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AIBU to want our agressive dog PTS?

(99 Posts)
sazz1 Wed 17-Jun-20 11:12:32

We have 2 dogs one is a cockapoo. She was fine until 9 months then slowly started becoming more and more agressive. She actually bit one of my daughter's friends when she tried to touch her. We spent hundreds on a behaviour specialist but they were doubtful that it would improve, and advised to rehome.
It's gone from growling to actively running at you snarling and barking when you enter the room. The only person she's ok with is my OH he worships her. Even him, if he tells her to do something she will growl at him. She is fine when we're out great with strangers, great at the groomer.
First thing in the morning she is really loving to me but after 5 minutes I can't touch her as she would bite me. It's so unpredictable but I don't feel safe walking around the house most of the time. It's guarding behaviour and the outbursts are escalating but OH loves her so much. He's even had to get out of bed several times to put her out when I'm trying to get my phone from the lounge or other things I need. She has bitten my shoes while I'm wearing them several times but not me or OH yet. But she's the love of OHs life. My other dog has started trying to defend my by standing between me and the dog and barking at her. It's as if she knows how agressive the cockapoo is and wants to protect me. She's agressive to my son and daughter too if they stay more than a few hours but friendly when they first arrive. It's a nightmare.

luckyrose62 Wed 17-Jun-20 13:46:33

Try another behaviourist, also vet for a good check up Try having her breeding history checked especially the cocker side There is something called cocker rage. Google it, also the lady who does the cocker rage site is a good cocker breeder for temperament Do everything you can it is heartbreaking to have to PTS I speak from experience of this heartbreak If she bites for no obvious reason you will have to. Do not listen to the there is no bad dogs just bad owners brigade. There is however bad breeders. Good luck my heart goes out to you

luckyrose62 Wed 17-Jun-20 13:49:10

When I say bite I been breaking the skin

Smileless2012 Wed 17-Jun-20 14:03:03

This is very sad sazzl but I don't see your OH has any choice but to have her PTS. It's extremely unlikely that you could re home her as of course you'd have to make any potential owner aware of her aggression.

I had the same thought as you Jane about a possible brain tumour. We have a cockapoo and the breed is known for it's loving, needy and barmy personality, but not for being aggressive.

An aggressive dog is not a happy dog and is often in a heightened stressful state. The only way a tumour could be detected would for her to have a head scan and even if one were found, it may not be possible to do anything about it.

If she were to bite someone while out of the house, she'd be taken away and destroyed and you'd be facing prosecution. Far better for her to be given an injection, in your own home if a trip to the vet would be stressful, and go to sleep in the arms of your OH where she feels safe, than be taken away by strangers and PTS by them.

Show your OH the replies you've received here. If he loves her as much as he says, he'll do the right thing.

grandtanteJE65 Wed 17-Jun-20 14:09:39

Are you quite sure ´this dog doesn't have a developing brain tumour?

There is obviously something wrong, when a dog suddenly turns agressive.

To me, you are being sensible in considering having the dog put down.

I would be tempted to tell my husband that he either keeps me or the dog in this sad situation.

A young dog could perhaps be trained out of this behaviour if there is not a physical cause for it. An older dog will probably not react to teaching.

Ask your husband how he will feel when his dog attacks and mutilates a small child? I know o f a case where a dog did so, and was put down afterwards, which didn't help the child whose face was bitten and permantly scarred.

merlotgran Wed 17-Jun-20 14:15:52

Is it a case of you or the dog yet? If I was at the same impasse with my DH I'd be tempted to rehome myself!

My sentiments entirely!

Your OH is beyond irresponsible. Does he ignore reports of dogs savaging children whenever they appear in the media?

Tell him to get his head out of the sand before something really awful happens.

FarNorth Wed 17-Jun-20 14:26:02

There's nothing I can do he won't listen to reason at all.

You can take responsibility for the situation instead of acting helpless.

You are as liable for any future injuries caused to anyone, by the dog, as your husband is.

Decide what action needs to be taken - Dogs Trust or whatever - tell your husband then carry it through, regardless of what he says.

merlotgran Wed 17-Jun-20 14:30:30

Has she been spayed?

TrendyNannie6 Wed 17-Jun-20 15:11:37

Sazz1 this is not going to get better.. I can’t get over the fact a dog behaviourist is telling you to rehome the dog. So you would be just handing over an aggressive dog who will continue this pattern and bite another person, has she been spayed? You say you have taken her to the vet and she has a clean bill of health which is good, your other dog stands between you and the aggressive dog to keep her away, you say she’s fine outside great with strangers, great with the groomer! But this is happening at your home, something is making her unsettled in your home that she’s wanted to dominate and guard, does she have free rein of the house, have you changed anything? How long has this been going on.? Has this just started! Can you pin point when it did, sorry just re read and it’s worse since 9 months, Has the other dog recently arrived in your home! My heart goes out to you , this dog is not happy and I wouldn’t be either as your husband is being very irresponsible, we have had guard dogs for many many years and have trained them, but yours isn’t a guard breed, your husband needs quite frankly to put you and your families welfare before the dog! This scenario needs sorting ASAP, what ever way you try and dress this up she is a dangerous unpredictable dog, we would have her PTS if everything else you tried has failed, she’s even growling at your husband when he’s giving her an order! She’s ruling the roost, you need to act now,

Jaycee5 Wed 17-Jun-20 15:19:01

The other side to this is that people will stop visiting you. Would your husband be ok with that? I can understand people being stubborn when they get attached to a dog and overlooking its faults if the dog doesn't behave like that to them. It can be a hard nut to crack. It is a shame that the behaviourist was not blunter as saying pass it to someone else will make your husband feel that if anyone is going to have the dog it will be him.

AGAA4 Wed 17-Jun-20 15:22:18

I would check with the RSPCA. If your dog savages someone or even makes them fear they will be hurt you would be liable.

Callistemon Wed 17-Jun-20 15:59:27

A friend left her aggressive rescue dog with a dog whisperer for a few days as a last resort but unfortunately that did not work either so the dog did have to be pts.

The cocker in this dog may mean she may bond with one person in the family and will defend that person, usually obey them but ignore the commands of others.
They do tend to let other family members know that, if their chosen person is not there, then they are Top Dog.

It's a pity it has got to this because cockapoos are generally goodnatured friendly dogs.
You cannot hand the dog over to someone else - what if she savaged a child?

I would try with another animal behaviourist before a final decision. The dog will sense you are wary and possibly frightened so she knows she is in charge.
It sounds as if she has a pathological jealousy of anyone who may come between her and her beloved master.

I agree a scan could be a good idea to check out all is well physically.

FarNorth Wed 17-Jun-20 16:12:39

Just a thought - maybe your DH needs behaviour training also, in how to relate to the dog.
What does your DH do when the dog is snarling at you or anyone else?

You mustn't let this go on.
Decide what to do and then do it.

Grandmafrench Wed 17-Jun-20 16:21:34

What a very sad story. I agree with so much said on here - specifically TrendyNannys post. Your dog is an accident waiting to happen and it’s beyond irresponsible to pretend that this situation can continue. Someone - family, friend, visitor - will be bitten and you will be likely be sued for damages.

First reading I thought that your dog was 9 months. Then you mentioned annual Vet’s checks which made me think that it was the behaviour that started 9 months or so ago. I am a real ‘dog person’ and we have always had dogs - many of them rescued and with behavioural problems. It would take such a lot for me to give up on a dog but I could not and would not live in fear in my home, anxiously waiting to assess the current mood of the dogs I cared for. The suggestion by a ‘professional’ that this dog can be rehomed is unbelievable! Imagine the danger and disappointment you would be visiting on another innocent family.

There is something very wrong with your dog. Your DH must accept that. No one would have a dog in their lives who behaved like this. It could have, as has been suggested, some kind of Cocker rage. I have two friends whose very red Cocker spaniels had to be PTS due to their suddenly changing their characters and becoming so aggressive and unpredictable. One friend was bitten twice and hospitalized once for injuries before she gave in and had the dog euthanized. Poor breeding is often blamed for the dogs who display such anger and unpredictability, regardless of training and input from experienced owners.

Your dog could be unwell - possibly with some neurological problem - which would change her character completely. Again, difficult to deal with surgically and possibly incurable.

Your dog has no doubt she is number one in the family and pecking order - she has bonded with your DH but even struggles to let him give the orders sometimes. As far as you and your family and friends are concerned, forget it - she’s in charge and keeps on reminding you of that with her aggression. Strangely she doesn’t do that at the groomers or Vet or outside the home. Maybe she doesn’t need to display her bad behaviour there because she’s off duty - and not guarding her own domain!

She clearly has no respect for you and very little fear that she will fall out of favour. If she came to you as a puppy, unless she was badly bred or now has a medical problem, it’s likely that she has been really indulged and has got more and more fixed in her threatening ways.

If you could be sure that you DH would agree to her being in a kennel and run in your garden, except for walks and playtimes outside the house....a kennel with all mod cons etc., but otherwise locked safely in her run so that she couldn’t ever pose any threat in your home, then there might be a chance of keeping her without all the future anxiety and the sadness of having her put to sleep. But, that’s down to your DH really and how serious he considers the threat that she poses to everyone else.
From what you say, up to now, I’m not sure he’s as worried as he needs to be!

Otherwise, I think you’ll have to bite the bullet and give up hope that you can change the dog. I certainly couldn’t live with the worry every day that I had passed such a dog to another family to struggle with, or dismiss the very real risks to them and I couldn’t live with the anxiety of someone being bitten in my home and all the attendant grief that this would involve. Animals should give you so much joy, if you’re doing your best for them. If you’ve run out of options, you just need to be the human and make the hard decisions when it becomes necessary.

Framilode Wed 17-Jun-20 16:33:56

About 20 years ago we adopted a dog that had been rehomed.We were told the dog didn't like other dogs and were fine with that as we didn't have any other dogs and lived rurally. We were always very careful to keep the dog on the lead when out.

However, what we weren't told was that once the dog had seen someone with another dog he became agressive to that person.He got on fine with my cleaner but one day he saw her with her own dog. The next time she came and bent down to stroke him he attacked her. She was quite badly hurt and had to have many stitches. I rang the place where we had adopted the dog from only to be told he had already been returned 3 times for agressive behaviour. I was absolutely furious that we hadn't been given this information originally. We had him PTS as it wasn't fair on him to return him yet again.

It is a very difficult situation that you are in and especially difficult as you and your husband are not in agreement on the course to take. I do think it would be better, though heartbreaking, to have the dog PTS.

sodapop Wed 17-Jun-20 16:54:16

I am a dog lover and have three, two are rescue dogs. I agree with others that your husband is being very irresponsible in keeping this dog which he cannot control. It is going to end badly if you don't take action. I would be telling people especially those with children not to visit as this dog is unpredictable. Talk to Dog's Trust and your vet about possible retraining and rehoming then take their advice even it means putting the dog to sleep. It is not a good situation for you or the dog. It is sad but these things happen and if your husband really loves the dog he will do what is best for her.

JuneRose Wed 17-Jun-20 17:25:23

At the risk of getting my head bitten off. The dog is not safe around people. What if she bit a child? I am a dog owner and would not say this lightly but your husband should be putting your safety and comfort in your own home first. The dog should be suitably renowned or pts.

FarNorth Wed 17-Jun-20 17:45:02

It can't be suitably rehomed if it's dangerous.

Callistemon Wed 17-Jun-20 17:51:27

You should be the love of your DH's life, not the dog.

He has to face up to this. She might be small but she is dangerous.

phoenix Wed 17-Jun-20 18:15:23

Time for responsible behaviour, regardless of sentiment.

Years ago someone I knew bought a horse that (unknown to her at the time) was in the habit of rearing.

She tried everything, but to no avail.

She could have sold it on, possibly through auction, but felt that she couldn't do that with a clear conscience, as it could potentially seriously injured or kill it's rider.

She had it shot.

dinks13 Wed 17-Jun-20 18:29:25

I am sorry but there is NO way I could ever have a healthy dog PTS, Poor dog obviously needs some help. I would definitely try another animal behaviourist.

phoenix Wed 17-Jun-20 18:40:52

But dinks13 is it actually "healthy? It's behaviour certainly isnt!

SJV07 Wed 17-Jun-20 18:49:28

Do NOT pass your problems on, have the dog put down.

Plenty of nice, and cheaper, dogs looking for good homes. A nasty dog costs much, much more than a nice dog, it is not worth the angst.

Niobe Wed 17-Jun-20 19:24:15

Mini moon mentioned ‘rage’ and I’m afraid that Cockers are particularly prone to that as a breed. Your dog is a Cocker/Poodle cross so I think that euthanasia is really the best option. I knew someone whose Cocker developed rage at about 2 years old and had to be PTS. Sorry

Oopsadaisy3 Wed 17-Jun-20 19:29:10

My cousin had a Cocker, to say he was vicious was an understatement , but she love him to bits, even after she was rushed to hospital when he tried to rip her arm open she kept him. He used to hurl himself against the wall or door if she was in another room. He was eventually PTS.

midgey Wed 17-Jun-20 19:39:47

We had a cocker who was nasty, there is only one answer as you have already been advised by so many people. What happens if for some reason your husband is out/away/ill etc?
Good luck.