photo of Alfred at the window asking to be let in.

"Please let me come into your home !"


Alfred : needs a packleader.

Information submitted by Rescue Chair :

I evaluated Alfred yesterday. He's a GREAT dog and highly adoptable (for some homes)! His owners are going to continue to foster him and they gave me tons of info on him. These are very loving, conscientious owners who truly want the best for him. These loving owners are more nurturing type than the benevolent boss type, but a benevolent boss is what he really needs.

We're looking for a home with no small children or cats. Dog(s) possibly ok. Adopter needs to have previous Bouvier experience (or other big dominant dog) and be a good alpha person. All persons in the home should be willing to do the deference program "nothing in life is free". They also need to do desensitization on touching/grooming feet. And need to work on a separation anxiety program. I'd suggest crating/kenneling for a certain portion of the day whether they're home or not. Insist on an obedience course.

He's 93 lbs, neutered at 7 months, natural ears, docked tail, currently shaved, light fawn color with gray mask. Very playful with other dogs, very cute. Alfred will do anything for a treat, but his owners never got past that point , to work towards doing it with a delayed treat or other reward. 

He's just really cute, really focused on his person, very animated. Good at the groomers.


For more information or an appointment to meet Alfred, please phone (removed) . She will be supervising this adoption.



Comments from Pam :

Alfred's loving owners are more nurturing type than the benevolent boss type. Alfred , being the pushy type of Bouv, has taken advantage of their kinder gentler nature and their indulgence. He needs a packleader : calm , benevolent, but in charge.

For a superb discussion of what it means to be a Packleader and how to establish yourself as such to a dog, please read Chapters 7 and 8 of Patricia McConnell's wonderful book The Other End of the Leash, a book I absolutely recommend as required reading for everyone having anything to do with dogs !

The Deference program , sometimes called "Nothing in Life is Free" or "Working for a Living" or "Non-confrontational Dominence" , is a program designed to establish the humans in the household as Alpha or Packleader, ie as out-ranking the dog. A good description may be found in the appendix of Dr Nicholas Dodman, DVM's book "Dogs Behaving Badly." A good program for treatment of Separation Anxiety as well as information about Desensitization also can be found there. I have just written an article on desensitization to grooming and other handling procedures, based on methods I have used to re-habilitate several dogs who did not want their feet handled or had other grooing issues. The fact that Alfred is well behaved at the groomers shows that he will allow handling by someone who really knows what they are doing.

That he will do anything for a treat but apparently only when treats are displayed as a bribe simply reflects owner's lack of understanding , so very common among those who train with treats, of the need to move rapidly from use of a treat as a "lure" or "target" or "bribe" to use as an occasional and relatively unpredictable reward or reinforcement., ie use of treat as a "slot machine payoff". Some combination of correct use of treats or other rewards in a slot-machine fashion plus some degree of compulsion or correction should be what is needed to improve his attitude and performance. An excellent book to read on correct use of treats in training is Excel-erated Learning by Pamela Reid, PhD ; also good are The Culture Clash & Dogs Are From Neptune by Jean Donaldson. Participation in a good obedience class with a good instructor will also help a great deal.

UPDATE 4/03/05 : Alfred went to a foster-with-option-to-adopt home a while ago. They had no trouble with him getting him to behave in a respectful and trusting manner. Then he was discovered to have a Mast Cell Tumor, which has been successfully removed and is 99% likely to be permanently cured. His former owners, blessings of Anorak, Cerberus, and Anubis be upon them, donated the cost of his surgery and diagnosis. I understand that his foster home does want to adopt him, and this should be finalized any day now. He won't need to beg at the window anymore.

photo of Alfred.

site author Pam Green copyright 2003
created 9/26/04 9/26/04
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