Lily the pit bull pup was just four months old when she was rescued from a Staten Island, New York yard. Fur Friends In Need took her in and put her in a good foster home. While there, she met two fellow dogs, and she had lots of fun with them!
As such, it made sense that adoption approval was given to a family that already had one pup in their home. It seemed like everything would be great for Lily – but then she began exhibiting aggression towards new pups who she’d never met. If they approached her in a quick or sudden manner, she would lash out. Sadly, her new family didn’t know how to deal with this issue and wound up returning Lily five months later. She wound up back at her original foster home, waiting for a second chance.
The truth that the shelter found out is that Lily has special needs, and she needs a family that is willing to work with them. For the last half year, Lily has spent a lot of time training – something she loves and does well in! She’s become less reactive when walking on a leash around other pups. She’s worked with the Instinct Dog Behavior and Training program thanks to aid from The Franklin Angus Fund.
Trainers soon noticed that she was very sensitive and had trouble staying relaxed, instead becoming quickly excited and reactive. As such, a fear of other pups triggers a negative reaction from her. But trainers were also thrilled by how much she enjoyed her training, and how much she wanted to please her handlers!
Positive reinforcement was used to train Lily, and she was given these forms of reinforcement whenever she encountered a new pup or when one was nearby. She was taught to pay her attention to the person who handled her, as opposed to rowdy dogs in the area. By the time the program was over, she was able to go for pack walks and stay relaxed when new pups were nearby.
Lily checks in with any human handlers now, visibly making decisions in her head whenever she encounters a new dog. She’s trying as hard as she can! Still, she is differently abled in this way, and this is something she will likely need help with for the rest of her life. She needs help with her anxiety and her reactions, but she is incredibly emotionally intelligent when it comes to humans.
Lily would love to go to a forever home where she can be the only dog, and where her family will patiently help her with her special needs. If you’re interested in adopting her, you can get more info here!
Images & Feature Image Source: Katy Brink