Our Alex, a pit bull mix, was one of the best dogs I’ve ever had as a pet and as my helper when working with other dogs to modify their behavior, but my girl, when we got her as a puppy, had bad separation anxiety so it took us a while to get her to be balanced. Let me tell you that she was worth it. We had her for 13 years, and even now I don’t think that it was long enough.
Our Charlie, the new addition to our family, has separation anxiety and he is getting better as time goes by:
-We couldn’t leave him in any room by himself because he would scream murder at the top of his lungs. Nowadays, he is able to stay by himself for a short period of time.
-Charlie would bark/whine when Abby went out to do her business. Recently, he only makes a funny sound, yes sometimes he still whines, but the intensity and length of time is but a couple of seconds.
-When we placed Abby in the car first, Charlie would go berserk. As time went by, he understood that he would get in the car too so he does get excited, but it’s manageable.
The above is just a few of the things we’re working on with Charlie and his separation anxiety. To those pet parents that are probably asking themselves, “How long will it take for that separation anxiety to disappear?” Let me tell you that it depends on the dog, the activities you are doing with him, the behavior and training you are working on, and the consistency and commitment on your part. Work hard, but also remember to take a break every so often. Stay safe.
The above beautiful specimen is Candie, our very first foster dog. We changed her name to Bella since she is truly beautiful and we thought this named suited her better. Let me start by saying that I’ve been reading other blogs of people who are fostering dogs and many of them have had set backs as well as success with their foster dogs. Some have decided to stop fostering for a variety of reasons, all of them valid in my opinion, while others are still at it. Regardless of whether you are the former or the latter, thanks a million for doing it.
Bella has been with us for 8 days and here’s some information about her and a progress report:
Breed: Pit Bull Mix
She is extremely smart and knows how to sit, wait/stay, go to bed, and come
She’s crate-trained and housebroken. No accidents at all
Amazingly sweet with people and all she wants is to be with you and be petted all day if you have the time
Still working on walking on a loose leash. Very good progress so far
She shaked uncontrollably when I was about to feed her and Alex. Food seems to stress her out. Now she still shakes, but less than before and she is able to wait rather than pace around the kitchen until I have their food ready
Bella responds best when the correction is done with your voice. Harsh corrections, rough handling, popping of leash, etc., are not recommended for her. She is a big strong girl, but she is verysensitive. Although your voice needs to mean business it has to be done without a harsh tone otherwise she’ll shut down completely
She is not suitable for a first-time pet parent
My model, Bella, was falling asleep on me so I had to capture it for you to see how funny she looks when she does that. We are not sure yet if she is ok with other dogs. At the shelter, she was a favorite with a lot of the volunteers and she played very nice with other dogs, but we have to see how she does when living with other dogs in a home environment. We’ll find out in a few days.
By the way, Alex is doing better with her leg. She is walking about 12 minutes, and when the brace is removed at night-time she does not limp, but we don’t want to push it so she’ll continue with bed rest and short walks for a while longer.
To foster a shelter dog is a challenge, many of you know that first hand, and I will continue to blog about it and hope that I get input from pet parents and foster parents as well. Share your stories, please. Also, please remember that not all foster dogs may be suitable for your home just like not all dogs would be a good fit for your family.
If you are interested in adopting Bella, this is the information you will need to apply for her: She is with BARCS, ID# A21561474. Wish us luck and let’s hope this horrible weather changes soon. Have a great weekend.