So, I live with my boyfriend and his family. His sister, has this dog (Boomer) who is about five years old and is a mix. Over the course of the past few years, he's become more and more aggressive when people are trying to leave the house. It doesn't matter who's trying to leave, he'll go crazy. When it first started happening Boomer would just whine and whatnot, but as time went on, he became more aggressive with it.
Growling, barking, trying to jump on you and even trying to bite you. He's grabbed a hold of my arm once, but thankfully I was wearing a coat and he didn't get through it. He's grabbed on to the back of pant legs in an attempt to pull people back from the door. Recently, my boyfriends mother was trying to go to bed (her bedroom is basically right next to the door to go out) and he went nuts. He had her pinned against the kitchen table and would not let her move. When she did, he bit onto her shirt and managed to tear two big holes into it. He's broken skin on my boyfriends father once while he was trying to leave. It wasn't anything deep, but there was a small bit of blood from it.
At first his parents didn't really think much of any of this, but within the past few months it's gotten so much worse and they've finally realized that something is wrong. Now whenever someone walks past the door he gets anxious and goes to bark or jump on you.
They've tried locking him in a bedroom when someone leaves and having someone let him out shortly after they managed to leave, but then he completely destroys the bedroom. They've tried having someone simply hold him back, but he takes out his anger on them, instead. They've tried distracting him with snacks and food, but he just doesn't care about that stuff at the moment. And simple, sit and stay commands are pointless when he's like that, because he basically shuts you out and refuses to listen to anything, or anyone.
Now, they have taken him to the vet before, and they just said that it's separation anxiety and there's nothing they can do. They didn't even suggest anything that might help people get out the door safely. The stupid thing is, Boomer is literally NEVER alone in this house. There's always at least one person home, but he still acts like the people leaving are never going to return.
And another thing, Boomer seems rarely happy despite the fact that he gets a ton of attention, walks, playtime, treats and love. Basically, 80% of the time he just looks... Well, depressed. He walks around with his head low and he's not wagging his tail. He literally looks like he hates life, even though he has an amazing home. Granted, this could just be his weird personality, but there are times where he does look happy. His eyes are big and bright, his tail is wagging and his head is held high and he just looks so much happier.
Between the sudden aggression when leaving and his always looking and acting depressed, I think there's more to this than just anxiety, but no one really listens to me. I could be wrong of course, but I can't shake this feeling that it could be something else.
The one thing that worries me the most is that I'm pregnant and within a few months, there's going to be a baby in the house. I'm already terrified to leave as is, but I'm even more scared to think of what he's going to do when I'm holding an infant in my arms and trying to leave.
We're at our wits end with this dog. Personally, as much as I love animals, I wouldn't be sad to see him be re homed, but I know that chances are, he's going to start doing that to another family and I don't want that. Plus, his parents love Boomer. He's a decent dog, as long as you don't try to leave.
So, hopefully my long story didn't scare anyone away and hopefully there's someone out there who went through something similar with their pet or can point us in some sort of direction to seek help. We don't know what to do anymore.