He will teach you more about dogs than any other dog, try and think of him as a steep learning curve instead of a problem, you will be surprised how much difference it makes to change our thinking.Taro's Mum wrote: Mattie - 'completely stressed out' is right! I've never had a dog this difficult, this tiring, this dangerous.
When I first met him, I took turns playing with him with my husband and adult son - a bit of clicker, a bit of throwing toys for him to fetch (or not...), a chat with the owner, a bit more clicker... so no, it wasn't 30 solid minutes of clicker drill!
Let him finish what is in his bowl before adding any more, you want him to to look forward to you walking towards it to add more food, he can't do that if he is eating when you add more. By the end of the first session with Merlin, he was starting to look happy when I approached.I did all the dropping food in the bowl, adding to it while he's eating, etc., stuff; when he's sane, there's no problem at all, he's like a normal dog.
Is he in the same room as you when you put the food down? If he is try putting it down then letting him in to eat it, you can then add more each time he finishes. You can read his body language when he is about to go so watch for that.When he's not sane, the trigger can apparently be, like this evening, the very thought of dinner, before it's even been put down in front of him. There's been no change in either his bowl or his food, no reason as far as I can see for him to lose it. Until a couple of days ago, we'd had quite a long period of normality and I'd thought we were doing quite well.
As long as he isn't going to hurt himself I would walk out of the room when he starts to go, obviously listen to make sure that he doesn't hurt himself while you are out. This will be safer for you and he has nothing to tantrum about if you are not there. You are doing something similar when you give him the good things in his crate.I've also used the 'swapping one resource for a better one' tactic, usually to retrieve something he's stolen that he shouldn't have in the first place; but it only works when he's sane. Engaging with him in any way when he's 'gone' can cause him to go into a barking biting frenzy and even on a couple of occasions to lose control of his bladder. Now we make a point of giving him high-value treats like toys with goodies inside only when he's in his crate, so that if he does lose it we can shut the door, leave him alone to calm down and save ourselves from a bite.
Doesn't matter how long the house lead is on for, it makes life much safer for you and that is what matters.A house lead on a new dog is, as you say, a good idea....but he's been with us for nearly two years now. He's not a new dog any more!
[/quote]Excellent piece of advice, which I'm going to take immediately!Mattie wrote:open a bottle of wine and chill
You are already sounding more relaxed, often just writing it down helps and if others understand what you are going through that is a bonus. Have more than one bottle of wine if it helps or even a box of chocolates.