California dog trainer explains why she euthanised her poorly behaved dog

Katie Rogers with her dog Tanner a few months before he was euthanised.
Katie Rogers with her dog Tanner a few months before he was euthanised. Photo credit: katiescritters/Instagram

A California dog trainer has explained her decision to have her healthy but badly behaved dog euthanised.

Katie Rogers said in an Instagram post, the three-and-a-half-year-old dog never hurt anyone, but she was waiting for something bad enough to happen where she would have to euthanise him.

The decision became clear to her when she saw her dog Tanner put the "fear of God into a child" five years ago. 

"I spent the next 10 days consulting with every professional I knew. Five years ago it was fewer than I know now, but it was enough," she said.

Rogers took Tanner to mentors and after 10 days deliberation, she took him to be euthanised.

"To the woman who actually performed the euthanasia, I know it was hard for you too, thank you for letting me be present and hold my dog.

"And to my mother, who had to fight into the clinic and behind closed doors so she could hold me while I held him. Thank you so much," she said.

Rogers said living with a behaviourally-challenged dog was life-altering, and her mother likened Katie's relationship to Tanner as that with an abuser.

"I did everything for him, changed my entire life to be good enough for him, and got nothing but heartbreak back," Rogers said.

She said it is the most terrible decision she's had to make, but she's never regretted it.

"Would it have been better to live with this dog? To live in fear? To probably hurt somebody else? It wouldn't have been."

Comments on Rogers' Instagram post were supportive of her decision, with one user saying euthanisation was "the right thing to do".

"If you weren't able to train him not to be aggressive, I don't know that anyone else could have. You are a brave and loving person," the comment said.