Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Presenting for Adoption... Oliver the Pit

My personal foster dog and internet celebrity, Oliver, is now available for adoption into his forever home! You can read more about Oliver's background here.

When I took Oliver into my home I wanted to first and foremost make sure he was safe around people and secondly to start introducing him to normal dog life and a little training. It quickly became clear that although this two year old had a lot of enthusiasm, he had never lived inside a house and had NO idea how to act in polite company!

However, first things first: despite the way he's obviously been treated, Oliver loves people. Loves, loves, loves them. All ages, all sizes, all colors, all types. When we're out on our walks and he catches a glimpse of a new person, his entire back end begins to wag until he can cover his new best friend in happy licks and get some attention. He's among the most people-friendly dogs I have ever met. This carries over into his handling as well; you can do anything to him without complaint, from extensive handling while he has a favorite treat in his mouth - even taking it away, to toenail clipping, to picking him up. He loves people and he loves handling. Due to his energy level, I couldn't recommend him with small children (whom he would bowl over with the force of his affection), but older kids who are dog savvy would be just fine. I have never seen any sign of human aggression whatsoever.

His manners have come a LONG way. When he was first set loose in the house he was a holy terror - his favorite game was "can I chew this"? He had no manners and thought everything was his to do with as he wished. He was obsessed with food and would do anything to get to it. He counter-surfed incessantly. Worst of all... he wasn't house trained. At all.

However, Oliver is nothing if not smart. Scary smart. He's housetrained now, and he picks up commands VERY quickly - you could teach this dog to do virtually anything. He sits and waits very nicely for his food. The house is scattered with toys for him to chew on, and he knows what's his to chew and what is not (or at least 99%!). He does not counter surf habitually any more, although he might pop up for a look if something particularly interesting is going on... but he knows "off" and quickly obeys it. He is crate trained and his crate is his home base; he's pretty patient about being in it. He is easily occupied there by Kongs and beef bones - knuckle bones are his favorite.

Oliver can be energetic but he can also be content to lie around and chew on a favorite toy. He'll need regular exercise and activity to keep his mind occupied - I've done a little bit of clicker training with him and he's a natural! He's so very smart and a little mental activity every day will be very good for him. A fenced yard is not necessary but helpful; more important is a commitment to giving him some activity.

Although Oliver has hung out with Ginger, my 15lb Spaniel, I cannot recommend him for unsupervised exposure to other dogs. He's just fine walking around my neighborhood - on our daily walks he pays no attention to other dogs at all that he encounters - or cats, birds, or other animals, for that matter. He greets other dogs in a friendly manner. He will, however, respond very quickly to a direct challenge from another animal - something I'm guessing is a fear response due to his past but I'll never really know. He has the potential to live well with a submissive female dog (like Ginger). He is, however, very easily managed - he can be in a crate in close proximity to other dogs and that does not upset him at all.

If you have any interest in or questions about Oliver, please feel free to post them in the comments or email me at I'm happy to update this listing if questions bring up things I haven't thought of! I can assist with transporting Oliver anywhere in the United States for the right person.


Blogger YesBiscuit! said...

Oliver sounds great! I love that picture with him and Ginger.

6:28 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

So, counter surfing is considered BAD behavior? Ooops....

6:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aw, he looks so happy and healthy now compared to when he was found. Well done for getting him so far.
Wish circumstances/geography were different, but I don't think shipping him to the UK would be too good for him!

9:38 AM  
Blogger Sharon said...

John. You and Amy have done a wonderful thing. I will pray each day that Oliver finds the just right Forever Home. He is a very lucky dog and was blessed to be found and loved by the kindest woman I know and the kindest man I don't. Thank you for being you. Sharon, Wichita, Kansas

1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is great!!! I hope he finds the perfect home!

10:13 PM  
Blogger Martin said...

John, what a GREAT looking dog - you've done wonders.

Does anybody else notice that Oliver looks just a teensy weensy bit like Scooby Doo?

1:03 AM  
Blogger Suzanna said...

Great job. Love the picture in the sweater. Such a handsome and lovable pup.

10:42 PM  

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