I had a seven-year old Chow/Lab mix that I had to have put down…
She was a great dog—for me. Chows tend to gravitate to one person, and I’ll admit I have rarely had a bond with an animal like I had with her. Unfortunately, she didn’t have much use for anybody else; she tolerated my wife, but she wanted nothing to do with my small son.
Whenever he would try to pet her or get close to her, she would do her best to run away, get behind something. She snarled and nipped a few times, and got an attitude adjustment for it; I kept hoping she’d warm up to him, or at least remain indifferent. I kept putting off what I think I knew, in the back of my mind, was inevitable.
The final straw came when he was strapped into his car seat in the back seat, and the dog was in the back set with him; my son was four years old at the time. My wife left them alone for a few minutes; we think what happened was, he reached over to pet her, and she bit him on the face. No real damage done—she scared him more than anything, but that was it. I loved the dog, but I loved my little boy more. I would not tolerate having an animal that was going to turn savage on my child every time he just wanted to be friends with her.
We had the dog put to sleep two days later. It was quite a wrench for me; I cried for three days afterwards, and the day the deed was done, I was a wreck, but it had to be done. You can’t adopt out Chows to new owners…they are one person dogs, and she wouldn’t have adjusted to a new owner. We got my son a fantastic black Lab later that year, and they are great together.
My advice is to not wait until something happens that you’ll later be sorry for, like we did.