Just wanted to give you guys an update on Duke. You have all been generous with advice when asked for, so I thought I'd let you know how it is going.
We no longer have a problem with fit pitching, barking, and crying in the crate. The few more times we had a problem he was totally ignored. He didn't give up the fight easily, but when he saw it was not effective, it stopped. Now each evening I take him out to potty, bring him in and take off his pinch collar, hook the leash to his collar, grab 2 biscuits, and take him to the crate. He goes right in, gets his first biscuit, I take off the leash and give him his second biscuit and tell him goodnight. He's calm and quiet until it is time to get up the next morning.
We haven't had any of the drag the human through the yard since we put his pinch collar on. Nor have we had any grab the leash growl and spin. Obviously, he came with that collar for a reason. We were just too blind to figure it out for a while
We have invested in a lunge line for him to burn off some energy. I take him out late in the evening. Some days he plays - usually ball or frisbee, some days he is totally distracted with folks walking, dogs roaming, etc and simply wears himself out barking and wishing he could pursue the distraction.
Also made him a flirt pole which he has minimal interest in. Some days he will play with it, some days he won't. Also bought a horsey ball - total waste of money he won't even acknowledge it is around. Trouble, did however chew the corner off the handle.
We have been extra careful and not let him go rushing out the back door. We make sure he is behind a bedroom door or one of us have our hands physically on him before the door opens.
I started walking him up the street this morning. Didn't go far, but he did well. The distractions were there, but I had him sit and talked through them. I'll begin to focus energy here so he can begin to become familiar with the neighborhood. I didn't have a pocket full of treats this morning or I would have taken him a bit further.
Also need to begin to have him focus on me(us) and not the distraction. I'm happy with the progress he is making. I did contact a trainer recommended by a member here. She is reasonable and close enough to be a resource for us, but with his progress the last couple of weeks, I think I'll keep working on my own for now.
He and Trouble are doing very well together, even better now that Trouble is on the Rimadyl and feeling better. She's not as grouchy. They play with the same toys, make it a game to take the toy away from each other. We watch very closely, one of us focused on them as they play and stop the play if one of them gets bossy or aggressive. Even with all the excitement of the Christmas in July boxes, they have done well. They wait their turn to be fed, or to get treats and don't get snarky. We don't let them do much contact play, I don't want to risk Trouble being knocked off balance and being hurt. Duke will lick her face, ears and eyes and if she coughs or gags he will jump up to go check on her. For the most part he seems to acknowledge she is fragile. She, on the other hand, just tolerates the fact that he doesn't appear to be going away.
I suspect he has a checkered past. When Bob is here during the day with them, Duke spends a lot of the day in his crate. When I am home he never crates himself. I'm thinking Angie's husband may have made him stay in the crate when he was home. Another oddity is that he does not want you to pick up his feet. He will pull them back and if you are persistent will growl or even try to mouth you. Never really snapped at us, but he was sending a strong signal that was not acceptable.
Thank you to all of you who have offered advice or taken the time to check on us. We appreciate the support for our little adventure. Sorry it's so long, I guess I thought I was writing a book.