We Need to Put Our Family Dog Down. She Has Recently Become Very Aggressive...

Updated on January 28, 2007
J.B. asks from Fennville, MI
9 answers

Our dog, Cinnamon has been in our family since she was about 6 months old or so. We got her from a pet store, no background info was given. Anyway, she was always a bit on the protective of all of us, she has been agressive to other people by growling and lunging sometimes...but other than that she's perfect. We'd just keep her put away when we had company. But now she is going crazy on our other dog. She just attacks with no warning, or provoking. This is a very hard decision for all of us to make, but month by month has gone by and she is getting worse. She attacked our other dog, Stella, so bad we had to bring her to the vet for stitches and antibiotics tonite for an ER vet visit.
I am not sure how to go about telling the kids and stuff. I feel awful, she is a part of the family, but we can't have her here not knowing if she is going to turn on us. I mean what if it were one of the kids next time? If anyone can help me out, I'd be grateful. I've never had to go through with this before and I am not sure what to do or tell anyone. We are going to the vet next week to put Cinnamon down...Thanks

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So What Happened?

Hello everyone,
Since I last wrote about our dog, Cinnamon, she had tried to bite a friend of the family while being pet and she lunged and snarled at another house guest through the cage this weekend. Also, she attacked our other dog again while I was trying to let one outside and one inside. I was right there, so I thought it wouldn't happen but I was wrong. The rest of the weekend was hectic trying to keep them apart, taking turns in the cage.
After all this, it was extremely apparent that for the safety of our other dog and our family and friends that we must put her down. This was a very hard decision for us all to make but we weighed out all our other options and this seemed to be the only one. We told our kids' the truth about why we were doing it (for their safety, etc.) And gave them a chance to say goodbye.
My husband and I took her in yesterday afternoon to be put down and we were with her the whole time, just holding her and telling her how sorry we were. We took her body home and buried her. I told the kids' in the spring we could plant something to remember her by.
Thank you all for responding and helping me through this hard time.
Jennifer

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C.S.

answers from Detroit on

What kinda of dog is this and please before you do anything drastic.. email me [email protected]____.com

Thanks
C. S.

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N.W.

answers from Detroit on

Why don't you take her to the animal shelter? Then you can honestly tell the kids, she isn't right for your family but she will be right for someone, without kids or pets.

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C.S.

answers from Detroit on

Hi. My heart goes out to you. I have never had to experiece this but my sister did a few years ago with her dog. She didn't tell the kids the dog was going to be put down, she told them she was taking her to a new home. She did try to give her away but didn't have any luck. I wouldn't tell the kids the dogs fate if the vet is the way you're going. It could get messy trying to explain it to them. Just remember you're doing what is best for your family.

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T.

answers from Detroit on

We had to put our dog down when our son was 3. We just told him that she was sick and was in a better place now. We didn't go into details about her dying..........but said she was old and is now better............good luck. It is never easy!

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K.G.

answers from Mansfield on

What kind of a dog is cinnamon? How old is she? The reason I ask is that my brother had a black lab that did the same thing. He was GREAT to be around until he turned about 7 years old. My brother's vet told him that certain breeds of dogs are prone to growing tumors in their brains after about age 6 or 7. These tumors affect their overall disposition. They ended up having to have the dog put to sleep.

When he had to explain it to the kids, he was very honest and told them that something inside the dog was making him sick. When dogs are sick, they can be very mean even though they didn't used to be. He told them that there wasn't any medicine that could make the dog "all better" like when they get sick. So, the vet is going to give him some medicine that will make him fall asleep and he won't wake up. Once the vet gives him this "medicine", he will be in heaven where he will never be sick and will not ever be mean again. He reminded them that there were other relatives that would be in heaven to take care of the dog.

I know that this is not an easy thing to go through. I hope this helps. Good Luck!!

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K.W.

answers from Detroit on

I was a Vet Tech for over 5 years and it is hard when that happens. It sounds like it could be nerological and it sounds serious, especially if it is getting worse and not better. What I would tell my kids the basic truth- Our doggy is very sick and we can not fix him so he is going to a special place so he will better--- the rest is up to what your belifes are in religion and such. My son was 4 years old when my cat died of 20 some years now he did not live at our home he stayed at my parents but my son new it was my cat and played with him all time (parents live down the road) so we told him why I was sad and why we needed to go see him- we didn't let my son see him because it was very gross she had cancer of the mouth and it went into her brain- but I told him that she is happy now up in Heaven playing with Jesus and is not sick any more. He was very content with that and he is 5 now and sometimes will say he misses patches but he knows she is happier in heavan. I hope this helps
I forgot to mention a book called "The Next Place" it is an awesome book for all ages and for any type of death (human or animal)and it has no religous affiliation just in case

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K.D.

answers from Detroit on

Have you thought about finding another home for her - I would want to research all my options before making a decision to put her down. I completely understand that you need to do what is best for your family, and there may be a better place for your dog. My neighbor was going through the same thing with her family dog. Look into dog rescue programs - they may be able to assist you.
Good luck

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C.L.

answers from Saginaw on

Jen, I see some of the newer responses and want to add something. You definately do not want to take her to a shelter. #1-The pet overpopulation problem is out of hand and owner surrenders do not have a good chance at all in a shelter-they are the first to be destroyed. #2-You will have to be honest with them about her aggression and if she bites someone , YOU CAN BE HELD LIABLE AND SUED FOR EVERYTHING YOU OWN EVEN THOUGH YOU GAVE HER AWAY. #3-See this through. When you got her at 6 months of age you made a committment, this means talk to your vet about it and see if they can find a medical reason, get a good trainer (ask your local HS or vet for recommendations), but if she is truly as you say and getting more and more aggressive-then the best thing you can do is handle this yourself so you know she has a fair shot...and if you have to, put her to sleep. You don't want to mess around with aggression.

Original response:
Jen,
I am really sorry that you have to go through this with your beloved family member. If she is older and doing this, it could very well be a tumor on her brain that is triggering this reaction and they are very unpredictable. It could also be that many of the puppies that are bought in pet stores are inbred at the puppy mill or not properly socialized while they are sitting in cages. I will also say that I have placed over 150 dogs from my breed (Chesapeake Bay Retriever) and so I have a vast amount of knowledge on behavior and training of dogs. I am happy to hear that you are taking responsibility for your dog and doing right by her in your decision. If you dump her at a shelter she may go off on someone else or hurt someone who doesn't know her history. Since she has been in your family a long time she deserves to have you go with her to be put to sleep. You cannot risk your kids or yourself by becoming liable for aggression. I can tell you that I have taken in dogs that had to be put to sleep and I had to put down my 10 year old kitty last year and while it is not a fun thing to do, the animals are much calmer if you stay with them. Ask your vet to sedate them first and then administer the injection just in case they don't sedate them first. Although it is painful for you, they basically are overanesthized (sp?) and go peacefully.
Remember her as she was, and please be honest with your kids if they ask. Don't let them think you took their dog away and gave her to someone else. You don't have to go into every detail but do tell them that she was sick (not a bad dog, but sick) and had to go to Heaven to get better. Let the kids have a little funeral or something (plant something they can remember her by) to help ease their grief and provide closure if they dwell on it.
I am very sorry for your families loss.
C. L.
P.S. If you look to replace her please consider giving a shelter animal a shot. You can look them up online at www.petfinder.com

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J.S.

answers from Detroit on

Although this is a difficult decision, I share your pain. We had an American bulldog that just turned one year in the fall. He grew up with us in Monroe but was never around alot of people. Once we moved to westland, he became more agitated and actually bit our roomate pretty good when he came home late in the middle of the night. Although he was just doing his "job" we could not afford another accident especially with all the neighborhood kids around. We ended up putting him down a couple days after that. It still breaks my heart but when it comes to another human being, what could we do? We told our two kids who are five and six that he had to go far away to a friends house where he could have more room to run like he used to at our old home. I am really sorry for what you and your family are going through...

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