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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: I love this little guy

AWWWWWW.... what a cutie patootie!
Tony ID A921002 @West LA

Okay, this dog is not big, not black and not old. A little change of pace... Rather, he is extra small, light in color and fairly young. He is also one of the cutest little stinkers I've met in a while!!

This is Tony! He is a 2 year old Chihuahua. He weighs in at about six lbs and is extremely shy. You will find him huddled in the corner of his kennel, probably shivering and looking worried (see picture). Yup, that's our Tony.

Tony came to WLA from the SLA shelter. He had been fearful and aggressive when he arrived there, in other words, a fear biter. The nice folks at SLA helped him out and allayed his fears enough so that he finally stopped biting. Then they transfered him to WLA in hopes of finding him a home more quickly.

Just a note, a lot of these little dogs can be fear aggressive. Usually this is due to a mixture of genetics, lack of proper socialization and lack of training. People figure that a little dog doesn't need training since they are easy to handle, but what they don't realize is that training gives a dog confidence and social skills. Plus, if the dog came from a backyard breeder, he may have been taken away from the mother and siblings too soon. Thus, a maladjusted little doggie!

For example, our little Tony here is afraid of everyone. Most likely he wasn't exposed to many different people. He is also a little fearful to walk on leash which is manifested by his freezing in place, he just stops walking. Luckily, this little cutie is VERY tiny and easy to carry around, but we don't want to indulge his fear. We've already made such strides in his development that I'm certain he will begin to enjoy being walked once he gets used to it.

Interestingly, Tony is comfortable around all kinds of dogs, even huge ones (not that I would recommend it), and seems fearless in that respect. I do think it would be great for him to be around a friendly dog who is close to his size. I also don't think it would be wise to have little Tony around little kids. I say this mainly due to his record of fear aggression and that a child's unpredictability could trigger that response.

In a nutshell, Tony needs to find an understanding adult home. One who is willing to help him work through his shyness so that he can enjoy a happy life. He is so sweet and unbelievably adorable. His ears are HUGE! I love to carry him all around the shelter when I'm there, but I also try to walk with him on leash. Although he is shy, everyone loves him once they meet him. With all this attention I expect that he will come around and start to love people very soon. Yay, Tony!

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