My almost 8 year old German Shepherd is now chewing?
I have had my GSD since he (and his sister) was a little puppy. Chewing wasn't really a problem when he was small. He is very off to himself, can be very very VERY aggressive (even after being neutered), but is very loyal all the way around. He doesn't like other dogs much, or most people for that matter. Just to give you a tad of a background story of the little ball of sunshine.
Now off to my question. I have noticed maybe around the beginning of this summer (2011) that he will hide out somewhere in the house and chew up things. First time he did this it was a plug to a power strip that was laying on the closet's floor in the basement (don't worry, it was unplugged!)
We couldn't show him what he did was wrong because we didn't catch him WHILE he was doing it. Second time he was a little bit more open about it, right in the living room while the family was watching a movie, he was laying on the ground and chewed a giant hole in a towel (almost 1" diameter) I used the day before after swimming.
I caught him that time, got out of my chair and walked toward him, and told him in a very stern voice "No" and he stopped. After that he, almost nightly, has been getting in the bathroom's trash (mostly cotton balls and Kleenex tissues) and tearing it into shreds all over the upstairs of my house. Again, I haven't caught him doing this, I suspect he is doing this lovely act while I'm in bed.
The most resent act of chewing he has done is another power cord (unplugged!) for my vacuum cleaner, which I store in the basement closet. I didn't
catch him this time either!
In the past he HAS shown anxiety issues, which I assume that may lead to his aggression. He is horribly afraid of thunderstorms and fireworks, but he never chews while these things are happening. I haven't even noticed him doing it after the fireworks/t-storms are over with.
I then went to the conclusion that maybe he's upset that my mother (who I live with) is now working for the first time in 15 years; I had a summer job (like every year) and now since it's September, I'm back in school; my younger brother is now back in school and also has been in a tight knit schedule for football since he joined 2 years ago -- We have been pretty busy!
I still try giving him almost daily brushes (he seems to really enjoy that) and I try my hardest to pay attention to him. I absolutely love my dog and I have always tried my best to show it to him (and his sister too!) I try and go outside to play with him, but he always races to get back inside when he's done doing his business.
He doesn't like going on walks because we live in a neighborhood where there are lots of people walking around also -- some who are walking their own dog -- and like I said before he gets horribly mean and I'm afraid he'll hurt someone or their beloved pets!
So I'm at a loss at my situation. If anyone can give me things to try, I greatly appreciate it!
I have tried googling this a few times and only find stuff about puppies chewing. My dog may be a puppy still in my eyes, but he's almost 8 years old! :(
Thanks for your future replies!