I’m a newbie here because I suddenly find myself foster mom to a 4-6 month old pittie puppy and it‘s totally new territory for me. I’ve always been more of a northern breed person and until recently I had huskies of my own and fostered for husky rescue. The Red Queen may remember me and my husky tales from the Acme board (
This fall, I lost both of my huskies within six weeks of each other, leaving me with a 2 year old husky/terrier mix (high energy, free spirited, reactive with some dogs) and a 6 month old terrier/retriever mix (isolated the first 8 weeks of life, shy in new situations, soft/gentle dog). And after being downsized from my job last year, I found myself working at the local animal shelter where I occasionally bring home sick or injured dogs for fostering before sending them on to rescue. Which brings me to my current foster . . .
Fenway, as I’ve taken to calling him, was brought to the shelter as a stray almost 3 weeks ago. He’s not sick or injured, per se, but he’s become a bit cage crazy. Also he was bowl aggressive when we tried to give him a pup of same age and size as a roommate. To top it all off, he was getting nippy with people’s clothing. He apparently hadn’t had much training in bite inhibition and had left bruises on a few people. And he’s been going through a fear stage that leads him to bark and growl at anyone or anything new.
Anyone visiting the shelter would walk up to his kennel, see him leaping three feet in the air and trying to climb the front of his kennel, then hear his barking and Tasmanian devil sounds and quickly move on to the next kennel. Without intervention of some sort he had pretty much zero chance of making it out of the shelter alive. So he ended up coming home with me “for the weekend” and he just hasn’t returned to the shelter since then.
Getting him out of the shelter setting has gone a long way to improving his overall well being (we‘re still working on crate aggression and barking at strangers walking past the house). I’d love to get him into a rescue but pit rescues are in short supply around here (Indiana) and are always full. I just can’t send him back to the shelter because I’m afraid he’ll backslide to where he was before. Not to mention the shelter is chronically full. So it looks like I have a wild and crazy pittie puppy on my hands for an unknown length of time.
He can stay with me as long as he gets along with everyone, but I’m a little leery of having two six month old puppies in my house; just not sure I can give them both the attention they need. I’ve got Avery in agility training and Brogan is starting family dog next week (with agility to follow in the spring). Short of getting him into rescue, I won’t be able to get Fenway into any kind of training until at least January. I’m also not quite sure how to go about training him in the interim. I don’t know if my northern breed training methods will work on a bully breed.
I will say the little guy is rapidly growing on me. My “nephew” is a pit mix and I have always admired the bully breeds. I am kind of interested in seeing if this guy would enjoy agility, and I’ve always been interested in weight pulling. But if anybody out there is interested in a pit puppy, or knows a reputable rescue, I’m all ears!
Any tips, suggestions, even criticisms would be greatly welcomed!
Avery - Southpawz Elf Queen, CGC, TDI
Brogan - Southpawz Mystery Man
Fenway the foster dog
And the three crazy cats