A little muddy from his morning walk
UPDATE: Foster is going to hang out on a rescue farm in West Virginia for the time being. Thank you for all your support.
I write this today with a heavy heart. I don’t even want to post it, I really don’t. But I have to give up Foster. He has bitten everyone I know – some people pretty badly – and this weekend he bit me severely for the first time, bad enough that I went through an entire box of bandaids. The next day he snapped at me again. I can’t handle him anymore. I feel terrible to have put everyone I know through this, and I feel like a complete failure. I’m devastated, to say the least, because I really do love him.
I still believe that there is someone out there who can help him. I’m just not that person. I’ve gone through trainers, and I’ve done a lot of work with him, and now I’m just too scared of him to go any further. We’re definitely at a crisis point. (He’s only 18 pounds but those chompers pack a real punch.) He’s behaving normally again, but I just don’t trust him anymore.
But this isn’t about me. It’s about him. So I would appreciate you all spreading the word to see if there is anyone out there with experience with biters who would be willing to take him. Because he is a very loving dog in many ways.
He’s a 3-year-old Shih Tzu, with a dash of something else thrown in there. (I have been told he does not have a Shih Tzu nose.)
He was found in the city shelter system. He was abandoned in an apartment by his previous owners.
He’s house-trained, has had all his shots, and was neutered just two months ago.
He is essentially crate-trained – he can be bribed in there very easily with a little treat – but will not necessarily do it on any kind of command. He sits in the crate quietly. He is especially good in the crate in the car, and has taken long car trips with no complaint.
When he came to me, he did not know how to sit on command, and now he knows how to sit at doors before walks, and also before he can eat his meals. He seems to be very trainable in certain ways.
In terms of other dogs, he’s fine off the leash in dog runs, but lunges at most dogs when he’s on the leash. (He has gotten much better about lunging in the last two months, and is definitely controllable.) The kennel he stays at reports that he behaves perfectly when he is there, and mostly just watches the other dogs, occasionally sleeping with them. He’s spent some time with really mellow older dogs and they seem to be a good influence on him, so I think he would be fine in a home where there is another dog. If anything, he’s looking for leadership.
He bites people mainly when they lean over him to pet him. He bites REALLY HARD. Like breaks skin and draws blood. It is no joke. I would not recommend him for a home that has children in it.
The rest of the time he is a total lover, excited about life, completely adorable, funny, goofy, and snuggly, and it is breaking my heart to let him go. Here are some more pictures of him.
As I said, he’s worked with some trainers to no avail, so PLEASE do not email me to recommend your trainer or offer me your training services. Please god, no more tips. I am tipped out. I am only looking to be contacted if you or someone you know would be interested in adopting him. I am willing to drive him anywhere on the eastern seaboard, and maybe even a little beyond if you are interested and think you can help.
If you could forward this to your circle of dog people I would really appreciate it. I know in my heart he is a really good boy who got a raw deal. He clearly never learned any boundaries. He was probably abused. The right person could help him, I just know it.
Thank you so much for any assistance you can provide. If you’re interested, email me at jamiattenbergATgmailDOTcom.