Well, the dog just got a reprieve, thanks to daughter #2.
Robbie is 3 1/2 years old and really really cute. But when he was around 18 months old, he decided he wanted to be the boss. No way, Jose, I thought and promptly took him for training with a local, well-known and reputable professional.
Six weeks later, we carried on at home with what we'd learned. He was okay - for a while.
Then, last fall he decided again that he was going to be the boss. He started showing aggressive behaviours again, and I started wondering if I should find him a new home.
I was away for almost 2 months, but when I came home I began (again!) to seriously make him aware that I am the Alpha of the family - not him. We go for almost daily walks that are a constant struggle. He lunges at other people and dogs and pulls at the leash for at least half the time we're out. One time I ran into a friend who put her (thankfully gloved) hand down to pat him and he nipped her! I was horrified! and extremely humiliated!
He barks when we leave, he barks when people walk past the house, he barks when people come to the door. He never stops until they go away.
Last night, I sat down to watch TV and Robbie hopped up on the couch without being invited. I said, "Down." He sat there. I said, "Down!" again. He just sat there. After repeating it again and again, he begrudgingly got down so I could put the blanket on the couch. Then I said, "Okay," and he hopped up.
I went to stroke his back when it happened. He turned and put his face in mine and bared his teeth, growling loudly! I had to turn my face aside, but managed to keep my cool as I stated (hopefully sounding matter-of-fact) "Get down." I repeated it several times before he finally did get down, growling all the while.
That's it, I thought. Tomorrow will be his last meal. However, as stated above, Daughter #2 felt it was inhumane and we need to try harder with him.
After a visit to the vet to clear him of any physical ailments and to discuss possible alternatives, we have decided to contact the trainer we had before to see if she can help.
In the meantime, he is not allowed up on any furniture and will get fed when we decide it's time. If he doesn't eat within 1/2 hour, his food is removed and he gets no more until the next feeding time. He doesn't get anymore treats, either.
If we can manage to control his desire to be "alpha," I will then attempt (with trainer's help) to find him a new home. Otherwise, no matter how cute he is, he's toast.