He still had a decent amount of years ahead of him. You easily could of relinquished him to a shelter and he would of gone to another home.
I think it was a bit cruel to put a dog to sleep just because he barked at your child as they were both reaching for the same piece of food.
There were 2 better decisions you could of made:
1: discipline the dog and teach him his place is a BELOW the children.
2: relinquish him at a shelter.
I wholeheartedly disagree that relinquishing an 8-year-old Rottweiler to a shelter is kinder than euthanizing him. It's insane. He would be disoriented and fearful away from us, his pack. The shelter isn't exactly running out of Rottweilers available for adoption or overflowing with money for food. Most importantly, we would have worried about him.
I think you need to pause and check yourself to see if you really feel like it's proper for you to be judging a hard decision like that. Dogs have to be put to sleep. It's hard. Responsible owners do it. You need to be very careful telling someone they did it wrong. It doesn't bother me, mind you. I kind of am enjoying the exchange of ideas. But other people are sensitive to that.
However, more to the poster's point, Bogey, despite his formal obedience training, years of living in the house with our family of 5, and just generally being a good old guy, had become grumpy and acted in a way that I deemed threatening to a 4-year-old. I would not expect my child to learn to behave better or deserve to get scratched, bitten, or whatever. It's my place to protect the child, even at the expense of the dog, and that's what we did. We often wish we had him now that our kids are grown; we could have kept him longer.
PS: Thanks LionCalie!
Okay, I've said my piece (again!)...I'll try to tie my fingers together or something. :)