• Amused
  • Angry
  • Annoyed
  • Awesome
  • Bemused
  • Cool
  • Crazy
  • Crying
  • Drunk
  • Geeky
  • Grumpy
  • Happy
  • Hungry
  • Innocent
  • Sad
  • Secret
  • Shy
  • Tired
  • Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast
    Results 1 to 10 of 52
    1. #1
      House Broken
      Sir Winston's Avatar
      Join Date
      May 2014
      Location
      Lexington, KY
      Posts
      62
      Thanked: 59

      Tragic Situation

      Lab board friends,

      Itís been a while. And I wish I was returning to the board under better circumstances, but I wanted to update you on a tragic situation and solicit advice from all of you about what to do next.
      On Saturday, I woke up to find our 15-year-old shih tzu Bailey lying next to the couch with bite marks on his next and blood on the floor. The culprit, unfortunately, was my 9-year-old lab Winston. It wasnít the first attack either. The same thing happened Tuesday night.

      Now, we had been keeping Winston separate from Bailey and Walter, our six-month old shih tzu puppy. However, Bailey had canine cognitive disorder, and was prone to wondering at night. Even though I gave him trazadone to help him sleep, he jumped down out of the bed during the night and was wondering around the house.

      I do not know what precipitated the attack. There are lots of theories. Being old, with poor sight and hearing, itís possible Bailey didnít understand communication from Winston that he was uncomfortable with Baileyís encroachment. Bailey could have had a neurological event that startled Winston. Winston could have been acting on territorial instincts. Some people believe young dogs will attack old dogs as part of some primal instinct to keep weak links out of the herd, although this theory is in dispute. We donít know exactly what happened, and unfortunately we never will.

      Sadly, as a result of Baileyís injuries, we had to put him to sleep. Bailey has been my husbandís dog since he was 17. And he is absolutely heartbroken, as am I. Bailey was such a sweet dog. To make matters worse, we have to make a very difficult situation about what to do with Winston.

      This isnít the first instance of Winston showing aggression. Heís been a protective and territorial dog his entire life. He doesnít like strangers. He would always growl and bark and posture aggressively in the past, but he never bit anyone. Until about 15 months ago, when he bit my husbandís friend (whom heíd never met) coming to visit from out of town. He bit another one of my friendís girlfriends earlier this year as well when my friend was housesitting for us. Unfortunately, I was not present in either instance.

      I have to take full responsibility for Winstonís actions. I should have acted more deliberately to curb his aggressive tendencies at an earlier age. I thought I could handle it myself, but I was wrong. Heís also been through a lot of changes. After living in the same house the first seven years of his life, I moved twice, got married, bought a house, and Winston has been less of a priority than he should have been, in terms of attention, exercise, etc. My guilt about what happened to Bailey, and about my failures to Winston is overwhelming right now.

      The real issue going forward is what to do. From a safety standpoint, legal liability standpoint, I no longer feel comfortable having Winston as part of my household. I donít feel itís fair to force my husband to keep this dog, reminding him daily of the trauma that occurred to Bailey, or to hazard Walterís safety in the wake of an aggressive and unpredictable dog. But I donít have a lot of good options.

      I know it sounds like Winston is a terrible dog, but he really isnít. Heís actually very sweet and well-behaved 99% of the time. His recall and ability to follow commands is impressive. Heís crazy smart. Heís goofy and silly. He has little quirks that are adorable. Weíve been through so much together, from puppyhood to two CCL surgeries, and lots of wonderful and beautiful experiences, including me buying this house, which for the first time in his life gave Winston a fenced backyard in which to roam. Most importantly, I love him dearly. And my heart is absolutely broken.

      At any rate, Iím desperately trying to find somewhere for Winston to go. However, there arenít a lot of good options for 9-year-old dogs with aggression issues. Iím only burdening you all with sorrows because I know there are a lot of smart and knowledgeable people on this board, and Iím hoping that you all may be able to provide me with some insight, connect me with some resources, or give me some perspective on this situation.

      Any feedback at all would be helpful. Even if itís the hard-to-swallow ďI think you should consider putting him to sleepĒ variety. Iím trying to gather as much information as humanly possible before I make a decision. Right now, Winston is confined to the basement of our house except to use the bathroom. But thatís no way for him to live his life. Itís not a viable long-term solution for him to be sequestered alone. But I am terrified he will attack Walter or bite another visitor, and I simply cannot take that risk.

      Thanks to all of you whoíve read this post. Hold your furbabies tight, and pray you never have your life turned upside down by an unspeakable tragedy like this.
      Hidden Content
      Dog dad to four sweet boys:

      Bailey (2003-2018)
      Winston (2009-2018)
      Walter (born 1/1/18)
      Arthur (born 8/12/18)

    2. #2
      Senior Dog
      smartrock's Avatar
      Join Date
      May 2014
      Location
      Carolina in my mind..
      Posts
      4,549
      Thanked: 2859
      Oh, my heart breaks for you. It’s very difficult to manage life with a dog whose behavior is unpredictable. With his history, I think it's unlikely that you will be able to rehome him. Have you spoken with your vet about Winston’s behavior, especially in light of this most recent event? Maybe he/she can offer some objective thoughts. I don’t know if this behavior can be successfully addressed before another person or dog is injured but I think you’d need the help of a good behaviorist if you want to pursue that route. I’m so sorry this happened.


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
      Last edited by smartrock; 09-11-2018 at 12:28 AM.
      Sue

      Chase 9/29/2006- 6/30/2017 Always in our hearts
      Lark 12/25/2012
      Henry 7/14/18

    3. The Following User Says Thank You to smartrock For This Useful Post:

      Sir Winston (09-11-2018)

    4. #3
      Senior Dog
      Shelley's Avatar
      Join Date
      May 2014
      Location
      United States
      Posts
      1,124
      Thanked: 1604
      Hi there, I am sorry you are back under such stressful circumstances...

      Winston should absolutely not be re-homed, or sent to a rescue or shelter, he is not anyone else's problem, and we know what they would do with him, most reputable places do not have the resources to devote to a dog with aggression, and if they did, what if he was placed, and he bit his new family? He has a multiple bite history, both human and canine, and he has had a life long issue with aggression.

      A true Labrador temperament is not to be aggressive to man or animal, as stated from the Breed Standard.
      "True Labrador Retriever temperament is as much a hallmark of the breed as the"otter" tail. The ideal disposition is one of a kindly, outgoing, tractable nature; eager to pleaseand non-aggressive towards man or animal." An aggressive Labrador is not a happy Labrador.

      I know how traumatic this must feel, and my opinion may not be popular, but truly, he has bitten two people, and caused injuries not once but twice to a canine housemate, one that caused fatal injuries. For your sake and possibly Winston's own sake, the kindest thing to do is to be with him, and hold him, when he is safely and humanely euthanized. What if his next bite is a child? What if he kills your puppy? What if he turns on you? His temperament is not stable, he is like a loose cannon, unpredictable, and violent, and not rehabilitatable, I am sorry to say, and he is probably pretty miserable about it too, and ending his life may bring him peace as well.

      I am so very very sorry. My thoughts are with you and your husband

    5. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Shelley For This Useful Post:

      Meeps83 (09-13-2018), Sir Winston (09-11-2018)

    6. #4
      Senior Dog
      Labradorks's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jun 2014
      Location
      USA
      Posts
      3,679
      Thanked: 2184
      This is really awful and I am sorry that all of this has occurred.

      Have you had him at the vet to test him for pain? Lyme? A brain tumor? Thyroid? That would be the first step.

      You definitely cannot rehome him.

      You could manage him appropriately and keep a basket muzzle on him.

      Or, you could euthanize him.

      I think you should make an appointment with a veterinary behaviorist before making any decisions, though they are likely going to first ask for at least a thorough blood test to rule out pain or disease first.

    7. The Following User Says Thank You to Labradorks For This Useful Post:

      Sir Winston (09-11-2018)

    8. #5
      Senior Dog
      Shelley's Avatar
      Join Date
      May 2014
      Location
      United States
      Posts
      1,124
      Thanked: 1604
      Quote Originally Posted by Labradorks View Post
      This is really awful and I am sorry that all of this has occurred.

      Have you had him at the vet to test him for pain? Lyme? A brain tumor? Thyroid? That would be the first step.

      You definitely cannot rehome him.

      You could manage him appropriately and keep a basket muzzle on him.

      Or, you could euthanize him.

      I think you should make an appointment with a veterinary behaviorist before making any decisions, though they are likely going to first ask for at least a thorough blood test to rule out pain or disease first.
      I thought much the same thing, but this is not a new problem, it is a life long issue with aggression. I know you aren't saying so, but I would never suggest euthanasia lightly, or for a first offense, and a vet visit is definitely in order either way, but an unpredictable aggressive dog is very dangerous.

    9. The Following User Says Thank You to Shelley For This Useful Post:

      Sir Winston (09-11-2018)

    10. #6
      Senior Dog
      Labradorks's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jun 2014
      Location
      USA
      Posts
      3,679
      Thanked: 2184
      Quote Originally Posted by Shelley View Post
      I thought much the same thing, but this is not a new problem, it is a life long issue with aggression. I know you aren't saying so, but I would never suggest euthanasia lightly, or for a first offense, and a vet visit is definitely in order either way, but an unpredictable aggressive dog is very dangerous.
      We are not veterinary behaviorists and we don't know the whole story nor have we met the owners or the dog. Before we determine a pet should die, I think we owe it to them to ensure that it is the best and/or only option. Personally, I'd need to consult with a vet and veterinary behaviorist before I could include euthanasia on my list of options. I've made the call to put dogs to sleep for aggressive behavior when I was involved in rescue, but we knew it was the right call because we worked with professionals to help us determine our options and come to a final decision.

    11. The Following User Says Thank You to Labradorks For This Useful Post:

      Sir Winston (09-11-2018)

    12. #7
      Senior Dog
      SunDance's Avatar
      Join Date
      May 2014
      Location
      Ellicott City, MD
      Posts
      4,592
      Thanked: 2443
      I'm so very sorry...this is heart-breaking.

      You've lived with unresolved aggression with Winston for his entire life. It's scary. My recommendation at this point is the unpopular one. I'm sorry.
      Hidden Content

      Sunnie: gotcha day 03/08/09; birth unknown but given 07/01/02

      Danny: The Sundance Kid....Sunnie's boy....birth 03/31/09 (in my living room)

      Barb (ID formerly "Baffle")

    13. The Following User Says Thank You to SunDance For This Useful Post:

      Sir Winston (09-11-2018)

    14. #8
      Senior Dog
      Snowshoe's Avatar
      Join Date
      May 2014
      Location
      Canada
      Posts
      6,447
      Thanked: 3689
      Rest in Peace little Bailey.

      I'm so sorry. I think this is the saddest post I've ever read here. I can't imagine how hard it must have been for you to write so coherently while your heart was breaking. I suppose you have done thorough Vet work on Winston to see if there is a medical reason for his behaviour; bloods, Xrays. I do know of a dog who was found to have a brain tumour but it was not a life long condition. However King Charles Cavalier Spaniels are known to have a condition that can appear very early, is thought to cause them pain and shows itself in aberrant behaviour. I believe it occurs, much less frequently, in other breeds too.

      Ruling out medical, have you tried, considered behaviour modification training?

      I"m sorry but I agree Winston can not be rehomed, not with his history.

    15. The Following User Says Thank You to Snowshoe For This Useful Post:

      Sir Winston (09-11-2018)

    16. #9
      Senior Dog
      Jollymolly's Avatar
      Join Date
      Nov 2014
      Location
      Texas
      Posts
      4,059
      Thanked: 2090
      This is a really tough. I am sorry for your loss. run free Bailey. I would totally see a vet first. I agree with others there is no way to re home Winston. Have you considered put a muzzle on so that he would not be locked in the basement. If the outcome is that you will have peace of mind and that he is not secluded with lack of life in in the basement I would opt for the heartbreaking choice. My first option would be the vet and testing and to work diligently with a trainer.

    17. The Following User Says Thank You to Jollymolly For This Useful Post:

      Sir Winston (09-11-2018)

    18. #10
      Senior Dog
      Happy
       
      lovemylabby's Avatar
      Join Date
      May 2014
      Location
      Upstate New York
      Posts
      889
      Thanked: 375
      Let me first say how sorry I am for you and your husband. This is certainly a very, very difficult situation and my heart goes out to you...

      I'm sure you love Winston with all your heart....and it is a tragedy in itself that a Labrador would have an aggressive demeanor. As Shelly mentioned in her post, this is not the temperament of a true Labrador.

      I agree with the others here, Winston should not be re-homed, it's not fair to him. You have raised this dog from a puppy, and he is your responsibility.

      Before I made any quick decisions, I would absolutely take him in for a Vet evaluation...perhaps there is something medically going on?

      May I ask, where did you get Winston and was he properly socialized as a puppy? Can you remember when he first started showing signs of aggression? Was he ever attacked by another dog as a puppy?

      Years ago, we had a dog with aggression issues too..he just didn't like other dogs and didn't like some people, but he was wonderful with others. He was a puzzle for sure. But we started to work with him, took him to Obedience Classes, A behaviorist, gave him lots of exercise; it was a lot of work on our part, but our dog turned out to be a much happier dog, and miraculously he was no longer aggressive. He was always a very sweet dog underneath it all. He just needed someone to help him through his issues.

      I will say a prayer for you and Winston, my heart broke when you mentioned how sweet and smart he is...I hope you can get to the bottom of his issues...

      He could just be lacking the proper socialization that all dogs need.

      And I'm also very, very sorry for your loss..

    19. The Following User Says Thank You to lovemylabby For This Useful Post:

      Sir Winston (09-11-2018)

    Quick Reply Quick Reply

     



    Not a Member of the Labrador Retriever Chat Forums Yet?
    Register for Free and Share Your Labrador Retriever Photos

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •