When Man's Best Friend...Isn't


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The above is the title to an active thread on one of my 2A forums. In essence, the OP is having a really rough time because his long time dog (a yellow lab mix + mutt) who did have a "behavioral" history but had been seemingly cured of it, reverted back to it and bit him. He (OP) did require stitches, etc. Apparently, the dog brought a lizard inside the house and the OP attempted to "relieve" the dog of that lizard. The major concern being, he has a granddaughter living there (toddler age) and is very concerned that the dog might bite her (although dog and grand baby have always gotten along swimmingly and dog has always protected the grand baby). The dog has snarled on occaision at both he and grand baby, but never took it any further.

Thus, the dilemma... Is our dog "salvageable" at this point, or should he suffer "capital punishment?" Opinions on this are all over the place within the thread. Some are saying the dog should be re-homed, but others counter that it's unfair to subject the "next owner" to something they may not be aware of. Some would still want to try and train the dog (my understanding is that it's approaching 9-11 yrs). I don't know how successful they'd be. But, in this case, the majority of the thread participants are "pro-death penalty." They say, "do it now and get it over with, before something even worse happens."

I'm torn over this. I would certainly not favor putting the dog down unless it was a last resort with no other alternative. But I'd feel a whole lot worse if someone in my family were mauled by the dog, especially a youngin' or maybe an unsuspecting new owner.

Thoughts? Thanks!
I don't know but it seems like this could be owner related. If the dog is that old he might be hurting or sick so he should be seen by a vet before they jump to any conclusions.
Have they checked the dogs thyroid or hips (not necessarily OFA/PennHip)?
I would make sure the dog & the granddaughter were NEVER left unsupervised!
Before I would even consider something as drastic as euthanasia, I would have a Vet exam to r/o brain tumors or other health issues that may contribute or even cause this behavior.
After that I would find an animal behaviorist and consult with them about how to address the issue.
Agree to vet checks etc. but my opinion is that if this is NOT new behavior, if the dog has been a bit growly or resource guarding for years now, but otherwise easy to get along with, just muzzle the dog. If it "is the way he is", you can manage it. Crate, muzzle, leash etc. Never alone with the youngsters or strangers. Tell every visitor in the house or when he gets walked "No talk, no touch, no eye contact". In other words, leave the dog alone. This is all if the owner wants to save him. At age 9 - 11, I would say if medication is not the answer and the owner is not ready and willing to jump through all the hoops of re-training and management to make sure that everyone is safe when around the dog, then euthanasia may be the best option. I have mixed feelings about a new home for this age of a dog that has borderline bite tendencies unless it is a very experienced handler home. And how many experienced handlers want to live with a dog like this? This isn't a quick fix & then re-home again as a saved case. There are thousands of inexperienced people who just want to see the dog saved, but few that will actually have the knowledge and time and put in the effort.