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4804873 tn?1360166137

My dog killed my cat

A few weeks ago my 6 year old female rottweiler killed my 13 year old cat when I was not home.  The rottie is fenced in the kitchen when we leave, and apparently my kitty went in there too and something happened.  They always always had gotten along. They lived 6 years together with no problems.  I'm heartbroken over the loss of my cat.  Just heartbroken.  My dog has had training from a trainer before and all that, yet she has gotten out of the yard once accidentally (gate was cracked open) and attacked another large dog that was being walked down the street. It was half impossible to get her off this dog as she is bigger and much stronger than I am.  Of course we paid for the dog's vet bill, and luckily the dog only needed stitches.  We once again hired a trainer and she passed with flying colors.  And these were trainers that came to our house and trained us to work with her.  Felt re- assured after that and kept working with her. Now this happened with the cat, and just today she was going nuts at our fence because the neighbor's boxer was out, and it was not because she wanted to play with the boxer...she's growling and wants to harm him.  I do everything I learned in training, and she entirely ignores me.  I have to go up to her and yank her collar to get her out of the fixation she has on the fence.  Anyways I'm just trying to give some background before I ask my question.  After the cat incident, and the dog incident, and the way she's acting as if she wants to attack the neighbor's dog,  I am very concerned having her around my 3 year old.  When we got the dog 6 years ago, I was told I was infertile after trying for 10 years to have a baby.  Then I was blessed 3 years ago to be pregnant.  So I didn't think I would ever be in the position of having a small child living with my dog.  Plus we had a male rottie before this one for 9 years until he died- that was a bundle of love.  I cannot recall even one problem we ever had with him as far as aggression.  Ever.  The female, completely different personality.  I talked to my vet and she have me basically a million different scenarios that could have happened between the dog and the cat that led to kitty's death.  I just will never know what happened.  But I've lost all trust (right or wrong, I'm sorry) in my dog.  I lay awake at night worried about all the scenarios that could happen to my little girl if the dog turns on her.  I keep my daughter completely away from the dog now.  Zero contact.  I always supervised, but I let her pet the dog before, and the dog was happy and would lick her, but now I will not even allow that.  I'm petrified.  To top it off, my husband is out of town for work 4 days a week.  I just have a horrible feeling in my gut about the entire situation.  I've never ever gotten rid of an animal, ever.  I've always loved all animals, especially dogs and cats.  Honestly I just feel like we have tried trainers several times now, and yet this behavior continues.  I know it must be something to do with me, I agree owners are to blame for their dogs behavior.  I just don't know what it is.  But now I'm so scared something will happen and she will harm my daughter.  I really don't know what to do.  The vet wasn't a whole lot of help.  She did say she understood my concerns, and said that animal to animal aggression doesn't have anything to do with animal to human aggression, but in the back of my mind I'm hinting, "yeah until something happens, then what?"  
I really do not know what to do.  I really could use some advice.  

Oh and I know any breed of dog can snap and harm a child or another animal.  It's just she is 140 pounds and her bite could be fatal.  I do not believe in breedism at all.  Just wanted to clarify that.  Thanks.
I
14 Responses
974371 tn?1424656729
I can see you are really torn over this but glad to see you are looking at this objectively and the welfare of your child has to come first, absolutely.

So sorry about your cat and, no, you won't know what caused the dog's aggressive behavior but people often forget that these are animals and there is always genetic and instinct factors in play.  I admire you for getting the training!  She sounds like a nice dog except for these aggression issues.  Have you had her to the Vet fir an exam and blood work done?  You might want to get her thyroid checked.

Aside from that, yes, Rotts are big,strong dogs!  Been around a few, delivered a Rott litter some years ago and, thank goodness, it was a mellow dog cause she didn't know me.  

This is only my "personal" opinion from things I have seen and heard over the years but, if it were me, I would rehome the dog.  I know that is a difficult decision to make but, in the long run, you will continue to be a nervous wreck every day, your child will have to be restricted and watched as will the dog.  Are any of you going to be happy that way?  You might consider contacting a Rott rescue group and speak with them.  It is always good to speak with someone that is more breed specific.  

I will relay one story.  Years ago had a friend that had a 3-year old daughter.  She went to visit a friend that had a 3- year old son and they also had a Doberman.  There dog had been raised with the child and never a problem and felt the dog was fine around kids.  Well, the visiting child went over by the dog's food bowl and the dog got him right in the face, bad!  This dog had never shown any aggression but it is an animal.

I really think, after reading your post, you have answered your own questions.  

Some may not agree but that is my opinion and, in your circumstances, I would do the same.

Good luck and glad you are taking precautions just don't forget to give the dog the attention she still needs and deserves.
612551 tn?1450025775
I am worse of than a pet lover, I am also a sentimentalist, so I have a feeling how hard it would be, but "re-home" the dog, you can't take what appears to be a real risk with the dog and a new baby - I believe dogs can be jealous and this may be most severe when it comes to a human baby which takes lots of time with the parents away from the dog.   I am not an expert here and thankfully have not personal experience, check that out on some web searches you may find some experience based conclusions.

I am a big guy, and own and enjoy dogs in general.  But I will admit there are a few breeds that make me nervous and rotts are one of them.  That said the two that have lived in my neighborhood that I have come across in the street when the owner had them out for a walk and couldn't keep the dog from dragging them across the street to "see" me all passed with a pleasant ending.  I could tell by the body language of the dog it was a big "***** cat" that just wanted to be greeted and patted. I do not have any bad experiences with rotts... still I think you can't take a chance given what you have told us.
612551 tn?1450025775
The word that was censored ***** might have passed if I had used a different but equivalent word such as "Kitty"  I was not saying anything nasty.
Avatar universal
I would definitely rehome your dog.  She is going to be sensing how nervous you are with her from now on, and that is only going to make the situation worse.  Its not fair to the dog, you, and especially your child.  Start now to find her a good home or rescue group because it might take awhile, and I wouldn't waste anytime.
4804873 tn?1360166137
Thank you all so very very much.  Yes, I am leaning heavily towards re-homing her.  I've even out the word out to everyone I can think of.  I really think she deserves a home where she can be a bigger part of the family and get more attention.  I still give her what I can, but now that I'm keeping her separated from my toddler, it doesn't seem like a fair life for her.  She would be great in an adult only home.  With no cats! I've cried and cried so many tears, because my husband is fighting me on this.  Which is not really fair as he is out of town more than he is here.  I am basically a single mom during the week, and I struggle just to keep up the housework, keep working on potty training my child, and attempt to (most times unsuccessfully) take care of myself a little bit.
I'm so very glad I posted here and got some support I so desperately needed.  I had previously posted in a breed specific forum, and the members are breeders, and experts on the breed, and owners of rotties...they basically ripped me a new arse for even considering re-homing her.  And it made me feel even worse.  I just want my daughter safe, and as much as a dog lover I am! I don't believe in gambling with her safety.  It's not like I'm listing her on craigslist for any weirdo or just dropping her somewhere.   Really want a good, loving, proper home.  
I agree Margot, dogs can snap at anytime, and she has shown that she will snap on animals, so how am I supposed to trust she won't do it to Chloe.  
Thanks Jerry, I agree, some breeds are just so strong and large, and it's just the way it is,  I'm not saying a Pomeranian couldn't do some harm(I actually needed stitches from one of those years ago!) but the difference is size, and a bite could kill or seriously maim my little girl. Yes linda I couldn't agree more.  I AM NERVOUS.  ANd I try not to be, but it cannot help it.  It's not just me and my husband anymore, in which case maybe I would consider other options.  But it's not fair to my little girl if god forbid she got hurt.  I would never forgive myself.

Thanks again so much for the kind advice and support.  This is not something that's been easy for me.   I've never ever gotten rid of an animal..I don't take it lightly. But it sure helps to get some opinions and views.  So very appreciated...
441382 tn?1452814169
I normally never advocate for rehoming an animal, because most of the time the problem is not the animal, it is a case of the owner not fulfilling their duties as an owner and then wanting the animal to somehow be perfectly trained magically.  In YOUR case, however, you have gone above and beyond with this dog and training, bringing in professional trainers on more than one occasion.  I feel SO bad for you, losing your kitty and now beating yourself up over rehoming the dog because you are worried about your child around the dog.  Your fears are VERY well founded, and in your case, I wouldn't think twice about rehoming your dog.  You aren't being cruel to her, you are being a loving, responsible parent to your daughter.  A tragedy can happen in an instant, and even though you do everything in your power to keep the two separated and don't ever let them interact, one day your daughter could get up earlier than you and accidentally wander to within the dog's grasp and that's all it might take.  It's not worth it.  For your own piece of mind, find the dog a new home.  In fact, I would even go one step further and speak to a rescue about fostering her until a new home is found because you need to remove her from your daughter's life ASAP.  If she were a small breed the need wouldn't be as pressing, a bite is never nice, but the bite of a chihuahua is a lot less traumatic, even to a child, and while an accident COULD happen, the chance of needing a few stitches before a new home can be found is a lot easier to deal with than the thought that one bite could mean devastating injury or even death for your daughter.

You are in my thoughts.  Hang in there and don't second guess yourself.  

Ghilly
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