We Have to Give up Our Dog.

Updated on April 30, 2011
L.U. asks from Kirkland, WA
20 answers

We got a dog about a year and a half ago. We were told that he was a beagle mix. (he was 3 months old when we got him) My husband promised to take care of the pup and walks and doctors and feeding and poop...you know the drill. WELL, he didn't. I did it all. I loved on the dog as a tiny pup, I took him on walks, I took him to the vet, I picked up the poop. Big surprise, right? unfortunately, I don't think that we got a beagle mix...I think we got a border collie mix. That dog has been nipping at my children since we got him. Within the past 8 months it has become bighting. He has bit through the skin, he has made them bleed, he has bit them in the face a few times. I got really mad at my husband about 7 months ago and told him that HE needed to get it together and walk the dog (I was prego and not going to do it), get him into some obedience classes (he never did) and that if he kept biting the kids he was out.
Well, he bit my 5 year old again. Broke the skin, made him bleed. My son told the dog to drop my son's toy and then went to grab his toy and the dog bit him. Big tears, bleeding, upset son. Upset mama..;pissed off dad. He is mad that he can't keep the dog. I told him that we are getting rid of him. I have a 3 month old, and soon she will be scooting about and grabbing toys and I can't risk that the dog is giong to bight her! He is mostly mad at himself, at taking on the responsability of a dog without having the time to take proper care of him.
I feel awful. As much of a pain as the dog is, I do love him. But, I love my kids more. He really is a friendly dog!! He just doesn't respect my middle son as someone that has any authority over him. We have told the boys that we will be getting rid of the dog, and they are both okay with that decision....that alone lets me know we are making the right decision.
So, here's the question. If I take him to a pound or something they will put him down. There is some kind of law/rule that if your dog brakes skin or causes someone to bleed that he is dangerous. My dog isn't dangerous, I don't think, I thin khe is bored. I think he would be GREAT for a family with older children or a person that doesn't have kids. Where can I find families like that? ANyone have an experience with getting rid of a family pet? I can NOT give him to a place that will put him down. I already feel bad enough that we have to do this, I would feel HORRIBLE if they killed him
Please, help us make the right decision!

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answers from Seattle on

I would make fliers, place ads and spread the word by mouth. Try to re-home your pup. When looking, you should be very clear and upfront about your dog's temperament. I've seen dogs with behavioral issues get placed in well suited, loving, homes. Having a smart, active, untrained, ill-socialized, 1 year old dog is a lot of work, and takes some practice and skill. Some people are up for the challenge. They find the retraining process rewarding. Here's the craigslist pet re-homing link for our area: http://seattle.craigslist.org/pet/

And also, a hug. I know this can't be an easy decision to make.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

One aggressive move toward my kid (breaking the skin??) and a dog is out . . . no ifs, ands or buts.

I'm amazed that your husband hasn't dealt with this.

I'm sorry for the dog, your children and you. But you have to fix this immediately. Your middle child may be afraid of dogs forever now.

Good luck - I would look for a breed rescue group and also post on Craigslist (and carefully investigate potential buyers).

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

The dog has a high chance of being euthanized simply due to the overpopulation of domesticated animals. Truthfully - I'd pay to have an obedience/behavioral trainer come to your home, evaluate your dog and help you train him - including the older children.

It's not the dog's fault he was never given the basic training every dog should be required to have... neither you nor your husband are animal trainers. Your husband should take responsibility for this animal's plight and pay to have it trained properly. It is definitely not too late to train him out of this behavior... but needs to be soon, be consistent and EVERYONE must learn how to control the dog thru the training.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

L., please get in touch with a rescue, an all breed rescue. This dog is NOT a lost cause and is definitely trainable. We've had much worse dogs come through our rescue and rehomed them after dealing with their issues. I'm on the other side of the country, so I don't know what rescues are in your area. I would do a google search for all breed rescues and see what comes up. In any other scenario, chances are, t his dog will be put down. This is NOT his fault, it's your husbands fault. If you have any problems, please contact me privately, I will help you if I can.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


If my dog bit and broke skin - UNPROVOKED? Sorry - he's being put down.

I have a boxer pit bull mix - he's a jumper - we're working on that - he's also a HUGE kisser - love his kisses!! there are times when he goes to kiss that his mouth is open and one gets nicked...however, it's NOT intentional.

Nipping and lunging is NOT acceptable and at this point if you haven't gotten trained - he has no "controls" and therefore might not be trainable. You can contact places like PetSmart and see if they will help you train him. If not - put him down. Don't just give your problem away to someone else. Sometimes animals are hardwired wrong.....

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I think you're making the right decision. Your dog may do very well in a home without kids. Maybe a retired couple or a single person who has the time, love and attention to give the dog what he/she needs.

My SIL had to get rid of their dog because it was being aggressive toward the baby. It tried to lie on the baby and sit on it a few times so the dog was gone! Through an ad in the paper they were able to find the dog a new home with a single gentleman. Last they checked the dog was happily being walked several times a day and was being lavished with love.

Try the newspaper and you can be choosy about who the dog goes to.

In the meantime keep the dog separate from your kids. They may develop a fear of dogs or permanent damage if this continues.

My heart goes out to you...but it's for the best.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Tell all your friends you are giving away your dog to a nice family w/older children. You would be surprised how word of mouth can get you places. If none of your friends want him, maybe they'll know of other families who may want him. Send emails, messages and texts. Put a little spin on it - you wanted Snoopy but you got Lassie instead - that sort of thing, to make it more interesting. (either the pound or another family, I think you are still going to have to tell about the biting).

Or call the pound and ask if they know of any shelters/organizations that don't euthanize biters.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

They will likely put him down, they simply get too many dogs. I've worked at a vet and as a volunteer at a city pound and it's just awful... the majority of cases of euthanized pets are cases exactly like this. You can find a family yourself, post it on your facebook page, ask around, post it on craigslist, post it on pet finder or contact a rescue, post it at your vets office (though usually they are flooded with people who already have too many animals_... let people know it's a dog that nips small children and needs to be re homed in a family with older kids who can take the time to train him , love him and entertain him.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Regardless of why he bites, he bites. Therefore he is dangerous... around the kids.

Not all dogs, like kids, nor do well with kids, nor do well around kids.
Thus, a nipping dog.

Then, your Husband does nothing to take care of the dog.

Or, you hire a Dog handler to train it and you all about the dog.

A dog pound, will put down an animal if no one adopts it.
But when you give the dog to an animal shelter or Humane Society, you need to tell them the 'temperament' of the dog. ie: it does NOT do well with kids.
Your dog, does NOT do well, with kids.

Maybe an elderly person or an Adult, would adopt it. Someone that would want a companion.

In many States, there are also dog "Foster Parents." So research that. They take in animals and try to find someone to adopt the dog.
For example:

Or if you have friends/relatives that want a dog.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Im a dog person, and if I have to get rid of my dog because he bit my baby, it would hurt me very deep in the heart, but it would hurt me more if something worst happens to my baby.
I defintely would not take him to a shelter, they will put him to sleep if they can't find home for him.
What I recommed you do is just to spread the word to your friends, put some flyers with pictures at his Vet's clinic, talk to the vet techs and receptionist about finding a home for your little pup.

Good Luck ;)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Sometimes dogs, like people are a little spunkier than others. And usually boarder collie mixes are wonderful dogs, but this might be personality related and a teething situation, too. Plus three kids, one spunky dog and a mom who is at wits end are all generating an anxiety attack. Dogs definitely need time, love, affection and all sorts of things. I lost my dog about two years ago (boarder collie mix) and missed her ever since. She didn't realize she was not human she was so much part of the family. Well, so much for dog stories...anyway, you are right to have to find an alternate home for a dog you cannot care for. I had to do that when my son was small with another dog as I didn't know who was pooping on the floor while I was potty training both of them. AWFUL and at one point I had to give up a dog because it did destroy just about everything in the house and kept running away no matter what we did. We sobbed and sobbed as we left her. All I can say is it really isn't easy, so check around what they do with the dog. Ours was adopted out immediately to great relief. You are making the right decision, it is sadly probably just not the right time to have a dog.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I did a quick google search for "border collie rescue washington state" and it pulled up a ton of stuff. On Monday, take a couple of hours to call around, find the shelter that is the best fit for your dog/closest to you, and then take the dog in. The kids will be sad, but also relieved, I'm sure. No one likes to be bit by a dog.

I am a huge dog lover. We have rescues ourselves. But I agree with the other posters, a dog that bites simply isn't safe for young children. I wouldn't be able to have him put down either; I'm sure he's trainable, but he shouldn't be living in your house.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Utica on

Im sorry that you are getting a lot of negative judgement from ppl here. I totally see where you are coming from and I can understand how this is just a crappy situation. If it were me I would get the word out to everyone you know/can just as you did on Mamapedia. Use your family, friends, co-workers, etc (from both you and your husband) and tell them exactly what you told us and just be totally honest. There are so many ppl out there that Im sure would be willing to take this dog in and help it to have a good life. (Not to say that you cant provide that) but this dog is obviously not well suited for a family with children and would probably thrive with maybe an older couple who has the time to give to the dog and just the dog. Ive known many people with what I call "crusty booger" dogs. Meaning they are just crotchety and want nothing more than to be left alone and just pet and fed and thats it. Like I said, Im sorry you are faced with this but you truly seem to be wanting to do right by everyone involved in this situation and Im sure it will work out for you
Good Luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cumberland on

"My dog isn't dangerous"??? a dog's tooth is a weapon-and a formidible one at that, and , therefore, if a dog nips or bites-particularly at a child-it is dangerous! You would feel horrible if he were to be put down? Wait until, God forbid, he bites your baby's face off. Take him to a shelter-where he will be trained and placed in a home-with no children. We have a pit bull-she is the sweetest dog I have ever seen-if we are playing and one of her teeth merely grazes our skin and we say ouch-her lower lip quivers-she is that sweet and understanding of how teeth can hurt! Your dog can be retaught and provide years of enjoyment for someone, I'm sure.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fort Wayne on

I haven't read the other responses, so I'm probably going to repeat.

There are LOTS of animal rescues out there. I would Google "animal rescue shelters" and your city name. I'm sure you'll be able to find someone that's willing to take him. You'll probably have to disclose that biting. I'm not sure if a shelter will take him, but it's worth a shot. Sadly, if no rescue shelter will take him, you'll probably have to have him put down.

The very first time he broke the skin on one of my kids, we'd have been at the animal trainer. You can't let behavior like that continue or you will wind up with an aggressive dog.

I truly hope you can re-home your pet and he doesn't have to be put down.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

I LOVE MY DOG!! She bites a child? She's out. No dog should ever get the chance to repeatedly bite anyone, let alone a defenseless child. This has now become his go to reaction bc it has been allowed and therefore reinforced as acceptable. If you rehome him you need to be very upfront about the biting. Make sure whoever takes him understands he bites and he has to watched at all times. He needs strict obedience training and even then it will take time because biting is all he knows.

Also, IMO, it has nothing to do with the breed. Border collies do need a TON of exercise but they are not "known" biters. It doesn't sound like this is the right dog for your family, you are doing the right thing by rehoming him. Your dog is dangerous. He bites children (to the point of bleeding) unprovocted.

I'm not trying to sound so harsh, I just want you to know how this all sounds to an unbiased observer. I know you love your dog, you don't want to think he could be dangerous, but he is. I bet if you put up an honest ad or contact a rescue group, someone will be willing to rehabilitate him. He could still have a happy, productive life...just not with your family, or any home with children. Until then, I would keep him away from children. Good luck, I know its hard.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

we were in the exact same situation. my husband got a dog while we were still dating and took care of her the first year but after I moved in (and married and had kids) that dog was completely my responsibility. I had no choice bc if I didn't do anything, he wouldn't either. It was terrible.

After 7 years I HAD to get rid of her and it was so terrible and sad but she was dangerous and had hurt our kids many times. we even tried obedience trainers in our HOME, and that didn't work permanently.

All I can say is that its a no win situation. I couldnt bare to know she was put down but it hurt to know she'd live in a cage forever. I had to close myself off from that. I didn't trust people on craigslist. I knew she'd be a great pet for a senior or family with older kids.

So I was just honest when I took her in and filled out the paper work as such.

It's all you can do.



answers from Chicago on

We had to find a new home for our lab/beagle mix that we had for four years after my twins were born. I was devastated!!! He was my first baby. I sent out an email to everyone I knew, asking them to pass it along. It was like a flyer to find our pet a new home. Within a week we had found a loving, new home for him. Also, check with the local humane society. Their whole purpose is to find animals a home and they do not put animals down. Good luck!



answers from Pittsburgh on

Your husband reneged on the bargain he made, clear and simple. Now HE is acting like O. of the children.

Live and learn from this. It will be painful for everyone involved to get rid of him. Make sure the shelter knows he is best with an adult home.

That said, he is still young AND trainable. It might be well worth the effort and expense to try to make this dog a safe part of the family.



answers from Dallas on

Try to find a good rescue for that breed. Ask them how they choose potential adopters. Some of them are really careful and will make sure your dog goes to the right home. Some will train the dog before adopting it out. too.

Do NOT give it away unless you know the person. Some people get dogs for free, like off Craigslist, and then turn around and sell them. :(

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