I am new to this forum and looking for any advice or information. This is a difficult subject and I would appreciate if everyone could refrain from judging or making nasty comments as I feel horrible enough already!
I have a border collie/greyhound mix, 4 years and had him since he was a pup. He has very serious anxiety issues which have been a challenge right from the beginning.
He has separation anxiety and has destroyed my house to a point you would not believe. I hated going home for a long time, as I would return to bits of door and frame all over the hallway. I have only just got it (almost) back to the point that it is presentable, but he goes through stages and I never know when he will start again. I tried crating him at one point using suggested methods such as gradual introduction and positive association with the crate. If I remember correctly all was well for about a week and then one day he chewed through the metal bars, opened crate and got out. He then proceeded to chew at the window, managed to open that too and escaped into the neighbourhood.
He is extremely whiny, restless and on edge even with tremendous amounts of exercise. I believe he is never truly relaxed. He paces back and forth indoors and as soon as he thinks you are going to move off the couch he RUNS through the house. Recently he has cut his head running into the door. He is always anxious to know what is happening.
When visitors he knows come over, for instance my mother today, he is so excited and restless, it is not enjoyable for me or the guest, and I'm fairly sure he does not enjoy it either. Even if he loves the person, the experience of having a guest in the house is stressful for him. Obviously he cannot tell me this but I am sure. He can't relax when someone is here and by the time they leave I am exhausted by his whining, pacing etc.
In the car he whines and barks out of anxiety and this is extremely distracting and stressful whilst driving.
However, I can deal with all of that stuff.. the biggest problem is his aggression. He is extremely territorial. He barks very aggressively as soon as someone knocks on the door, if he hears a voice shout hello he absolutely loses it. Once the person comes through the door he will bark viciously and lunge towards them, crouching and jumping around. It is really scary.
He has bitten once already. A woman he did not know was passing my parents' very rural home whilst he was outside with my brother. Their garden is less secure that mine and he leaped over the wall, chased her down the road and bit her on the bum. After this incident I cried and cried and went back and forth for weeks on what to do. I made myself quite ill. I have anxiety and depression myself and this whole situation has been terrible for my mental health.
At home the dog basically only ever accepts people he has known well from very early puppyhood. This includes my immediate family and one or two family friends. My poor boyfriend cannot have his friends or even his parents in our home. His parents have literally never stepped foot in our house.
ONCE we managed to have two friends over for drinks. However, this was only possible because the dog had spend 3/4 hours with them on the beach beforehand, and even then he would not settle and irritated our guests. It's really isolating.
Another major issue is that the dog is so stranger aggressive that we can't take him to the vets. The last two times he went it was so horrendously traumatising for everyone involved (us, the dog, the vet and all the surgery staff). Me and my boyfriend had to take him back outside and tackle him in the car park to get a muzzle on him. He has needed to be muzzled on both occasions and the procedures would not have been possible otherwise.
I hope to consult a vet and a behaviourist about these issues. However, i feel that his aggression and anxiety are so severe that they will suggest euthanasia for both the safety of others and the quality of life of my dog. It breaks my heart to think about this. I would love to work with a behaviourist but I fear that it is beyond that point. Even if the behaviour is improved, I am fairly sure he will never be completely trusted. I can't avoid having people over forever. What happens when me and my boyfriend want to have children? Probably in the next 3-5 years. Even if he seemed fine around our children, I
I admit that I did not get this dog from a reputable breeder, he is a crossbreed and I am aware of the fact he was taken away from his mother at a young age. He was my first dog, and my ex-partner was not very helpful with training, often encouraging problem behaviour. I have made my mistakes too along the line However I truly believe that the dogs brain is not wired right and I don't know what to do. Please don't judge me too much for this. I've had the dog 4.5 years now and adapted my life to suit him. I have tried really hard and now just looking for some help.