Should aggressive dogs be put down?

In this article, we will answer the following question: Should aggressive dogs be put down? Since this is a subject of great conflict, we would like to explain the situations in which a dog must be helped to end his life and the situations in which we must not, under any circumstances, sacrifice him.

Should aggressive dogs be put down?

Aggressive dogs should not be put down for the sole reason that their owner cannot control or train them. It is very easy to blame the dog when something bad or serious happens, it is a dog that is bad, it is a dog that does not learn, etc…. But the truth is that in 99% of cases, the problem is due to the owner and not the dog.

If your dog has bitten another dog, you should not euthanize it. It is normal between dogs that there are arguments and that on some occasions, they end in confrontation. There are fewer occasions in which unfortunately a dog dies, but that does not mean that the other dog has to be euthanized. 

If your dog has bitten a person, you should not euthanize it either, since you are responsible and not your dog. You are directly responsible for the actions of your puppy, if your dog is aggressive you should have muzzled him, and if your dog bites you should have taken him to a professional trainer. Here there are no excuses that the dog is bad, the bad guys are the humans, not the dogs.

Never euthanize a dog for these reasons, it is not fair to him. You have at your disposal thousands of professional trainers, a prevention system such as muzzles, and so on.

My dog ​​is sick. Should I euthanize it?

When we hear cases of people who have euthanized their pets or have abandoned them simply because they have a disease, our soul falls to the ground. We don’t even want to think what those people will do when their partners, children, or parents get sick…. Will they abandon them too?

There is only one excuse to euthanize a sick dog, and that is for the vet to let us know. Only the vet can tell when a dog is so sick that it will only suffer. Consequently, it is obviously best to put him to sleep so that he does not suffer. These are cases such as terminal cancer that causes pain, or an accident that has caused irreparable damage that causes a lot of pain or the impossibility of living. 

Only in these few cases and always under the recommendation of a veterinarian can this act be excused, since it is done out of mere humanity.

Most sick dogs, that is 99% of sick dogs, do not need to be euthanized. Many of them only need medication to be able to lead a normal life or some special care. But that does not mean under any circumstances, that we should take their lives.

Imagine that your mother, your father, your husband or wife, or one of your children becomes ill… ..would you seriously consider sacrificing them? I think not, the normal thing is to go to the doctor and continue living with the medication that is necessary. Well the same with our dog, he or she is part of our family.

My dog is old. Should I euthanize it?

I hope that one day when you are also a very old person, someone will ask you if they should sacrifice you…. Seriously, it is not possible for someone to euthanize their dog just for being old, as it is the greatest injustice that can be committed.

Only when a puppy is in his last moments, and as long as a veterinarian recommends it, can he be sedated so that he does not suffer pain and can rest in peace.

Losing a friend is hard, but it is harder to see him suffer. We must know how to differentiate when the time has come, and it is something that we will not know how to do, so we must always consult a veterinarian.

How is a dog euthanized?

When there is no other solution but to do it, that is, when the vet recommends doing it because it is the only solution to end their pain, is when it should be done.

Dogs are ALWAYS euthanized in a veterinary hospital, except when the vet travels to the house where the puppy lives. The veterinarian will sedate our puppy, that is, he will put a sedative to make him sleep and thus not suffer. Once the puppy is totally asleep, he is given another injection containing something that will end his life.

Never, under any circumstances, should a puppy be euthanized without completely sedating it first. And always, it must be done by a certified veterinarian, otherwise, you would be committing a crime of animal abuse.

So you already know the cases in which our puppy should be helped to rest in peace, only and exclusively when it is the only option, be it to alleviate his pain (incurable) and always under veterinary recommendation.

And remember that the life of a dog is not measured on his last day, but in all the happy days that you have spent with him and him with you.

Aggressive Dogs: Training Tips

Your dog’s behavior is in your hands. First of all, the main thing to do is accept that our partner has a problem and that we must help him solve it in order to have a better quality of life. You should not blame yourself for your furry’s aggressive behaviors, most of the time they are the consequence of insecurity and ignorance. 

Sometimes, this attitude is not due at all to poor management of the problem by the owner, but to previous traumatic experiences that the animal has lived, as may be the case, for example, of some adult dogs that are adopted from an animal shelter.

My dog ​​is aggressive, do I need help?

The important thing is to recognize the problem and try to tackle it. If your furry threatens or bites a person or an animal, then you have to act! Experts such as dog educators or ethologists can help you. You should not worry, there is nothing wrong with asking for help, it is neither a failure nor a sign of weakness, but of determination and commitment towards your dog.

Step one: identify the causes

That our actions influence the dog’s aggressiveness is actually a comfort. Just as a wrong upbringing can produce reactive character, a proper upbringing can destroy these responses and turn your best friend into a nice companion.

So what do you need to change for the future? You have to study the triggers for aggressive behavior. The better you know them, the easier it will be to avoid them and desensitize the dog to that stimulus that makes him react.

A dog does not become aggressive overnight. Aggression is the result of continuous or repeated negative feelings, especially from poor emotional management in the face of fear or that have been reinforced over time. However, the pain caused by the illness can also exhaust the animal and lead to unwanted behaviors. 

Nor does a dog bite because it likes to fight or because it enjoys intimidating or hurting others. An aggressive dog is almost always an insecure animal that does not know how to solve a situation on its own.

Step Two: Solve the Problem

When you have identified the triggers for the behavior, you should work together with a dog educator to progressively change that attitude. Never take aggressive behavior by your dog lightly, since, depending on its strength or size, it can represent a danger to you and your environment. 

If your furry reacts with another dog or in a certain context, try, for a while, to avoid these situations, as far as possible, in order to lower your friend’s stress levels.

When you are sure you have learned the basic rules of obedience and are following the visual and auditory instructions, you can begin the process of desensitizing the triggering stimulus, with the help of a behavior modification expert.

Should my dog wear a muzzle?

In the event that your dog already has a marked aggressive behavior and you think that he may ignore your instructions at a certain moment, you can put the muzzle on him. Don’t feel bad, this is a temporary security measure, never definitive. Please note that this accessory should not be used continuously over time.

Once your dog has learned to manage the situation himself, you can forget about him. So that putting the muzzle on it is not an odyssey, it is best that you first get used to your furry calmly at home. You can, for example, put snacks inside, which you can only reach if you insert your snout. 

Take it off after a couple of minutes and reinforce his behavior with words and an extra snack. Repeat this operation several times and gradually increase the time you leave it on. After a while, you can stop putting out snacks and take your dog out with the muzzle.

Third step: Reeducation

With steps 1 and 2, you will have carried out the “emergency measures” for handling a reactive dog. You will have discovered the reason for his behavior and you will have managed to understand that your dog is not aggressive without reason, but that he has a hard time and needs your help.

The next and final step is to take action. At this point, it is advisable to see a professional who can carry out a routine of behavior modification. It will help you to carry out specific training for desensitization and counterconditioning of the triggers of aggressive behaviors. 

Little by little, you will get used to the stimulus again and reduce the distance in which it does not react; let him handle the situation himself.

Canine and behavioral obedience exercises

In training, the most important behaviors are practiced first. With obedience exercises, the dog learns basic visual and auditory instructions, such as coming to the call or the different instructions to sit, lie down, get up, or stop doing something. When you have internalized these guidelines and adhere to them, you can begin to desensitize yourself to your triggers. 

The handler will recreate situations in which the dog would react aggressively and will teach you alternative modes of action. One way to treat aggression problems in dogs is through positive reinforcement: repeated rewards can redirect the dog’s behavior to achieve desired behaviors.

Click here for a few basic obedience exercises for dogs.

The bottom line

Aggressive dogs should not be put down as a method to control their behavior. The owner should be the one who has to take control of the situation and be responsible. 

If you are dealing with an aggressive dog, a dog trainer will not only help improve the behavior of your best friend but also to work and increase your bond. You will get to know your dog better and learn how to proceed in critical situations. It is not necessary to be excessively harsh or use force, just demonstrate self-confidence, be consistent and positive.

We cannot imagine a worse situation for a person than having to really consider euthanizing their dog, obviously for some reason of greater cause. But that it is something that can be done … does not mean that it is something that should be done, or at least not in most situations in which it is unfortunately done.

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