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I'm sorry if this is a little long.  Maybe you guys can think of something that I haven't nor the 17 other trainers and 2 behaviorist I have spoken to have.

In July of 2007, I adopted a 2 1/2 yr old neutered male Boxer mix.  I adopted him from an animal shelter that everyone warned me about.  I guess they usually adopt out ill dogs, but Carter came to us with nothing except food allergies which was easy to fix.  I have no background information on him except that he was adopted out once before me but returned in a week because their dog didn't like Carter.  You can tell Carter was abused before we got him.  He is scared of anything whip-like, brooms (which we have finally overcome) and loud voices.  He isn't scared to snap at you if he does something "wrong" a you raise your voice at him.

I'm not sure if you can see websites from where you are reading this from but http://pets.webshots.com/album/172417748ihqGHy If you'd like to see him.

From day one he had Separation Anxiety, but it never seemed severe enough to worry about, I guess that was where my first mistake happened.  I also started to notice that when we would pass dogs on the street Carter would try to pull me over to "greet" the dog but start to growl when he got close.  I found out on Christmas day that he can me around other dogs and play as long as I use a muzzle to introduce him to the other dog.  I did an obedience class with Carter in mid-September which he did "ok" in.  He was always trying to go after the other dogs in class and any dog that came into the building, but a correction from me usually kept him out of trouble.

During said class, I was told I had a VERY dominant dog and should be careful.
In the first few months we had him, he snapped a lot at us and one time when he got into some food that we were about to eat, when we went to correct him (tell him to "leave it and go to his crate for a treat) He lunged at me and between my fianc
 

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Re: Separation Anxiety and Dog Agression with a Boxer Mix (l

I'm sorry to say "I don't know" again.  I wish I could help.
The only thing I can do is pray.
 

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Re: Separation Anxiety and Dog Agression with a Boxer Mix (l

I am so sorry for what you are going through with Carter.
 

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Re: Separation Anxiety and Dog Agression with a Boxer Mix (l

sorry for all your troubles  :?  there are people on this forum with some great info and I'm sure someone will chime in.  do you exercise him before crating him?
 

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Re: Separation Anxiety and Dog Agression with a Boxer Mix (l

Always.  He usually gets an hour walk and 15 mins on a treadmill.  Rather he is walked before or not yields the same results.
 

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Re: Separation Anxiety and Dog Agression with a Boxer Mix (l

In regards to the SA, how does he do if you are in the house but he is in a different room w/ a closed door? When he got out of his Kennel, did he damage anything else? You said you had re-crate trained him, what were your methods to retraining him for that? I am wondering if at one time he was crate trained and experienced dome kind a traumatic experience at the rescue or shelter at one point and now no longer trusts the crating.
 

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Re: Separation Anxiety and Dog Agression with a Boxer Mix (l

The crate is such an unpleasant experience for him at this point, I think you could lock him in a jail cell and unfortunately whats going to happen is if he can't get out, he's just going to hurt himself trying to get out.  What happens if he's chained up, does he still go crazy and hurt himself?  What happens if he's left out in an area of the house?  I had to ditch the crate for my puppy because of his SA, he would go ballistic in the crate but he was fine if I left him out.  Through a few weeks of training, I was able to get him used to being alone.  It just takes time.  And yes, SA is a real bitch, I know that feeling of being a prisoner in your own house.... but its NOTHING compared to a dog that lunges at you!  I can't even imagine what thats like and I really don't have any quick fixes for that, but thats what I would be most concerned about.  This does sound like a dog that is going to require a lot of time and unfortunately I'm inclined to say that he needs someone thats going to be home all the time.  I don't believe that dangerous dogs need to be put down, but they definitely need a lot of special attention.  As for exercise, I would run this dog until he can't crawl.  I know thats easier said than done and not practical for people who actually have to go to work for a living, but I do believe a tired dog is easier to train.  Whats the mix by the way, pitbull?  Just trying to guess from that small photo.
 

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Re: Separation Anxiety and Dog Agression with a Boxer Mix (l

He sleeps outside our bedroom at night and has no problems at all.  He can also stay in another room while we shut the door and he is fine.  We have even tried to play a tape of our voices while he is closed in the upstairs hallway and we are downstairs, but the dog still knows when we are home and we are not.  There was no way he could hear us leave.

Before the first escape, Carter wasn't to "fond" of his crate (he was in his crate for 4 months before the first break out).  He would go in it, but only on command but he was also really happy to be in it.  After we brought the second crate, I started to feed him in it, making him sleep in it, and if we were at home, he was in the crate except to go potty and to play.  We did this for about a week.  He now goes in his crate to "get away" from it all.  He sleeps in it, lays in it and plays in it.  He actually ate his first Kong in it the other day (something he has NEVER done before).  He doesn't mind being in it at all as long as he can still hear us in the house (I think its more along the lines of footsteps over voices.

If he is left out of his cage (or off his chain) He goes through the whole house tearing up every blind he can find, any pillows he can get his teeth on are mutilated, and his dog bed is unstuffed.  Even a yummy Kong won't keep his attention.  When he is on his chain he goes nuts too, its just he can't do anything about it.  If there is something he can get his teeth on, it is gone.  He has even tore up 2 tiles in the basement where the chain is.  He has never harmed himself on the chain which is why he is on it right now.  It just seems safer then a crate.

His Paperwork says "Boxer/Lab"  We actually think one of his parents was a poorly bred boxer.  He has the personality of a boxer, from the walk, to the talk, to the jumping, to the play.  If there is pit in there we think it was from a line back or so.  If you actually place him next to a pitbull there is a big difference.  He photographs differently then what he looks like sitting at my feet.
 

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Re: Separation Anxiety and Dog Agression with a Boxer Mix (l

If he can be in another room while you are home, that is a good sign.  My dog seriously could not stand me leaving the room.  I could not close a door between him and myself without him freaking out.  I think the best way to deal with it is to gradually put more space between you and the dog.  If he can already be in a room alone, then the next step is to leave the house.  Put him by the door and then go out the door.  Come back in 30 seconds.  If he's panting and anxious, you were gone too long.  You may only be able to do 5 seconds.  Maybe you can do 15 minutes?  Do this a few times a day for a week until he's ok with you outside for 5-10 minutes.  The next week up it to 20 minutes while you take a walk around the block or do yardwork.  The next step is actually drive away.  Come back in 10 mins.  Once you get to where you can leave him for 30 mins, that is groundbreaking because SA is usually at its worst within the first 30 mins.  Maybe you've tried all of this but this is how I broke the cycle.  My dog now sleeps on the couch when I'm gone, I come home a few hours later and he's barely moved.  And of course its always easier if the dog is tired.

I just read your edits.  Unfortunately until he gradually gets used to being alone and you gain his trust, there may be some destruction. You may have to start with 30 seconds home alone.
 

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Re: Separation Anxiety and Dog Agression with a Boxer Mix (l

Sully, I already done that for the past 2 month.  For 2 weeks there he was fine for 8 hours while we were at work them back down to 5 mins out of no where.  It is like a reoccurring nightmare.  He will be fine for a week or 2 then right back to square one.
 

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Re: Separation Anxiety and Dog Agression with a Boxer Mix (l

wow ...thats some mafor trauma somewhere along the way..hes horrified not just scared...hes in panic mode...i feel your frustration..

sound slike you need a behaviorist not just a simple trrainer..but can be expensive..

is he getting more than enough exercise and time with you?

his mix does look boxer and pit to me also..which is fine..just wondering ..and pits tend to lash out when abused more than the average dog b/c they tend to be abused more due to idiots that try and make them attack dogs..which is quite possibly what happend to him...

hmmm..i wish i could help...all of that together sounds like an aweful thing...we are all here for you..

one thing i would suggest...i would not chain him in the basement...if hes trippin out..he could hang himself...plus you are isolating him which is worse to an sa dog...BUT i understand WHY...the lesser of 2 evils..and him not hurting himself and everything around him
 

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Re: Separation Anxiety and Dog Agression with a Boxer Mix (l

*** sully those are some GREAT suggestions...

as far as Carter...jeez hes ok for a time then trips out  all over again..."something" is setting him off...not sure what...but its most definately something there..

so hard to know what since you dont know his background

where are you located?
 

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Re: Separation Anxiety and Dog Agression with a Boxer Mix (l

Well if it worked for 2 weeks, thats progress!  For a dog with this history I would say that some relapses are going to occur along the way.  At least you know he CAN be alone.  I'm willing to guess now that hes such a problem, you probably take him less places (and believe me, who could blame you?), and maybe one result of that is he gets bored.  I would up his exercise level any way you can.  Get that dog tired.  Spend a lot of time with him, gain his trust.  I just think unfortunately this is one of those cases where it's going to take a lot of extra special time and love and discipline.  I know, easy for me to say right?  I just don't think with a dog that has had such a rough life, there are going to be any quick fixes.  This is a special case.
 

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Re: Separation Anxiety and Dog Agression with a Boxer Mix (l

it took us over a year with Onyx..he is a black lab not a boxer..but still a dog...

he still every once in a while has a burst of frenzy..but now its ONLY towards another dog HE FEELS is in someway is threatning to us or Isis..and its out of nowhere and crazy considering hes such a laid back easy going dog now..from when we got him he was a nut case to say the least..i did what Sully suggested...but it took a year...and ALOT of days of missing appointments with clients...and alot of life rearranging...

we used to surf all day both sat & sun...gone both days...that was NOT happening with Onyx...hed flip out !! so we re arranged things and found a way to bring him...it wore him out, he loved it but then hed see the surf boards and assume he was going..couldnt bring him everytime...so we had to spend weeks..packing upthe surf boards on days we were NOT going...and leave and come back...jus to show him we WERE coming home...

its a long process...and i was just telling that surfing story as an example of things we tried and suceeded at..
 
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Re: Separation Anxiety and Dog Agression with a Boxer Mix (l

I would be very weary of this dog in a neighborhood situation.  What to say he wouldn't attack a child if it ran up to him and tried to pet him?  Or what if, God forbid he got out of your house one day?  What would he do to the neighborhood children and animals?  I would be very afraid of this dog, especially if he has made a habit to snap and bite you.
 

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Re: Separation Anxiety and Dog Agression with a Boxer Mix (l

hope this helps...never know

Where can I find a canine professional in my area?

www.dogpro.org

The International Association of Canine Professionals.

We realize that it may take some extra effort to find a canine professional that meets your needs.

In order to help you, we offer the following suggestions :

1. Seek the advice of a trusted veterinarian to rule out any physical or neurological problems and request a referral.
 
2. Locate and contact veterinarian schools and accredited dog behavior colleges to inquire about behavior specialists, programs, or services offered.
 
3. Dog trainers and obedience class instructors may be able to provide contact information for other local professionals who practice dog behavior/psychology in addition to traditional training methods.
 
5. Local breeders sometimes work in conjunction with dog trainers and behaviorists to help new owners or people who have the same breed
 

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Re: Separation Anxiety and Dog Agression with a Boxer Mix (l

I have something to say about the prong collar.  I also have a dog aggressive dog.  I also used to use a prong collar because I believed what I read about it and that it wasn't as harmful as a choke chain, but gave control.  Well, it didn't matter b/c she still lunged and pulled with the prong collar.  It didn't phase her, but worst of all- now every time she pulls to go towards a dog she feels pain.  We want them to associate other dogs with good things, not uncomfortable or even painful things.
For quite a while now I have been using a gentle leader.  Once she got used to it works great- it gives me control over her physically, so she isn't dragging me around.  (Only when she sees another dog close up- normally she walks very well on leash). sometimes she bucks and pulls back when she meets resistance, but it is much better than the constant pressure of the prong collar- which didn't help me control her anyway. Perhaps another plus is that it takes her focus away from the dog and onto the GL.
If you are worried he could get out of the GL you can get a leash with a clip on both ends- use on end on the GL and the other on a regular collar, only use tension on the GL if he starts lunging/pulling for a dog.
Delilah (my dog) also had separation anxiety when I got her.  she didn't break out of crates, but she totally freaked out in them.  She also broke down every gate I put up.  The only thing that worked for her was being tethered in the kitchen.  she is on a leash where she can't get tangled up in anything and she doesn't even try to get off of it.  It has been great, b/c she would go to the bathroom if left loose in the house for any amount of time.  So, I don't think tying him up in the basement is cruel at all.  He has injured himself in the crate, and he very well could hurt himself by chewing up something dangerous in the house.  He certainly cannot be left outside where he could hurt another animal or person if he got out, or they went into your yard.
Having said that- the dog aggression and SA is all secondary to the apparent aggression towards you.  What have the behaviorist told you? What have they recommended you do about the lunging?  What ARE you doing about it?
 

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Re: Separation Anxiety and Dog Agression with a Boxer Mix (l

I can't keep him in a cage, a chain will make him even more "aggressive' I can't leave him in a the house with out the fear of him jumping out the window, I can't take him to any doggy day care because they already all said "NO WAY" What am I suppose to do!?!?!?  I work full time 32-40 hrs a week, my fianc
 

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Re: Separation Anxiety and Dog Agression with a Boxer Mix (l

i am so sorry you are going through this...its an aweful thing to love him so much and try so hard to help him and you cant seem to get through...you just wish hed TELL you what was wrong...im sure its stressing you out and your marriage...i really feel for you

give some more members a chance to answer...some are at work and some just havent logged in yet..and please know that no one is judging you..its a terribly hard situation and we are all dog lovers..and boxer lovers...we are all here to help eachother...

just hang on...more members will chime in...and someone im sure will have suggestions for you..
 

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Re: Separation Anxiety and Dog Agression with a Boxer Mix (l

Yes, it must be very difficult for you now.  and the shelter worker you talked to was right, he probably shouldn't have been placed up for adoption.  You definitely sound like you are more than dedicated to making his life the best it can be, and unfortunately he has some issues.  
How is putting him on a chain making him more aggressive?  I think it sounds like the best option you have right now.  Will he touch food or treats while he is in the basement and you are gone? Have you tried a nice big kong filled with yogurt or peanut butter or canned dog food and then frozen?  Bully sticks?  Anything to give him to chew on while you are gone.  I know sometimes though dogs with SA won't touch it until you get home, but it can't hurt to try.
I read that you had already talked to behaviorists, I was just curious as to what they said and also what you are doing in the mean time.  You said it isn't working, but perhaps it is inadvertently making it worse- I read correction- and holding him down until he gives up.  I don't know what you mean by correction but holding an aggressive dog down until it "submits" is not a great idea.  Again, i'm trying not to assume anything thats why I asked what you were doing specifically.
I'm sorry you haven't found what you are looking for yet, it must be frustrating.
Good luck!

Edit: How is he right after walks and the treadmill? that amount of exercise might just be a warm-up for a dog that is in-shape.   If he isn't dog tired (comes home and lays down for a long nap) he could probably use more exercise.  Why not add more time to a treadmill and have him jog on it?
 
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