Hello, so this is my first blog so bear with me, this may take a while.
The purpose of this blog is to chronicle the training of Wilfred, also called Will my Rottweiler mix that I just adopted.
A little back story. Will was found abandoned in the back yard of a house in Cleveland. He was wearing a choke collar attached to a 3ft chain, he was emaciated, had no food and no water and had not had any access to either for at least 2 weeks except for the rain water. He was heart worm positive and was being eaten alive by fleas, flies and other nasty bugs. Will was taken in and treated by Dogs Unlimited Rescue. A local rescue specializing in neglected, abused and mill dogs.
I met Will 2 months before I adopted him. I am an apprentice dog trainer with Jennifer Mauger at L’Chaim Canine. She occasionally volunteers with local rescues when they have a difficult dog. Will was through his heart worm treatment at this time and was just learning some self-control. He was very grabby and would grab your arm whenever he got frustrated, still does from time to time but not nearly so much. He was being boarded at a horse stable and dog grooming facility as there were no foster homes available for a dog like Will.
I worked with Will many times in the following months and we developed quite a bond. But it wasn’t until I brought my husband, from here on out known as Hubby, to meet Will because Will needed to work though some minor issues with men. The two of them fell in love instantly. The next day we started through the adoption process.
Four days later disaster struck. Will got out of his pen before his leash could be put on and went to greet one of the boarders and a gentleman friend of hers. As he approached he was attacked by the womans Saint Bernard. The gentlemans’ hand was wounded in the melee. An observer said it was Will that did it.
Now those of us who know dogs know that no dog can be blamed for a bite that happens during a dog fight. But because of state laws and the possibility that Will is mixed with, but doesn’t look much like, a bully breed panic ensued.
Will was placed under a 10 day rabies quarantine while his fate was decided. Lucky for him he had a lot of good people in his corner. The rescue called in Ken McCort to do a behavior analysis to see if Will was too dangerous to adopt out. I knew he wasn’t, my mentor knew he wasn’t and the owner of the property knew he wasn’t. But rules are rules, at least until we can get the legislation changed.
Needless to say Will passed his evaluation with flying colors and came home with us on Oct. 31, 2011.
Will has been doing very well with us this first week. He loves our 2 cats, though they don’t love him. He doesn’t like my cockatiel, Peaches, and has to be kept separated from her, at least until I can work on conditioning her to him. We’re working on the state mandated muzzle training and are starting to make strides. He’s not had a single issue with house breaking, though he doesn’t like to go into his crate. Once he’s in though everything is fine. We’ve only had the opportunity to introduce him to a couple of new people, but he’s done well with them. And he’s been introduced to one of my Mother in Law’s, here after MIL, dogs Jack, a Border Collie/English Setter mix. They’ve gotten along so we’re setting up more playdates for the 2 of them.