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Our English shepherd has obvious obsessive abandonment issues (with no obvious basis, as he was never actually abandoned) and is extremely clingy. If we're in sight, he acts normal, if a little insistent for affection at times.

Today, he was outside in his (very large) dog pen when my girlfriend leaves with the car. I happened to look out the window at the time, and he was tearing at the PVC-coated wire fencing with no regard to his own safety. He ripped a section out and ran down the driveway. Girlfriend had not left the driveway, and brought him back. He has always chased any car leaving if he was outside on his own in the past (in-laws let the dogs out willy-nilly, we don't do that).

I've decided after this that this dog is ruined. He sits when told to, but that's it. He's basically a good dog and doesn't trash the house or anything, but he appears otherwise untrainable. He's about ten years old, and all his life until we moved in with my mother-in-law, he was given the run of the yard. He often left the yard altogether, and that got him in trouble with our farmer neighbors.

Is he just plain ruined through improper, no-discipline spoiling by my in-laws? Should I just shrug, do the best I can, and not worry about it at his age? I honestly don't know what else I can do.

Regarding the dog pen, I put the fencing back and used more than twice as many staples, and from now on we're going to bring him temporarily inside before one of us leaves, but man, as much as we love this dog he is a giant pain in the @$$ sometimes. Neither of us have ever lived with such a spoiled (and dumb) dog before.
 
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