My name is Louie and I am a one year old Pitbull and Boxer mix (and maybe some other breeds too). I’m very smart plus I’m food motivated so I’m eager and able to learn many tricks. I pick up new tricks really fast! I love playing tug, am learning to play frisbee, and love doing any kind scent work with my amazing sniffer.
I’m just going to be honest with you and lay it all out there – I have many awesome traits but I also have some very challenging ones. Before I impress you with my good characteristics let me tell you about the challenging ones; I’m not trying to scare you off but I do need you to really understand what kind of challenges and stressors you will encounter. I have separation anxiety; my original owners surrendered me to Save-A-Bull because they didn’t know how to handle it. If I don’t get to be in the same room as you I will get anxious and bark. If you leave the house I will panic and bark. My foster human is working with me on this, I’m making progress but I still have a ways to go. Some things that lessen the severity is if you give me lots of physical and mental exercise before you leave me in my kennel plus it helps if you have a regular routine. For example, my foster human takes me for a 1.5 hour walk every morning and then plays some games with me – this helps me get good and tired before I go back in my kennel while my human goes to work. I still protest and bark, but because I’m tired and am familiar with the routine I will eventually lay down and take a long snooze. If my foster human goes outside for even a few seconds without me I get worried and will throw myself at the window to see what is going on. My foster human is working on some further techniques to reduce my separation anxiety and it will be absolutely essential for you to be willing to invest the time and energy to continue the progress.
I’m anxious about everything unfamiliar and I’m cautious and skittish to my core. I’m nervous and scared around most places that are outside my house. If I had it my way I would never leave my house, but my foster human encourages me to go outside and do things. I’m scared of strange noises, big objects, weird shaped objects, fast movements, thunderstorms, 4th of July, to name just a few. I need very slow introductions to every new experience so it will take a very patient and disciplined human to help me. If I’m introduced to things in the right way I will relax a bit and learn to enjoy them, but you will need a lot of patience with me. But you can’t ever let your guard down if we are outside the house or fenced yard, even if I’m on a leash! If I am outside these areas and hear or see something strange I will startle and bolt. My 60 pound body can jump twenty feet in a split second. If you don’t have a good hold of the leash at all times I could easily get away from you and run away! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy exploring the outside world, but my anxiety often takes over and I just panic.
Now that I’ve told you the things I struggle with, let me tell you the things I’m awesome at. I’m sweet, smart, gentle and full of potential! I win people over with my adorable face and my big heart. Everybody gushes about how sweet I am. Although I’m cautious of people, I do like them and don’t show aggression towards them. As long as they are introduced properly to me and let me approach at my own pace, I will be their friend. I do well with kids as long as they have been taught how to approach and behave towards me in a gentle and calm manner.
I’m good with other dogs! When on walks I’m not very interested in most dogs (I’m too busy conducting threat assessments of my environment to worry about other dogs). However, when I am interested in meeting another dog, I do well. I’m not dominant or aggressive, nor am I submissive. I’m pretty neutral and just want to have a good sniff and a good play. I would probably be fine with cats (I only met a cat once and I wasn’t interested. I thought the cat was strange and unfamiliar so, true to my nature, I wanted nothing to do with it). On walks I show almost zero prey drive, so I’d probably be fine with other kinds of pets.
I’m totally potty trained – I have a perfect record! I’m kennel trained – I sleep in it at night and when my human goes to work. It is the most comforting place for me and is where I want to be if thunderstorms, fireworks, or other strange sounds are going on. However, even though my kennel is comforting to me, if my human puts me in there and leaves I will still protest and bark. I just hate not being able to be with my human. But I’m working on that. For an overnight sleep I can have bedding in there with me, but if the human leaves the house and puts me in the kennel I can’t have anything in there because I will chew it up.
My ideal home would be a single family home (since multi-family unit neighbors would probably complain about my separation anxiety induced barking. Also it would help minimize the strange noises neighbors make that scare me). My ideal family would also stay home for the July 4th holidays and help me through the scary fireworks. If you like to do vacations during this time, we would not be a good match because it is so stressful for me. I would do great with other dogs! I could help show them how to play and they could help me not be scared and maybe their confidence will start to rub off on me. I don’t love car rides (but I will do them if I have to because there is usually something fun on the other end). Because of that I’m not an ideal long road tripping buddy. Shorter trips are fine but longer trips might take a toll on me.
I’m looking for that special human with a big heart and even bigger patience who can help me navigate my anxiety and help me experience my best doggy life. Could this be you?