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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just had an initial visit and assessment with a new trainer whom I really liked. She's been a trainer for over 15 years. She felt he was extremely reactive, especially for his young age. She had a lot of great suggestions and commended me for the management I've been practicing. I'm happy to be working with her; she communicates well and was very thorough.

I thought that he was pretty extreme, but having someone who sees reactive dogs all the time confirm it is just a bit hard to hear.

She will be contacting my vet clinic and asking for their support--they know Jett and she'd like to have them consider medication. I have been surprised they didn't bring it up, frankly, but I understand a lot of people would be resistant and it's a subject they might want to broach gradually, after establishing a better relationship and giving the desensitizing tactics a longer try.

So, I'm going to let myself wallow in self-pity for a few more minutes and then get over it. We have a lot of training to work on--not to mention I'm on spring break and have spring cleaning to do. I have a couple of new commands to work on, at the trainer's request. Lots to keep me busy plus great weather, so an extended pity party just won't work :)

A few deep breaths, and time to move on.
 

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I remember sitting in my yard nursing a badly bitten hand, staring at Bud in his dog run and thinking "what am I doing???"
We all have moments when we do the if only I had or what if I could.
You have done a great job so far and have continued to seek advice and move forward.

There is a reason that a rear view mirror is small and a windshield is big. Spend your time looking forward not back. On the bright side, at least you have a hobby!:smile2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yep--and thankfully, a hobby that interests me and keeps me moving. Not the dog I intended, but one I'm happy to have-as long as he needs me--even if that is forever. Thank you for your kind words.
 
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I'm sure the pity party is over but wanted to let you know that even though it seems like a lousy type of party to have, your in good company. I've had my share while struggling with the same issues, reactivity. I honestly think that the pp is just part of the whole process and helps one look inward, contemplate the complexities of the issue, try things outside the box etc.

I no longer need to go to my pity parties, cant remember the last one as it's been a long while. the things I've learned from my boy and attending pity parties has taught me what I needed to handle him and myself in an emotionally strong and appropriate way.

I bet dollars to donuts, and you can cash in if you want, that you're going to look back and feel the same way. Just pm me when you get to this stage and I'll send ya a coupon for a dozen. :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Today I am feeling so overwhelmed. My older son is having a health issue--serious--and that stress alone could explain my feelings. But although I've found 3 places I can take Jett for exercise, I can't get past the thought that "This is not what I signed up for." I thought I was taking him temporarily--and then became aware that there was little chance his owner could take him back (or should take him back). She confirmed this week that she does not expect to be able to do so. And he is so aggressive. The vet stood still, back turned, and he still went at her--that was a few weeks back and she said, "This is an escalation."

We haven't started meds, though; I don't really know what is causing the delay. I guess I should call again.

I have a dog I cannot leave with anyone but my younger son (who is at college) and my 17 y.o. daughter (who has no interest). I don't know what I will do if I have to go to help my older son with his situation (he lives far away). I don't know what I'm going to do for the 5 weeks I plan to be away from home this summer--trips planned and paid for well in advance.

He's only 8.5 months old. It's not his fault he lived in his crate for 3 months at his owner's home and never had a chance to experience the world. It's not his fault he's terrified all the time.

I wish I wanted to do all the work it will take to even see if there is improvement--sometimes I do, but other times I don't. I wish I hadn't offered to take him in the first place. I wish I had no worries about plans made, or my son's health. I wish I had all the time in the world to help him. But if wishes were horses . . .

I am feeling really trapped. I'm just a mess today.

It does help my stress level a little tiny bit to imagine whacking his (unknown) breeder upside the head. But it sure doesn't solve any problems.
 

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Breathe

I am sorry to hear about your son. I hope he will be ok.

Get on the phone about those meds.

Look, companion animals are supposed to add joy to our lives not stress. I put down an 18 month old pup because his future looked very scary. Intense human aggression, chasing people down was his forte, and uncontrollable dog aggression. Biggest sweetheart in the world with me. At 117lbs to my 130, my choices were to let him spend the next 10-12 years locked in a cage because I doubted my ability to control him or put him down. I opted for the latter and it broke my heart, but I was confident that the right decision had been made.
I am not saying you should consider this, but I want you to know that some of us have been where you are. I got to make a different decision with Bud because he responded to training and his obedience was stellar. I really hope that meds and continued training will turn him around for you but I think at this point you need to make sure that he is used to wearing a muzzle and that you are making use of a trainer who knows what they are doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Breathe

I am sorry to hear about your son. I hope he will be ok.

Get on the phone about those meds.

Look, companion animals are supposed to add joy to our lives not stress. I put down an 18 month old pup because his future looked very scary. Intense human aggression, chasing people down was his forte, and uncontrollable dog aggression. Biggest sweetheart in the world with me. At 117lbs to my 130, my choices were to let him spend the next 10-12 years locked in a cage because I doubted my ability to control him or put him down. I opted for the latter and it broke my heart, but I was confident that the right decision had been made.
I am not saying you should consider this, but I want you to know that some of us have been where you are. I got to make a different decision with Bud because he responded to training and his obedience was stellar. I really hope that meds and continued training will turn him around for you but I think at this point you need to make sure that he is used to wearing a muzzle and that you are making use of a trainer who knows what they are doing.
Thank you; this is so, so helpful. And I will call the clinic at the moment they open tomorrow.
 
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I think that while you proceed with trying to work this out, you may want to also research avenues to place him. You don't have to make that decision right away but at least knowing the resources and perhaps contacting them you will have already got that ball rolling if needed.

I think that the breeder should know if they are a decent breeder. I don't know if you already posted anything about them but they may be horrified to hear that one of their pups spent 3 months in a kennel and might want him back. I would also reach out to any GSD rescue in your and talk to them.

If the woman has a contract with the breeder, then the info on it about Jet may be helpful and at least proof that he is pure bred.

I think making these steps could help a little so you don't feel so boxed in and may provide either more info for you or a way out that won't make you feel so badly.

You sound like you are the kind of parent where if your son calls because he needs help, you drop everything and are already half way there before he hangs up. If that is a very real possibility, then you should let yourself off the hook.

I think that the "maybe tomorrow will be better" and it just might be but you shouldn't allow yourself to stay trapped with the hopes of tomorrow and not explore other avenues for today.

Imho, you have gone above and are doing all you can. Fwiw, there is no way I would have been able to deal with my boys issues if I had the commitments that you have.

I'm really sorry you are in this spot.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I am actively looking to rehome Jett. Does anyone have suggestions about the best way to move forward?

Does anyone think it would be unethical and that I should be considering euthanizing him at this point?

I have started meds and am continuing to work with him. I hurt myself during training (I stumbled; my fault--twisted a knee), so some of it will be slowed down for a while (anything requiring much movement). I would honestly consider moving to a more appropriate home (and put in a safe fence or run) if I didn't have the commitments I have right now--it will be 1 to 2 years at least before that happens. Having him in my current community and with no yard or kennel makes me very anxious.

But the bottom line is that I don't want the responsibility right now, either--there is too much else going on in my life. I had no intention of adding a dog for another year or two and am not sure I would have done so then. I do a lot of traveling and have a great arrangement and two other great back up arrangements for my current dog--people ask to be able to dog-sit him. Jett blows all of that out of the water.

I know there are a lot of smart, experienced people on this board and appreciate all the thoughtful replies I've gotten already.
 

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I don't know you or the dog. My only advice is to have a serious consult with a vet and/or trainer that you trust and go from there.
Three different trainers have stated that Shadow is aggressive. Three others that I know have experience with the breed have described her as nervy, high strung and scared. Four vets hated her, two said she was just fine and one thought she was a little sweetheart.
Different people see very different things in dogs and a lot of it depends on experience, comfort level and confidence.
When I handled Bud he was perfectly fine, when my husband handled him he was a complete mess and when one of our trainers handled him he looked like raging beast and was absolutely dangerous.
 

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There is a real possibility you won’t find anyone to take him. If not, you won’t have many options. It’s not your failure, but I know, I kept a dog no one wanted and had to adjust my life for almost ten years. The only thing that saved him is that he was very good with other dogs, and with a few select people, so I could leave him in daycare. That worked out very well for him, although it’s not usually good for this breed.

Do you want a dog that will need to be managed for the rest of his life? You can’t fix him, only manage his access to people and dogs.
 

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I just want to offer support as it is a hard choice. I hope the lead that Jax is working on in your other thread pans out. Fwiw, I think someone who is active in IPO or knows how to train a GSD and channel his drives could be a good match. His youth will be a plus and the basics that you have done with him even if you couldnt get as far with him as you envisioned.

I think you have done and are doing the very best you can and that you are going forward with a fully thought out decision that is right for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I just want to offer support as it is a hard choice. I hope the lead that Jax is working on in your other thread pans out. Fwiw, I think someone who is active in IPO or knows how to train a GSD and channel his drives could be a good match. His youth will be a plus and the basics that you have done with him even if you couldnt get as far with him as you envisioned.

I think you have done and are doing the very best you can and that you are going forward with a fully thought out decision that is right for you.
Thank you. This has been a very difficult time and the decision is one I continue to wrestle with. My head and my heart are really divided on this one. I appreciate your supportive words and the replies you and others here have shared that have helped me at each step (even if it might not be obvious).
 
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