Today I became really clear on my boundaries regarding doing shamanic sessions to help people who have dogs that are aggressive and threaten to bite. I have done a lot of work in this area over the last 20 years and generally the work just prolongs the inevitable - the session helps for a while, giving the person hope, but then the dog reverts, and SNAP!
Aggressive dogs are in an energetic dance with the other members of the household. It takes two to tangle. Most of the aggressive dog cases that come to me are "rescue" dogs - which is a double whammy set up. First, the dog was probably aggressive before (thus the need for rehoming, or rescue), and second, "rescuing" is one of the three positions on the Karpman Drama Triangle , a well known psychological model that explains so much of the personal troubles in this world. What this means is the dog we rescued may start out as a grateful sweetheart, but as he settles in he shifts to persecutor, and the rescuing person becomes the one who needs to be rescued!
I have worked with this situation over and over again, with limited success. The Spirits can help the dog with soul retrieval, extraction, depossession and all sort of wonderful shamanic things. A session can dramatically change the dog and have lasting effects - it can really work - BUT the person must be 100% responsible for training and containing the dog. And they must be aware of who they are, and their responsibility for the dance.
The person who can do this is rare. Few of us are Caesar Milans. Most of us are just normal people who want to have a sweet tail wagging loving friend, and we are hoping for reciprocity for our devotion. When we get a snarling biter, we keep hoping for some magic fix. (Thankfully most dogs will give that unconditional love without any drama at all - whew!)
I have learned to be frank with people who ask for my help. I tell them that the reality is they should return the dog, re-home the dog to a house with a human who knows how to be a safe leader (if you can find this dream home), or organize everything to make absolutely sure the dog does not attack an animal or human (the dog is still in charge of driving the car, but at least you are wearing a seat belt).
Or put the dog down. Yes, it is okay to do that. Death is a transition, and the dog will have another chance an a happier life next time around.
Will I work on aggressive dog cases? Yes, but only if the person is 100% committed to managing that animal as though he will always bite, regardless of my work. If the person hopes that they can stop being vigilant, I will not take the case. My work may actually shift the situation -- for a time -- until the dog tests his new freedom, and BANG! The bite. I have seen it too many times. It does end in tears, and sometimes plastic surgery or worse.