I have been advised to surrender my dog. Need emotional support. - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 10-22-2012, 03:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default I have been advised to surrender my dog. Need emotional support.

Long story short. We rescued Finley last December, he was almost 5 months old. From the beginning, he had agression issues w/ my kids (ages 2, 5 & 6), expecially my 5 yr old. He actually nipped the younger two. I brought him to our local kennal club for some training & he snapped at the trainer. Thats when she suggested behavioral training. So i went to one session & Finley snapped at him, when the trainer was trying to show him dominace. His aggression is so bad, we can't have anyone over to our house. My niece was babysitting last week. He's met her plenty of times & out of nowhere he was vicisouly growling, showing his teeth & barking at her. The list goes on.

I can't figure out how to link my post, but it's titled :
Fearful dominant dog, can this be corrected?

From the beginning, I noticed he had hip problems. No one believed me, and we never took him in for it, until today. The vet took one look at him, and said he's not a purebred. Which totally shocked me. and that he defiantly has hip problems. It's so hard for him to get up from a laying down position. He's been slipping on the floor, etc.
She said that his behavior issue is probably linked to his medical issue. She said he would need extensive training & medical treatment, that unfourtenaly, we don't have the time and/or money for.
I never in a million years thought that i would give an animal up. I remember when looking for dogs last year, when my beloved GSD Max passed. i would see all the ownder surrenders & just cry & couldnt understand why/how someone can do that. Now here I am.
Am I giving up to soon? The vet said she'll help us find someone. Shes pretty confident that she won't have any trouble helping us find someone that will have the time to train him & treat him.
Am I a failure. Please be honest. I sure feel like one. I'm so embarrassed & sad. I can't imangine handing him over, how scared he'll be. Looking at him for the last time.
Has anyone ever had to do this?

Thank you for reading my story.
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Have you had hip/elbow/spine xrays done on the dog? Have you had a DM genetic test and diagnostic test done for him? Has he had comprehensive health checkups?
Dogs can and will react out of pain. This could have something to do with it. So first get a definitive diagnosis by getting xrays and a solid medical workup done.

If his hips turn out to be very bad and if his temperament/nerves are poor, why would you want to pass this trouble on to someone else? If you decide that the dog cannot be rehabilitated and that medical fees are not feasible, I would put the dog down. I don't think it is right to pass a dog with this many issues on to someone else.

Unless you find a VERY experienced GSD owner that is willing to absorb the medical costs, training and management responsibilities, I don't think this dog should be handed over to anyone else.

I understand this is a hard decision to make, but please do what is in the best interest of the dog. Living things are not a guarantee. Sometimes your dog that is the love of your life will be afflicted with devastating medical or mental problems. I have gone through this and believe me, I know how it feels to be completely powerless to help your best friend. It's a heart wrenching feeling - just nauseating and terrifying. But unfortunately, dogs sometimes have severe issues that we have to accept they won't recover from. In these cases, we have to ask ourselves what is in the best interest of the dog. You also need to ask yourself if it is ethical to give a dog with so many issues to another person.
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Your children are first. If your dog hurts your children they can become fearful of dogs forever. Somehow you seem to be managing the dog and your kids.

Yes, the pain can cause him to nip at the kids. He is a teenager now, and the painful hips makes training and exercising him properly very hard. I don't like trainers who try to dominate someone else's dog. If the dog is fearful, what choice does the dog have but to snap at him?

Remember that barking, growling, snarling (showing teeth), and snapping are all attempts by the dog NOT TO HAVE TO BITE someone. But it is disheartening that he is growling at your nieces.

Send a PM to Karma, she has a bitch who is a couple of years old now that she rescued and had to go through hip surgery.

Without the pain (hip surgery), some NILIF, and I don't know, a bit more time, and your pup might be a different dog. And, unfortunately, he may not.

Alternatives to consider:
1. Call the shelter, explain the issues, and what the dog needs and see if they know of anyone that might be able to help you. Who knows, someone might be willing to help someone keep their dog by providing some veterinary care or money for care.

2. Apply for Care-credit. And do the surgery and pay over time.

Utlimately, you need to make a decision. Another person might just euthanize this dog for either one of his problems. I am sorry you are having this issue.

If the vet will help find him a home that can manage both the medical and the training needed, that really might be your best bet. But no, it won't be easy.
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Youre not a failure and its ok to owner surrender especially under these circumstances. You arent dumping your dog. You are looking for someone who can better care for your dog.

I know that a lot of people here seem to put their dogs before the family and say that you have an obligation blah blah blah,.. and sure thats all true, But what of your obligation to your 2, 5, and 6 year olds? This dog is dangerous for them in its current state. By finding him a new home and getting treatment you are ensuring that he dosent hurt someone and then have to be put down all because of the pain hes in.

... No you are not making a mistake. You are making the right decision for you and your family by finding a family for you pup. Good luck, I know it cant be easy.

Just make sure that any rescue that takes him promises that he will get treatment (in writing). I dont know what legal ramifications there are for your state however if he did hurt someone because they DIDNT treat him well, that would be horrible. Just make sure its clear in the paperwork that they KNEW of the issues. And also so its not forgotten.
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The dog is better off and your family is better off surrendering the dog to someone who is equipped to deal with the medical issues and the aggression issues. I'm sorry you're going through this. Just try to focus on the good of the dog. His issues may or may not be related to the medical stuff. I wouldn't have a dog that was aggressive to my children. A large dog can do serious damage or kill a child. The vet sounds very helpful... I'd take the help. When an animal needs medical attention that you can't afford, or training attention for behavioral issues that you can't afford, the kindest thing you can do is give that animal to someone who can do it. It doesn't mean you failed. It means you're doing everything in your power to make sure the dog is cared for. Don't kick yourself, be proud of yourself that you can do what is right for this dog!
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The decision making processs is one of the hardest parts. I had a female boerboel who was 7 months when I was advised to surrender her. She had fear aggression issues and I couldn't afford the extensive training, like you, and finally surrendered her to the breeder. It was so difficult and I cried so much. She was my little girl and loved my little family but I couldn't take her anywhere and being in the military I need an adaptable dog and she just wasn't. Gosh I beat myself up about for the longest time (surrendered in May 2012) I actually recently posted about her in the in loving memory post because she was actually put down because the breeder couldn't afford to fix a broken bone. Gosh I was devastated. But it gets better. You have to know that it is not your fault. That you did the best you could and what's best for him right now is to be given to another loving home that can provide the care/treatment and training that he needs. Think of it from that perspective. It takes an incredibley strong person to put the dog's need before their own and that is exactly what you are doing. It's going to be hard if that's what you decide.. but if it means he will get the help and training he needs to be a happier boy to his full potential, I think you will actually be happy for him. I'm so sorry you are going through this. I know all too well the feelings and they are so hard. but you have support, if not from your family and friends then definitely here.. I linked my 3 threads about Athena (my girl) and they might make you feel like you are not alone.

Terrible terrible person... me.. (text heavy vent)
Missing my Athena..
I don't even know what to think I'm o mad, irritated, sad, irresponsible, annoyed....

Chin up friend. Everything will be ok.
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I found the thread where you had started mentioning the issues.
I don't know how to imbed or link it either...sorry.

Fearful dominant dog, can this be corrected?

No, you are NOT a failure. You shouldn't be embarrassed either.
I understand the sadness though...it is a difficult decision to make.

I cannot give you any advice. I will say that your children have to be considered first and foremost, as well as the safety of other people.

This forum has a lot of experienced and kind people who support each other in many ways ...it's not always about the dogs.

If there is anything I can do to make you feel better, please let me know. - Kat
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jag View Post
The dog is better off and your family is better off surrendering the dog to someone who is equipped to deal with the medical issues and the aggression issues. I'm sorry you're going through this. Just try to focus on the good of the dog. His issues may or may not be related to the medical stuff. I wouldn't have a dog that was aggressive to my children. A large dog can do serious damage or kill a child. The vet sounds very helpful... I'd take the help. When an animal needs medical attention that you can't afford, or training attention for behavioral issues that you can't afford, the kindest thing you can do is give that animal to someone who can do it. It doesn't mean you failed. It means you're doing everything in your power to make sure the dog is cared for. Don't kick yourself, be proud of yourself that you can do what is right for this dog!
Don't disagree with you jag but there are not a lot of people out there looking for aggressive dogs to adopt.

It's hard enough to find homes for all the non aggressive dogs.

The safety of the children is the most important thing even if the dog needs to be PTS.
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You're not a failure, and you shouldn't feel embarrassed either. I know you're sad - that part I can understand, and I know you'll always be sad about it, but it isn't your fault. If you could change things, I know you would. I know you'd rather Finley be healthy, and happy, and be a great fit for your family. But it's not something you can change and by putting your children first you're making the right decision. I hope the vet is right about finding him a new home and saying she can take care of his health issues. I don't think she'd just say that without have something in mind. Hugs.
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack's Dad View Post
Don't disagree with you jag but there are not a lot of people out there looking for aggressive dogs to adopt.

It's hard enough to find homes for all the non aggressive dogs.
Very true! Before my dog became too sick to rehome to just anyone, I planned on rehoming to a pet home. It was an exercise in futility. Even with a solid temperament and extensive training already invested into the dog, there wasn't one acceptable home out there for the dog.

The pool is VERY limited for sick, reactive and aggressive dogs. I actually doubt you would find a rescue or shelter willing to adopt out a dog that has a history of aggression against children. It's a liability. Shelters and rescues are full of perfectly healthy dogs with fantastic temperaments that would flourish in companion dog families. I hate to say it, but what is their incentive to take on such a large responsibility with a sick, reactive dog? I'm wondering how the vet can say with such confidence that she can find a perfect home that is able to manage a reactive dog with medical problems.
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