Please don't take this post as an attack, it is NOT meant to be... I am going to pick apart what seems to be going on from what I see in your post.
My take on Joey -
lil_red wrote:Joey is a 6 year old beagle who came from somewhere in washington state and is the only survivor of his litter and his mother died 2 days after giving birth to his litter
Was he then hand raised by someone or was he placed with another litter? Do you know what was done along the lines of socialization for an "only puppy" without a mother to raise him?
lil_red wrote:I was contacted about taking him in after he bit her infant (under 1 year old) daughter when she was doing what babies do and was just pulling on him.
This is insanely
irresponsible. She wasn't "doing what babies do" she was being allowed
to torment the dog. The owner was letting this happen, and in my opinion is 1000% responsible for what happened. I put z-e-r-o blame on the dog. I'm going to guess that he was severly punished for protecting himself, and was probably punished before that for warning the kid. This teaches the dog that kids are very
bad and creates very
defensive behavior when they are around.
lil_red wrote:After several days of having him here, Sammy would walk over him or try to get on the couch and without any warning Joey would react and launch into a full attack leaving Sammy with a pretty decent gash above his eye and under his jaw. They haven't had any scuffles since regarding Sammy's clumsy/ puppy behavior.
"Try to get on the couch"? Meaning Joey was already on the couch? Joey should not be on ANY furniture. Some dogs hate puppies, and try very hard to stay away from them. If you are allowing Sammy to pester him, that is on you not on Joey.
lil_red wrote: I gave them each a kong toy and again joey launched into an attack with no warning splitting open Sammy's lip.
Resource guarding... not good, but that's "all" that is.
lil_red wrote:Today, I went to get the kongs out of the crates and when I reached for his, he became extremely possesive (new behavior).
He was in his crate and you were reaching in to take a high value item from him? Big mistake. Not only is he "cornered" with you blocking the exit, you are also coming towards him, making his his space even smaller. I don't think this is being possessive as much as just plain defensive/fearful.
lil_red wrote:I got a treat so i could trade him for it.
I wouldn't trade a pissed off dog for anything.
lil_red wrote: He ate the treat and I nearly had the kong out of his reach but he still lunged and got a slight grip on it.
He didn't view it as a trade, it was a bribe, and wasn't a "good enough" bribe for him.
lil_red wrote: I got it away from him and he instantly launched and gripped my leg and would not release.
You took what he had and now he was letting you know that that was not
acceptable. How did you finally get him to let go?
lil_red wrote:I cannot in good conscience re-home him, nor put him back in a home with a small child as he is intolerant of puppy/ baby behaviors. If I take him to a shelter, he will be euthanized. All rational thought tells me that he is too unpredictable and should be euthanized, but if there is hope for him, I am willing to put in the effort to save him. Any thoughts
I agree that re-homing is not an option, if you decide that he is too much for you to deal with (and that's not a "bad" thing) then have him put down. Please don't bring him to a shelter, he's not going to make it out anyway and why make his last days horrible?
There is almost always
"hope", it just depends on the lengths you are willing to go.
lil_red wrote:When he did lunge at Sammy, he gave absolutley no warning... no body stiffening, no head of tail lowering, no growling or teeth bearing... just pure reaction until I step in and correct him with a noise distraction.
Not all dogs warn, if he is mad and thinks that he is "above" Sammy then he may not feel that a warning is in order... especially since he's warned Sammy in the past
lil_red wrote:Joey has spent lots of time at doggy day care and reportedly did well. I don't really know what that means and I don't know how many times he's actually bit other dogs or people that they didn't tell me about.
this isn't your fault, but it still horrifies me.
lil_red wrote:Today the only warning I got was the bark as he was lunging at my leg right after he slipped off the kong but before he latched on.
Actually, I think you got a lot of warnings from him, and you misread them. That's ok, but I personally am of the opinion that the dog that truly gives no warning is the ultimate in rare dogs. Not seeing the warnings for what they actually are is the issue with that. If you're not used to dealing with dogs like this it's easy to miss.
If this dog were in my house I would limit all privileges for a while. I'd keep him in his crate unless he is going to the bathroom, doing obedience or involved in very structured play. I would slowly add new things in after 2 weeks minimum. The second that he oversteps his bounds it's back to square one. In my opinion, this helps them understand that the world isn't a horrible place and you are not a horrible person, but that you control that world. I would also keep a flat collar on him at all times and get a very close fitted toggle choke chain. If he's out of his crate put the choke on him, if he is not playing then keep the leash on the choke, when you are playing put the leash on the flat - if you are allowing him to run around that is. Keep Sammy away from him at all times, Sammy annoys him and he shouldn't have to deal with that for the time being. Play time should be very fun, but very structured. As soon as he misbehaves play time is over. The crate is neither "good" or "bad" it just is
. When he needs to go back in because of misbehavior, just simply say no, and back in he goes. Try very hard to keep emotion out of it. If he bites you or tries to bite you that's why the leash is attached to the choke... use it. Simply pulling up on the leash often gets their attention, if not, pull up a little more. When he has gotten control of himself, release the pressure, but don't let go of the leash because he may re-start his behavior. **this is all my opinion and what I would do based on the information given.