American Staffordshire Terrier, Mix
An adotable dog in Philadelphia, PA
"The Potato Dog" came into my life by accident. I was at Petsmart with my own dog and toddler aged son when I ran into the proud new owner of a gorgeous red boy. She had just adopted him (that day) and couldn't stop talking about how absolutely perfect he was- "for a pit bull."
Potato Dog played with my female dog very appropriately, as well as a twelve-week-old, female Rotti. However, everything came to a screaming halt when a tiny maltese came prancing by, who Tater promptly grabbed. Both owners were pulling at their dogs in panic trying to separate them, which did no good whatsoever. I grabbed Potato Dog's jaws, pried them open, and the little dog escaped visibly unharmed. The whole event lasted maybe thirty seconds. Maltese Owner walked away briskly... As did Potato Dog's new owner. She claimed she "couldn't deal with this!"
So, with my female dog and my son and this potentially dog-aggressive dog, I drove home. Potato Dog (who later became "Couch Per'Tater" and inevitably just "Tater,") had some kind of smelly skin issue and patches of hair loss, and also, fortunately, a microchip. The microchip number lead me to a shelter outside of the city where I reported the incident (hoping they would slap his ex-owner with an abandonment fee). They begged me not to bring him back if I could find something, anything, to do with him that was better than the shelter. I gave them my information and became a sort of foster home.
Tater is... Just absolutely perfect. This boy is a rich reddish orange with a smushy face and compact, 50lb. build. He is 100% housetrained so long as he is given a consistent schedule. He never chews, never barks, and has never met a stranger. In fact, he and my son are the best of friends. He has no food aggression whatsoever. This dog is pure canine affection and completely lives for a belly scratch. He is so well behaved he is practically invisible. Tater is, as his name implies, a complete couch potato. All he needs is a comfy sofa and a human lap to sprawl across. He is super content with two short, brisk walks per day. Again, this dog is absolutely perfect!
But as we know, perfection doesn't really exist. That said, Tater has one issue that needs addressing. In addition to basic training, Tater will need to be taught to relax when in sight of other dogs, particularly on walks and in a fenced area. While in the yard he will whine, pace, and completely lose focus if another dog walks by. This is not something that is super difficult to achieve, but it will take time, patience, and consistency. Tater is known to be good with other dogs regardless of sex his size or larger, but is very prey driven and should not live with cats, small animals, and possibly even small furry dogs.
Tater needs a new situation as soon as possible. I share my life with five resident dogs, one of whom wishes to kill Tater and his smushy dorky face. As a toddler-wranglin' single mother who spends an awful lot of time running a business, it is very difficult to do two different dog routines twice a day, especially when the shepherds require three or more hours of exercise. I've tried time and time again to slowly introduce the two, but it never works out safely. Thanks in advance for any and all help!
Email [email protected] with any questions.
Animal Care and Control Team of Philadelphia
Email: [email protected]
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