Hello there! First things first I'm new to the forum, though I've been reading on it for a while. My name is Daniel and I'm a 26yo guy who simply loves dogs. I'm in need of advice / kind words / firm words, whichever you think are relevant to the matter. The title of this thread has the keywords of my problem, but I'll try to build up to it so the situation is clear - so bear with me. If you are wanting to help but lack information, after reading this text.. don't hesitate to ask. My Background I come from a family where dogs have always been an active part of the family and needless to say I grew up with one by my side. Our Goldens were typical role-model family Goldens: Friendly, gentle, obedient, active, happy, caring, intelligent and rather healthy. Personally, I've always been able to communicate well with dogs and I often earn (or, at least, receive) their trust fast by that. This especially came in handy when I moved in with my partner.. and her dog. Bringing us to the next chapter. My Partner Over the last 5 years I have been living together with my partner (now wife) and her dog. My wife's a great woman, let me point that out. Her family has always had dogs and animals as well. The slight difference between her and my background is, that her family generally didn't try to educate the dogs to a degree that they'd fit in with the family. Also, the place where she grew up has been very known for their old-school way of treating dogs. Her family's way of 'being somewhat easy going' like that, made my wife rather bitter to treating a dog that way. So, on top of the natural female urge to nurture something that's 'so adorable', she has developed a very very strong feeling of responsibility. I find this to be quite the quality, when reading/seeing how some people treat their pets. But you can maybe picture where such dedicated, overprotective, 'over-nurturing' kind of human/dog relationship leads. The Four-Legged Friend in Question This guy recently turned 7 years old, although you'd never say that from the way he bounces around. He is a Chinese Crested, a 'Powderpuff'. A well-bred, rather healthy little male, weighing just about 5 kg. For the last five years we have been training this guy all the basics, after I urged my partner to participate. Unfortunately, when I first met him, his obedience was non-existing, his dog/human-aggression overwhelming, he was protective of food/pillow and even my partner. In the first year, I got him to feel more safe. In areas where I was very unlikely to encounter anybody else, I managed to have him unleashed and heel - without him being scared of anyone attacking him. Quickly we could touch his food if we wanted to and others could approach his sleeping area / pillow, without being warned by him. Needless to say, there was rapid improvement once I got my partner to step up her game with me. He ended up figuring out most basics such as stay, sit, lay down, roll over and even obeys countless of different whistles at this point. This little guy has insane amounts of energy and cannot control his impulses. We've focused on impulse control training, but it seems to be in vain. In the end we had to face that this breed is rather primitive and his instincts seem to take over whenever they get stimulated the slightest. I must add, though, that he is very upbeat. When we go out with him or take him anywhere he is ecstatic and has the biggest smile on his face. He exclaims sounds of joy whenever he runs and is the most verbal Chinese Crested I have -ever- met Thanks for bearing with me so far, now here's the turning-point. Current Situation Bringing me to the current state of affairs. Our little guy has severe separation anxiety (not 'separation fun' as described in the links in this thread), is often still dog/human aggressive (we at least cannot at all rely on his judgment and warn everyone calmly before they approach), and the worst of all things is that because of this he is very very unhappy. We have tried countless of ways to deal with these issues. We have great local- and national dog communities that have helped us quite the bit, but this guys insecurities seem to really get the best of him, no matter what we show/teach him. When we leave he goes completely insane. When someone stands up he anticipates the departure and shows distress in advance. When we do leave, on return, we'll find him howling/barking/running in the windows, with all furniture moved, thrown over and/or damaged. I'm not a fan of keeping him in his bench, because a 2-hour video recording once showed how violent he gets inside his bench and I cannot risk him hurting or even killing himself. He tries to escape at all cost. Though having no bench costs us our furniture, not to mention expensive designer lamps we used to have etc. And he can actually still hurt himself very easily, with all the climbing and jumping that he does. Right now, with me he seems to be calm - he's laying next to the desk right now, upside down and asleep. But when I leave he goes in distress. With my wife it goes far beyond that, she cannot go to the toilet or he will be in utmost distress. Anyway.. We really tried our best and are trying to make the best of it, for him and ourselves. I mean, leaving knowing that your dog is going insane because of your absence.. It just doesn't really feel right to go anywhere. The Actual Problem The first few years here, we have both been studying. We were often home and had a reasonable amount of time to spend on working on a happier dog. Now things have changed.. We both graduated and my wife find herself a job in the capital. We are soon buying ourselves a house/villa near her work and I will then also look for jobs in that area instead. We'll both be working from 07:00 to 17:00. Now 10 hours a day is already a very very VERY long time for any dog to be alone, but this dog will end up taking it's own life one way or another, I'm afraid. And let's face it, even if not, he will be one severely unhappy dog for the far most of the day, for the rest of his live. As much as I've started to suppress the guilty feeling, I know this can't be right. I feel this is selfish towards the little guy. Especially considering that, in our spare time, we'll want to do some things where the dog unfortunately cannot join us. That, on top of our working hours, sounds like I'll be wasting years of this little fellas times. We simply cannot offer him what he needs, we are too active to babysit him every minute of the day. Now here's where I'd very much appreciate your advice / kind words / firm words. My wife and I have had trouble discussing this matter. She knows she cannot offer the little guy what he needs, but her extreme responsibility feeling makes her reluctant to consider the option of finding a great 'foster home' for him. She basically says: "It's my dog, so it's my responsibility. I will not give up on him." I honestly couldn't agree more, but to me the 'responsibility' she speaks of contradicts her actual actions. For months now she has been reluctant to think of solutions and is postponing any actions taken, at the expense of the little guy. I know it is hard to let go of a four-legged buddy. I know it feels/seems/is unfair. But is it fair to keep a dog in a depressed state, because one cannot put him/herself aside? I feel like this is some form of hypocrisy, to speak of 'responsibility' and yet take no actions. What am I to do? I have not addressed this matter for a while. She blows up when her mother tries to talk to her about it and my earlier experience, regarding this matter, led to us even drifting apart to a marriage-threatening extend. What do you think? Is it our responsibility to stick with the dog, even though we know we'll never be able to offer him what he needs? Or is it our responsibility to find him a person or a family that has the time and dedication to make this guy a happy guy? And, your opinion aside, how am I to bring this subject up to my wife? I don't want to upset her, I want to figure this out together. Again, if you made it to the end of this text, thank you. I'd appreciate your opinion.