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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The back story to this problem is so long that I don't even want to get into it. I will just outline the key issues and hope that it is enough detail. We have a very large fear aggressive dog. He can only be around me, dh and sometimes my MIL. The kids cannot be with him because we don't trust him. 18 months ago dh was letting dd play with him and he gave her a warning nip. I just about lost it because I couldn't believe that he would put her down next to the dog. He lives outside and has to be put in the shed when we want to be outside. While he is not abused, he doesn't get much attention. I have both the kids all day and dh is consumed with his business and family life and doesn't make time for the dog.<br><br>
The bottom line is that I am tired of having to to live in fear of the what if's. dd is three and surprised me with unbuckling herself from her carset the other day. I always keep the door shut and lock him away if we are going in the yard but eventually she will be able to open the door. If I didn't have kids I would be willing to tough it out with this dog to his last day but I just don't feel comfortable with it. Dh is 100% against getting rid of him because he will have to be put down. I can't find any rescue organizations to take him.<br><br>
I don't like any of my options and I don't want to upset dh but I want to keep my kids safe. Any suggestions?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>springmama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10727434"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">He lives outside and has to be put in the shed when we want to be outside. While he is not abused, he doesn't get much attention. I have both the kids all day and dh is consumed with his business and family life and doesn't make time for the dog.</div>
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Neglect of an animal IS abuse. Try harder to find a safe and loving home for him.<br><br>
I'll stop now before I violate the UA.
 

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I had a fear-aggressive Shepherd/Rotweiller/mutt dog for 10 years. We rescued him from a shelter (he had been badly abused - cigarette burns, etc.) and worked with him, hard, for years, and he was a delight and a joy in our lives.<br><br>
Even so we could never take the risk around children. A few months before my daughter was due we were trying to figure out a solution, and he was diagnosed with a heart problem, so we put him down... a little prematurely, but the heart problem was impacting his life and was going to get worse, which would make him miserable right when the baby arrived. I didn't feel right giving him over to a farm (where we were talking with the owner) when he was going to be sick. It was still a terrible decision to make.<br><br>
All that is to say I know where you are coming from on this, and I know the comments you are likely to get. From what you've described, the dog is not having a good life. Also, your children are learning how to care for animals from you and I'm not sure that they are getting the ideal model.<br><br>
I do think you need to make a change. If the dog is relatively young and healthy, I would cast as wide a net as possible - let EVERYONE know you are looking for a situation for the dog and contact EVERY shelter (and breed organizations, if the dog is not a complete mutt) you can to see what they have to offer, who else they can suggest, do they have foster families, etc.<br><br>
Meanwhile, your husband needs to get on board with both the potential danger and his responsibility to the dog. To help make this dog adoptable you may need to hire a trainer (trainers also will be helpful in networking around adopting the dog) to work with the dog. You might need to hire a dog walker to both give the dog some joy and to reinforce the training. Ideally your husband should be involved in the work too. If you start in on all this work, I think it's pretty likely a decent situation will come up, because you will be in the "doggy world."<br><br>
Good luck.
 

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If you can't find someone to take the dog, and the dog is a risk I would insist.<br><br>
It wouldn't be pretty around here for sure with my DH if I did. But if necessary I would blow a gasket to get my way on it. The risk factor is too large to be tolerable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The dog lives in a large yard and gets put away because I have no choice. My kids need to play outside. I have tried getting him a home but he can't be around anyone. I know the dog doesn't have great life- I don't need to hear about how awful his life is I get it. What I need is help w/ dealing with the marital issue this is creating. I want the dog to go and dh insists that the dog needs to stay.
 

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would it help if you found some information (online, etc.) for your DH to read about how much attention, time, and care a dog such as this requires? Something "authoritative" that might make him realize that this dog is *not* living anything near an optimal life. Could you talk to a vet or an animal shelter or a breed association or such and have them send some information to your DH? It sounds like he loves the dog, but life has caught up with him, and he, especially if he isn't home during the day, isn't "getting" the whole situation.<br><br>
If you could find some objective information about how this relative level of neglect constitutes abuse, maybe he would get on board with finding a new home.<br><br>
Otherwise, some scary newspaper articles about kids mauled by their families pets . . .. ?
 

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Hey Springmama! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> This is a hard situation to be in. Can DH build him a chainlink fenced dog run? Home Depot also carries readymade runs in some stores. I'd say if DH is insisting, he needs to take care of this aspect of it and right now.<br>
If the dog is predominantly a particular breed, like Shepherd, or what have you, you may have better luck placing him with a breed rescue organization. Would DH consider this? You can often find them by doing a regional search <a href="http://www.petfinder.com/" target="_blank">here</a>. While I agree it's not ideal, still he is being cared for in a way that is likely much better than where he came from. Good luck mama.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>springmama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10728094"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I want the dog to go and dh insists that the dog needs to stay.</div>
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It's not a matter of you wanting the dog to go, or him needing the dog to stay. Your children's safety is at risk. There is only so much we can do to insure our children's safety, proper gates, proper supervision are part of it. But no one can be on 100% of the time in order to keep a dangerous (as proven) dog and unknowing children seperated at all times. Maybe if you present it as it's not about what you guys want to do, but what needs to happen in order to keep your children safe he might really get it?<br><br>
Good luck, pets are such a tough issue sometimes. I swear dh and I almost killed each other over our dog a few times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I tried telling him that it is about the children's safety and he countered with things like well get rid of all the kitchen knives, the bathtub, don't drive w/ them in the car because those things are just as dangerous. I'm sick of this. I have had other people talk to him abou the dog's living conditions but he says that they are better than being put to sleep and says that he has a big sunny yard to be in and that the shed while not optimal is a big area w/ his bed food/water and isn't as small as the pens in a shelter.<br><br>
Thanks for all of your input. Dh makes me feel like I am crazy to think that one day a kid might slip out to the backyard and get bit. He doesn't get it.
 

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We have a pets forum, and there are several members who have had to put to sleep agressive animals. Maybe they could give you some more information and perspective if you post your story there.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
So sorry that you're having to deal with this.
 

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Here is a link to the pets forum.<br><br><a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/forumdisplay.php?f=347" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...play.php?f=347</a>
 

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I have not read the other responses, but first, I can absolutely empathize w/the dangerous dog situation. I had a dog who did not like/felt threatened by small children. I had her for 6 years pre-kids. She was a FABULOUS dog for adults. The best, smartest, mellowest, most loyal dog I'd ever had. However, she didn't like small children. She didn't agress toward them unless she really felt cornered, so pre-kids, I didn't really understand the situation. She couldn't have cared less about infants. But, once they got mobile, she wanted away. And she did everything she could to get away, but when pushed, gave warning nips.<br><br>
Long story short, I tried everything. Everything.<br><br>
Tried rehoming he. No go. I would only have felt comfortable giving her to someone extremely experienced w/dogs (essentially a trainer) who would really understand that no kids meant no kids, not one, not for five minutes. All those people already had dogs, and she didn't get along well w/other dogs.<br><br>
We tried medication - no help.<br><br>
I tried every tactic in Nick Dodman's books - no improvement.<br><br>
I tried keeping her 100% separated from the kids. Didn't work for various reasons - my husband was sloppy about it, and the dog began to really deteriorate mentally from the isolation.<br><br>
Tried having her live at my mom's - didn't work, kids were over there, and it was too much for my mom too handle.<br><br>
I consulted w/a trainer who had previously helped us. She referred us on, she couldn't help.<br><br>
We had a husband-wife trainer team who specialized in aggression assess her and try to help. Their bottom line was that the behavior was pretty close to intractable, and that she could not be around kids. Since another home could not be found, they said that putting her down was a very sad, but responsible choice.<br><br>
I would try the various options, consult trainers, and get some really caring, responsible people (like dog trainers) to tell your husband the straight poop. If this dog cannot be in a household/home with kids, he's GOT to hear that. Child safety comes first. And he's got to accept that isolating a dog day in and day out is cruel. And finally, it is SO stressful on everyone to try to live in this constant state of hypervigilance.<br><br>
I'm so sorry you're going through this. We did put the dog down. I was heartbroken, but it was the right thing to do in our situation. Hugs.<br><br>
BTW - my husband basically refused to get involved in trying to find solutions and/or taking responsibility for decision making in our case. My dog, my problem, he figured. I think it's got to be a team thing, I was very disappointed w/how he handled - or didn't handle it.<br><br>
ETA: This is a major safety issue, plus this dog is suffering, by being isolated, etc. If your DH won't deal w/the situation, you'll have to whether he likes it or not. I would straight out tell him that. Set a hard deadline (say, one month) for very specific steps (consulting trainers, serious attempt at rehoming, or even putting the dog down) and decide what you will do if he doesn't take these steps. Then do it. I'm so sorry. This sucks. Another issue to consider is that your kids are growing up with a very sad view of how to interact with, or not interact with, dogs...
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>springmama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10728349"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I tried telling him that it is about the children's safety and he countered with things like well get rid of all the kitchen knives, the bathtub, don't drive w/ them in the car because those things are just as dangerous. I'm sick of this. I have had other people talk to him abou the dog's living conditions but he says that they are better than being put to sleep and says that he has a big sunny yard to be in and that the shed while not optimal is a big area w/ his bed food/water and isn't as small as the pens in a shelter.<br><br>
Thanks for all of your input. Dh makes me feel like I am crazy to think that one day a kid might slip out to the backyard and get bit. He doesn't get it.</div>
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I think there's not a lot more dangerous than an unpredictable dog. You said he even let the baby play near him, until he nipped her. That's just asking for trouble.<br><br>
I'm sorry he won't listen. The really sad thing is, he's going to have to learn when something bad actually happens and then it will be your fault for not watching the kiddo close enough. That's going to suck.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> well my hubby had HIS very closest god ever when we married. The dog even ate with him at the dinner table when we met! The dog was great with my H and took a little to be good with me. When I was first preggie with babe #1 we were a little worried but thought we would work it out. The dog was fine until my babe started to crawl then it was yikes ola kiddo in dog territory and the dog became very aggressive. My hubby "tried" to find a new home and solve the prob but really did not want to give up his best pal. I made a rule no dog in the house when babe is up. Well as things go someone let him in and he attacked our 8 month old and she had to get stitches in her lip and eye brow. My H now wishes he would have taken care of the situation before that happened to our little one. It was such a heart breaker . . .bottom line tough situation but counting on the dog always being put away is not SAFE. This dog needs to be rescued by someone who can handle a dog like this or he needs to be put down. Children should not be at risk of harm nor your heart or Hubby's heart.<br>
Goo luck on such a tough problem.
 

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I don't know where you live, but if you check petfinder, you can find rescue organizations in your area, and one of them may be able/willing to take him on. With proper care, training and work, he may be able to be rehabilitated or at least go to live with someone who has no children.<br>
It's absolutely not worth it to have an animal who may potentially harm one of your children, but by the same token...what quality of life is your dog having?
 

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If the dog has to stay...and because the dog does have a sucky life as it stands..you could work with him. You might be able to rehabilitate him. I know you have kids, but it might be doable, if not easy. I trained 2 dogs when my four kids were little. If you absolutely have to keep it you might have to decide to try and make the dog less aggressive. It's sucks to have that as your job, but what else can you do? (Except call the pound and have them pick it up while your dh is at work). good luck.
 

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Why not train the kids? Are you not telling your kids to notice the small body language cues (look, your friend is crying, let's go comfort them. When she does that it means X.)<br><br>
In our house at least, we all treat each other with respect. Dog included. And because dogs can't talk, we have to pay attention to their body language. See how the ears are back? Means you're scaring him. I know you don't mean to, but you are. Can we find another place to play this? (oh my gosh I've said this speech so many times I can't count!) Dogs can't talk. They growl when they don't like what you're doing. What do we say when someone's doing something we don't like? This is doggy food - this is your food. Gentle. When we want to love on the doggy, we have to be gentle. This is what gentle is like.<br><br>
I do all of this - and it's a heck of a lot of work - not necessarily because I'm afraid my dog will bite, but because I want my kids to know how to approach STRANGE dogs. Or get away if they need to.<br><br>
Maybe your DH is thinking this could be a solution for you which is why he's opposed to getting rid of the dog?
 

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I am a pet lover myself. I have lived with in-door animals of all kinds my whole life. However, animal members of the family are NOT as important as human members of the family -- especially children.<br><br>
We have been blessed to have a rescue dog who adjusted well to our family and did well with the baby. I watched like a hawk every minute when our DS was a little baby. I still do now at almost two years. However, my DH knew that there would be no debate should there be an issue -- DS and his safety would win every time.<br><br>
Understand, I watch DS's behavior closely as well. Our first requirement is that he is gentle at all times, so our dog will not suffer due to DS's actions. However, if I could not trust her, like in your situation, I would have no problem finding another place to put the dog. If that meant she had to be put down, as sad as it is, so be it. The safety of my children is paramount.<br><br>
I hope that you are able to get through to your DH. However, if I were you, I would let him know that I would be taking care of the situation with him on board or not. I hope for your marriage that it does not come to that. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2">
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>springmama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10728094"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The dog lives in a large yard and gets put away because I have no choice. My kids need to play outside. I have tried getting him a home but he can't be around anyone. I know the dog doesn't have great life- I don't need to hear about how awful his life is I get it. What I need is help w/ dealing with the marital issue this is creating. I want the dog to go and dh insists that the dog needs to stay.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"><br><br>
It must be really hard. I hope that you find a place for him. Your children must come first. I adore animals, but as a mother, my baby is my priority over any animal. So I totally get what you're saying, and I'm sorry about the predicament you're in.<br><br>
Maybe a farm would take him?
 
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