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I am devastated and heartbroken. This has been a horrible week for me. I had to put my beautiful AKC registered purebred German Shepherd, that I had for almost 6 years, down due to someone not using common sense. I have cried so much the past few days. Jasper was a good dog, he was. Noone else ever had a problem with him. He didn't know a stranger. We live on a farm, an acreage, and so he and my female German Shepherd were not tied up. They had the run of the farm. I used to joke that if someone were trying to rob my house, my German shepherds would just lick them to death! Jasper was everyone's friend....the trash men loved him (yes we have trash pick up clear out here), the road maintenance guys loved him, the meter reader loved him, the schwans lady loved him, etc etc etc. He was our buddy!!! My daughter who will be 6 tomorrow had grown up with him....and he loved her and followed her everywhere she went when she was playing outside. He was very protective of her. He was such a good dog....sigh. But someone who lives a mile or so away from us recently decided it was a good idea to run by our house periodically. Run. I work for an insurance company and one of the things they have on their website that has to do with dogs and dog bites, is never run by a strange dog that does not know you. It is their instinct to chase and someone they don't know running by them makes them nervous. Especially big dogs for pete's sakes!! Most people know that. When I was in 8th grade, the people who lived nearest to us in the country had two big German Shepherds. I liked to go walking. I was very careful when I walked by that house....I walked slowly and lowered my head. They barked, but they never came after me or hurt me. They are a very protective breed, but aren't mean. Anyway....long story short....this woman ran by our house on several occassions recently...the first time she ran near our house (not right by it, just a little ways away at the end of the gravel road, within site of my dogs) and she ran with her own big male dog, and Jasper started a fight with her dog...a male testosterone thing...our female was in heat and he felt his territory and his female was being invaded...my husband stopped the fight, and he told me about it. I felt bad for her dog, and I hoped it would not happen again. She did not run near our house with her dog again ....she just ran right by our house without her dog...and the dogs barked, and they didn't like it, and my husband was outside a couple times when it happened and he yelled at the dogs...so maybe you would think it wasn't a good direction to run?? Honestly...if she would have walked, or even acted friendly towards him, he would have been fine with her and he would have loved her as much as he does all the others who ever have been by or at our house....even the Jehovahs witness that would stop, and I would be pretending I wasnt home...but there would be Jasper just wagging his tail and licking them all the way to my door. Seriously. He was just a big teddy bear. Anyway....last Sat. morning, she called and told me Jasper had bit her as she ran by...I felt bad for her...she was on the way to the hospital. She ended up having 21 stitches in her arm. I also was confused...Jasper had never bit anyone or acted mean...why did he do this? Was it because he associated her with the big dog she had with her the first time, was it because she just ran by our house and never got to know him, what was the reason that a dog we have had for almost 6 years would do that? I think maybe he didn't really mean to hurt her, maybe just wanted her to stop running...I don't know....maybe I am just not wanting to believe that he would actually bite anyone. : ( Why would she keep running by our house knowing there might be a problem with it?? Anyway......he bit her, and she was actually very nice about it, and I felt bad for her....but I felt worse for my Jasper who had to be put down. We could never have kept him tied up or confined after almost 6 years of freedom.....he would rather have been dead than live like that. We actually did try for a couple days.....we confined him in the barn....he jumped on top of a freezer in the barn and then out a glass window about 3 feet above that. So then we tried tying him up.....he broke his collar. (it also broke my heart seeing him like that, he would look up at me with those big sad eyes like, why are you doing this to me???) So my husband and I talked, and we talked....neither of us wanted to put him down...we loved him...but we did not know what else to do...she said she would just call us when she was going to run by again....but we were just too worried that it might happen again, so we decided we had to put him down........it was so hard....: (

We didn't want to take him to the vet to be put down...going to the vet would have traumatized him and upset him in his last hours.....plus I had just talked to someone who had their dog euthanized and they said the dog had fought it and it had suffered some in the end and they did not recommend it.

So, my husbands friend came over on Tuesday evening....Jasper always loved to follow my husband to our pond just down the road...so my husand got in his truck with his friend and drove down the road to the pond....Jasper happily followed.........I did not want to hear the gunshot....I was bawling so hard and I went into the house and screamed until I knew it was over and there was no chance of hearing the gun shot. ( I could have heard it in the house if I had not have made noise) and all of this was in front of my daughter whose 6th birthday was only a few days away....she helped me make noise so we couldnt hear it.

My husband buried him down by the pond. My daughter, who knows that we put flowers on my parents graves at Memorial day, said maybe we could put bones on his grave someday.

Dang it.....my Jasper!!!!! I have cried a river!!!! I am so sorry Jasper...you did not deserve this! I have cried for days...I can't sleep at night. My husband says he did not feel a thing....that one moment he was happy and the next he was just gone...no pain. I miss him so much!!!!! He used to stick his big old head in the back porch door when I would feed them at night (the two dogs and all the cats) and he wouldn't back out until I petted him, and he would just look up at me with those big beautiful soulful eyes. I will miss him so much, and it just wasn't fair...it just wasn't right....it should never have happened.

Anyone who knew him knew what a sweet soul he had...he was a lover...he loved to be petted, and fussed over. And he wasn't a mean dog....he just wasn't.
 

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I am sorry to hear that this happened to your neighbor and Jasper. This is pretty stunning to read.

I personally think that is it someone's right to be able to run where they want to run, without being threatened by a dog. Your neighbor should be able to run by in peace, even if she was with her dog ( on a leash I hope), as you should be keeping your dog in the house with you or outside only if you can monitor such activities. There is leash laws for a reason. It is up to you to be there to control the actions of your dog, even if he had never done anything like this before. I believe it is ultimatley up to the owner to be in control of their dog.

I hope Jasper is in a better place now. And sorry that you did not find euthanization to be a better option. Although the circumstances were much different, I found it was a peaceful, respectful way to say goodbye to our old girl when she was ready to go.

And you are right this situation wasn't fair, wasn't right, and should never have happened for your neighbor or your dog.. From when the problem started to the finish.

Hope you all can heal and learn from this.
 

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I'm so sorry. Hugs to you. I know how much you must be hurting.

People have the right to jog by your house. Prey drive kicks in, and a loose dog--even in the country on a farm-- can be a danger to anyone running. The dog often can't help himself.. the urge to chase and nab kicks in. I am so sorry this happened to all of you. My heart is breaking for you.

If you get another dog, I would advise paying the expense to have the cheapest fencing possible between your property and the road. It's one of the expenses in keeping a dog in more populated suburbs, and a more costly endeavor to fence in the country, but it keeps joggers and bicyclists safe-- as well as nice calm walkers who suddenly see the dog and panic and run. A fence is a one-time expense. Fence = expensive, but fence = everyone is safe.

Hugs to you and your grieving family.
 

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Originally Posted By: kelsoI am sorry to hear that this happened to your neighbor and Jasper. This is pretty stunning to read.

I personally think that is it someone's right to be able to run where they want to run, without being threatened by a dog. Your neighbor should be able to run by in peace, even if she was with her dog (on a leash I hope), as you should be keeping your dog in the house with you or outside only if you can monitor such activities. There is leash laws for a reason. It is up to you to be there to control the actions of your dog, even if he had never done anything like this before. I believe it is ultimately up to the owner to be in control of their dog.

I hope Jasper is in a better place now. And sorry that you did not find euthanization to be a better option. Although the circumstances were much different, I found it was a peaceful, respectful way to say goodbye to our old girl when she was ready to go.

And you are right this situation wasn't fair, wasn't right, and should never have happened for your neighbor or your dog.. From when the problem started to the finish.

Hope you all can heal and learn from this.
I agree totally including regarding euthanasia. I am sorry for the loss of Jasper but you are responsible for containing your dog on your property and training him/her out of undesirable behaviour; if that had been a child running by, Jasper could have caused fatal injuries - 21 stitches is a significant injury in itself.

I am surprised your neighbour offered to ring before her run and risk another injury when far less incidences are subject to lawsuits.
 

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I agree with the above posters, and also hope you all can heal and learn from this,

Situations like this always end up with the dog paying (this time with his life) for something that was not his fault. I would sincerely hope you will consider fencing for your remaining dog.
Diane
 

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Sorry you are going through this.


I just got a call from the owners of a dog that I fostered a couple of years ago. Very nice dog, nice temp but he is dog aggressive to the neighbor's dog. I guess their electric fence went out and he ran over to the neighbors yard and bit the dog for the second time and the dog needs stiches.

They are unwilling to put up a fence. Obviously they are not comitted to managing the dog so that it will not happen again. They will probably end up putting him back in rescue.

I am starting to see why some rescues require a fence.
 

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I am sorry for your pain. But next time have the Vet come out and PTS your dog instead of your hubby shooting it in the head. My husband is a hunter and in the past has shot dogs that bascially went crazy because some one dropped the dog off in the country. Shooting an animal even in the head is not a humane way to PTS a beloved friend.

Your neighbor has a right to run down the road. You need to keep your dogs contained. I live in the country and I have several huge chainlink yards for my dogs. They are safe from other dogs running, they are safe because they can't just go running around. Also my dogs are in my house when I am not home.
 

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Wow,
I hope you never get another dog.
The only sympahty I have is for the poor dog. You failed your dog and killed him without trying for a solution (what about getting up a fence???). He probably suffered for quite some time until he was dead, too. How many MINUTES does it take to die from a bullet? Must feel like forever. Poor Jasper- it wasn't your fault, boy. RIP
 

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A well placed bullet to the head can be a very quick way to die, but we'll never know if it was well placed.

In the future, get a physical fence. Do not get an invisible fence. You only need to fence in a small part of your farm. When you want them to run on your acreage, make sure they are VERY well trained to recall under even the highest distraction or have them on lead. The jogger had every right to run by your house and it was your responsibility to keep your dogs controlled. Your dogs are not above the law. This is a very harsh lesson to learn but it is the reality of life- your dog has instincts to chase, but you have the brains to control and train. If you get another dog, make sure you have a plan in place to ensure this never happens again.
 

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What a ~ horrendously ~ sad story, I feel for you so much! It's hard enough to lose a pet to old age or illness, this is worse.

I cannot even imagine putting a bullet in one of my dog's heads - can't can't can't. I don't know how hubby managed to do that, I would imagine he will live w/that nightmare the rest of his life. My bro'in'law did that once w/his own dog after it bit my 6yo daughter in the face. We're talking one of the biggest Akitas ever born (huge dog!) and a very small 6yo girl. The damage could have been MUCH worse, she got very lucky with just a few stitches and some bruising and swelling. It seems people who live on farms (like my bro'in'law) handle that kind of thing easier than us "city slickers" or country bumpkins. Or maybe they just hide it better, I dunno.

The dog-uneducated general population seems to think that if a dog bites it's automatically a dangerous, aggressive, vicious dog. I used to think the same way, because that's what I was taught. People didn't used to know any different. A dog was a dog, doesn't matter the circumstances surrounding the bite. If it bites it has to go because it's a bad dog and it will bite again and again and again.

I no longer believe that way, thank goodness. Now I believe that there are a number of things that ~ everyone ~ must look at surrounding any bite occurrence. It seems the bite victim was able to look past the bite itself. She offered to call you when she wanted to run so you could confine the dog somehow for an hour or so. That's pretty amazing after having 21 stitches!

I'm sure the last thing in the world you want to hear are people telling you about how this and other like-situations can be prevented. I doubt very much you're going to want to read the responses you're getting right now. But in time when you have started to accept that he's gone, I hope you'll come back and re-read what people are saying.

These are my thoughts. You can take them or leave them.

1) I don't care how well behaved a dog is, if it's come to you every single time it's called for 10 years, never once left the yard without being told to, followed every single rule and regulation you lay down for it - it's still a dog which translates into the cold hard fact that some level of unpredictable ANIMAL behavior will ALWAYS live inside that dog because he's an animal first. In my mind, one has to always, always consider that their dog may one day do something totally unpredictable and totally out of character of the dog they know - because the dog always has the potential to revert to ANIMAL behavior if only for a split second - in this case long enough to bite someone.

2) A dog is liking having a small child. You can tell that child to never ever cross the road without an adult right there holding the child's hand. You can bet your bottom dollar that there is going to be children that will a) challenge that direct order or b) forget that direct order. Children are normally inquisitive, they are known to wander off either physically or mentally into their own world of imagination. Bottom line is you cannot 100% trust a dog or a small child not ever. Anyone who does leaves themselves open to suffer some trememdous pain.

We live in the city and there are animal control laws which include leashing. I would dearly love to live in the country with room for my dogs to romp. But I would not allow my dogs to run loose w/o a fence and I don't mean an electric fences. I've seen a dog totally ignore a high end jolt from an e-collar when the dog is in a highly excited state. Jumping over a buried wire would have even less of an effect. I mean a real solid fence. Why? Because I've seen first hand the flipped out unpredictable behavior even a well behaved dog can exhibit.

I am not a dog behaviorist or a dog trainer and I'm new to big dogs over the past two years. What I'm trying to say is I'm not an expert and so this is only my thoughts. It sounds to me like the people that the dog was used to were moving at a casual pace, nothing that would excite the dog in a negative way. The lady jogger was different. Moving faster and had a dog w/her at one point. This was an isolated incident which seems like there was a very good possibility of working with to prevent further incidents. Your dog was not vicious but in his mind he may have thought he needed to protect you or your property. If the lady or her dog made direct eye contact w/your dog, that could be a contributing factor, if the lady or her dog gave off any kind of fear vibes, your dog picked up on that. There are many possibilities and of course I was not there so I'm just throwing out ideas.

I'm so glad that today more people are learning that just because a dog bites doesn't mean it has to be put down or in some other way gotten rid of such as a new home or whatever. More people are learning to look at the overall picture instead of just the fact that the dog bit someone. I think there's still a long way to go before it becomes a more common practice but any move in this direction is a good move in my opinion.

I do not envy you this grieving the process - you have to be going through ****. When you can, I hope you will take constructive steps to keep your dogs and passers-by safe. People do have a right to pass by your home w/o fear of your dog. Your dogs have a right to run free in your yard, but please consider getting a good strong fence to keep them all safe. When you think of the prey drive some dogs have, even a rabbit or squirrel running away from your dog could cause the prey drive to kick in and your dog to chase it across the street and get hit by a car.
 

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I agree with your post and most of the prior ones.

My dog used to chase joggers, walkers and anyone on a bike. After he ripped a person's jeans, thankfully a German Shepherd owner, I felt that was enough and enlisted the help of a few specialists, along with asking for advice from this board.

The suggestions worked, but nonetheless I am very careful with the dog, and he is simply not allowed in the front yard, off lease.

Finally, I could never shoot my dog, nor have him put down except for serious health problems.

In the original's poster's case there were many alternatives. Frankly, if the dog was as good as impied , a rescue group would take the dog and have him evaluated. And yes, there are other locations that would have been conductive to the dog.

I feel bad for the dog, not the owner.
 

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I read the original post again and am even more disgusted.

This dog had options, and thank god for a good neighbor. A bullet through the head should not have been one of them.

As you stated, these folks should never have another dog.

And I would bet anything my rescue group could have taken this dog, found a farm, or a rural location with a fenced in play area and the dog would have been just fine.
 

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My dad has shot a buddy's dog, he is a hunter and knows where to put the bullet and agrees that the dog felt nothing. He says the dog was dead before it hit the ground.

This was years ago before it was common to take a dog to a vet to be put down.

Truthfully, I have seen a wasted cat require two separate injections because she was not going quickly enough. So, I do not necessarily believe that one way is more humane than another (if people know what they are doing). One is messier. But dead is dead.

I am shocked that the owner of the dog was not sued, not only because of the 21 stitches, but because of the attitude that it was the fault of the woman jogging by. It was not.

When I walk down the street with my dogs, I never know if the loose dogs in a yard, are truly loose or held back by invisible fencing. A jogger could think the same thing. But even if they do not, it is their right to jog down a public road. Sorry, but the dog's owner is completely to blame about the bite.

I kennel my dogs, where they cannot get out. Then I let one out at a time when I am right there. Otherwise the dogs are not safe.

I am sad for the owner of the dog. The dog is gone and it is too bad, but he is not suffering. The dog's owner is, regardless to who is to blame. Just because we sometimes make poor choices, does not mean that we do not suffer from the consequences.

There are so many foreseeable ways for our dogs to suffer and die, but we continue to wear collars on our dogs, allow them to run loose up to the house when we are right there, put them in with another dog, eat greenies or rawhide or any number of things. Then one day it happens and we regret it.

No dog should be given the run of a farm that is not fenced in, ever. That is my opinion. However, this is common practice, especially where I am located.

What is bad is that here is yet another GSD bite that will drive the legislatures, landlords, and insurance companies to ban or penalize all of our dogs.

So please, PLEASE fence in a portion of your yard where your other GSD can remain when you are not right out there to supervise. I suggest a kennel, six - seven feet high, on concrete, and covered over. It does not need to be huge -- 10 foot by 10 foot should be plenty, if you plan to let her out regularly.
 

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People need to get over the "Farm-think." There is a large rural culture where people think "Hey.. I have land, I can let my dog run free-- UNFENCED!" But dogs have prey drive. And people jog, bike, pogostick, etc right by the front of the property (of course, they live there too..). This sets off the dog's prey drive.

In this case, instead of putting in a fence or contacting a rescue, they shot the dog.

I do feel bad for the poster.

I just feel worse for the dog, because nobody bothered to think:
1.Fence, or
2.Rehome him where someone IS willing to put a fence up.

The few weeks of being banished to the barn or cellar.. or tied up lonely and frustrated to a tree.... agonizing torture enough without being shot to death by those he trusted to be able to think of solutions like fencing or re-homing him.

My hope is that the original poster accepts that rural life can never mean dogs running free on a farm if the dogs can have access to the road without a fence. Fences protect innocent joggers and dogs from this situation happening.
 

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Unfortunately, even cheap fences cost plenty of money and time to put up. They are not fool proof either.

Also, there is not a pool of people who want to accept a dog that put 21 stiches into some woman's hand/arm.

And a decent kennel is not cheap either.

I think that if you love the dog, you either find the money, borrow the money, or you keep the **** dog in the house when you are not outside with it.

This should have been done after the dog fought with the woman's dog, preferably before.

But there were way too many chances/opportunities that were overlooked, before the dog had to go and bite someone.
 

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I agree with selzer, there were plenty of opportunities to prevent this from happening that were overlooked. What a shame.
 

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Originally Posted By: Timber1I read the original post again and am even more disgusted.

This dog had options, and thank god for a good neighbor. A bullet through the head should not have been one of them.

As you stated, these folks should never have another dog.

And I would bet anything my rescue group could have taken this dog, found a farm, or a rural location with a fenced in play area and the dog would have been just fine.
I completely agree - there were many options that weren't even attempted. I'm sorry for your grief, but believe you brought this on yourself.

I had problems with Tripper and aggression towards Bosley. Euthanasia was never an option. Since this happened, I took the advise of many on this board and have controlled the situation......There has not been once incident since.
 

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Until I started rescue, I never realized how important a fence is. Forpotty, play or whatever, I would give anything to have a yard that is partially fenced for my dogs. The "farm thing" has more opportunities to fence in a portion of their property for the dog(s) then most of us.

Unfortunately, I live on a flood plain, and the Wisconsin DNR will not allow me to fence in a portion of yard. They say it would restrict the flow of the river.

So I need to be darn careful with my German Shepherds.

I do not feel sorry for the original poster, only the dog, because LOL my group and I might have taken this dog.

Our dogs trust us, and shooting one through the head is ---------.
 

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Originally Posted By: Timber1Until I started rescue, I never realized how important a fence is. Forpotty, play or whatever, I would give anything to have a yard that is partially fenced for my dogs. The "farm thing" has more opportunities to fence in a portion of their property for the dog(s) then most of us.

Unfortunately, I live on a flood plain, and the Wisconsin DNR will not allow me to fence in a portion of yard. They say it would restrict the flow of the river.

So I need to be darn careful with my German Shepherds.

I do not feel sorry for the original poster, only the dog, because LOL my group and I might have taken this dog.

Our dogs trust us, and shooting one through the head is ---------.
Again, I completely agree. Lexi is a wonderful dog and has been so easy - she likes people and kids and it not protective of "her" home at all. She is not fond of small animals - so like you said, we have to be careful.

Now Tripper on the other hand is a lot of work - he is always testing me. I think we are nearing the end of it though - he is realizing what I will accept and won't. He also likes people and kids, not fond of small animals. He is not protective of the house at all, BUT, if a stranger tries to enter the fenced back yard???? Not good - barking and snarling.

I have hired a lawn service to take care of my yard (I'm lazy with yard work, what can I say?). They met Tripper in the unfenced front yard and there were no issues. A couple of days later they came again and attempted to enter the backyard. He would not allow it. Fortunately, I was home and able to get him in the house, then blocked the dog door.

From that day forward, we have had a plan. They come to my house every Monday at the same time like clockwork. If I am home, the dogs are locked inside with me. If I am not, Tripper is either in his kennel or at work with me. They will also ring the doorbell and rattle the gate before attempting to enter. I don't feel like I am protecting the workers, but I am protecting Tripper so he is not in a situation where he feels he has to protect.
 

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While I feel very sorry for the original poster for the loss of their dog, what really breaks my heart is that the entire thing was 100% preventable.

It's always very interesting when I read comments posted like the following, and as if they are inevitable 'facts'. When instead I see them as a situation that could have easily been trained, managed and prevented with just a little bit of proactive work by the dog owner.

Quote: They are a very protective breed, but aren't mean.
When properly TRAINED so innocent people that are NOT threatening and NOT going to cause harm are safe from them. Without the training to teach appropriate protection (for a real situation) then you can end up with a mean dog that terrorizes everyone CAUSE THEY ARE ALLOWED TO DO SO.

Quote: Anyway....long story short....this woman ran by our house on several occassions recently...the first time she ran near our house (not right by it, just a little ways away at the end of the gravel road, within site of my dogs) and she ran with her own big male dog, and Jasper started a fight with her dog...a male testosterone thing...our female was in heat and he felt his territory and his female was being invaded...
People are allowed to walk/run where ever they want unless it's into my house. And they WILL. To extend a dogs 'range to attack' to any area they even see and then start making excuses why it's ok 'male testosterone' 'female in heat' 'territory invaded'. NONE of those are even close to being a valid excuse in my book. If I knew my male was so over the top, I'd have neutered him in a second cause those are not traits I'd ever want passed on, and TWO of the excuses given would have been immediately removed (and my dog would be alive). A fence would have helped the dog know it's 'real' terrority and kept him in it (and alive).

Quote:my husband stopped the fight, and he told me about it. I felt bad for her dog, and I hoped it would not happen again.
Hoped? HOPED! HOPED!!!! If that was my dog, I would have taken it as a clear message that I have a real problem and what can I do to KNOW people are safe from my dog, and KNOW it will not happen again. And if it did I would be in the middle and getting the bites, not an innocent stranger. My dog, my responsiblity, and it would be ME in the middle getting bit if I hadn't come up with the proper method to prevent this.

Quote: She did not run near our house with her dog again ....she just ran right by our house without her dog...and the dogs barked, and they didn't like it, and my husband was outside a couple times when it happened and he yelled at the dogs...so maybe you would think it wasn't a good direction to run??
So you made her change her life (wanted to run and exercise HER well behaved dog to give it exercise) and now she's jogging alone. While YOU did nothing to modify your dogs behavior? What's with the 'and my dogs didn't like it?' . My dogs don't like going to the vet, getting a bath, having their toenails clipped, or when I leave to go to work. But it's not up to them to 'like it' or not. I've shown them it's ok, I've led them thru to know I've said it's ok, and they know from my LEADERSHIP (which doesn't consist of them making the decisions and THEM deciding their likes, loves, tastes, interests) what acceptable and not.


Oh it breaks my heart.
Because you clearly did (do?) love your dogs. But the fact you let this just roll along around you with so many clues/hints/warnings leading directly to this ending...............just making excuses for your dogs and BLAMING everyone else is the gist of this for me.

Because you could have had some of the best GSD's in the world with some great dog training classes, socialization, and a fence.

And now with that dog, he never had the chance.
 
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