I also took in a chow from Jay Egger.
I've been in contact with the owner of Mega above and comparing along the way. It quickly became clear my dog had serious aggression issues, he was VERY drive-y. Prey drive, food drive, ball drive, stranger drive, play drive, every kind of drive he had it on full. It was nice to use that to train him, very obedient and intelligent dog, picked up things really quickly because of his high food drive. But unfortunately that same drive used to teach was a avenue for severe resource guarding, he was not here very long before he showed vicious guarding of a bone. My family had never seen anything like it, he was completely possessed by adrenaline and instinct to keep gnawing away on something he shouldn't have had.
My dog was troubled. Looking back, there were little signs everyday when he was really little. The behavior issues kept piling on, everything getting more and more serious. I went way past surface level training, it was my full time focus to just listen and take in knowledge for a long time. I would just listen to podcasts about dog training, watching videos, and eventually got skype sessions from someone I trust. I didn't give him to a trainer because I don't trust folks, I had a friend of a friend who works with dogs come see him and the guy said that he won't work with him. Most people only want the nice friendly dogs, Simon was very scary to meet. I did figure it out, and I think I had a really well educated boy. More well trained than most adult dogs I see out there, knowing "Place", massive duration work in commands, excellent foot protocol, perfect crate training, always quick to go into a command even without food. I used training to bond with him, it was a language we could talk to each other with. The dog was trained, but he couldn't make the right decision in the split second where it mattered. Simon bites a lot, and he doesn't stop if you object, in fact he always got worse if you push him or stomp your foot or any of that. It would escalate. I became an expert at knowing how to stop a dog before he starts, and that's how I would stop incidents for a few weeks at a time, but then it would happen again.
Massive amounts of separation anxiety, even the owners taking a shower was a cause for him to become very anxious and stressed. When we left the house, he could not handle the crate despite being a absolute super star at crate training. His crate was the only place I ever saw him relax, he could never relax any place else but in there as I did computer work. If we left, he was going to end up hurting himself in there so I started leaving him free in the house. He never damaged anything or got into things.
Massive amounts of dog aggression. We had a older dog who is a senior with bad hips, even with early exposure and her showing lots of patience with him he seemed to want to erase her. As he grew into a young adult, this became more evident, when she went out to pee he would become desperate to go outside too just so he could cover her scent where she peed. When he had access to her water bowl he would go and drink from it like it was his. He could not control himself when she passed by, and we ended up living with a gate in the middle of our house. Though I had success with getting them to be together, it was on leash (after teaching the dog proper leash communication), but he could never be trusted to be alone with a dog. I believe knowing what I know now, that he would have no problem killing our other dog if we messed up in our management
His whole life was just anxiety. I think if Jay was paying attention, maybe he could have seen something was weird about him. According to Jay he didn't get too close to the dogs because they would attach to him, it made sense back then but now it sounds lazy. A truly responsible breeder could have observed the pups interacting and told the buyer the truth of what they're seeing, this dog I got received so many chances up to the point he attacked someone who wasn't me. I should never have waited for that, but maybe the breeder has some responsibility in this too..
Health wise Simon was always sick, or so we thought. Scratching, chewing of the skin and legs, ripping hair, I spent a whole lot of money on trying to fix this. He had to be sedated for every single vet visit. Nothing was working, and the dog was quickly leaving my financial limits. I never planned to have a sick dog, a aggressive anxious dog. At about 3 months old, Simon was unable to hold water or food and was losing weight rapidly. At one point he went to the back of a closet and seemed like he was just going to give up and die, wouldn't wake up when touched, eventually he surfaced and was revived by my voice and touch. People wouldn't take him in without sedation, at the time I was a newbie and had no idea what that was and refused it, vet after vet said no or said only with sedation. I was in denial I had a very different dog than the many I've met in my life. The dog peed and pooped himself every single time that a vet process happened, either when we held him for sedation or for the one time that he was attended without it. The vet that did it without sedation had lacerations on his arms. I felt so bad I donated to the clinic any way I could, This is the same vet that cured him of his stomach issues.
In the end we think that he had so much anxiety that he was actually ripping his hair and self harming. It became a pattern and a habit. When I'd come home, the room always had a weird odor like his anxiety was making his body produce a smell. I buy into the idea that he was self harming, as nothing was working to stop it and every vet visit only got worse and worse. His last vet visit he had come to know what a muzzle was and began to snap when I tried to put it on. He did not receive proper muzzle training, as I was overworked with him and had so many things to work on just in the house, it wasn't a priority yet to get him around people. Maybe it was a mistake to not muzzle train sooner, they still would have had to sedate him, and he never harmed any strangers thankfully.
He was socialized everyday in his youth. Whenever I went somewhere I'd bring him along just because I wanted him to be exposed to everything. Daily walks once his limbs grew in. We stood near trains, went to crowded parks, even menards a few times. He was very suspicious but also never had a negative experience around people or other dogs. All the signs were there though and they only developed. He was so reactive and powerful, I had to stop walks entirely once hit those 8-12 month areas. He had a flip that would switch, and nothing would bring him out of it, his pull was so strong for a squirrel I had to physically carry him because the leash was near useless. This same switch could be flipped on his own family. I couldn't even reach to grab a blanket off my bed without the dog checking me and getting very stressed out that I was taking something, it was so weird.
Normally people have problems with their dog being aggressive towards strangers, but Simon was aggressive and dominant towards his owners. He had to be put down. I had to give up my entire year working none stop for this dog, the future was filled with him being on sedative meds the rest of his life. I couldn't give him a good life anymore. He brought me to the brink of quitting so many times, but I always kept giving him a chance. I can't let him become a child mauler or dog killer one day because he got that tiny window to do something horrible. He attacked me so many times I was a calm and cool expert when it would happen later on, but when people would see this dog trying to take my face off they knew how serious the situation was. He bit often, and would charge you for more even if you stepped away. These were usually vicious and baring teeth, growling, intense, possessed, a side of dogs I had never seen before and I couldn't believe it was my own dog who I love and cared for so much. I think we would still be together if he was just stranger aggressive. I can live with that and muzzle train him and keep distance from people.
Gorgeous dog, miss him, feel Jay should have seen he was troubled and warned the buyer or not put him up. I encourage everyone to go and meet your puppy before making a decision like this. I would never let someone send me a puppy I haven't met myself after this, and actually I might want to foster them for a bit too.