I recently rescued a dog from an animal shelter. I decided that I wanted a dog for protection and for my son who has autism. When I saw the dog on the animal shelter website, I knew that he was a dog that I wanted to rescue. He had obviously had a hard life, he was covered in ticks and was malnourished. So the next day I went to the shelter and adopted him.
When I arrived there, I was in shock at just how skinny he was. He was listed as an old English bulldog and I knew that couldn’t be his breed based on his size and his having very little wrinkles on his face. When I looked into his face he definitely had some Pitbull in him. It was determined by myself and the vet that he was Pitbull mixed with American Bulldog. The dog who had no name at the shelter seemed to be very excited to be outside in the play yard but didn’t pay much attention to me. He never once barked or growled and so I thought maybe he’ll be a good dog.
When I put him in the car, he sat down like a human on the seat and seemed really happy to be leaving the shelter. It’s almost like he knew he would have a forever family. We got him home and he ran about the big yard that I have which is fenced in fully and smelled everything. He seemed very happy and within a few minutes he quickly warmed up to me, still no bark. I was highly concerned because he didn’t know us and he wasn’t responding the way many dogs do. No matter how much noise was going on here, throughout the neighborhood or even the barking dogs in the neighborhood, he paid no attention. I took him to the vet the next day and everything checked out ok, they removed all the ticks and said for me to keep feeding him 4 times a day. Though he’s very protective of me and my son, he’s still not barking at all.
He does this thing where he’ll stand length wise in front of my legs any time I feel anxious and I’m kind of wondering if he was a service dog to someone. As someone who suffers from chronic anxiety, to see the way he reacts to me when I’m in an anxious state, I have a feeling that he was trained for someone who had anxiety. I wonder if he’ll ever actually be protective of me in the event that someone is a threat to me. I’ve had him for 3 days now and with no signs of aggressiveness or barking, I’m not so sure I picked the right dog. He also seems very needy, at night he lays at my bedroom door (he’s an outside dog) and he whines.
My suggestion to anyone who’s getting a dog is to take the time and think about it. Do you really want a dog? Especially a large dog like what I have. He eats tons of food and drinks lots of water, when they are malnourished and you adopt them, prepare to be feeding 4 times a day sometimes more and prepare to be their only friend. If you’re wanting a dog to be protective of you but not be aggressive towards you, test them out at the shelter. So what you would want to do is have someone else make a sudden move toward you or pretend that they are going to attack you and see how the dog responds. I didn’t do that and now I’m left with just another animal to feed and no guarantee that he’ll protect me. So in my case, I wasn’t looking for a baby, another mouth to feed to just to be a family pet, I was looking for a working dog.
Dogs are a huge responsibility and you definitely should adopt from a shelter rather than a person. In the event that it’s not the dog you had hoped for or he/she’s too much trouble, you can return them to the shelter and pick out the dog you really want. If you take it from someone, you’ll end up with the dog and no guarantee’s and of course you can always take it to the shelter but, there’s also the risk you run that they won’t take a dog they haven’t already had before and there’s always guilt of returning a dog to either way. At this point, there’s no way that I could take him back to the shelter, I know that if he didn’t get adopted right away, they would euthanize him because they didn’t have the space.
UPDATE: We have figured out that he will bark if someone rings the doorbell, so I’m hoping any criminal who comes here rings the doorbell, lol. In the little over a week that I have had him, he’s gained 19 pounds. I take him once a week to the vet just for a weight check and we were all pleasantly surprised at his weight gain. He also decided he wants to play now and though he won’t fetch anything, he does like to play tug-o-war with his rawhide bone and a rope. A dog will be your friend for life if you feed them, pet them and play with them so make sure you have sufficient space before getting a dog because chaining a dog up means you shouldn’t have a dog and make sure that you’re going to give them plenty of attention.