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What would you do?

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What would you do?

Old 02-21-2011, 09:38 PM
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I know I am potentially opening a can of worms by asking this. I will explain by starting 1 month ago.

My wife has an 11 year old female Chihuahua, that sits in her recliner with her. If my 3 yr old male half Lab, half Golden Retriever, the daughters 2 yr old male wire Terrier get too close, she snaps at them. Just cranky in her old age. Both males were raised with her. Most all dogs occasionally dogs get an upset stomach and barf. There has never been a problem with it, but a month ago the chihuahua was getting sick and my Lab grabbed her and almost killed her shaking her. The only time they are ever together now is when I walk them. Then she goes back to the office, where wife spends her time on the computer. This afternoon I took all the dogs outside. They did their business and we all came back in. Before I could get her back to the office, she started barfing. It was as if he didn't even hear me calling to him. Before I could get to him, he had done this creeping stalk to her and had her in his mouth shaking her until he broke her back. I had tried to pry his mouth open and get a severe bite on my thumb in the process. he didn't bite me on purpose though. He had no idea my thumb was there. Broke my hand on his head, but it was too late for her.

He has always been good around the other two dogs till these two incidents of her barfing. He is good with other dogs in the neighborhood too, when he is out on his run. He is now an outside dog, till I decide what to do. Obviously the wife is devastated and wants nothing to do with him.

I understand the concept of an eye for an eye. It's just that he is my best buddy, My foot warmer, frisbee catcher.

I am asking for opinions, but if it gets out of hand I will lock it up.
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:50 PM
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Midas my Lab. Amy R.I.P Chihuahua. My bit thumb and broken hand.
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:45 AM
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Unfortunately for the chihuahua, your loved Lab was likely acting on some pack dynamics that human eyes and perceptions could not pick up on.
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Old 02-22-2011, 04:25 AM
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The chihuahua is no longer able to keep the top dog spot. It's unfortunate that the larger dog was so aggressive in taking that spot.

What you need to do is to decide between your wife, or the dog. Personally, if the dog had caused me physical harm during the attack, the choice would be easy. As much as you don't think the dog was not aware of what was happening, it was. He chose to ignore your efforts.

Please, don't think I'm saying it would be an easy choice, because dogs are part of the family. I only wonder what will happen to you, or your family, should your dog decide you are no longer the pack leader.
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:31 AM
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I hate to say it, but you may need to get rid of the lab. Your wife is never going to forget that the lab killed her chihuahua and is going to relate the lab to you. I know that labs are suppose to be non-aggressive, but you may have one that is. I know of two labs that are as aggressive as a pitt bull. I don't know how trusting I would be of him toward other dogs, especially smaller dogs. He has a record now, and if he attacked another dog you could be open for liability. You have a tough situation for sure.
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:48 AM
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Tough call. You know your wife's feelings and yours better than any of us, but here are my thoughts.

As noted, your wife may always associate the lab with you, and her dead pet. That could cause problems.

However, will getting rid of your dog fix it? If your dog is gone, will she still associate you with her dead pup? If you get rid of your dog, will that just add to the animosity because now you associate her with your dog being gone?

My guess is either way, you are going to have to deal with some hard feelings from your wife for a while. I'd sit down with her and talk it over. Will it really help if your dog is gone? It won't bring back her pup, and it will obviously bother you. If that will fix things, I'd get rid of the dog.

You might also talk with a vet or trainer and try to find out why the chihuahua's vomiting triggered your dog to attack. The explanation might help settle things for both of you.

Chad
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:58 AM
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Also you now have a liability because if he ever bites anyone else in the future, and if they sue you. Once it comes out that he bit before, it's all over and you will have to pay up.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:48 AM
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Its just the natural pack instinct. You can't blame the lab anymore than him being born a dog.

There was a weak dog in the pack. He just did what dogs do.

I have a simular issue right now. Got two dobermans. The 11 year old has always been alphamale by a longshot. He has put the 6 year old in his place everyday, a few times with a few cuts and tears. But his hips are going downhill in a hurry. The young one finally after all these years of getting put in his place is trying to move up the pack ladder. And sometimes he wins the bedding of choice.

You can't stop dogs being dogs. All I can do is at night keep one in the crate.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by MN_Deerman View Post
Also you now have a liability because if he ever bites anyone else in the future, and if they sue you. Once it comes out that he bit before, it's all over and you will have to pay up.
It wouldn't matter if it came out that he bit before or not. You would have to pay up either way. Your liable for the damage of your animals. Now, if he bit the same person twice, you got a problem.
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:25 AM
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Thanks guys for all your comments, viewpoints, and suggestions. She and I haven't discussed it further. I figured it is best to give it a day or two to get over the initial shock. I ended up having to bring him in last night about 1:30 am, when the officer knocked at the door with a complaint from neighbors of his barking.
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