AJ
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  • AJ will be crossing the Bridge later this morning. He has been dog agressive most of his life. I have carefully shielded other dogs from him and have never had any worries about his behavior with people.

    Early yesterday evening, he delivered a Level Four bite to one of my friends. She didn't do anything aggressive toward him, nor did she move suddenly in his direction. She only reached for his collar. His bite was so fast and so vicious, it was completely unavoidable for her. He sunk his teeth into her arm and clamped down as hard as he could.

    I cannot justify this bite and I cannot allow him another opportunity to deliver a similar bite, or worse, to anyone else. It is with a very heavy heart that I'm doing my best to make tonight the best night of his life. He's getting steak, potatoes, dog cookies, loves, pets and his choice of bed for the night.

    when business opens later this morning, I will take him to the vet and say goodbye to my friend.

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  • K

    After one bite to a human you put your dog down? I cannot believe this!
    Why not see a behavorial specialist and work on the issue?

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  • This is obviously a very tough decision. I think it merits a bit of unemotional consideration. There may well be a reason you don't understand behind the bite. For what it's worth, on my first acquaintance with my Perry, I reached for his collar and he bite me. Yes, enough to draw blood. I kept him anyway, although I could have sent him back at that point. My question would be, how well did AJ know your friend? We don't always see what dogs see, and miss entirely their point of view.

    I do understand your concern that this not happen again. If you have made up your mind, then there is nothing left to say but "sorry". I know this is an extremely hard decision to make, and you need support right now. My thoughts are with you.

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  • O

    I'm so sorry to hear this. Please have the vet check AJ first. It might be a medical issue that can be resolved, perhaps quite easily. I don't condone biting, but if there is no pattern, no precedent and no provocation, there might be something going on. For a loved dog in a good home, it seems worth investigating before doing something that can't be undone.

    I had a friend whose B bit one time. Someone was reaching toward his face/collar area and he clamped down hard on her wrist and wouldn't let go. It was very scary, but the B had a medical condition, went on meds and it never happened again. There may be no relevance to AJ's situation, but sometimes, with the right help, a first bite is the last one. There are so many options.

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  • A

    I'm very sorry for you. My mum went through a similar situation a few years ago with our family Jack Russell, Jack. Jack had sadly received very little socialising as a puppy (rarely met people or other dogs), and had only received very superficial training - through circumstances which are a bit long to explain here. He turned out insecure, then aggressive, first against dogs, then against humans, and eventually us. We took him to behaviorists and trainers, but sadly the idiots we saw mostly recommended aversive methods (loud sounds, strong pulls on the leash etc.) which did more damage than good. We tried what seemed at the time like every option available, but eventually he'd become too much of a liability and my mum had to have him put down. It was a heartbreaking decision, but it was fully supported by every vet and behaviorist we'd consulted.

    Now several years later, I've adopted my first dog of my own (my Basenji girl) and learned A LOT about socialisation, behavior and training. And I wish I could have brought that knowledge to Jack. I wish I'd known about positive reinforcement and BAT (Behavior Adjustment Training). His issues ran deep and I don't know if I could have saved him, but I wish I'd had the chance to try.

    A bite is not necessarily the end of it all; it all depends on the underlying reasons behind it. Only you can tell if you've explored every option to save AJ, but I'd be careful not to rush into that decision.

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  • If this was the first bite, I might reconsider. If this was a nip or a single puncture, I might reconsider. If this was someone he didn't know, I might reconsider.

    This bite was delivered in a sudden, unexplainable fit of rage. He has been around my friend for several years and has stayed with her for extended periods of time. He meant business with this one.

    I can't, in good conscience, take a chance that this will escalate further. It has escalated to a single, very severe bite. What will be next? A permanently scarred facial bite to a child…even though he has loved children for as long as he's been alive?

    He has had a good life. I've done the best I could for him. He's been my friend for the past five years, after I rescued him from the needle once before. I can only do so much. What was ingrained in him as a puppy, I cannot overcome.

    The kindest thing, in my opinion, is to set him free and see him on the other side.

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  • A

    Looking back at some of your previous posts, I see that AJ is an older dog. Is it possible that perhaps he was uncomfortable or in pain, and overreacted when he was disturbed by your friend? A dog in pain or discomfort can often be grumpy and see its behavior change for the worst suddenly…

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  • I am sad to read about AJ. More for his human than him. It is a very sad thing to have to do, but sometimes it is the kindest thing to do.

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  • I would wait a few days, let the vet run tests, because I agree with the others, he could be sick or in pain. A single bite is bad, but when they continue attack is what I would call an escalated attack. You could put him in a basket muzzle while you wait for vet blood work and a cooling down period. Even if, in 3 or 4 days, you feel this is the right decision, you will have the space to do it when you are not upset. I am so sorry, no matter what you do, it is terribly hard and having others second guess you can't feel very supportive. But I think no one here wants you to do something immediately after a terribly stressful event and wonder if you acted in haste.

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  • He had a checkup just a couple of months ago.

    If it was anything less than a level 4, bordering on level 5 bite, …..if, if, if...

    I can't pack a behaviorist around in a semi-truck with me. I don't have the kind of money it would take to pay for that.

    I can't rehome him after this.

    I can't trust it won't happen again...because it has happened before, although not to this level.

    I would rather it be me with him than he be taken by animal control to a strange, scary place.

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  • Very sorry to hear about this situation. We've always followed you and AJ's adventures in the forum. When we're driving on I-5 and see the semi trucks, we always try to see if it's your truck so we can honk the horn, wave, and say hello and maybe get a glimpse of AJ. Thank you for sharing your adventures and our hearts and thoughts are with you and AJ.

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  • O

    So sad for AJ. Run free, little one.

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  • There are some here that have had to make that very, very difficult decision…. weighing the options, what is or is not reasonable, what is the best for the animal and the humans. It is never easy whatever the outcome. There is always that "what if?". My thoughts are with you and hope that his passing is easy and that he can then run free with those who have gone before him....

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  • I am so sorry to see you have to make this decision. It's easy for us, on the outside, to say what we would do, but in the end only you know your dog and the circumstances completely. My heart breaks for AJ, but also for you. I've read your posts and followed A J's journeys in the
    "big rig," and he will be missed. God bless you.

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  • Ultimately, if people give advice and you weigh it, you have to do what is right. I don't think anyone believes you are not doing what you think is best. I am just so sorry for both of you.

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  • V

    My heart goes out to AJ and to you. My BRAT boy is 5 and I got him when he was 1 1/2.

    I'm guessing he bit his first Mom and she had no other recourse but to rehome him. I had no idea at the time. There has been blood, on both humans and my other B. He was never socialized, he resource guards, men scare him, transferred aggression towards my other b, etc etc.

    I took him to a behaviourist and she gave me some tools but some things you just can't change.

    I, too, have thought that I should put him down as he can't be rehomed. I just have to keep him sequestered in most situations.

    Again, I feel your pain. It is your decision to make. He can't be happy, feeling the way he does. I, too, enjoyed your travel stories and hope to once again read about new adventures for you!!!!!

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  • ?

    Sad to hear, you are the one that knows your dog so you are the only one that can make the decision. Sorry for you to have to go through this it can't be easy. Hope you both find peace on the day. All the best.

    Jolanda and Kaiser

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  • So sorry to read about your situation, it is a terrible decision to make under any circumstances

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  • First Basenji's

    This puts a terrible lump in my throat, but I can only imagine it's a fraction of what you're agonizing over. I know you've loved AJ and will do so up to the very end I think it is brave of you to be so honest to the forum. I can't add to what others have said… More experienced voices have already voiced what I wish I knew how to say.

    Please check in and let us know how you are when you are able.

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  • I can understand your pain. I cried for weeks after I put down our 11 yr old after many tries at behavior, drugs and other methods failed. My vet was pretty sure it was a brain tumor causing the behavior in my boy as he was throwing himself against the windows and doors trying to attack the other dogs/birds/humans who were either outside or inside, and he had never in his life acted like that previously.

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