We have a dog with aggression issues who has now bitten my wife. Other than putting him down, we don't know what to do with him. I need some clearer insight than my emotionally clouded mind can give.
We have two dogs: both mutts, one about 7 years old who weighs about 40 pounds and is the most docile dog I've ever met, and one about 3 who weighs about 75 pounds and has displayed some aggression issues.
- Once, when he was chewing on a meaty bone, I went to brush a mosquito off his head. He came at me and bit the pocket of my cargo shorts. He bruised me but did not break the skin of my leg.
- When he was about 1, he had what we can only guess is growing pains in his hindquarters, and he would sometimes growl warningly at us when we touched him there. This has since gone away.
- He is usually fine around women, but he often displays fear aggression towards men, especially if they stand over him. If they are sitting down, he will eventually come to them, but he is not loving to them the way he is to me.
- Related to the one above, we did try once to have a friend come over to learn how to watch them so we could go away for a weekend. This friend attempted to take off Tiberius' collar and Tiberius freaked out and growled and snapped at him, scratching his hand.
- The big one. About a month and half ago, my wife came home very tired one day, and the dogs were very attention seeking. The big one, Tiberius, had an old dry bone he was chewing on. My wife went to pet him, he got very still, and then he bit her on the arm and shoulder. We had to go to the ER; she now has 4 scars on her forearm from his teeth.
He does have training, and most of the time he is a very sweet and obedient, if willful, dog. We try to keep up the training with him but we are sometimes lazy about it. We emailed a dog trainer here in Virginia (where we live) whose opinion was basically, "He bit someone. You can only manage his aggression from here on out, not cure it. If you plan on having kids ever, you need to get rid of him. And no shelter is ever going to place him knowing his history. They will simply put him down."
She suggested that the best solution is to put him down now while we can be calm and gentle about it, rather than waiting until he attacks someone again and we have to do it under duress.
I know that rationally this is the right thing to do, but I just wish there was another way. On top of everything else, we have a limited time schedule to do this in. We have to go out of town for a family wedding in two weeks, and we can't take him with us or leave him unattended at home, and starting next week my wife will be extremely busy with a new job and we will not be able to go to the vet before or after work. So basically, we have to do it this Friday, which is really fast for me.
Yes, I know he is a ticking time bomb. Yes, we probably should have gotten more training for him. It may very well be our fault. But if you have any other suggestions, I'd love to hear them.