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Recent Letter to the ElderWisdomCircle™

OTHER: My Dog Is Attacking Neighbor Dogs
Letter #: 402179
Category: Family

Original Letter

My dog has got out and attacked my neighbours dog. He is not ordinarily ill tempered, but has locked on to two other dogs when loose. Should I have him euthanised? Kind regards Dave, u.k.

Elder Response

I'm sorry to hear that you are having problems with your dog, and very sorry that your dog has caused problems with other pets and their owners. David, several things come to mind.

First, you own the dog, so you are right to feel responsible for your dog's behavior. At the same time, you can control your dog's behavior. My advice is to talk with your veterinarian about this situation for their advice. Ask them to recommend a school where you can take your dog to both learn discipline and improve your dog's behavior.

My belief is that unless your dog is completely untrainable, it would be only fair to give him a chance to be able to live a good life and learn to take commands.

In the meantime, why not always keep him on a leash and under your control? There is really no reason for any dog to be loose and able to harm another animal. If your dog is getting out of your house/apt, he clearly is not trained to "stay." It is up to you to train your dog to obey your commands (with love, not with violence), so it sounds like obedience school or hiring a dog trainer to teach you how to lead your dog would be an important step.

In the meantime, please keep your dog under control, and make amends to the families of the other dogs he may have harmed. Having a pet is an important responsibility, one that can bring great satisfaction to both pet and owner. So it's really not fair to the pet not to fully embrace your part with food, shelter and the love of a well-trained pet. And if you feel you cannot do this, talk with your local shelter about taking your dog from you, with the understanding that he needs to be trained.

Good luck, Dave. I know you'll do what's best for both of you.

Best Regards,



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