August 25th, 2009

Leo & Jessie - by Jaxx Blackfox

Update On Found Pit Bull

So, I'm calling her Honey, for now, since I don't know what her actual name is. It's better than calling her "That dog in the backyard."

I had a chance to take her for a good 40 minute walk tonight with Torwin, and did an assessment on her while we accompanied Jack to the Skytrain station. So far, she is looking pretty damn adoptable, if her owners don't claim her within a couple of weeks (I'm only giving them two weeks, as I really can't keep this dog... as sweet as she is, I have three as it is, and our landlord would have a cow if he knew we had a Pit Bull on his property). I'm very surprised that there have been no "Missing Dog" signs turning up yet. I've heard from someone I spoke with that they've seen this dog in the neighborhood before, and they suspect the owner lives somewhere on Kingsway. But I put out more posters, along the ally ways, and also an ad on Craigslist in Pets and Lost and Found. I also called the Vancouver SPCA and asked if anyone had reported a missing Pit Bull since Monday. Hopefully something positive will come up soon.

Her Assessment:

- Greets at the run with tailwags and excited snorts, and rolls over for belly rubs. Seems to be a pretty submissive dog, as she piddled herself a bit.

- No accidents in the run at all, ALL DAY. She's outside, so if she has to go and I'm not home yet to take her out, she can... but she held it all day and waited for me to take her out on a leash to go potty.

- Got her to Sit, Stay and Break for her food this morning, and tonight. She listens very well.

- Walks nicely on a leash (and prong collar). Needed to give a few corrections in the beginning, but she got the message real quick, and walked nicely at my side on a slack leash.

- We walked through the guard dog ally way, so I got to see her reaction to barking dogs. Anxious at first, and reacted as I suspected, by trying to lunge on the leash and barking at the other dogs behind the fences, but a few corrections on the collar with a "Leave it!" and lots of vocal cues got her attention away fairly quickly. So even under stress, it seems pretty easy to redirect her attention.

- When we neared the Skytrain station, Jack and Tor went up ahead quite a bit, and she was trying to pull me to keep up with them. I let the leash go slack so she had the full six feet, and then tried calling her away from them and back to me. Took her a bit, as she was a bit anxious to follow them, but she came back to me. Teaching her that no matter how far ahead they get, I want her to stay walking nicely beside me.

- At the station, after Jack left, Torwin got to give her a proper greeting. She sat very nicely in front of him with a waggy tail, and let him pet her. She's not a very kissy dog at all, mostly just butt-wiggly.

- On the way back home, we passed by two cyclists. The first one came by on her side, so I kept the leash loose, but short, and monitored her reaction. She seemed a bit stressed, ears perked, very attentive to the bicycle, but didn't try to lunge at it. When it passed, she calmly continued her walking pace. The second cyclist went by on her opposite side, and she barely took note of it at all.

- At one point Tor climbed on top of a high curb, or ledge, and started walking along it. Before that, she had been walking nicely between the two of us, but when Tor got up onto the ledge she turned her attention to him, ears perked... she seemed almost concerned that he was up there. She relaxed when he came back down again.

- Walking back along an ally way, a fast, loud car sped through a red light at a quiet intersection. She took very little notice of the car.

- On the way up the hill, getting closer to home, we saw three teenagers coming our direction, one was on a skateboard, zigzagging down the hill. Again, I kept a loose but short leash, and monitored her reaction. As the skater went by, she growled a very tiny bit, but mostly just stared with perked ears. Didn't try to lunge. The other two teens went by on foot, and she was focused on them for a bit, watching behind her back as we walked up the hill, but again I was able to redirect her with a "Leave it!" command, and ran a bit, which got her excited and happy, and she quickly forgot about the teens that had just passed by.

- Tor had one of those wind-up flashlights with him, and when he wound it up, it made a noise that get her interested and slightly excited. She jumped up a bit to investigate, tail wagging, but wasn't stressed by it. We also did a head-wave test, and she doesn't appear to be head shy, or freaked out by fast movements around her.

- Almost home, and Tor found a rock in the middle of the road. He picked it up and threw it into the grass. She lunged out and tried to chase it, but came back when I corrected her.

- Got her home, and put her back into the run for the night. She pretty much immediately got into the dog basket and curled up.

All in all, a very, very good assessment, I think. I'm not sure how much of it is her owners having worked with her, or her just being a really, REALLY good dog by nature, but she is very well behaved, and very adaptable and comfortable being handled by a perfect stranger. Either way, this dog will be back in a home soon, and is not destined for the Pound!
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