I usually don't use the forums, but I need a variety of input, because I'm at my wits end with my dog.
I have a 2 year old German Shepard. I took him in when he was about 6 months old. We took him in from a co-worker, who didn't give him the greatest love, attention or environment to live in. He was kept in a kennel with about 6 other dogs, all about twice his size.
He has always been very timid but over time the timid has turned into aggression, barking and growling.
Our Vet suggested getting him neutered, and we did that in September of 2009. So it has been about 8 months now.. but I've never really noticed a difference in his personality.
What I've found is that since we moved in January, (5 months now), he has been having severe separation anxiety. We took him to our Vet again, and she suggested a variety of things. She suggested medications (I believe similar to Prozac) but said that if we noticed an increase in aggression to stop it immediately. We noticed a slight improvement after a few days but then a large increase in aggression, barking and charging after people and we immediately discontinued the medications.
The only other suggestion that anyone has given us is to take him in for obedience classes. I am a nervous wreck at the idea of taking him into a room with other people and other animals. I can't even take him for a walk without him going crazy on the side walk, how am I going to be able to take him in for obedience classes? I just envision a nightmare of things happening there.
Lately, with the weather being nicer, etc.. my daughter has friends coming over more and more.. He has been growling and barking at them, and to be honest guys, I'm getting a little worried about it.
If I leave the house and leave him in the backyard, he manages to escape out of our 6 foot privacy fence, and I'm terrified he's going to hurt someone.
If I leave him in the house, he tears things up (doors, windows, blinds, carpet, trash, etc) while I'm gone (again, the separation anxiety the Vet mentioned).
If I put him downstairs in our basement (which is a safe area for him, nothing dangerous for him to get into btw) - he sits at the top of the stairs and barks until .. well, who knows? And he has destroyed that door.. to the point of almost biting through the door knob on that side. I'm not kidding, and anyone who doubts me - I can provide a picture for your viewing pleasure.
So, I know a lot of people on bloop have dogs and deal with dogs on a regular basis.
Can anyone give me any advice? I'm contemplating getting rid of him, but I don't want to.. and I'm afraid that we won't be able to give him to a new owner because of his aggression. Who wants to put a dog in their home or their car who will do nothing but bark at them while they're near him?
My Mom suggested finding a personal trainer who can work with us more closely at home, etc - but that sounds so expensive and I have already invested so much money in this problem, and I don't want to waste any more money if it's going to be exactly that - a waste.
Just looking for some input. Thanks :)