Need to rehome 8 year old white shepherd mix in Evansville, IN area - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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Need to rehome 8 year old white shepherd mix in Evansville, IN area

Hi all, we need to rehome our male GSD mix, Aksel. Unfortunately he had bit our son a couple of months ago, and we can no longer keep him. We aren’t exactly sure what he is mixed with, the rescue we got him from said husky or malamute but our vet thinks possible Akita. He is beautiful, is great with older kids, but not good with other dogs. He has a high prey drive and has a history with going after small dogs. He would be great with someone that knows his boundaries with older kids or someone who is alone. We had him with our purebred GSD who sadly passed last year, but not sure how he would do if he went to a home with another dog that he didn’t grow up with. We have another child who will be on the move soon and just cannot take the risk of him biting her or our son again. I am willing to discuss any more of his history in detail to someone who is serious about adopting him, and we will not adopt him out to anyone who will not give him a great home and who is not experienced with large dogs. Our local rescues will not take him and neither will the rescue we got him from, so we are on our own and would prefer to not have him put down at a shelter. Thank you!
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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 12:11 PM
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You aren't going to like what I have to say - and I am sorry to have to say it. You have an older dog who has quite a few issues, including a bite history. Not many people are looking for a problem dog. There are too many nice/easy dogs out there that need homes. I agree with not taking him to a shelter to be put down. The kindest thing would probably be for you to take him to your vet and have him put down, while you can be with him. You have very limited options. I know you love him and this isn't what you want. But, you have two children who come first. They must be your priority.

I am sorry. HUGS!

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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 12:13 PM
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I can't adopt him but I went through something similar. I do know some questions that will need to be answered though, so just a heads up.

What exactly happened that he bit your son? Did it break skin or bruise? If it broke skin, how bad of a break? Scrapes, deep punctures? There are different types of bites and different reasons. Anyone considering him will definitely want to know. Good luck, sorry for your family and Aksel that you are all going through this.

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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 12:19 PM
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Other things to consider- in some states you don't relieve yourself of responsibility if you rehome a dog with a known bite history. Also, merely rehoming him to a home with no other dogs or small kids is still pretty risky. It is rare that anyne lives a type of life where they don't come in contact with little ones. Friends, family come over etc. They would have to be 100% committed to crating him without any exception at all. And forget about walks out in public. Kids will often run up to a "doggie" without permission, and quick as lightning.

Again, most of advice given here will hinge on the nature and severity of the bite.

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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Stevenzachsmom View Post
You aren't going to like what I have to say - and I am sorry to have to say it. You have an older dog who has quite a few issues, including a bite history. Not many people are looking for a problem dog. There are too many nice/easy dogs out there that need homes. I agree with not taking him to a shelter to be put down. The kindest thing would probably be for you to take him to your vet and have him put down, while you can be with him. You have very limited options. I know you love him and this isn't what you want. But, you have two children who come first. They must be your priority.

I am sorry. HUGS!
This!

This is the kindest thing you can do.

Even if you found a home with a single adult, the chances of them living in a community without children, wildlife, cats and other dogs is slim to none. You have an obligation to ensure the safety of others.

Time itself is a very powerful component of learning. So learn to wait. Learn to forgive. Learn to backup. It's all necessary for learning.

Teach! Teach! Teach! Be fair to your dog!
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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your input. Unfortunately I know that my feelings towards him, as much as I love him and have since we rescued him at 5 months old, cannot trump the safety of my own children. I was just hoping to find a couple or single person that was looking for an older dog to have as a companion, but I don’t think that is what is going to happen. It breaks my heart to think I would have to put him down, but at least it’s a decision we would make and not a rescue. His vet is fully aware of what has been going on, and the vet tech at the office helps care for him while we are out of town and has been helping me in searching for a place for him.

To answer some questions, he bit my son last year about a month before we lost our purebred, Chopper. We were ready to get rid of him then and started searching, and then Chopper suddenly passed and we didn’t have the heart to have our son go from two dogs to none, as he and Chopper were the very best of friends. Aksel got better in those 10 months that he was an only dog and didn’t give us any inclination that he would nip again. (The first time, our son was playing with him and Aksel laid down with the toy and our son grabbed it from him, did not break the skin, only scraped.) Our son is almost 4, but Aksel was near his food bowl (he has always been protective and we keep him separated while eating) and our son picked up a toy near him and he bit his hand, broke the skin and punctured it, causing it to bleed a few drops. I was not even 5 feet away. Obviously this is our last straw, and I’m trying to do the most humane thing for him as I do have love for this dog. I really appreciate your responses and I am definitely in a tight spot. My husband is all for putting him down, so it’s somethkng we need to discuss doing, as hard as it may be
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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 01:06 PM
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So...resource guarding both times.

Here is the sticky wicket with these things. People who ARE qualified to deal with this will generally not be interested in a dog this age with this issue. People who do not understand the gravity of slipping up just once may be interested, but due to lack of experience.

I honestly don't know what to tell you. I don't think knee jerk reaction to resource guarding should be to PTS...but you would need to find a very specific person to manage it. It would only take ONE time, one door accidentally left open. I assume from his mix he is a large dog?

I'm hoping others chime in so regardless of your decision you will feel that you tried. I needed to know that I had tried everything. I said no to plenty who offered...they weren't qualified. Those that were told me to do what I in my heart knew needed to be done. However, my dog was attacking unprovoked and quite suddenly over a year's time. Well, not unprovoked..unprovoked bites probably don't exist...but only HE knew why he was getting aggressive. It was a mystery to all the rest of us. Resource guarding isn't "unprovoked" though. It's an issue yes, and can be quite serious..but it has a known trigger.

Again, you are taking years of liability, if not legal at least moral. So you rehome him to someone who is single, no kids, no other dogs. One day his 3 year old nephew comes over and tries to take something from the dog... or his elderly neighbor is out walking her little dog...scenarios abound of situations where the right home would be safe, but that might not be enough.

Sorry no easy answers here. How old is your dog?

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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 01:32 PM
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This is the problem with mixes of unknown parentage. It could be genetic and no amount of training or handling will fix it. Dogs with a bite history of that type are almost impossible to place.
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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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He just turned 8 in February, and yes he is large, 75-80 pounds. He is beautiful, all white with shepherd ears and snout, thicker northern breed coat and curly tail, one light tan spot on his back

In these kinds of situations, do behaviorists do any good? Can this be classified as a behavior or is this just a part of him that will never change? He did some training with Chopper when we first got him and it was clear to us that he does not have the same intelligence or mind set of a GSD. He is more impulsive and really just is a completely different dog than Chopper was
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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 02:06 PM
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This!

This is the kindest thing you can do.

Even if you found a home with a single adult, the chances of them living in a community without children, wildlife, cats and other dogs is slim to none. You have an obligation to ensure the safety of others.
I cannot state how strongly I agree with this.

My husband and I don't have kids. Our friends don't bring their kids around that often (we tend to meet up elsewhere). We don't have young relatives who live near us, so we aren't babysitting nieces and nephews multiple times a month. In other words, in so many ways we would look ideal on paper.

But we live in a densely populated urban area with a lot of dogs, cats, and kids in the neighborhood. The only way to exercise our dog off leash is a dog park, where there are kids. What kind of life would that be for a big, athletic dog who had to be so tightly managed that he couldn't come into contact with any of those other beings? That's just a single example of MAWL's point, but I think she's spot on.

I think loving him to the end, and making sure that end is safe and not scary, is the most loving thing you can do for him. I'm so sorry; it's easy for us to say but just heartbreaking to have to think about when it's your dog.
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