Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Putting my dog to sleep? Don't want to.

echo1002
May 18th, 2006, 09:35 AM
I don't know how to start this, but this is a situation that is breaking my heart. I have a 5 year old half lab-half great white pyrenees dog. He weighs about 150 lbs, and all 150 lbs of him contains love. I also have a second dog, who is half Chow-half black lab, and he weighs about 60 lbs. However, this is my dilemma. The 150 lb. dog is extremely dangerous (I am not sure if that is the right word) to be around when he is eating or chewing on a bone. You do not touch him or be around him when he is eating. He has always been like that. Also, when my two dogs get in a fight, over food, it is brutal and vicious to the very end. There is no way to get them apart. Well, I am moving in with my fiance, and I am terrified of what my dog would do around other people, when he is eating. My fiance has 6 young nieces and nephews, and I cannot trust Chico (the 150lb dog) around them, or around anyone except for myself and my fiance. I am terrified as to what might happen. However, I love Chico so much, and I cannot imagine myself doing this to him. I look into his eyes, and I see the dog that I love and that I know loves me back. Does anyone have any suggestions, because I am absolutely torn as to what to do or how to handle or accomodate to this?

LavenderRott
May 18th, 2006, 09:43 AM
Food aggressive dogs CAN be managed. BUT - and this is a huge but - everyone in the household MUST be aware of the situation and be on the same page as how to handle it.

Are your dogs crate trained? The easiest way, by far, to manage a food aggressive dog is to always feed in the dogs' crate. If a crate is not available (and yes, you can crate train an older dog - you just have to be a bit more patient) then feeding the dog in a seperate room, behind a closed door, is effective.

Bones should never be given to a food aggressive dog when there are children around.

Personally, if it was my dog, I would try crate training so that the dog could eat in private. My next step would be to see if I could find a behaviourist or a trainer that could help me. (Remember to look for one that doesn't use cruel methods!)

lezzpezz
May 18th, 2006, 09:49 AM
I wholeheartedly agree. I understand your concern and fear and desire to solve this problem. However, I don't think that euthanasia has to be the drastic measure to take. You love your dog and don't want to risk the danger to anyone, (responsible:love: ) so why not look into alternatives, such as mentioned by LavenderRott. Bang on advice. It is a problem that with patience, persistence and common sense, CAN be addressed.

Good luck:fingerscr

jessi76
May 18th, 2006, 09:54 AM
I'm sorry, but putting a 5-1/2 yr old dog down for behavioral problems shouldn't even be an option. What have you done to try to correct this behavior?

additionally, I'd keep the dogs seperated unless supervised. Feed in different locations - so they CAN'T fight over food. If they have bones, you SEPERATE them. you can control this.

Is Chico only agresssive when food is involved?

crimblelou
May 18th, 2006, 10:02 AM
please please try other solutions before having him put to sleep crate training is a great idea if it is only a food agression he has most dogs are only fed once maybe twice a day so it shouldnt be too much of a problem to shut him away from other people so any unfinished food should be taken away as soon as the dog leaves it, are you able to be near him when hes eating ?as long as every one is aware of the situation you should be able to manage it even if you have to invest in some baby gates to separate the dogs thats another idea without having to close the door on them. ive been on the recieving end of a food agressive rotti and its not nice so i can understand your worry about anyone getting hurt but a trainer is a great idea too. i really hope you can resolve your problem the fact that u even considered having him put to sleep shows that ur a responsible owner with other peoples welfare in mind but dont be too quick to make the decision when theres other options available

echo1002
May 18th, 2006, 10:15 AM
I have been talking with my fiance about this for many days. Chico is only aggressive when there is food around. Otherwise, he is a loving, playful, happy dog, which is why I just cannot do this to him. He is like a child to me, I raised him from a puppy. I have been racking my brain as to the alternatives that I can approach. One of the things that concerns me is that when I tell other family members that they cannot be around Chico when there is food around, I am afraid that those family members will tell me that I should put Chico to sleep. I do not want to cause controversy in our families, but I cannot put my boy to sleep.

The crate idea is a good idea. I have decided to separate them when they are eating, and I have also decided not to give either one of my dogs bones, only toys to play with. I need to stop the problem before it develops. I don't know if I could hire a trainer, though. I mean, what if Chico became aggressive with him/her? I don't know if I am willing to risk that.

Your suggestions have been helpful, and have put me at ease. Thank you everyone!

LavenderRott
May 18th, 2006, 10:24 AM
You need to find a trainer that will train YOU to train Chico. Unless you find a trainer that beats, chokes or shocks your dog, then there really shouldn't be any reason for him to become aggressive with a trainer.

As for other family members, don't make a big deal out of feeding Chico seperate from everyone else. Now, I am assuming that all of these people won't be living with you, and if that is the case - Chico can wait for his dinner until company leaves. Trust me, it won't kill him to eat dinner late or even miss a meal. If you are going to be sharing a home with more then just your boyfriend - they don't know your dog. Just tell them that because of his size and the fact that he isn't used to children being around, you are more comfortable feeding him in a quiet place.

Puppyluv
May 18th, 2006, 10:26 AM
One of the things that concerns me is that when I tell other family members that they cannot be around Chico when there is food around, I am afraid that those family members will tell me that I should put Chico to sleep. I do not want to cause controversy in our families, but I cannot put my boy to sleep.
Do not let the oppinions and comments of others, even family members, control your actions. If they do not feel comfortable with Chico, then you can arrange to visit them, rather than them visit you. If we all let our family members oppinions dominate our lives, we'd probably no where near as happy and successful in our lives as we are/could be.

I don't know if I could hire a trainer, though. I mean, what if Chico became aggressive with him/her? I don't know if I am willing to risk that.

There are trainers and bahaviourists who specialize in aggressive dogs. If and when you contact one, they should ask you why you are seeking training, which will allow you to voice your concerns about aggression. Right from this point, the trainer can decide if they are up to working with Chico. Food aggression is not overly rare, and many trainers will have experience dealing with these issues.

jessi76
May 18th, 2006, 10:28 AM
One of the things that concerns me is that when I tell other family members that they cannot be around Chico when there is food around, I am afraid that those family members will tell me that I should put Chico to sleep. I do not want to cause controversy in our families, but I cannot put my boy to sleep.

If the family can't respect your wishes in regards to YOUR dog, especially when it's for THEIR safety, well... you need to have a long serious discussion w/ your fiance. no one has the right to tell you to put your dog down because he's food-agressive. It's a problem that can be controlled.

I don't know if I could hire a trainer, though. I mean, what if Chico became aggressive with him/her? I don't know if I am willing to risk that.

Professional trainers deal w/ dog problems all the time, they know how to handle the situation, and have been trained to handle dogs properly. Be up front and honest from the start, make the trainer well AWARE of the problem, then work together on ways to control it. Just be sure to go to a good trainer, who only uses POSITIVE methods.

kaytris
May 18th, 2006, 10:35 AM
in the meantime as you look for a positive trainer, order a copy of this book: "MINE!" by jean donaldson. Read it, and follow the protocol exactly.

This really isn't a deal breaker, its a manageable problem.

OntarioGreys
May 18th, 2006, 10:35 AM
A most dogs are very possessive of bones and will protect them especially from another dog, to euthanize a dog for that reason alone is craziness. I have a dog that is food possessive and I make sure he is fed in an out of the way spot and never just food or bones sitting out that could cause a fight
If you can't crate get a babygate and feed that dog in seperate room , never give treats that cannot be eaten in a couple bites, that means no bones, rawhide etc nothing high value or treat that takes a while to consume.

My fiance has 6 young nieces and nephews, and I cannot trust Chico (the 150lb dog) around them

Whever the kids have meals or treats the dog gets gated into his room, kids eat at the table and should not wander around the house with food in their hands.
If all you are dealing with is food agression it is managable


And start doing "nothing in life is free training" (NILIF) http://www.greyhoundlist.org/nothing_is_free.htm
http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/nothingfree.htm

lilith_rizel
May 18th, 2006, 11:31 AM
I agree that you should seek a trainer. They know how to deal with dogs like yours, and they know what to expect during training....

rainbow
May 18th, 2006, 02:37 PM
I agree with everyone....you've gotten alot of good suggestions here.:thumbs up Do hope you discuss them all with your fiance. There is no reason to have to put your dog down because of this problem.

JessXx
May 19th, 2006, 06:47 PM
I don't think you should put him to sleep, because of the simple fact that, unless I read your post wrong, your dog is healthy.
I know it may be extremely hard for you with small children around, but is there a way to feed the dog while the children are not around or have the dog eat in a seprate room. I do suggest discussing this with your vet, as there is sometimes medications that the dogs can be put on to help them be a little more calm, but I don't really know what you're dealing with so I can't really say that it will help.
If it comes down to it, is there someone else you know who would take your dog in?
Good luck...

lpn169
May 20th, 2006, 01:16 AM
Food aggresion can be managed! Listen to everyone suggetions, please do not put him to sleep for this!
I have a food aggressive Min Pin....simply handled....he i in his own carte at feeding time...no free feeding. When he is given bones, treats or chewees, it is only when he is in his crate. We do not have small children, but his crate is in another room where kid would not be, so he can be put away if it is feeding time, etc.