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Old 11-15-2012, 08:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi Doberman talk. It has been a really long time since I have been on here but i have so much respect and love for this site and everyone on here that i had to come ask for advice in a very difficult time. Deacon is my first baby, i had him before i even met my husband, i love him more than i could ever express. A year and a half ago he was diagnosed with diabetes - he has to get insulin injections every 12 hours and is on prescription dog food to help regulate his sugar levels. A huge responsibility and expense but we do it gladly. To the issue... we have a 2 year old little girl that Deacon has progressively gotten more and more aggressive towards. It started with growling and snarling and then in the spring he went after her, knocking her down but luckily she was unharmed. We made the impossible decision to try and find him a new home. It was like an angel fell out of the sky... a single women wanting a dog to be her whole world wanted him and wasn't scared off by the diabetes. He was there 2 weeks when we got a call from her that "he wanted to come home", he had destroyed her house. So we brought him home and put up gates so he could not get to my daughter when we couldn't closely supervise and we have spent the last 6 months behavior training and working to put my daughter higher in the "pack". Things were going good... until yesterday. We were getting ready to leave for work and out of the blue he went after her again... this time biting her on the arm. Luckily she is ok, he put 2 puncture wounds in her forearm but all things considered is fine... it could have been so much worse! We took him to vet this morning just to make sure there isnt an underlining problem, everything check out fine. So now i am here. As a mom I know he has to go, the aggression is getting worse and i could never live with myself if he serious hurt her. The problem is with his health problems no one will take him and it would kill me if went to someone who didnt understand the responsibility and he ended up in some shelter. Right now he is on a 10 day quarantine - his vet has sadly said he will put him down if we say so (Deacon spends a lot of time there during observation days and is very loved at our vet office). I am just so devastated. I feel like putting him down is mudering him but I can not risk the safety of my little girl. Even the vet said he is a ticking time bomb and will only get worse as he gets older and grumpier. Has anyone dealt with this before? Even if you havent, what would you do? This is my worst nightmare. I feel like you hear of dogs attacking children all the time and the parents always say there was no signs, he is giving us every sign. He is so powerful and could do so much harm. I guess i am hoping someone out there has a miracle answer... or the words that make me not feel like the worst person in the world.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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How old is he now?

Are you able to check his blood sugar level, right at the time of each incident?

Very high blood sugar=extreme irritability

I think, though, you already know the answer to the question you're asking.

It is very sad, and not fair, but there sure are worse fates in this world for a well-loved dog to have lived some years in a good home, and then quietly go to sleep in the arms of someone who loves them.

I'm sorry you guys are facing all this, and glad your daughter is okay.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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could be a low thyroid related aggression.........heart pain (angina) issue..........

something is not right.

Hugz to you and yours.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Im sorry you are dealing with this, and more sorry that Deacon is dealing with this. Can you not keep him separated from your daughter?? Like all the time?? Babygates and boundaries work well for both dogs and children, maybe since they cant play nicely together, they shouldnt play together at all
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you decide that you cannot keep him in your home, the only right thing to do is have him euthanised and be there for him when he passes.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Im sorry your going through this. I know you have to do what is right for your daughter and what is right for the dog. The only thing i can possibly think of is putting him in a crate and keeping them seperate completely until a home can be found. Someone who understands his issues and can deal with them. Someone who does not have kids or kids that will come over that he will have a issue with. Otherwise for the safety of your daughter and other kids it may be best to put him down which i dont believe in but if there is no underline cause for his aggression and he just is going after kids because he doesnt like them it may be the best option.

I just think of those stories i hear once in awhile how a dog gets loose and kills or badly injures a kid.

Also another thing to keep in mind if he has to be caged or crated at all times or locked away due to this sudden temperment change is it really the best thing for him.

Blah its a rough situation either way you put it. How old is he and how old is your daughter?
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I know EXACTLY what you're going through, and I feel your pain about resolving this situation. Even though I didn't have Levi as long as you've had Deacon, he was still very much MY dog. I loved that dog more than I've ever loved any other living being and since putting him down in May, I think of and dream of him every single day/night without fail. And it always hurts. I imagine it will hurt for some time because I also felt that I was letting him down, killing him, that what he did to my mother was all MY fault. But the truth is, no matter how much I loved him, I loved my mom more, and after he attacked her for the first (and last) time, I knew what needed to be done. And so the following day, after speaking with several professionals who all agreed that what happened was inevitable given that they strongly believed there was something "not right" with him, the Vet came to our home to lay him to rest. I laid out his favorite blanket on our patio and played music that seemed to soothe him, and I held his head and talked to him as he slipped away. I asked him to forgive me and told him to "go with God". And I wept. And still weep at times. Letting go of him was the hardest thing I've ever had to do, and dealing with the loss of someone you love will always be difficult to overcome. Some will say, "he was just a dog", but he was so much more than that to me. By adopting him, he helped me climb out of a deep depression and slight agoraphobia. He helped me talk to people when we were out because people were always approaching us. He was a stunner. No matter how much I loved him, I couldn't risk something like this happening again. And no amount of training, medical intervention, exercise, stimulation, etc was ever going to be enough for him to overcome whatever it was that made him feel as though he had to be aggressive towards my elderly mother, other dogs, possessive of objects and of me, and so on. I've attached this picture so that you can see how serious of an injury your daughter can incur if you don't keep them separated from here on out. It's not meant for shock value. It breaks my heart every time I look at this picture because it was I who let this happen to her. She would've never lived with a dog like that if I hadn't brought him home. She'd never have to live with a scar across her face. And she's 76 years old. I just don't want to read that something like this has happened to your little girl. You have very little chance of re-homing Deacon with his bite history and diabetes. I don't know how old he is (looks like 8 or 5 y/o according to your avatar info), but once these issues surface, you can't always work through them. There are several of us on DT who have had to put animals down for various aggression issues. This is just one example. I wish the best for you, your family and your beloved dogs. My thoughts are with you.

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Old 11-15-2012, 09:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Im so sorry about your mother benvera. Thats terrible.

I just hope the original poster keeps her dog and her daughter seperate until she figures out what she is going to do to avoid further harm to her daughter

Im against putting animals to sleep but once a dog starts displaying aggression towards people its really hard to get them out of it. If not impossible.

Just a sad thing to see and read
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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What a decision to make. I do not envy you. Your daughter's well being is the most important issue here. And I agree with RFR. I think you already know what you have to do.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:12 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Some dogs are not right there are too many good dogs out there just like some people have mental illness who's to say dogs also do not have mental illness.It is hard to do but it is the best thing for you boy let him be free of his demons.Hugs to you at this sad time for you.
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:41 AM   #11 (permalink)
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medical issues or no medical issues - rehoming a dog with an aggressive bite history could make you libel if he does it to someone else. As I see it, he needs to be Euth'ed - and as hard as that is, it truly is the only answer I can give.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:43 AM   #12 (permalink)
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As someone who has experienced what BenVera's mother has, please keep your child safe. I would gather that the medical issue is affecting your dogs behavior but safety should always come first.

Dogs live for the now, and in reality your dog has had a wonderful life so if he needs to go peacefully with you loving him there is nothing wrong with that. I am thankful we can do that for our animals personally. What you have given him is he best, he has no idea otherwise. You can't help that his medical condition or whatever else is going on is making him cranky and potentially dangerous but you can love him and keep him safe.

Hugs, its a hard spot to be in.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:28 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I am so sorry to hear that you are going through this...

Our family dealt with a similar issue, not with a dog, but with a Siamese cat that belonged to my Mom- believe me when I say the damage he caused was significant, but he was NOT capable of killing anyone (thankfully) like a Doberman is. That being said, he put my mother and my grandmother in the hospital- he bit through my Mom's finger and she was on iv antibiotics for weeks, and still has major nerve damage. My Gram had her entire arm shredded (it looked like he tried to strip the skin off). Both of my brothers and my sister in law suffered nasty bites also.

We struggled with the decision to put him down- my Gram begged for his life after her attack. He was 90% of the time a loving, cuddly pet- the other 10% something in his brain just shut down and he was a vicious beast, seemingly unaware of what he was doing. We tried multiple medications, to no avail. I finally intervened after yet another attack to my mother and took possession of him- as my husband and I do NOT have kids or grandkids in the home, and are young enough to not suffer as severe of an injury.

It seemed to be working out fine- I had his littermate (the SWEETEST cat in the world- never bit or scratched ANYONE), and other cats and dogs, and he was settling in nicely. He even slept with us and the rest of the crew at night. Then with no warning, one morning after I left the bed and was getting ready for work he bit through my husband's hand.

We separated him, and I was the only one to handle him for another year as I agonized over what to do... The final straw was right after losing my 18 yr old, I was distracted when feeding and cuddling with him (which I did every day) and he bit through my arm. We made the appt the next day and I held him and told him how loved he was as he left the world.

Looking back, it was something that was LONG overdue- he was 17 yrs old by the time we finally let him go, and so for 17 years his poor damaged brain ruled his life and kept him from every truly being happy. I will never wait so long to make that kind of decision again... I know exactly how hard it is, and how much it hurts- but you know in your heart what the right thing is to do...
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:37 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I am sorry for what you are facing with and can only offer you peace in your decision.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:18 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond! For those of you who asked, Deacon is 8. Unfortunately we live in an open concept one story house that is just not set up to where we could put up baby gates to where they would never have the chance to get together. Deacon would have to live in a bedroom or in a crate all the time, which is a life I couldn’t bare to make him live. Both incidents happened totally out of the blue and unprovoked, literally she was walking by him and he lunges for her. Had it been something where she as climbing on him it would be so different.

RedFawnRising, I didn’t check his levels the other day, I was so shaken I just wanted to make sure my daughter was ok. However, we do check his blood sugar levels often and nothing has been off. That doesn’t mean they weren’t Wednesday morning but all blood work came back normal yesterday morning. Your words about being put to sleep truly touched my heart. Thank you so much!

BenVera, Thank SO much for sharing your story! I am so sorry this happened to your mom. It is a very real example of how much worse it could have been and what could happen next time if left in our home. I refuse to put my little girl at risk where there could be a next time. She loves dogs so much – I would hate myself if she ever had to live with the physical and mental scars that would be left behind.

You are all so kind. I do know what needs to happen… I know in my heart something isn’t right with him. He has been my constant companion for the last 8 years. He has been by my side through college, meeting and marrying my husband, getting our first home and 2nd wonderful Dobie, and bring home our first child… before all of these big life events I was Deacon’s-mom. He was the first thing I ever loved with my whole heart. I have been afraid of this day his whole life, loving him so much and knowing one day I would have to say goodbye. I know him though, he would NEVER bite someone if he was ok, much less a member of our family. I can’t send him to someone else and put the risk on them. We have to finish his 10 day quarantine period and then we will put him to rest. Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond. Your heart makes you doubt logic in times like this.

Last edited by Deacon's-MoM; 11-16-2012 at 10:29 AM..
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:23 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Check out the Liam J Perk Foundation and the story behind their cause. It is devastating to say the least. Your situation reminds me of theirs, except they didn't know there was an issue.

I would first talk to a Doberman rescue about all of his issues. If they don't feel comfortable taking on the dog and his history, I would consider euthanasia sooner rather than later.
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:02 AM   #17 (permalink)
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RottenVonSpotten, oh my gosh what a tragic story! I can't even imagine! Wow… The way this bite happened is so similar, so quick. Deacon’s behavior was no different than this dog he just happened to land in a “better” place. My heart goes out to the Perk family.
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:29 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I am so sorry you are going through this, I can offer no words of advice, but I can offer you my heartfelt sympathy and best wishes.

Deacon is obviously a much loved dog who needs you to be strong in this time of uncertainty. May you have the strength to do what is right for both him and your daughter.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:23 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deacon's-MoM View Post
Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond! For those of you who asked, Deacon is 8. Unfortunately we live in an open concept one story house that is just not set up to where we could put up baby gates to where they would never have the chance to get together. Deacon would have to live in a bedroom or in a crate all the time, which is a life I couldn’t bare to make him live. Both incidents happened totally out of the blue and unprovoked, literally she was walking by him and he lunges for her. Had it been something where she as climbing on him it would be so different.

RedFawnRising, I didn’t check his levels the other day, I was so shaken I just wanted to make sure my daughter was ok. However, we do check his blood sugar levels often and nothing has been off. That doesn’t mean they weren’t Wednesday morning but all blood work came back normal yesterday morning. Your words about being put to sleep truly touched my heart. Thank you so much!

BenVera, Thank SO much for sharing your story! I am so sorry this happened to your mom. It is a very real example of how much worse it could have been and what could happen next time if left in our home. I refuse to put my little girl at risk where there could be a next time. She loves dogs so much – I would hate myself if she ever had to live with the physical and mental scars that would be left behind.

You are all so kind. I do know what needs to happen… I know in my heart something isn’t right with him. He has been my constant companion for the last 8 years. He has been by my side through college, meeting and marrying my husband, getting our first home and 2nd wonderful Dobie, and bring home our first child… before all of these big life events I was Deacon’s-mom. He was the first thing I ever loved with my whole heart. I have been afraid of this day his whole life, loving him so much and knowing one day I would have to say goodbye. I know him though, he would NEVER bite someone if he was ok, much less a member of our family. I can’t send him to someone else and put the risk on them. We have to finish his 10 day quarantine period and then we will put him to rest. Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond. Your heart makes you doubt logic in times like this.
I truly believe that is a very wise, loving, and responsible decision, for everyone's highest good.

If you need help getting thru that sad day to come, folks are here for you.
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:31 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I'm really sorry you have to go through this. It sounds like you are making the most loving, responsible decision you can make.
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:59 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Hugz, I'm sorry you have to make a decision like this. Just remember that you g gave him the best and he you.
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:15 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I am so very sorry you are going through this. I have nothing to add as everyone else has said it all. Just know DT is here for you.
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:27 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I am so sorry.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:24 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Bless you and your family. I can't imagine what you must be going through. Prayers your way.
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Old 11-17-2012, 06:53 PM   #25 (permalink)
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This is an incredibly sad story. I will say without hesitation that you have made the right decision one that you have not taken lightly, for that you have my respect. May you find peace in the fact that you are doing the right thing by letting him free of what makes him unstable. this is a terribly difficult time for you and I am sorry.


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