Ok, I admit, I am writing this in a fit of passion and I'm sure hate is a bit strong for what I am really feeling but I need your help! I'm going to be totally honest here, at this point and time I CAN'T STAND KIRBY! He is a terror. I'm sure most of you saw my post of him on the kitchen counter, as funny as that was it was just a quick example of hurricane Kirby and I'm at my wits end and don't know what to do with him. He makes Marley (of Marley and Me) look like an angel. Today I came home to find my absolute favorite sandals in the whole world chewed to pieces. He has chewed 2 phone chargers, a blue tooth, pulled textbooks and novels off my bookshelf and shredded them, chewed the bottom out of a chair, climbed on the counter and shredded and/or ate everything he could find, ate an entire bag of ranch sunflower seeds and the list goes on and on.
By now you are probably thinking "why dont' you confine him?" I've tried. He is a little Houdini and escapes any confinement I can put him in. I haven't crated him for a full day yet because honestly I am worried about him tearing toenails or breaking teeth trying to get out of his crate in addition to eating his bedding and peeing/pooping all over the crate. He has escaped ex-pens (extra tall ones) and babygates, I can't lock him in any room because he climbs up on bookshelves and counters and could likely open cupboards. He was fine with free range of the house for the first few weeks I had him so I don't know what his deal is. He has a million toys and gets plenty of exercise so that's not the issue. I can't reprimand him because I rarely ever catch him in the act so I don't know how to teach him this IS NOT OK. Especially eating my favorite shoes :-( I am so sad about that.
Anyway, advice? Suggestions? Stories? I'm wanting to stick it out with this dog but honestly I'm having a hard time even LIKING him at this point because he has done very little to make me want to keep him. Maybe even support or stories of bad dogs gone good?
How are things going?
Whew. What a lot of trouble! I read the other replies and there are some great ideas in there. I skipped a few, so sorry if you've already this idea. I keep my puppy confined to the dining room because he has access to a pet door and any accidents will be on tile instead of wood or carpet. If Kirby lived with me, I would put him here but would make a few changes. I would take out the dining room chairs and my plant. He would only have four table legs to chew on. My table is old, so I'm not concerned if it has a few teeth marks. My dogs don't have access to their dog beds when they are confined in the dining room. I block off the area with our large pen, straightened all the way out and held up by the dining room chairs on one side and cement blocks on the dog side. Since don't have access to their beds, I bought some cute soft baby blankets from target (the thicker ones, not receiving blankets). They could chew them, but I dont think its very satisfying and they would rather sleep on them. This would be the only soft thing in the room if Kirby were there. I would also make and freeze different types of Kongs with different stuff in them. I'd put one in each corner of the room and maybe one in the middle just for fun. That would be to hopefully keep him occupied while I was away. I would be sure to give lots of love and attention before I left him. About 30 min before I left, I would put him in his pen with one kong treat and praise him lots for being a good boy in there, but otherwise, would ignore him as if I had already left for the day. Kind of like teaching him how to behave when I'm not around in stages instead of all at once. When I return, I would praise empty kong treats and the dog. If I noticed something was destroyed, I would use my scolding voice, but would be talking to the destroyed thing, not the dog. I did this when Leia was destroying my shoes but I could never catch her. Finally, she started shaming herself when I got home and I was able to transfer my scolding to the actual deed in front of her. She got it and doesn't touch them anymore. So that is how I would proceed if Kirby were in my home - you may have already tried this.
Kirby may be having some separation anxiety like you think, but he may also have never learned how to cope with stressful situations. Can Franklin help? There may be a way to teach Franklin to help Kirby. As a bonus, Franklin will stay mentally challenged during the day. I wouldn't know how to proceed with this, but I bet there are some great older posts on this site or info on another site.
Don't hate! Go and do something fun that you enjoy with Kirby. Leave Franklin behind and just spend time with Kirby. Bond with him and get to know him again. Make some Kirby time each day - whether at home, in the park, or on the couch, spend a few minutes bonding with him. It will be good for you both. You'll prob have to do the same for Franklin afterwards :) Try to look past Kirby's issues during your bonding time with him.
When I am teaching - Kindergartners often inadvertently do things that make my job less fun and much more challenging. When I am about to loose my patience - I stop, breathe, and talk to the child, not the behavior. Like, "Sally, you are coloring very nicely! I love that you remembered to label the things in your picture. Don't forget to use your manners when asking your friends to share the markers. I'll listen and see if you remember to do that next time." This is more for me than Sally - it reminds me that Sally is a good child, she just had a frustrating moment. You need to do this with Kirby. He is have lots of "moments" right now, but this does not define him, just the moment that he is in.
Sorry for the novel - I'm terrible about doing that! Good luck! Be good Kirby!!!