What do I do with this dog?

I mentioned this on the OT venting thread, but bringing it here now because I need to make some decisions and I’m stuck.

Almost two weeks ago, I found a dog on our back road. I managed to catch him and took him home, hoping to find his owner or get him safely to a shelter. It’s 100% likely that he was dumped and that road is a popular spot for abandonment. I have been looking for his people with no luck, he’s not chipped and nobody recognizes him. I have also contacted 20+ different rescues and shelters - the shelters are full or only take animals picked up by AC, the rescues just don’t respond or call back. I have even tried to rehome him within the community but dogs like this are a dime a dozen, nobody wants him.

Meanwhile, doggo and our dog do NOT get along. Instant growling by both and lunging on the part of doggo - our dog will back off on voice command but this guy has to be physically dragged away or he will keep trying to attack. We’re managing the situation temporarily, with doggo crated most of the time, separate potty trips, but spending 23 hours of the day in a crate isn’t ideal. Our house is not set up to have separate dog areas.

To add to the dog issues, he has now begun terrorizing the horses. I had been taking him out with me to feed - it was a good opportunity for him to run around the yard and he had been afraid of/ignored the horses for the most part after my 2yo threatened to stomp him to death when slipped into the paddock. Doggo clearly had never seen livestock before. However, he followed me into the pasture the other day and suddenly started going after my newest starvation-rehab horse. All the yelling and throwing things in the world wasn’t going to stop him from circling and barking and trying to nip the poor horse, and it was only luck that doggo ran near enough I was able to grab him and drag him back to the house. Thank god the horse has some dog sense and didn’t panic, several warning kicks made contact with the dog but he was undeterred. I was horrified.

None of this is his fault, and truth be told he is an excellent house dog in all the other ways. He’s very sweet and exuberant and lives to please, not a mean bone in his body towards humans. He’s house- and crate-trained. But I cannot have a stock-chasing, dog-aggressive dog when I have horses and an elderly border collie - and I cannot find a single person, rescue, shelter, or anyone that will take him.

I think I know the answer, but what do I do with this dog? Is there some avenue I haven’t thought of? I feel terrible for even putting euthanasia on the table but I will not allow any of my other animals to be injured. Feel free to read me the riot act. I was trying to do the right thing by getting him off the street and now I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place.


No riot act. Thank you for giving doggo a chance.


Call your vet and ask if they have any suggestions. If they don’t make an appointment for him to be euthanized. If they are hesitant, I’d offer to pay for euthanasia but allow them to delay if they think they can find him a home and leave him. You are in a difficult situation.


What part of the country are you in? He sounds adoptable, to the right situation? There are out of state rescues that move dogs (mainly south) to the NE where there aren’t a lot of adoptable (non bully breed) dogs. Thank you for giving him a chance, regardless of the outcome.


Central TX, and he is a bully breed.

1 Like

I’m going to guess that he Did Something that got him dumped. Like killed another dog. Or ran livestock into an accident. It’s hard to have a really dog aggressive dog even in the suburbs because you need to walk them in public.


Euth is a definite option; I was hesitant to mention it before but you’ve certainly exhausted options.


He sounds like he might be a good dog for a single-dog household, with no livestock and experience with training dogs of his type.

BUT. That is a pretty niche thing to find. And even if you find it, the fact is that it sounds like he’ll need to be kept on a leash at all times while on walks, and whoever takes him will have to understand that he may not be able to be trusted around other dogs, cats, or really, almost any animals. That’s a tall order.

Euthanasia is not the worst option for this dog. You’ve done everything you can to find him a home, I think. Rescues are completely overrun with these dogs. And the likelihood that he would end up harming another animal, or becoming a bait dog, are pretty good, it sounds like. I would rather know he had a peaceful end after some spoiling than worry that he ended up in the hands of someone who couldn’t - or wouldn’t - care for him.


A basket muzzle and a responsible owner should make this very doable. There are lots and lots of dog aggressive dogs in the suburbs.

Not saying that the OP needs to hold onto this lovely boy until she finds that right home.

I think the OP has done amazing things so far and whatever they decide is the answer here seems like it is likely the best answer.


He can be in the general vicinity of my dog on a leash and they ignore each other, but at about arms length things get touchy on both sides. I don’t know how he’d handle a dog in a yard barking at him though, I don’t go for walks on streets. And it may just be MY dog and this dog together that is the issue, it’s hard to say. At times he seems like he wants to play but my dog won’t have it. I’m certainly not an expert on this.

@trubandloki he is the sweetest boy, even my DH has grown to like him and says he’s a really good dog except for these two problems. Which makes it all the harder.


I don’t think euthanasia is a bad choice with this dog. But, there is one more thing you might try: an e-collar. Put it on him and the very instant he shows aggression to your other dog or horses shock him. Don’t waste time with the beep or vibration; he needs a very sharp correction if you’re going to have any hope of stopping the aggression. And don’t feel guilty about it because you’re trying to save his life. If this doesn’t work, then don’t feel guilty about euthanizing him.

I know the e-collar suggestion might get me flamed, and normally I would be appalled at someone using this tactic as a first choice to correct a dog. But this is an extreme situation, and the dog’s life depends on him learning to not be aggressive.

Years ago I added some guineas to our menagerie. The two dogs we had at the time had never been around poultry, and I tried everything to teach them to leave the birds alone. I tried introducing them slowly; I tried confining the birds but one dog was determined to dig into the birds’ pen; I tried tying the dogs up, but that’s cruel to the dogs; I tried yelling at them but they ignored me. In the meantime, they persisted in chasing the birds and occasionally killing one. Out of desperation, I borrowed a shock collar from a friend. It just so happened that they killed a bird the day I got it. I put that collar on each dog, one at a time, and every time they even looked at the dead bird I shocked them. It was brutal, and I felt like the world’s worst abuser, but my dogs finally decided I was the biggest dog, and from that day on they never bothered another bird. The dogs lived long lives into their teens, and I added chickens to my flock. Dogs and chickens co-existed ranging free in my yard and fields. I never had to repeat the lesson.


I am not anti E-collar but shocking a dog that is showing aggression towards something has a good chance of making the dog think that pain came from the thing it was showing aggression towards and make them more aggressive.


A bully breed that shows dog on dog and livestock aggression. Euthanasia. If a bully rehab wont take him directly, you cannot afford it going wrong

If your vet wont do it, and likely they wont, dont leave it with the vet. They are not adoption agency and certainly staffing etc is not favorable now.

turn it in to your AC with information you have gleaned so far as to his character.

there are things worse than death


I believe the OP has tried AC and they will not take the dog.

That is part of the problem they are having. All shelters are full. Period.


Maybe why he got dumped.


A lot of states allow for a dog which chases livestock to be killed. You might check about your area’s regulations.

My horses were chased by a neighbor’s large dog, and the neighbor ignored our many calls over a long period of time (he told my husband that he “didn’t move to the country to confine his dogs”). Fortunately we have local Animal Control; the AC officer confiscated the dog, and it was euthanized.

My understanding is that it wasn’t necessary for a person in authority to take care of the dog – we would have been within our rights to do so ourselves. I love dogs, but it’s lucky that my horses weren’t chased into a fence and injured.


@Heinz_57 This situation is starting to scare me and I worry for your and your DH’s safety. This is after all a bully breed dog and there has been a very recent thread on this forum about two bullly breed dogs who belonged to a family of 2 parents and 2 small children. The dogs had been part of this family for years.
Then one day they killed the 2 children and attacked the mother when she tried to get them off her younger child.
The dogs were put down.
It seemed like an out-of-the-blue situation.
This dog is a stranger to you and has just shown aggression to your horses that he ignored previously.
I hate to say this, but I would have him put down by your vet before he turns on you or your DH.

Here is the thread, for your reference. Lots of discussion.



Take him to the local pound and drop him off with the history you have, usually the local pound doesn’t have a no kill policy so they will take him.

@Heinz_57, I have been following this story on the OT thread. I think people who have commented that the reason he was dumped is aggressive behavior either toward other dogs or other animals may be correct.
Sounds like he is getting a bit more aggressive as he becomes more comfortable in his situation. First, your dog, now your horse.
What next?
Would you be comfortable sending him to someone, even though you provide full disclosure? You have tried your best, but perhaps the safest thing to do is to give him an easy passing.


@Heinz_57, Bless you for everything you’ve done for this dog, regardless of the decision you make about next steps.

Responding to a couple of earlier posters. An e-collar can be an effective correction for dogs that chase or harass livestock. With some dogs, once their prey drive kicks in, only a dramatic intervention works.

I agree with @trubandloki though, I would not use the e-collar to correct the dog on dog aggression, I think there’s a very real chance it would increase, not decrease the aggression.

Yes, in most rural areas, livestock owners are absolutely within their rights to shoot a dog that’s harassing or threatening livestock, but 1.) it’s really hard to do, both psychologically and practically. No one really wants to shoot someone’s pet, and trying to constantly be aware of your backstop and fleeing livestock while tracking a running dog - it’s hard. and 2.) it will cause a lifetime of bad will with your neighbors. Better for all parties if AC takes the offending dog.

Finally, I think the combination of bully breed, other dog aggressive and livestock aggressive is pretty brutal one in terms of finding a new home. (I am NOT anti-bully breeds, just acknowledging the difficulty in finding an adopter for one.)