Meet Sir Cheetoh Squiggles, a three year old pitbull who has been a long-time resident of the ARL due to his kennel reactivity and anxiety. While he is still waiting for that special forever home, Sir Cheetoh has come a long way since he first arrived at our shelter, and he is proof that reactive dogs can receive the enrichment they need to become social and friendly around new people.
Found as a stray back in December 2020, Sir Cheetoh was initially growling and showing teeth at strangers, expressing severe leash reactivity towards other dogs, and resource guarding over his food and toys. While he had not bitten or attacked any person or animal, it was certain that Sir Cheetoh was becoming unpredictable, and our animal care team needed to create an enrichment plan for him to overcome these behaviors.
First, our team provided him with one-on-one time to decompress and learn to feel comfortable around new people. Slow exposure and introductions to people who he was not used to being handled by was key. He was also rewarded whenever he did not react negatively towards other dogs in sight. This method of positive reinforcement took months, but slowly, Sir Cheetoh Squiggles became more comfortable around people and dogs – He has even participated in playgroup sessions with other dogs at the shelter and has showed incredible progress as a result! Now, Sir Cheetoh Squiggles is receiving attentive care from a loving foster family who has been impressed with his gentle behavior, and we anticipate he will be adopted by a loving family very soon!