Saturday, December 4, 2010
Back on Rotations
Sylvester was used by a breeder and pimped out regularly as a stud. His owner had him and a bunch of other Bulldogs he was breeding for sale. Many have had to be destroyed. He is actually in perfect health though we are working on housetraining. You don't learn that living in a cage piled high with your own feces. He's smart as hell though and I think he'll be good to go in no time.
My first thought was "I call dibs!" I've always wanted an English Bulldog and frankly you don't see many in rescue. Usually if you spend a couple grand on a dog you try to take care of them. When I got him home we first had a bath. He was not pleased but took it well and enjoyed the rub down...
Then I wanted to crate him while he dried. He went off. He tried to bite me, growled and lunged at Dena through the cage and tried to break out. (Note to Sylvester: Bending up my largest wire crate makes a bad first impression.) I took him to another room and let my dogs outside. We then spent 45 minutes playing crate games with a plastic crate. You know, treats tossed in the crate, getting rubbed in the crate, neck scratches in the crate all with the door wide open. I closed the door and fed treats through the door and eventually I latched it and let him right back out. In the end I had to latch the crate and leave him for the night whereupon he fussed and carried on for what may have been forever. The next morning he went right in for his dinner. He bitched and carried on until he gave in and ate his food, but he DID walk in on his own.
Roscoe, our most stable and tolerant dog hates him with a passion I've never seen in him. We are on strict and careful rotations as they can't even be in the same room yet. Hopefully once some of the testosterone dies down it will get better. They were walked together today and a couple butt sniffs happened but it still wasn't what I'd hoped for.
He's got some resource issues too...He met my pups and Willow, who still needs a family, and it went well overall. Well enough that I let them be together in the house. It was great. Roscoe just looked like a big old bully (locked up in another room) until Willow walked in the direction of a bone. She wasn't going for the bone and he was across the room but he saw it and sure as shit he jumped her ass. I had put the toys up but this one escaped me and he didn't really hurt her but this is never how you want the dogs to behave. You do have to see what gets them going to know how to correct it though.
He's pretty freaked when you grab his collar too. When I did he wanted to bite me. I can mess with his tail, ears, paws, put my arms around him and pick him up off 2 feet but you grab his collar and he snaps at you. I'm working on that a bit too. You get down on his level to play with him and loves it, but he's too mouthy. Especially not good in one that's prone to bite.
He walks like a dream on the leash once he gets settled into the walk and is a dear, sweet boy. He's happy here and follows me around. He doesn't want to be left alone in the yard. He wants to be by my side and I'd love to have him there but I'm afraid I already have my snarky pup and 2 would be a problem.
I think he'd be living the dream as an only pup or perhaps with a submissive female. I think he needs someone with bully experience and no small children. And no cats. He wanted to eat Genghis. Once that family finds him he'll be just fine. In the meantime I've taught him sit and he'll go down for a treat. We'll just keep working day by day...and continue our long walks to tire his little butt out. :)