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Discussion Starter #1
First off, I own two dogs. One is a border collie named Mocha, and she is one of these timid border collies but behaves well.

The other dog I got when he was 3 months old. He was a rescue. We named him Rags. When we first got Rags and I would give him a stuffed toy, he would tear it apart, and he did this with every toy we gave him. I thought it strange because Mocha never did this, but I thought maybe it was normal.

Then I began taking him for walks, and when I did I would notice that he was agressive towards other dogs. I would jerk him away and try to repremend him. One day when we both took him to the river and he was off the leash he tried to chase off two large dogs that came to try to be friendly. Mocha was friendly towards them. We tried to control Rags, and finally the other dogs left.

Rags, according to the vet is either part border collie or aussie, but she doesn't know what else he is. he is black and tan with some white. he weighs 45 lbs, and is friendly, except to other animals. he doesn't look to have pit bull in him, but to us he looks like he is part coonhound, but on the thin side.

He spends a lot of time barking at animals that come near the back yard. We have a lot of wild animals, like rats, wood chucks and wild cats.

and when we take him out to the river you have to watch him. If he gets 10 feet away from you he won't mind, won't come to you. Otherwise he minds very well. so we had been working on him to try to remedy this.

the other day our neighbor was babysitting a dog, a chihawhaw (excuse the spelling). Rags was outside with me, and stayed while I went to get the mail. When I walked back across the street he was growling at this small dog. I tried to grab him but he keep moving away. obviously not minding. I got him and took him in.

Today I forgot about that dog, and my husband took him and Mocha outside with him while he tried to get the car unstuck. All the sudden he was yelling at Rags, and I looked out the window and saw that he had the little dog in his mouth. Clark had to chase him down. Well, the little dog was injured pretty bad, and we took him to the vet. He may not live. part of me felt that Rags could harm him, but then I wondered if a dog would attack his own kind? Yes, he would.

Three vets and the humane society thinks we should have him put down. Some say or just keep him in the yard and or on a leash. My husband said that he didn't want to live with worrying that the dog would harm another dog or a baby, this is because one vet said that he has been in business for 30 years, and if they will kill a dog they will go for a baby.

Needless to say that I have cried all day. The neighbors say to not kill our dog, and I said I don't know what to do. One vet said to get him a shock collar and train him to listen to you. I just keep thinking that we owe this dog something, he doesn't deserve to die, but then neither does the other dog and perhaps the future is not good for him anyway.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I even wonder if we are at fault somehow. And I worry that he would teach our other dog bad habits although she didn't join in with him today, and she is never aggressive towards other dogs.
 

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You have a dog with a very strong prey drive, It's shown DOG aggression, but that SELDOM translates to HUMAN aggression.

That said, you HAVE to get the dog under control. I DO NOT advocate using a shock collar, especially wit ha DA dog as it will often associate the punishment of a shock with what ever it's being punished for.

YOur best bet is a CERTIFIED behaviorist. try http://iaabc.org/ or http://apdt.com/ for a behaviorist that can help you and to get your dog trained!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You have a dog with a very strong prey drive, It's shown DOG aggression, but that SELDOM translates to HUMAN aggression.

That said, you HAVE to get the dog under control. I DO NOT advocate using a shock collar, especially wit ha DA dog as it will often associate the punishment of a shock with what ever it's being punished for.

YOur best bet is a CERTIFIED behaviorist. try http://iaabc.org/ or http://apdt.com/ for a behaviorist that can help you and to get your dog trained!!!!
I wondered that myself. He has chased squirrels and cats up trees and howls at them like a coon hound, and he has killed a rat and a woodchuck in our yard.

When our neighbor's 2 year old and 4 year old come to the fence he wags his tail.

I am going to read other posts tomorrow and see if I can find a dog trainer here in our small town. I want to wait before my husband puts him down. maybe we can find a way to help him. I think we owe him that much. thanks so much. Maybe I can get some sleep tonight and come back in the morning to read these things.
 

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I would not put him to sleep because he is dog aggressive, especially since he gets along okay with your other dog, right? (1) Get a GOOD trainer and start working with him to get him under control, walking well on a leash, etc, and (2) and MOST importantly, do not ever let him off leash like you're describing... keep him on a leash or in a fenced in area at all times. That's not some horrible life sentence for a dog - you can exercise him plenty jogging on a leash and throwing balls in the backyard. We had a Pointer who, although not dog aggressive, would chase anything that ran and absolutely refused to listen when she was chasing. We just couldn't let her off the leash, because we knew if she saw a squirrel or cat or something she would bolt, possibly into traffic.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Hi,

thanks for your reply. I am trying to get some sleep, but it doesn't seem easy tonight.

I came back because I thought of something else, or a few things. One I want to stop her from barking at wild animals. Two, I have worked with him on a leash, and as long as he is on a leash he minds well. When we walked by dogs that were not on a leash or behind a fence barking, I would yank on his collar and say No. So he is good now in regards to that. It is when he is loose he behaves if he is close to you. Period. Just don't turn your back. I guess it isn't a lift sentence havin g 1/4 acre in back and to be taken on a leash.

He gets along with Mocha great. He tries to get her to play with him by barking, but Mocha doesn't seem to want to play much. They have fought over bones, and I have stopped them, but I don't think he would really hurt Mocha, and Mocha is a top dog in a way. But I got him to get her out of her shell, to get her outside playing. She prefers sleeping in her closet all day unless we are in the back yard, or if i say lets go for a walk or get the mail. or if my husband turns on the chainsaw or starts her truck, then she is outside. So Mocha has her own problems. Being timid doesn't help her, but Rags got her to enjoy riding in the car, which she used to shy away from.

Just before we got Mocha she loved playing next door with the boxer, and they played all day, and then they moved. So I thought Rags would give her a playmate.

I am too old to jog, but I can walk him more and just keep him in the fenced yard.

My husband thinks that that is a bad life for a dog, but I think that Mocha has a worse life since it is hard getting her out of the closet.

I am sure we can still let him off the leash at the river if no one else is there. he will stay by us unless we don't pay attention.

The vet just called, and the little one died. I even ask how I should really be feeling about our dog for killing him, and i think it was his instinct.
 

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This can probably be fixed, though it would have been easier if it had never been allowed to get this far.

...one vet said that he has been in business for 30 years, and if they will kill a dog they will go for a baby.

...One vet said to get him a shock collar and train him to listen to you...
Seriously, don't take dog training/behavior advice from veterinarians unless you know them to have successfully trained some dogs on their own time. "DVM" after his/her name does not qualify him/her to do much of anything beyond treating illness and injury. I don't take child rearing advice from pediatricians, either. In fact, if my kid's pediatrician offered much child rearing advice, I'd find a new one.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This can probably be fixed, though it would have been easier if it had never been allowed to get this far.



Seriously, don't take dog training/behavior advice from veterinarians unless you know them to have successfully trained some dogs on their own time. "DVM" after his/her name does not qualify him/her to do much of anything beyond treating illness and injury. I don't take child rearing advice from pediatricians, either. In fact, if my kid's pediatrician offered much child rearing advice, I'd find a new one.
the things that I would have done differently is not to have let him tear up stuffed toys, and I would have taken him out earlier to meet other dogs, but most dogs are not on the streets here. But I don't know what else I could have done or even what to do now. Except I have a phone number of a trainer.
 

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I don't think that a shock collar is always a good solution, but it is a MUCH better alternative than putting your dog down. The most effective solution, though, is keeping him on a leash. I agree with the others about getting him trained. I prefer to train my own dog, but in this type of situation it is vital to get professional help.

I'm sure your dog didn't want to kill. It was just an impulse. Don't beat yourself up to much, it was a tragic mistake, but yourself and others can learn from it. It is sad enough that one dog had to die, don't let two dogs die.

Try to feel better, and get some rest.
 

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I don't think that a shock collar is always a good solution, but it is a MUCH better alternative than putting your dog down.
Remote training collars are to be avoided as a cure for aggression. They are more likely to escalate aggression than to cure it, though they can have utility in making response to OB commands rock solid. Bomb-proof obedience will go a long way towards making this boy a solid citizen. Obedient dogs don't go charging off to kill stuff.

Do not let him off leash until you can curb his predatory/aggressive impulses.
 

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Take a piece of advice from someone who has been in a situation very similar to yours.

a. NO OFF LEASH PERIOD THE OWNERS OF THE NEXT DOG WILL PROBABLY NOT BE SO NICE.

you risk Rags life by letting him off leash...

b. NEVER LEAVE HIM ALONE WITH KIDS..SMALL ANIMALS...OR ANY DOGS.

better safe the sorry. Prevention is nine point nine repeating percent of the cure.


GET A NEW TOY.

but don't let him have it. Let your other dog play with it where he can see but can't get to it. You play with it...carry it around.. show it to him but DON'T LET HIM IMMEDIATELY HAVE IT. then...start randomly touching him on the nose with it and giving him a treat at the EXACT same time.


the idea is to make him want it bad.. get him to the point where he starts drooling When he sees it.

then...when there is something you want him to ignore...

give it to him.

and start giving him attention and pets if he takes it.


and call a behaviorist.

they really can help.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Hi,

After only 6 hours sleep and waking up depressed I don't know what I feel, a little teary but I don't know how I feel about Rags this a.m. knowing that he killed another dog and that I watched it all happen with my husband pulling him off. I will call a dog trainer today, and I won't have him put to sleep just yet.

What keeps going through my mind is that I know that Rags knows what killing is since he killed a rat and a woodchuck. I don't want Mocha to learn to harm other animals. The one vet said that this was a capitol offense. I may never be able to break him of it. I may never be able to get over it. Not even the Humane Society wants him.
 

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After spending a couple of years here, I should not be surprised at many of the responses. But I am.

I do believe that there are no bad dogs - just bad owners. I think what we have here is neither one but, rather, a dangerous dog in the hands of naive owners. Can someone explain the bottom-line difference to the owners of the dog that was killed?

If I were that owner, I would already be pursuing legal action to make sure this never happens again. The decision about Rags' future would be out of your hands. Then I would be coming after you, or your homeowner's insurance, for monetary damages.

The alternative would be to convince me that you are taking every possible step to avoid a recurrence, The fact that you still think you can let Rags off-lead (by the time he sees another dog, it will be too late) and are getting dubious advise from vets, trainers and an Internet forum makes me question your course of action.

(I don't mean to diminish the value of a good trainer, but asking a trainer to deal with this type of issue is like asking an athletic coach to diagnose and treat a serious mental disorder. You need a certified canine behaviorist to help you understand your dog's behavior and, possibly, deal with it.)

I'm sorry if I sound less-than-sympathetic. I know this must feel like an impossible situation. It is not, but it is a very difficult one, and losing sleep is not going to help Rags. Only a professionaly-guided plan has any hope at this point.

one vet said that he has been in business for 30 years, and if they will kill a dog they will go for a baby.
It's time for that vet to retire or take some refresher courses.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
After spending a couple of years here, I should not be surprised at many of the responses. But I am.

I do believe that there are no bad dogs - just bad owners. I think what we have here is neither one but, rather, a dangerous dog in the hands of naive owners. Can someone explain the bottom-line difference to the owners of the dog that was killed?

If I were that owner, I would already be pursuing legal action to make sure this never happens again. The decision about Rags' future would be out of your hands. Then I would be coming after the you, or your homeowner's insurance, for monetary damages.

The alternative would be to convince me that you are taking every possible step to avoid a recurrence, The fact that you still think you can let Rags off-lead (by the time he sees another dog, it will be too late) and are getting dubious advise from vets, trainers and an Internet forum makes me question your course of action.

(I don't mean to diminish the value of a good trainer, but asking a trainer to deal with this type of issue is like asking an athletic coach to diagnose and treat a serious mental disorder. You need a certified canine behaviorist to help you understand your dog's behavior and, possibly, deal with it.)

I'm sorry if I sound less-than-sympathetic. I know this must feel like an impossible situation. It is not, but it is a very difficult one, and losing sleep is not going to help Rags. Only a professionaly-guided plan has any hope at this point.

I don't believe that I said that I would ever let Rags off the leash unless I knew that there were no people or dogs around.

But I just read an article by a vet and he said that a dog like this can never be trusted, that he could even get out and kill again. I am having Rags put down today. Yes, I think he is a dangerous dog now that I see what he did. I don't think it can be taken out of him. There are no behavorist trainers where I live, but how I am perceiving my dog today is that he must be put to sleep. It won't be easy, but I think it is best because even if trained he can never be trusted.

This is what caused me to make this decision:

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/predatory-aggression/page1.aspx

There is no good treatment for predatory aggression. The manifestation of a high arousal level, a fixed focus on the prey subject, and difficulty distracting the dog, are all indicators of a poor prognosis. Dogs that are born with a high prey drive and have it fine-tuned by experience will always be likely to display this behavior under certain circumstances. They cannot help themselves. The behavior is neither malicious nor vindictive but simply biologically driven and natural – though unacceptable and downright dangerous when expressed toward humans. It is the responsibility of dog owners to appreciate tendencies in their dog. For example, a dog that screams with excitement when he sees a squirrel in the back yard through the window would be one to watch in the presence of a group of fast-running young children.

Reward-based obedience training will increase owner control, but will not prevent predatory behavior when the owner's back is turned or when the owner is absent.

The difficulty in treating predatory aggression is that it is hard-wired and driven by natural forces. Owners must understand that they are liable for any damage the dog causes if he gets loose. If the dog preys on people or small pets, the prognosis for retraining is guarded to poor.
 

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Mocha
This is your dog and your family, you have to do what brings peace to you, I'm not for or against PTSing the dog. I have had man and beast agressive dogs in kennel for training or my own personal dogs. All dogs were kenneled properly and have never had an accident. A family though could have problems as it's a 24 hour program. I do believe as RonE stated you were very fortunate that you don't have a law suit against as that is the world we live in. I also am on the band wagon of never having this dog off lead. Please do not beat yourself up if PTS is what you do as nobody is born a dog expert etc. Use it as a learning experience for future dog actions.
 

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It is impossible to diagnose a dog's behavior over the internet. While the dog doesn't sound "sick" to me, I haven't seen him. In any event, it's your peace of mind and your financial security that's at risk--not mine. I won't criticize the decision to put the dog down.

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/predatory-aggression/page1.aspx

There is no good treatment for predatory aggression. The manifestation of a high arousal level, a fixed focus on the prey subject, and difficulty distracting the dog, are all indicators of a poor prognosis. Dogs that are born with a high prey drive and have it fine-tuned by experience will always be likely to display this behavior under certain circumstances. They cannot help themselves. The behavior is neither malicious nor vindictive but simply biologically driven and natural – though unacceptable and downright dangerous when expressed toward humans. It is the responsibility of dog owners to appreciate tendencies in their dog. For example, a dog that screams with excitement when he sees a squirrel in the back yard through the window would be one to watch in the presence of a group of fast-running young children.

Reward-based obedience training will increase owner control, but will not prevent predatory behavior when the owner's back is turned or when the owner is absent.

The difficulty in treating predatory aggression is that it is hard-wired and driven by natural forces. Owners must understand that they are liable for any damage the dog causes if he gets loose. If the dog preys on people or small pets, the prognosis for retraining is guarded to poor.
I must say, I find this astounding and appalling.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
One thing that our neighbor admitted to me this morning when I told her that her dog had died, is that she told her small children to not pet Rags. She said that her intuition and the look in Rag's eyes told her that he was looking at her children in a predatory manner. She said that after this happened to her dog she remembered his look and what she told her kids. This isn't easy for me, but I feel that it is the right thing to do.
 

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PTS=(Put to Sleep)

Ultimately YOU have to make the decision that's right for YOU! I've had to do this myself, so I know how painful it can be. The fact is, that you are doing a responsible thing by not passing the problem on to others, that is to be respected.

What I ask is that you don't leave afterwards. We are a very supportive group here and would be glad to have you as a member. Plus you can learn and prepare for your next dog as well as get tips for helping your shy baby.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
thank you Carla. For now we will just keep our border collie Mocha. But I will stay with the group here. This is not easy.

my husband and i said our goodbyes to Rags. He took him to the vet, and even though he had him on a leash, he went to lunge at their cat that was sitting on the counter.

i could tell that he was broken up about it. we both are, but we feel we did the right thing.
 

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I know some people may not like what I have to say but it sounds to me that Rags is a perfect candidate for Cesar the dog whisperer. He has taken many dogs like yours and have turned them around to be non aggressive.

Another option would be to have him rehomed in dog town. They have dogs that are like yours that they train and then rehome. If the dog does not improve he or she lives out the rest of their lives at dogtown. Both of those options are better than putting a dog down. If you had a parent that had problems or a child you would not put them down like a dog. You would work with them.

Like I said people may not like what I have said but it's how I feel.
 
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