I didn't intend to hijack the discussion. My post discussion is under training, the topic of medication, but to answer your questions. Bijou is seven months old. He is from a show/breeder with beautiful dogs. I guess beauty is only skin deep. The dogs and puppies were kept together in cages. I purchased him when he was almost 5 months old. I suppose his problem stems from not enough contact with people rather than other dogs. The only issue that I thought about at the time was paper training since he only went in the cage. I couldn't stand the thought of him going back into the cage. I guess the saying is true that no good deed goes unpunished. I have never owned a dog like this. I guess this is why rescue dogs are around, for people who feel like me. I hired a trainer. I do the positive approach of being cheerful when I leave, because I am thrilled to be leaving. My daughter has him at her apartment in town right now to give me a break and it really is a break,
I feel so free.
I am so sorry to hear your story. It sounds like you did everything "right" and found an excellent breeder. I posted a link to an excellent article awhile back (too bad I can't remember where!) that defended backyard breeders just for the reasons you are describing. It stressed how important human contact, handling, etc. was a certain number of times during the day, especially during certain critical weeks in a puppy's attitude towards humans. It criticized many show breeders who raised their puppies in kennels as being no better than puppy mills in producing dogs with the potential for the same behavioral problems.
As someone who has only had rescue pets for 25 years, I was particularly touched by your statement that rescue groups are around for people like you. Yes, they are, for good people who have simply gotten themselves into a situation with a pet that they can no longer handle for a number of different reasons. It can be a very difficult decision to give up a pet, but if it isn't working out, it really is the best thing to do for them, to give them another chance.
That's how my story with Peggy ended. My vet convinced me that Peggy would never really be reliable around young children and the best thing I could do for her was "give her up" (as he phrased it so well) to someone who was better suited for her personality. He stressed how important it was to do it then, while she was still a puppy (she was only 7 months old) as it would be much easier to modify her behavior, she would adjust more easily, and she would be more adoptable.
He found Peggy the most wonderful 30 year old man whom he had known for years. Sam had worked at his office as a teenager, he and his parents had always had Springers, and Sam had dealt with one with serious aggression problems (bitten to the point of stitches). He also hunted.
It was a match made in heaven. He spent hours training her to hunt and said she was the smartest dog he ever had. Although he never had any further behavior problems with her, she was definately a one person dog as she had been with me. He said if he had company over, by choice she would just go go lie in his bedroom, away from everybody, waiting for him.
It made me so sad to give up on her, but it was the best thing I could have done for her.