Part 2: Continuing the rehabilitation of Oakley the pit bull.
We have spent the last few days doing our best to be consistent with Oakley. He still needs quite a bit of training and socialization although we think he is doing really well. Pit bulls are some of the most loving dogs I have ever seen, but also some of the most energetic and hard headed!
Due to the seemingly unrelenting amount of energy in him, we require that he perform a task of some sort to recieve any type of attention. If he wants to get out of his crate, he has to sit. Meal time requires him to sit. He sits/stays to go outside and sits/stays to come inside and has to allow Hollie entrance first. Even if he just wants us to pet him, he has to sit or lay down. Pulling on the leash is something we are still working on but he is starting to let up as he accepts that Hollie out ranks him. It’s not much, but it’s a start. The goal is to teach him manners and self control. Two things he needs desperately. lol
It seems like his medication has been helping so far. There was quite a bit of redness in his skin when we brought him home. As of today, the redness is almost gone. However, his skin is still extremely dry and scaley. We’ve also noticed him biting at ichy spots a little more.
We also noticed some drainage and redness in his left eye. It may just be allergies or something but we are keeping an eye on it and plan to check with the vet.
His next appointment is in less than a week for a second round of worming and his remaining booster shot. In addition it is time to have him neutered but we will schedule that for a different day.
It looks like he has gained a little weight but he still has a little way to go. However his eating habits have drastically improved.
Overall, Oakley is pretty laid back. He pays constant attention to Garrett particularly, looking to see what he expects him to do next. Oakley’s main problems are only two things so far. He is a little bit food aggressive so he has to be fed in his crate. And he is jealous when attention is focused on someone or something other than him. How can anyone blame him at this point though?
We are working on it. A lot of time is spent praising him for the actions he gets right and correcting him for the actions he gets wrong. We try to offer him clear and direct commands. Confusing him is definitely not the goal.
We went out to meet Garrett’s mom and her dog Daisy. There was plenty of space to walk and let them get to know each other in a neutral location. Daisy is a rather energetic English pointer that loves her ‘momma’ more than anything. When we originally introduced her to our other dog, Hollie, there was a little bit of tension. Personally, I attribute that to Hollie’s lack of respect for other female dogs and her unwillingness to ease off her dominant pedestal.
Contrary to our initial expectations, though, Oakley and Daisy were comparatively indifferent. They walked and sniffed at everything around them…..excluding each other. We even sat with them and tried to coax them gently into acknowledging one another with very little change or action. Just a small lip curl was all we really saw. However, every trainor’s article I’ve ever read says indifference is what you are looking for in dogs. At that point they each know, and accept, their place in the pack.
Still Moving Forward…
We will continue to work with Oakley and monitor his health. It’s great to see how well he is doing and how easily he has adjusted to so many changes. We have a few extra things in mind for him so stay tuned. The next update is coming up very soon!
If you would like to know where Oakley began, please read Part 1.