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Separation Anxiety and Dog Agression with a Boxer Mix (long)

3212 Views 35 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  jasonl
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 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

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

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

Kongs do not work.  He doesn't care if its the best thing in the world.  One I leave his sight he stops eating and refuses to eat it again until I return.  Nothing is good enough to keep his mind off of his SA.

The one time he "attacked" me over food, I didn't have much of a choice but to hold him down until he calmed down.  He hasn't done that since.  But if you grab his collar if he knows you are upset, he will strike at you.  In that case its a Sharp yet firm "NO, BAD DOG" Followed by a "down, sit, down, sit, down sit" until he calms down then we try it again.  The second time you make him do it, he will do it no problems.  This happens when normally when you want him to go into the basement to tie him up.  Cheese usually will bypass all of this, but every once in a while even cheese won't tempt him into the basement.

Edit:  Usually the 15 mins on the treadmill is at a jogging speed to get the rest of that energy out.  Works great to make an tired dog.  I'm hoping to this spring when its light outside in the morning again, to start biking with him before I go to work in the morning.
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Re: Separation Anxiety and Dog Agression with a Boxer Mix (l

Ky_IsisnOnyxsMama\";p=\"101801 said:
i think tying a dog only makes them more aggressive when its a dog tied outside never let in and has no socialization & not part of the family..thats not your are protecting him from himself .. & i agree with good girl that sounds like your best bet right now

im sorry we all dont have better suggestions for you..whatever hes been through in his life has really traumatized him

any thought on calling where you adopted him from and asking that THEY pay for his rehab? or atleast HELP you since he should have been atleast semi aggression tested..its hard for them to know about the sa since msot any dog in that situation will be anxious...or does the have you sign the adoption papers stating that they dont know if he s aggressive etc etc?

worth a shot? just tryna help
The shelter that I got him at is the worst shelter there is in town.  I didn't know that at the time though.  They just don't care about their dogs even though they are a no kill shelter.  All the paper work says is that the dog is given all of its shots and is healthy at the time they leave the shelter, they must be in door dogs, and can not be used as a protection dog.  I would hate to take money away from a shelter good or bad anyways.  Thats one less dog they can try to save or take in.

The funny thing is, he wasn't aggressive toward other dogs in the shelter.  He was kenneled with a JRT.  Outside they had a really dog aggressive dog near the pen they use to allow us to visit with the dogs.  Carter just walked over to the edge of the fence closest to where the dog was and marked.  and that was the end of it.  Both dogs walked away.  If I knew what I know about dogs now back then, I wouldn't have gotten this dog.  There was so many warning signs just from that visit.  *sighs*  Lessoned learned.
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Re: Separation Anxiety and Dog Agression with a Boxer Mix (l

I've tried TV, from music videos to Animal Planet. to a radio.  Tried them both.  Helps block out a lot of the noise form outside but not so much anything else.

I change walks about ever week or so due to training him with his Dog agression.  I've found that if I only go the same route when out walking, if he sees another dog, he knows his escape route and will quickly head toward it, if I change it up, he has to rely on me to do the "escaping"  There is never a dull moment around here with him.

As for people coming over, not really.  My parents live on the other side of town and are having promblems afording the money to fix their cars, and I wouldn't trust anyone in this City in my house.  I live in Lower Michigan.
Re: Separation Anxiety and Dog Agression with a Boxer Mix (l

Hedgey\";p=\"101851 said:
Ceaser Milan ?
HA!  Actually I have tried that one too.  TV just doesn't work.

Wouldn't mind if he took a crack at this though... *sighs*
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