Ok, Captain is a Black Lab/Chow mix we brought home from the pound about 5 years ago after we had a bit of a tragic run with pets.
We lost one of the best dogs you could ever had in a Samoyd named Jake. He died pretty suddenly after contracting a blood disorder. In response to this sad event we got 2 (yes, two) Beagle puppies. They were cute but obnoxious as hell. They also had a bad habit of getting in bloody to-the-death style brawls every once in awhile over food. After I got bit breaking one up and Jackie got caught in the middle of another one, they had to go. This time we got a freakin' cat, which I hate, and which is still with us despite my absolute best effort to pawn the Devil to my sister-in-law (that stuck for-all-of 2 weeks).
From the get-go he was the most affectionate, but needy, dog you will ever encounter. It was clear he been abused by some young boys, because he used to bristle around them, but he doesn't do this anymore. What he is consistent in is escape artistry and the associated property destruction. I hesitate to call what he does as "artistry" because his method is pretty straightforward - power and persistance.
When we first brought him home we thought he could be a backyard dog, but the guy at the shelter said, "Oh, well, he'll want to be whereever you are." Truer words have never been spoken. He started his long standing escape campaign by busting through the cedar planks of the privacy fence. We re-enforced trouble spots many times and replace planks more times than I care to count. He defeated the replace/patch/reenforce strategy, easily. When he broke out he never went anywhere too far, just out lookin' for new best friends in the neighborhood.
So then we bought a fancy electronic fence with the "shock" (which is really just a powerful vibration) collar and spent 2 days installing everything inside the fence. Goin' all double-layer of defense on him. "You're gonna haveta do better than that" he scoffed.
The collar system is set to have a "safety" shut off so that it will quit vibrating if its activitated for something like 1 minute straight. I've deduced that he would get himself all fired up like a football player before the game, probably smashed a couple of cans of dog food against his forehead, and went up to the fence and took it, so then he could work at the fence as long as necessary. This high tech strategy of ours was soundly defeated by good old fashioned stubboness and willingness to suffer - impressive.
Next we let him be in the house while we were gone. Why we trusted him to not go all Gingus Khan on our defenseless walls I will never know. At least 3 times (I lose count) he destroyed doorframes, drywall etc. The worst time he almost got all the way through to the garage. It is a miracle he survived a couple of these incidents - a miracle I-tell-ya.
We've figured out that he freaks on thunderstorms and fireworks so we medicate him when we know its coming.
By the way, you have never seen a dog act as sorry and pitiful as this dog can we he is in trouble (I mean BIG TROUBLE).
Since the last home destruction we have started kenneling him in a large, moderately heavy, steel cage in our bedroom. We were worried about his transition to this but he took it to very well. He kenneled without issue for quite awhile, maybe a year, UNTIL Thursday.
We came home to this
He had done some "work" on his cage before this, so he already had a start. I also think Katie didn't latch the bottom so he had more room to work. I believe he bends with his jaws but also uses his head, paws and legs as levers for which to smash und pry und destroy. There were some light, brief thunderboomers while we were gone. So I think this was the trigger.
He said he was sorry.
I called Jackie and she went and got a new cage ('cuz we still gotta go to work and stuff). Well (you can see this coming right?) he ate that one too.
He didn't get all the way through, so this weekend I spent sometime trying to be an aftermarket dog cage armor fabircation specialist. I came up with this.
I thought it was pretty good actually. I still needed some beefing up, but it should do until I can make my 3rd trip to Home Depot to finish the job off - wrong, dead wrong
Again, with-the oh-I'm-soooooo-sooooorrrry. Right.
He's lost what-little dog brain he had, Separation Anxiety they call it. The Dog Whisperer would tisk tisk us for sure. This is Jackie's pass at it. I think its not too bad, but what do I know?
We plan to up his walks, give him other things to do/chew and bring on the heavy artillery if we must. If that doesn't work we're talkin' some farm-life for good ole' Capt'n (but don't tell Jackie I said that).