Hello all again. It has been awhile since I have been on the forum, mostly due to my deployment to Afghanistan. For those who might remember me, hello! To those who don't, here is the deal.
Back in 2010 I received my beautiful German Shepherd, Apollo. He was a gift from my wife for my birthday. We went to pick out a pup from the litter together and there were two left to chose from. There was one running up and trying to jump at us and love on us, and then there was Apollo, in the back corner sleeping with his floppy little ears! He was possibly the cutest thing I've ever seen. Needless to say, we was the runt of the litter, but we was so calm and collected that we decided on him.
He was wonderful at first, always sleeping or playing with his chew toys and whatnot. We started coming to this website for tips on training him with various issues.
His second week with us he came down with (pardon my misspelling) Cocksidia (some intestinal infection/bacteria). I slept with him for a week trying to nurse him back to help. We almost lost him but the antibiotics from the vet came through after several days.
Fast forward a year, and WOW.
I think we hit every bump in the road we could have possibly hit. Potty training, pulling the leash, jumping on people, crate training, and worst of all, his aggressive possessive behavior.
I am in the Army, so I work days and my wife at the time worked nights. Play time and training time with Apollo was limited, but effective. He learned to Sit, Stay, Lay down, Roll over, etc.
Since then we have gained a female German Shepherd and a male Corgi. The two Shepherds have always been trying to get the upper hand on the other one for dominance, however HATE when they are separated, and the Corgi is only 12 weeks and usually observes from afar.
For the last year or so Apollo has been getting more and more aggressive with Starbuck, our female. What was once quiet play has now turned into snarling and showing his teeth, and this morning grabbing her by her collar until she yelped and snapped back. He has never been aggressive to humans or OTHER dogs. He is usually the most relaxed and friendly at the dog park, and people are actually surprised at how nice he is. He even let another bite his face and pull without doing anything! He's a scaredy cat if anything. His aggressiveness at the house is usually only towards his things, like if Starbuck picks up HIS bone, he freaks out. Or if she goes into his box when he has food or a toy in there. Which I assumed was him being territorial with his stuff.
Now with our Corgi Boomer he is SUPER aggressive when he's eating or chewing on a bone, ESPECIALLY if Boomer is out and Apollo is in his crate. He will try to break the door off his crate to attack Boomer, BUT if they are both out of the crate then there's no probably. They play like nothing is wrong. I get it that Boomer is the new guy on the block, but Apollo NEVER showed his teeth or snarled at another animal until about a year ago. This morning he attacked Boomer who was just standing by the doorway waiting for me to come back from getting them water.
On top of that, he has completely lost all his training. He's so distracted with the world it's like he has A.D.D. I can't get him to do anything except sit and wait for water (I learned that from 'Nothing in the world is free' suggested by other users and it worked perfectly). I tell him to come and I show him treats and he just walks away like it doesn't interest him anymore. He's so stubborn and I'm not sure where he learned it. Starbuck is VERY mannered and she listens and snaps to attention when called and all that. Even little Boomer is learning to Sit and come on command.
We and my wife have been discussing what we can do with him. He's such a loving dog, but like I said, his personality has been changing to an unacceptable level of aggression, and he refuses to pay attention to either me or my wife. I am beginning to think that maybe there is something wrong with his brain. He was the runt after all, so maybe that had something to do with it, but I'm NOT running to that as an excuse. But with his short attention and rising aggression he's becoming a problem within our house hold. When he's in trouble he knows it, I'm just beginning to think he's just too stubborn to learn otherwise.
Right now me and my wife are looking at all options. We don't want to put our problems on others by giving him away, but we feel like getting rid of our other two dogs who are well behaved and listen to us for a dog that seems like a lost cause in our house would be a waste. We love all our pets and just want what's best for all of them, but we are fearing that Apollo's aggression is going to keep growing until something happens i.e. he injures one of our pets, another person's pet, or God forbid, me, my wife, or someone else. If something is wrong with his brain, I don't want him to have to live a life of aggression.
Basically this thread is to explain the current situation and look for others who may have gone through this and what others think would be the best solution. Are there adoption programs for rehabilitating aggressive dogs? Should we have him put down?
All opinions are welcomed.