As we begin to wrap up this course on dog aggression, it’s time to discuss your options if you are living with an aggressive dog.
In the video, I will examine and discuss the following options:
– Living with and managing the aggression
– Returning the dog to the rescue or breeder
– Considering medication
– Rehoming the dog
– Behavioral euthanasia
First and foremost, there is management of the dog, which in most cases will be “doable” with some behavior changes from you. Accepting your dog, acknowledging your gap, knowing his/her bit inhibition are just some of the factors to consider. Simply not taking your dog everywhere can be a huge help. Keeping him/her in her crate or in another room when you have guests can be a huge stress relief to both you and your dog.
In other cases, you may need to consider rehoming your dog or returning him/her to the breeder or the rescue organization. Maybe it’s a bad fit. The dog is not friendly with children and you have children. This option isn’t as popular as it may seem. I discuss the reasons in the video lesson.
Please remember, rehoming an aggressive dog with an extensive bite history isn’t an option at all. It’s not fair to pass along the dog to some unsuspecting family or person. The bottom line is there isn’t another person out there who will love your dog more than you do.
Finally, there is behavioral euthanasia. By far, the hardest decision to make. I’ve worked with many individuals and families who have made this heart breaking decision. None of them came to it lightly. All of them felt that they had explored all the options and done all the work. Some dogs are too damaged.
Considering the options and making a decision is extremely personal and will depend on a wide variety of factors; your gap, your percentage, the fight & bite history, considering family members or kids who may be at risk, considering another dog(s) who may be at risk, considering whether or not there is a risk to the public and considering what outcomes you can live with (including the worst case scenario).
There is no cookie cutter answer to aggression and being able to have an open and safe discussion about all the options is important for each family. Sometimes these discussions are emotional and difficult and I am here to help in any way that I can.