I have a 10 (ish) year old Kelpie X who I adopted from the RSPCA 7 years ago. It is obvious that he was previously abused. He reacts, normally agressively, to people, other dogs, car, bikes, basically anything, in particular males. He has bitten people before. Since then, he does not leave the backyard unless leashed and muzzled. I normally try to walk him when there are less people around as well to avoid issues. If there is a stranger in "his" backyard, he is most likely to run, hide, and will be exremely scared (shaking, tail right under, very scattered). While these issues are a problem, I am able to restrain him and work around it, so they aren't my biggest concern. I am working on these, and he is improving, but I don't think he will ever be "normal" (and who can blame him).
When I first adopted him, I was living at home, and he wasn't home alone as much (shorter school hours then work hours, and my mum only worked a few days a week). Also, we had a very good relationship with our neighbours. I don't know if it has been an issue since I moved (2 years ago), or if no one was really bothered by it. I have now been told by my neighbours that he barks, continuously at times, while I am at work. I understand that this is not acceptable, and am doing what I can, however I need help.
He gets daily walks, however his arthritis sometimes reduces the length of these, and my bad knees means I can't run with him, and his aggression issues means he doesn't get off-leash time, so I am sure it is not enough, but it is the best I can do (unless there are other suggestions). I have tried a vibration collar, however I think the unit may have been deffective. He is alone from 8am to 5:30pm Mon-Fri. He is not allowed indoors, except for the laundry, and has a reasonable sized backyard. I leave him with treat dispensing toys, treats and/or raw bones (rotated). He has plenty of shelter and fresh water available. He seems to enjoy me leaving as that means he gets his treats, toys, etc.
When he barks when I am at home, I will discipline/distract him from barking, however even when I don't, he only barks a few times and then whatever he is barking at (normally a passerby) moves on, and he stops. I am not sure how to stop him doing it when I am home alone.
I have been working with Bark Busters with him, however the technique/style of punishment and fear they use, I don't really agree with. They have said he probably has seperation anxiety, however his only suggestion to counter-act it was to "leave" then walk back and try to catch him out barking so I can punish him. There must be a better way?!? If you have read this far through, thank you, and any suggestions you can offer I would really appreciate. Any other information needed, please just ask.