April 6th 2014
Bowser the English Bull Terrier
Recently I started walking a newly adopted English Bull Terrier (EBT) called Bowser. Prior to adoption he had been kept in a crate and needed some loving care. Although five years old, he was behaving like a puppy . He has found his forever home and with the great care and patience of my client Bowser has become the happiest dog in the world! He really is!! My client wrote an article for the adoption charity’s website and she has kindly let me reprint it below. The rehoming charity is wonderful and can be found online if anyone was considering adopting an EBT. http://www.absolutebullterriers.co.uk
“I was fortunate enough to adopt BB from ABT in Dec 2013. He is an incredibly vital and happy 5 year old. The only dog I have ever owned previously was an EBT and he was the joy of my life. When BB arrived at my home it became apparent quite quickly that BB didn’t appear to have had any training, he was frantic on the lead, chewed his paws constantly and didn’t seem to have many manners – he wanted desperately to befriend everybody and anybody (by full body dives). The first few weeks were full on as BB would wake during the night barking, he took to swinging off the curtains, chewing electrical wires and running around the house with pot plants in his mouth. All of BB’s behaviour seemed to be quite puppy like! even though he is a fully grown adult. He was exercised several times per day, switched to the BARF diet, had play time, toys and lots of attention. The truth is BB just needed time to settle in and I’m the first to admit I started feeling like a bit of failure that he didn’t seem to settle in quickly.
BB for all of his exuberance can be quite scared and unsure of himself outdoors – he didn’t like trains at all (which was unfortunate as we live next to a train station) and he can become startled by planes, loud voices, cyclists etc. On our walks BB and I started sitting at the train station just watching the trains come and go, we would go armed with BB’s favorite snacks, hugs and encouragement. We spent hours up there to be honest. He kind of became like the DLR mascot. People would recognize us and stop and ask how we were getting on and slowly but surely the full body dives lessened and he became desensitized to what he had feared.
Although it didn’t happen overnight it did happen swiftly and we can now ride on the DLR and although it’s a bit much if we get off at a station that’s really busy – as he finds crowds overwhelming. He is a dream passenger on the DLR – he sits down and is unruffled by our journey. I didn’t help BB on my own our dog walker David from Dogs buddy was a massive support and positive influence on BB and his behaviour. David supported me so much and kept reminding me how BB was adjusting so positively and so quickly to his new life and it helped. It was actually David’s suggestion for me to sit with BB at the train station. Also Karen & Danny (from ABT) were incredibly supportive and even visited us to help guide me with BB when he was so full on in the house. This one visit completely turned around BB’s behaviour and manners as I needed advice on how to deal with an adult dog that had never been trained. He is a quick learner & it honestly took no time at all for his behaviour to settle down. The truth is BB really wanted clear guidelines – he hadn’t had any before, he wanted passionately to be out in the world but it’s overwhelming when you haven’t been. Growth and transformation take time and it’s still a work in progress but we are getting there. BB has relaxed so much now he knows the rules.
I am so thrilled that BB was placed with me even if the first 6 weeks were crazy it’s all paid off into a rewarding loving companion who just needed a chance. Adopting a rescue dog is a huge commitment but it’s the most worthwhile thing I have done in years. BB is so much fun and such a sweet natured little guy, I don’t know how I lived without him! He is a JOY! Travelling on the DLR, smiling, meeting new friends, being on the ABT charity walk. BB is an absolute delight. Thank you ABT for placing him with me.”