Updates & uplifting tales
Who’s a good dog? Astro!
Do you have an active lifestyle? How about the patience to care for a puppy with lots of energy … because, well, puppy? What about having a loving home in an area with no breed restrictions? If so, the Dumb Friends League has the pup for you!
If we had to guess a conversation between Astro and his human, it might go something like this:
Astro: Wake up. I need you.
Human: What’s wrong?
Astro: I’m bored.
Human: Be bored somewhere else for a few more minutes.
Astro: But I’m booooorrrrrreeed now … plopping down next to you, making slurping noises while grooming followed by gnawing on one of his squeak toys.
What’s a human to do? Well, embrace Astro’s energy and recognize he’s just waiting (and wanting) to do something fun with you!
Before you shop for a personalized dog bed, let’s take a step back and learn a bit about our canine friend. Astro is a neutered male, tricolor Pit Bull Terrier and American Bulldog mix. League staff thinks Astro is about 1-year old, and he arrived at the Leslie A. Malone Center in June when his owner was no longer able to care for him. There’s not much history about Astro, but staff learned he was friendly toward his owner, barked at strangers but warmed up after a few minutes, hadn’t been around other animals and spent his days chained up in the backyard. Astro has no known history of aggressive behavior; he’s just full of energy and is prone to jump on people – and sometimes in an overly enthusiastic show of affection sort of way.
Because of Astro’s sparse history and some behavior seen during the intake process, he was enrolled in the League’s Canine Courage program, which uses positive reinforcement training to help overcome challenges such as overstimulation, fear, body handling issues or frustration. After a few sessions, Astro’s manners improved so that he waited patiently (and that would be patiently for a puppy) to be leashed, sniffed and explored the play yard, relaxed and leaned into pets. Oh sure, Astro still has some work to do on tugging and being excited, but when certain unpleasant tendencies were ignored, like nipping his leash, he let it go and continued on his merry way.
Our staff thinks Astro would make a great addition to an active family. Other recommendations include a home with children older than 10, as well as a family visit so that you can be properly introduced.
If you’re considering Astro as a new addition to the family, you already know he has a certain zest for life, and you’re looking for a partner in adventures. Some other things to keep in mind that will help your cohabitation include:
- Energetic pups like Astro need physical exercise daily, say a long run/jog, a hike or a walk more than a leisurely stroll around the block.
- A bored Astro—like any other dog—can be a curious one, especially when he needs mental stimulation. Before leaving, say for work, prevent these behaviors by going on a long walk, providing puzzle and/or treat-dispensing toys, having your pup work for their food by trying a scavenging activity like tossing their food nuggets in the grass and giving chew-approved toys. And, just like kids eventually get bored with their toys, so do dogs. Bring toys into and out of the rotation to stave off disinterest.
- Astro is a quick learner, and he excels with positive reinforcement training and wants to be an involved, active part in that process—and he would love that training to include treats. Lots of treats! Did you know that rewarding good behavior or encouraging reluctant pets to do something specific with food is a great way to alter behavior? Use high-value treats, such as meat or cheese-based rewards. The less processed, the better—and, hey, isn’t that true for us, as well? Also, treats are about quantity and not volume, so tiny nibbles or bites work just fine.
Our friend Astro is ready to find his intrepid companion, and while everyone at the League will be sad to see him leave, it’s time for him to find his forever home. We know fun and exciting adventures await this pup. What do you say, are you Astro’s new human?
To learn more about Astro and other pets available for adoption, visit our adoptions page or call 303.751.5772. All adoptions include spay or neuter surgeries, age-appropriate vaccinations, a microchip ID, 30 days of free pet insurance and a free wellness visit with a participating veterinarian.