts, at least her teeth cannot do any damage. But the isolation simply increases her fear and anxiety; it sounds like something that she really cannot control, as if her instinct is being triggered, which is something that is very difficult to "untrigger."

I think that the idea of anti-anxiety meds is a great one. However, I am still a little concerned with the idea of a newborn in the house. Is a trainer completely out-of-the question? Usually trainers don't "fix" problems; they simply show you what needs to be done and then you have to follow through, which is what I think the initial criticism was all about. If you have absolutely followed through, and it still hasn't worked, then I would try to have her rehomed. That is, if the vet says that the problem is purely behavioral.

If it were just you and DH, then I would really encourage you to keep her and work with her. But the idea of an unpredictable dog and a newborn occupying the same space reminds me of a Far Side cartoon in which a crocodile farm is adjacent to a nursery, and the tagline reads, "Trouble brewing."
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