We need to find a new home for our dog. He is fifteen months old. I am going to be as honest about him as I can, because I want him to go to someone who understands completely what they are taking on and has the experience to make it work.
Background: We got him from the RSPCA when he was aged eight weeks old. He had come in with the rest of his litter mates, mother a stray, father unknown. He was desexed at seven weeks, and probably left the mother at around six weeks.
We brought him home, socialised him extensively, took him to puppy pre-school and then basic obedience. He followed the rules at home, two walks a day, lots of toys.
Our first problems with him were when we transferred him to a kennel outside - initially he slept in the laundry when he was little. He started off being okay with the kennel, then began to dig near our front fence, then one day tore our whole gate apart. We brought him back inside at night.
Second problem was him breaking into our chicken run and dragging out one of the poor chooks! He didn't do them any real harm (a few lost feathers) but as often as we repaired it he would break back in whilst we were at work (even after we rebuilt it from scratch) so he came inside whilst we were working.
He was always a chewer and would routinely steal items of mine to chew, clothes, shoes etc.. then the kids stuff. We bought a stair gate and restricted his access and upped the exercise, then we bought more toys especially ones with a puzzle, brain tease element.
When he was younger he'd been left a couple of times with friends and their dogs, that was always the arrangement before we got a dog - a reciprocal agreement among us all. Once he went to a local kennel when I had to work away for a week - they all loved him and he was fine. No dramas there, until June this year when we went on holiday and left him with our friends. They have an old lab who he's always got on with, but this time he caused merry hell! He broke through their fence and chewed their stuff (despite me leaving him tons of chew toys) they had to put him in the kennel as they couldn't contain him. Then the kennel made them take him back as he'd chewed the bed and kennel area.
We brought him home and it all continued, but recently incident flared up where he'd just go into a frenzy and inflict more major damage on the home - chewed a chair leg, demolished the front window frame when he saw the kids leaving the house on their bikes.
He has always been quite velcro but we worked tirelessly on techniques for SA with quite a bit of success, however out of the blue sometimes he'd be really anxious. We got him to be calm when left and when we returned, but sometimes it all went out the window.
I took him to the vets and she did blood tests etc and diagnosed extreme anxiety, he paced and carried on whilst we were there (something that I think he wouldn't have done when he was younger, this has all just escalated as the months have gone on.) She has prescribed clomicalm (which he has been on for a week). I am also due to see her on Wednesday to work on more behaviour modification - although she knows I have tried a lot of this in the past.
My problem is that I just can't go on now. I felt committed to trying the tablets and everything because I felt it could help and he does actually have a problem that I think is not of our making. However, further damage over the weekend has just left me so low I can't take any more. the cost of recent repairs means that it not going to be easy to find more consultation fees and I have reached the end of the road.
I just wonder if a different situation for him could make all the difference as I've heard this can be true. Maybe I just messed at all up?
So he is a medium/large black and white dog, with patches visible under his fur. he also has a lovely large black eye patch. He is extremely friendly, especially with children (I have two aged nine and eleven and my son has always rough housed with him, no problems - he sleeps with my son until he is off to sleep, then comes to sit with us. he is fantastic with other dogs, never ever shown any aggression at all. Is now able to read the signs if they don't want to play with him, although he can be a bit boisterous with small dogs.
He sounds perfect in personality and really he is. He just has other issues to overcome. Maybe a more rural setting with other dogs and more stimulation could hold the key. He is hard to wear out and we think he is a mixture of border collie, heeler, labrador, possibly staffie too - when we got him they said he was collie/staffie mix and would probably be quite small, but he is much larger than predicted and more energetic.
You'd need to know what you are doing to take him on. He deserves someone to help him reach his potential, I just think we are the wrong situation for him, much as he loves us.
If you can please help - we are in South Australia.