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What warrants killing a dog when it comes to human aggression? IYO

Discussion in 'Dog Debates' started by Poisoned, Nov 22, 2012.

  1. Poisoned

    Poisoned GRCH Dog

    I could have sworn we had a debate on this, but I can't find it, if someone else does let me know, I didn't think it was discussed recently.

    In your opinion. And in a civil manner,please explain what exactly you think would warrant euthanasia and what you think is justifiable when it comes to behavior and temperament, if breed, size etc. come into play at all. In detail, please.

    And include if you are divided, some people think aggressing strangers is more acceptable than aggressing family members. As in, a dog who bites a stranger may be allowed to live, when the same dog who bites the owner it's done for.

    Also, include the home situation.. I.E.:
    It depends on the home, some are not educated or equipped enough to handle a dog who has the temperament that would lead to a bite/mauling if allowed. Or, it doesn't matter what the living situation is, the dog should be put down if showing the above behaviors.

    Or what about dogs who's job is to be aggressive to people? Guard dogs for example. Do you think they should not be allowed to live should they be properly contained and maintained, or not at all ? And etcetera.

    I'm honestly interested, we seem to have a wide array of opinions on the matter on the forum. And again, keep it civil and respectful, you can state your opinion and debate without getting angry and offensive. I do, honestly, understand this is a touchy subject.

    *forgot to add:

    This theoretical dog is YOURS, imagine this is your current dog, you are not judging a strangers dog. Now, this dog, in your current home and situation. What would he or she have to do to be euthanized when it comes to his/her temperament with humans?
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2012
  2. catchrcall

    catchrcall Good Dog Staff Member

    I do judge my dogs harshly when it comes to HA. ONE time is all it takes, and it doesn't take a bite. I don't care if the dog has some medical condition that made it do it, I don't care about it's past, and I won't waste my time with some behaviourist. A bite or snap is ALMOST always a one way ticket to the woods. It's not worth it. There are few exceptions I'm sure but by and large it's one and done.

    Guard dogs are not human agressive. They do not bite some random dude that happens to be walking by. If you jump over the wrong fence, break into the wrong house, stick your hand in the wrong pickup bed, or mess with the wrong person sure you'll get nailed. That's not human aggression, that's a dog doing it's job.

    I own a dog or two that are VERY protective of my family. I realize that, and act accordingly. One of those is also very protective of our property. I always joke that I could take that dog and my pickup and park in the worst neighborhood around, throw the keys to the pickup and a hundred dollar bill in the back and walk away. When I come back I bet the pickup, the hundred and the dog are right where I left them. He wouldn't mess with anybody that just happened by. You could even pet him. Try and remove something from the back of that pickup and he'll nail you, I'll put money on it. That's not human agression either, it's just protecting what he sees as belonging to his owner. I just don't place him in a situation where he'd have to do it because it would cost him his life and it would be on my head.
  3. Beret

    Beret Bullyflop

    I actually just had this conversation today with my family.

    I have no kids and know nobody with young children. It's just me and the dog. That being said, I would consider my threshold for HA fairly low. Especially in this current situation.

    If my dog EVER growled, snapped, lunged, or aggressed toward someone in any way...Unless someone is viciously attacking me...we'd have a problem. It would be COMPLETELY atypical of his temperament and ANY indication of something amiss would warrant a complete vet check.

    And if, after ruling out medical issues, I thought that my dog was a danger to people, he would be PTS. No questions asked. If I felt like taking him in public was a human liability, PTS. I refuse to own a dog that must be muzzled and/or kept under lock and key. I'm sure some could handle it. I could not, and absolutely would not.
  4. APBT Courage at its Best

    APBT Courage at its Best Little Dog Premium Member

    This is pretty much the same with me except the woods part because I don't have a woods! But a dog, guard or not is not going to bite a stranger just walking by.

    The only time they tried to nail a person was when I was being attacked and I was able to call them off! That to me is acceptable! And to this day one of my bitches has not forgot what happened and the next time she saw this person she barked her head off but did not try to nip or bite them!
  5. Amon Ra Reptiles

    Amon Ra Reptiles Little Dog

    I own a guardian breed and I own a APBT mix. My rottie is protective. He barks and growls from the window at people . However when on walks or out in the yard he's happy and wanting all the attention he can get. He has never snapped at anyone and if he's well bred and well trained never will. He's in the beginning of schutzhund and protection training. With this there is a fine line. A good sound dog knows when it's acceptable to do this job. If he ever went after someone on his own and wasn't provoked or given the command to do so he would be facing being put down. Even if he wasnt in the training he is in it would be the same. Go after a human for no reason = unstable = PTS.
    If Kylie being a bulky breed went after someone. She would be PTS . That is a big no no in this breed and I don't put up with it. I love her more than I love most people. In all honesty if my fiancé gave me a choice between him and her..... Well I wouldn't have use for the wedding dress I just paid off. But if she bit him or one of his girls or even a stranger that gave her no reason to, she would be put down. Yes I would hate myself for a bit and I would always second guess, but I would know in my heart it was the right thing.
  6. BlaznJon

    BlaznJon Little Dog

    For me it would be one of my dogs biting a stranger or child when i did not sanction it.i socialize my dogs with a lot of different dogs and people.We go on a couple monthly walks with a face book group of dogs and owners have been to events like NPAD. For the most part my dogs love all people and dogs.And act as breed ambassadors.they do have children they are around that they will warn strangers by keeping them selfs between them.

    Here`s the part I`m going to get a lot of grief for.If you break into my house or like some low life thief's tried to do,Steal my tools out of my truck in the middle of the night. i will turn them loose on you and you will get bit.I do not consider that HA since thief's I do not consider human.So it boils down to if i did not not tell them to bite some one and they did. does that make me a bad pit bull owner not in my eyes but it will in others.All my dogs over the years regardless of breed have been raised this way.
  7. DancesWithCurs

    DancesWithCurs Good Dog

    It depends on the breed. There are breeds where some level of human aggression is acceptable, and there are some where it's not. My Shepweiler had bitten two people, both of them deserved it, and it's natural for both breeds in his mix to be protective. Should an APBT, AmBully, Amstaff, pitterstaff, or Staffordshire, or certain bullymix in my possession show actual human aggression, it has to get a forever sleepytime shot. But I don't think everything warrants a putdown.

    For instance, my pit/lab had bitten me, but I wouldn't count that as human aggression. After he'd broken his leg from being hit by a car, he was in a cast. During the night, I had been going to the bathroom and accidentally kicked his injured leg pretty hard and he bit me. That's not human aggression, that's a simple reaction to what had to be intense pain, seeing as the initial hit by the car was so bad he'd actually skipped the "pleasantries" and went straight into shock. There was another instance where my little sister had been going to smack some bushes with a stick when he quickly and firmly put her fist in his mouth and pulled her away from the bush. To some people that's an automatic euth but that deserved a check to me so I checked the bushes and out walks this huge possum foaming at the mouth. So had I not checked I could have essentially rewarded that dog's careful vigilance with death, which is unfair.

    The important part of deciding what to do is know the difference between actual human aggression and something else entirely. Is the dog sick or injured? Was something extremely off in the circumstances of the proposed aggression? Little things like that.

    But if my dog is going after people like he wants to chew them open and find the prize inside? Yeah, he's got to go
  8. Pitifull

    Pitifull Big Dog

    For me, it's pretty simple. If you have lost faith in your dogs actions, cannot trust your dog in everyday situations and are not 100% able to manage the dog then it should be PtS. I do think there are exceptions and what not but I'm on my phone an ont want to type it all out.
  9. Poisoned

    Poisoned GRCH Dog

    I guess I should have worded that better.. It was late, and I was tired :lol:
    I mean, what if it is a dog who is used for guarding, but is aggressive to people regardless? It was just a theoretical question, like asking if it's acceptable in one situation but not another. I'm not talking about a trained dog who knows to stop people from coming in, I'm talking about your average junk yard guard dog.

    And yes, I should have included medical issues. So, do medical issues come into play?

    But what do you mean by that?

    We have to know what you HA threshold is to know what you really mean.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2012
  10. Lee D

    Lee D Good Dog

    i shortened up Pitifulls reply to fit my beliefs. TRUST...i gotta be able to trust my dog 100%, no matter the situation.
    if i cant, nighty-night doggie.

    and to clarify, to me HA is a dog that will bite either because it is unstable, or because it is being protective. i dont need protecting, and neither does my family. protecting someone/biting will further smear the reputation of the "pit bull type" dogs, and can be greatly misunderstood by the gp.... which will get the owner drug thru the legal system. i dont know about yall, but i dont need a lawsuit. they are animal/dog fighters, not manfighters or protection dogs.

    i'll even go out on a limb and say that if i had been around "back in the day" and had the chance, some of the legendary gamedogs would have been culled in a heartbeat. :omg:

    *and im not some internet big talker, i put a dog down that had spent 2 years as a house dog (and began to show signs of instability), and i loved her more than 99% of the people on this planet. people dont seem to realize, when you own a breed of dog thats under the microscope, as painfull as it may be ... it comes with the territory.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2012
  11. MMSmith

    MMSmith Good Dog

    Very well said.

    The only thing that I would add is that I do not own an APBT. My dog is a mutt. He has a low level of protectiveness that we are able to handle. I trust him 100% in every social situation. But come to my home, in the middle of the night, banging on the door, and you're gonna see some badass barking and growling. Do I think he would bite someone? Eh, I'm not sure. He's never had the chance and never will. I appreciate him 'doing his job' but I don't ever put him in a situation where he could nail someone. It's not right. He's not trained for protection and never will be.

    I also remember an instance a few years ago where we had a repairman come to the house on one of my days off. He was sort of a sketchy guy and I was there by myself (I am a woman). He was working on the a/c, going in and out of the house. Henry was stuck to me like glue. He was friendly, wagged his tail at the guy, and when the man solicited attention from Henry he was friendly and loving. But I could tell he was keeping his eye on him. That I'm ok with. Henry was totally appropriate and again, I trusted him and his reactions.
  12. catchrcall

    catchrcall Good Dog Staff Member

    I think a good example of "medical condition" I was talking about would be the dog in the cast. Some sort of chemical imbalance or mental disorder that causes human aggression would spell to me a defective dog that needed to be culled.

    A guard dog that is human aggressive all the time, to me at least, would not be a good example of a guard dog and would need culled.
  13. K9 Love

    K9 Love Good Dog

    My breed preference tends towards guardians/herders so I in fact seek out a dog with an understanding of threat (which can be human) as well as a dog that will follow through if necessary. I also prefer individual dogs that are on the fine edge of that line, so more "aggressive" and more on edge. Thinking along the extreme lines of a Fila.

    If my dog was unpredictably aggressive towards me, specifically; after assessing the dog, living with it, training and figuring out its habits it randomly would bite me leaving puncture wounds or bruises, once or multiple times, no health cause could be found I would PTS.

    I tend to roughly follow the rule of biting family members is pretty unacceptable, strangers not as much, always heavily depending on the situation. I also tend to very liberally (I would prefer to use the word accurately, but I won't ;) ) class "bites". Some people get in an uproar over an air snap, I take it seriously, but I do not class air snaps as bites. I class them as a severe warning that needs to be addressed. I don't class grabs that don't leave marks of any kind as a bite. If a dog intends on biting you and injuring you, it will, there's no doubt about it. I find it amusing when people say; That dog was going to bite me! I was too quick! You might be quick, but my money is always on a dog being quicker.

    I do believe living situation is a huge part of the equation. Not just who lives in the home, but their abilities and mental capacity to understand the importance of managing a dog with issues or aggressive tendencies, where you live, how much time you have to devote to training and management, are children at risk at all and most of all, evaluating your abilities and how much time you truly want to devote to working with a dog that is more difficult to handle. Some people just can't do it, and that's okay to admit to, but what gets under my skin, as someone who owned, trained, managed and loved a dog that many people would call HA, is the view that it's 100% irresponsible, no ifs and or butts. Because I don't believe my life with Roxy was irresponsible and I value our time together greatly.

    Just my .02 cents as always!

    ETA - I guess part of my view is heavily based on the perception that its okay for someone to want to own a high strung "guard" dog. I don't see anything wrong with someone wanting a dog that would attack someone who hits them. I don't see an issue with that. On the flipside, I 100% understand why some people would rather not own a dog like that at all. There are hundreds of breeds of dogs out there for a reason, with dozens of purposes, a lot of breeds purpose is based in protection. Shouldn't be surprising that a dog that's bred to protect would in fact bite a person. Now level of threat is all in the eye of the beholder. What I view as a threat, for example, someone snooping around on my property, you may not. Threat is heavily dependent on the owners personal perception. I find the teenage kids that keep trying to break into my truck a threat, and if I had Roxy, I would send her out in an intimidating manner after them on my property. I wouldn't allow her to bite them, but if she ran at them for 50 feet barking and snarling, that's A-ok in my books. I get that not everyone has that mentality, but I guess I don't see what's wrong with having it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2012
  14. xdogs

    xdogs Good Dog

    Being able to trust and predict the dog's actions is a big one. I euthanized a dog, which I also loved very dearly, without him ever biting anybody. But there were signs that, if the stars were aligned just so, that he would have killed somebody. Not just bitten... but killed.
    Part of that was his physical strength and build. Part of it was a not entirely reliable temperament. He had lots of training on board. I think that was, why he lived as long as he did. But once he got fired up, there was no getting him back. When he got hold of my pants in the middle of an accidental dog fight, and he did not immediately let go... I euthanized him. He was VERY dog reactive. And it had intensified due to a few loose dogs in the neighborhood. At the time I euthanized him, he was over the top dog aggressive. Yes.. I probably could have worked with him and sought out professional help... but as everybody knows (I hope) aggression cases are never 100% guaranteed "cured". There remains a risk. A risk I wasn't willing to take.

    So.. whether or not to euthanize a dog is a trust issue, first and foremost. I will consider size and some medical issues... but no amount of medical issues makes a mauled person OK. I would probably be OK with a small, spitz-like breed offering to bite intruding strangers... because that's what they were bred for. But I would expect a certain amount of discretion on the dog's part to not run down the drive-way and bite anybody that happens by. A training issue, IMHO.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2012
  15. MsAcer

    MsAcer Good Dog

    When I think of HA, I think of a dog with a unsound temperament or owners who have allowed it to act on it's own(spoiled). Dogs that are wired wrong or un-trainable dogs should be put down or homed with people who know/can handle that type of dog. Not the general public. Not people who have had only 2-3 dogs in a life time.
    Even my rescue rejects, who were snappy, were not HA. They also would listen to me. I had a Jack mix that was very odd and snappy. I worked with him till he knew he could trust me and that snapping would be dealt with in a harsh manner. We went to the vets and as I was paying my bill and setting up another appointment, a small child totterer up behind me. The dog was between my legs and I felt him "tuck up". I looked around and saw this child was petting the dogs butt!!!! I told Acer "you be nice" and reached behind me to move the child. Acer stayed nice and I did a polite freak out on the child's mom. Ace was odd and goose-y, but not HA. so he lived.
  16. Krista

    Krista Krypto Super Dog

    I also need to be able to trust my dogs 100%. My dog Rudy who was abused before we got him.. He's a terrier, but not a pit bull. But he has never bit anyone and I wouldn't consider him HA. Or fearful.

    But if he does bite someone, I would probably put him down. He isn't fearful or anything. He's just sensitive but I would not condone his behavior if he bit someone. Unless he was protecting me or my family from harm.

    But if he bit someone without reason.. I would put him down. He is afraid of kids since he was abused by one.. but he was fine around Jordan my cousin's baby girl. With her only being 3, she respected that he needed space and he was lovey with her on his terms. I would not put him in a situation full of kids, though that would be setting him up to fail. I don't have kids so I don't have to worry about that. He is fine in public around them.

    I have high expectations of my dogs.. even Rudy to not bite a human unless they were protecting my family and me from harm.
  17. Beret

    Beret Bullyflop

    I jumped into this conversation on another forum with the same sentiment and was met with the lynch mob.

    Essentially, the general consensus was that dogs are lifelong commitments and that extends to keeping a dangerous manbiting dog alive. It was frustrating, to say the least. The conversation with my family took a similar turn.

    I think the PBC membership is unique in that it has a much lower tolerance for HA behavior.

    Dogs were domesticated and bred as companions to humans. A dog who is a danger, unprovoked, to humans is NOT filling that role and has no place here.
  18. MMSmith

    MMSmith Good Dog

    Especially when you consider the many, many, many dogs who have stellar temperaments and deserve to live and be treated with love and respect. I personally think that a huge part of the pet overpopulation we have stems from this "let's save them all" attitude. Many unsound dogs of various breeds and mixes are being allowed to live by owners who are idiots and delusional, while awesome dogs are dying every day. I have a big problem with that.

    Not to say that every dog can come out of the shelter system or from shitty previous homes without needing some training and socialization. Henry is a great example of this. Very undersocialized and shy, but never fearful or fear-aggressive, if that makes sense. Even when he was unsure, he sought affection and comfort from humans. He lives for human contact. That basic tenet of his personality always shone through.
  19. My Rottweiler is very friendly towards any friends and family members who come to my house, as well as strangers that he meets while out on walks, but if someone broke into my house or assaulted me, I'm pretty sure he would rip their face off, and I don't consider that HA. Now if he was in guard mode all the time when off the property or when someone we know comes over that would be unnacceptable and would be a sign of a serious lack of training or not being mentally wired right. A properly bred, trained and socialized guardian breed is able to tell the difference between someone who is supposed to be there and someone who is a potential threat. I have different standards with my bully breeds. If they were ready to attack people coming to the house, they would lose their living privelleges because that's a sign of a mental issue. But I would be ok with them biting someone who hurt me or broke in. To me the breed and what is was created for plays a big role in the decision but so does the situation becuase IMO it's ok for a dog of any breed to bite someone who breaks into a home and/or attacks the dog's owner. To me the biggest deciding factor would be the mental stability of the individual dog. I would euthanize a dog that wanted to kill every person it sees, or a FA dog if it is severe and other people are in the home or if I didn't think I could properly contain it, or a dog that has shown any aggression toward me.
  20. Ali132

    Ali132 Good Dog

    I have a similar view.
    It's not news to anyone that izzy isn't the best example of her breed.
    She will bite a stranger that comes in the house and can't tell the difference if they are a threat (to some extent).

    But after slow introductions she is fine.
    She does great when outside in crowds of people but one on one she will feel cornered and will react.
    Because of this no one is allowed to walk her but me (unless my bf asks which is never). No one is allowed to stop and pet her, they ask I simply say no and keep walking. If anyone approaches us she gets pulled close to me and put behind me until I tell the person to go just incase they decide to be stupid and pet her when I say no.
    She would NEVER bite family or someone she has gotten to know.
    She is never off leash, she is on 2 lunge lines.

    She adores my little sister and her friends and clobbers them with kisses.
    She is the most gentle thing with my old nana ( and the only big dog allowed t her house because she is so well behaved).

    My dog does not like strangers and is highly managed this is why she is still alive. If went after family members or could never get accustom to strangers this would not be the case.
    If she ever even attempted to bite me shed be in the ground.

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