Oct 22, 2008

About Shilo...

We have owned this dog since he was 10 weeks old and despite all our efforts we had to face the reality that this is not the "typical" family dog. He needs a male owner who will devote his time and energy into training him and give him the life he deserves.
How we found him.....
We had been looking around for a dog for a while... We were interested in either golden retrievers or labradors. The breeds we did not want were any types of fighting dogs such as pit bulls.To make a long story short... we were told that there was a 10 week old lab/golden mix pup at a kill shelter and if we would like to go see him. So we did, head over heels... we made the decision too quick, but who can resist a 10 week old happy outgoing and very social cute puppy with about 500 fleas crawling all over him who is about to be euthanized just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time...He had been at the shelter since he was 8 weeks old.So we took him home. Things were busy those first few weeks, he potty trained fast, started sleeping through the night in less than a month and was loving life. Unfortunately for us... we had no experience with labs, or puppies in general... had dogs as kids, but didn't have to go through all the work ourselves until now. We read up on what we could, got advice from other dog owners and the vet and enrolled in a puppy class once the parvo shots were all done.He was the biggest puppy in the class at 4 months, but we had already taught him some tricks and basic commands beforehand. He loved doing tricks and agility in class and was the most energetic and active dog there. He loved doing tricks for treats and commands were always followed as long as he saw a clicker and a treat, after taking it away, it was a 50/50 chance that he would obey. So we tried training with a collar that works similar to a prong collar just without the 'harshness' of a prong, but it works, he responds to it well, we're able to correct him when he doesn't follow commands or disobeys and we have stopped giving treats alltogether. But he still rules this house... my 9 year old son can barely walk through the living room without being jumped on, bit in the legs, the back etc. This behavior is what worries us... the fact that we can't get him to understand that he's at the bottom of the pack.

As he grew and more and more people mentioned his resemblence with a pit bull, it turned out that he is not a Lab/Golden mix, but a Lab/Pitbull mix. It does scare me to know he'll be a huge dog with the Intelligence and willpower of a Lab and the strength of a pit and I don't have the trust in myself that I would be able to control him or trust him 100%. (due to his behavior at this size already).
I do believe that if he's properly trained by a person who he respects as the leader, he will be a wonderful dog. Our reason for letting him go is him being a dominant aggressive dog, not the breed. He won't accept the role of the 'follower' in this house, he for sure sees my son on the bottom of the pack, he will listen to me or my husband most of the time, but not all the time and he went for my arm more than once in a 'not' playful way, bit and bruised me when wanting to put him in the crate (where he sleeps every night) or in other situations when things weren't going his way. He also barks and growls at us at times. His teeth are his means of communication, I don't know how long he was with the litter or mother but I'm assuming he was never taught the bite inhibition by his mother or littermates. Most of the time it's a more playful bite (in his eyes... not in hours, we have bruises) but we can't seem to get him to stop chewing on our hands and feet. He also loves to nip someone in the leg, run off and waits for them to chase him just to come back and nip harder the next time.
Overall he is NOT a bad dog, he's a big 50 lbs pup who will most likely be the size of a lab and who underestimates his biting and his strength and size. He's very playful, loves to take toys or dog beds apart (major chewing urge) or if you don't watch out anything from shoes to toiletpaper rolls, books, stuffed animals etc. He loves attention, wants to greet everyone and by everyone I mean everyone he ever runs into.

I could just put him in a kennel in the backyard to ensure he doesn't terrorize my kids anymore, but what kind of life is that for the dog. He can be a good companion to the right person, but in our family of 4 we have to be on guard at all times, put him in the crate or on a leash every time kids come to visit or even just to give my kids a break.
I believe he needs a home where a man is in charge or a couple. Due to his lack of bite inhibition I don't think he should be around kids. He is not the "vicious" dog, but he has shown signs of aggressive behaviour, which I believe is a dominance problem which can at this age still be controlled by the right person. I am out of mental and physical energy at this point. I really really want to find the 'right home' for this dog as it breaks our hearts to let him go. But I have to choose my kids wellbeing over the desire of keeping this dog. So far he's only given us bruises but I don't want to hold out and wait until he breaks someones skin and I have to make a run to the ER to get stitches. Plus I'd like for him to get a fair chance while he's still young.
Bottom line is, he IS still trainable, I saw it with just using the collar and other training method after one week. But we are not the right people for him. I want him to get a fair chance of having a good life with the right person/s.

He would also be a great farm dog, since he loves to be outside and is crazy about water, like any Lab...
If you know of anyone who's interested in adopting him, please forward this to them. Anyone who's interested please send me an email at phat_n8@yahoo.com .
Thank you

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