I'll organize the facts here first:
-Dog was found on the streets in April
-Mid sized black Lab beagle mix, approx 3-5 years old
-Has had proper checkups and veterinary care since day 1
-when found Dog was neutered but not chipped- someone abandoned it or it ran away
-Pees in the house even though he's house trained
-Cannot be crate trained- has broken out of 5 successively stronger crates within mere hours
-Miserable animal: always depressed. Does nothing playful or fun, exhibits no dog like behavior.
-Extreme submissiveness- wont even eat food unless led to the bowl and forced to eat
-Crippling separation anxiety: cannot be left alone- freaks out, is visibly depressed, pees everywhere.
Where do I start with this dog? My roommate brought him home a few months ago and if I'm being honest, I truly can't stand the stupid thing. BUT, I am a fair person and I believe animals deserve a shot, and he and the dog are clearly attached to one another so I'm asking for advice here.
Part of the problem is that my roommate is categorically incapable of admitting how many issues this dog has- he is inconsistent in training it and he imagines progress where there is, in fact, none.
I don't know what happened to this thing before we found it but from its behavior my only guess is that it was on the front lines of Vietnam. I've never seen such a traumatized animal. It's been in a stable loving environment for 4 months now and there has been very little change in this demeanor.
The dog can't be left alone or it pees everywhere. Sometimes it's ok, most of the time it's not. Sometimes it even pees if my roommate goes upstairs for 15 minutes to take a shower. It's getting ridiculous and it's causing serious $$ damage to our house.
Urinalysis showed that the dog had crystals in its urine- most likely from poor diet/development on the streets- but it's been on a special diet for 2 months. The last urine sample was clean, but this dog still pisses in the house when left alone. Sometimes we will have it on a walk where it pees it's heart out, then go home, leave the room for a few minutes, and walk back to a puddle of piss. The problem is no longer medical and it is not due to lack of opportunity.
You know how dog people imagine that their dog waits for them at home when they leave? That is literally true with this dog. When my roommate leaves the dog will sit and stare at the door while slumped over like it just watched it's family get murdered. It will do this FOR HOURS. It is unhealthy.
This is what I'm trying to get at- the dog is completely codependent. It literally cannot move, eat, breathe, do ANYTHING if my roommate isn't within eyesight. I wonder if maybe malnutrition took a toll on its brain as well. I know labs aren't a relatively smart breed, but it's been 4 months and this dog barely responds to its own name. It's scared of literally everything.
I think part of the codependent issue may come from my roommate working from home. He is generally home A LOT- so it makes sense that coupled with the dog's underlying issues, he is used to having him around.
However, its not functional to be a slave to your dog. You can't have a dog in your house that can't be left alone for 15 minutes. It's not an infant.
My questions are:
-What might he be doing to encourage this dog's codependence
-How can this dog get some self confidence and be OK on its own
-What is there left for us to do in terms of stopping the peeing in the house
-How can I bring up the option with my very stubborn roommate that this dog might not be for us?
He gets a lot of advice from people but guess what- they don't live in this house!
If I can draw a parallel, to me, a 20-something adopting this dog is like a 20-something adopting a special needs child. It's nice to give it a home, and maybe the dog is trainable, but there are issues here that are beyond behavioral and I just don't think we are equipped to deal with it.
Any advice appreciated- sorry for the extended rant.