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Stray pit bull, unclaimed, now looking for a home (Baltimore MD)

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  • Stray pit bull, unclaimed, now looking for a home (Baltimore MD)

    I found "Cinco" on May 5, hence the name, running through an industrial section of my neighborhood, several blocks from any houses. He was wearing a collar, but no tags, and dragging a leash behind him.

    He was pretty fearful when I found him... he ran away from me (slowly... it was hot and he looked pretty tired!), but I had my dog with me and he eventually got interested enough in her that I could grab his leash. When I went to pat his head, he shrank away from my hand.

    Once I got him home and gave him some food and water, though, he decided I seemed OK, and within half an hour was snuggled up against me and trying to climb in my lap! I reported him as "found" to our local shelters, but no one has claimed him. He was very thin and sunburned, so I think he had been running around out there for several days, if not longer.

    Cinco has been nothing but fabulous toward me and my dog (spayed female Lab mix). He has shown no aggression whatsoever toward either of us. He appears to be housebroken, and although I don't think he was crate-trained before, I'm using one with him now and he's OK with it. He walks pretty well on a leash, although he could use some better manners -- he's strong and does tend to pull a bit when he gets excited. He learns very quickly, though. He learned "sit" in about 5 minutes, and we've been working on "down" and "leave it." He seems trusting, and does not act like he was abused or fought. He LOVES to ride in the car!

    Now... he does have some issues. He is NOT good with cats. I think he is mostly trying to play with them, but he wants to chase, and he wants to chase BAD! (He even remembers the spots on our walks where he has surprised cats before, and runs up to check those spots to see if there are more cats there. ) He also tries to chase birds, so I have a feeling that any small, fast creature is going to make him think he should chase it. I have not tested him around small dogs, either, and I would definitely want to be sure he understands the difference between toy dogs and cats, if he were to go to a home with any! I honestly would not trust him in a home with cats, or on a farm with cats or other small animals, or wildlife.

    He does have a bit of separation anxiety. The first week or so I had him, he got extremely upset whenever I was out of sight. He's getting better now, but he still whines or barks if I leave the room or the house... he settles down in a few minutes, though. So it's not "real" separation anxiety where he's going to destroy his crate or himself if left alone. He just complains about it. He might be better if he had free roam of the house and could just follow me around, but I have to keep him crated so he doesn't eat the cats.

    And finally... for some reason, he is very worried about strangers. Especially at home -- whenever someone comes over, he goes bananas with barking and definitely DOES act aggressive. He is better away from home, on neutral territory, but will do it to a lesser extent if someone approaches me when we're out walking and he's on a leash. Now, if I just stand a short ways away and talk to someone for a few minutes, he loses interest and goes about his business, and he's gotten to the point where someone could come right up to us and hand-feed him a treat. (Although I have not had anyone try to pet him yet.)

    I think some of this is fear-based, just judging by his reaction toward me when I was a stranger. It's also possible that he's feeling uber-protective since I'm his new "mommy," and he considers my dog his girlfriend! And hey, this is Baltimore... who know what happened to him to end up running around dragging a leash behind him. Maybe his former beloved owner was murdered while they were out walking and he's traumatized by that.

    I have been working with a behaviorist (who is actually helping me for free in the interest of helping this guy find a home, and he's willing to work with anyone who adopts him as well), and Cinco has been doing well -- I doubt he has ever had anyone set boundaries for him before, but he learns quickly and you can tell that he WANTS to please. But he is definitely a dog who is going to need more work, and a vigilant owner.

    Now that I've had him a couple of weeks and have a pretty good feel for him and rapport with him, I'm going to start trying to introduce him to new people (on a leash!) to see if he can learn to be nice to other people. My suspicion is that once he realizes a new person is OK, and provides treats, he will probably be totally hunky-dory with it.

    I know that there are lots of dogs, and lots of pit bulls, out there with perfect temperaments and a lot of people will think this dog should just be put down. But I am not exaggerating when I say he has been nothing but a love toward me, and honestly, if I didn't have cats, I would totally keep him. My dog gets along great with him.... I've got a fantastic video of the two of them wrestling, tails wagging like crazy the whole time, and Cinco spending most of the time on his back with his paws waving in the air! He understands his "pack" and definitely accepts me being the alpha.

    He is young, probably a year or so old, and is not neutered yet. (I'll be getting that and his shots/heartworm/etc. taken care of shortly.) He would probably do best as a suburban dog somewhere with a fenced yard. He's not a great city dog, just because it's hard to walk him in close quarters with lots of other people. I don't know how he would be as a farm dog -- I did take him to the barn with me one day (he stayed in the car), and he went nuts barking at the horses, so I'm not sure how he would be with that. I would also be concerned about wildlife on a farm. If you want your farm free of other critters, well, he probably would enjoy that job. :P And it goes without saying that he would be a very effective guard dog!

    I think he's fabulous, so I hope he can find another suitable family that thinks the same and is willing to continue working on his issues. He's a very happy dog, and has an amazing repertoire of noises... he snores, he has a very dramatic heavy sigh of resignation, etc.

    I have a friend staying with me this weekend, so that will be a good test to see what he does when a new human joins the pack.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Erin; May. 28, 2010, 01:22 PM.

  • #2
    God Bless you

    I am on my 3rd abandoned (all neutered) pit bull, 1 male and 2 females and they are the BEST dogs ever. My male (neutered of course) lives in the house with a VERY BOSSY female cat and he lets her be in charge! We also have barn kitties and if they run he will too but when he catches them they just all lay down together!
    I know due to being trained to fight some pits are dangerous but most are very fair when treated fairly. And they are SUPER smart. He will settle down even more once he is snip, sniped. He looks so happy with you, I sure hope you can find someone that will appraciate him. They are GREAT for single women on the road by themselves with horses. No one approaches me when Deuce is in the truck, he is black and weighs a cool 110 pounds. It takes both my hands to cover the top of his head! It's fun to watch people when they see him for the first time, like I said, I feel VERY safe in his presence.


    • Original Poster

      Yeah, I've had a few friends with pitties, all of whom were really nice dogs, but this is the first time I've actually lived with one... they (or, at least, this one) really are *extremely* personable dogs. And very funny! He's a total goofball, and just has this very boisterous, happy outlook on life.

      I know several who live quite well with cats, too, but Cinco does not fall into that category. But I'm managing for the time being. He spends most of the day in a crate, but I do try shut my cats in the bedrooms for a while every night so he can roam around downstairs with my dog. And of course he gets walks and potty breaks, too. Definitely not a good long-term solution for him, but hopefully we can manage long enough for him to find a good permanent home.

      Oh, I should have added, Cinco isn't terribly big... I would guess he weighs about 40-45 lbs. He's a good bit smaller than my Lab mix. I have not had a chance to really introduce him to other dogs, so I'm not sure yet if he's as good with male dogs as he is with her.

      Here's a short YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNwHVBSpcWk
      Last edited by Erin; May. 28, 2010, 07:09 PM.


      • #4
        Oh man, he is gorgeous! If he were good with cats, I'd totally look into adopting him! I have two Pittie mixes (male & female) and they are the best dogs.

        My two have grown up with the kitties, so they really don't care about them now.

        I work with my local Pit Bull group and could post him there if you'd like, might spark some interest. Let me know, you can email me at kady12905@gmail.com with a little 'ad' for him and some pictures


        • #5
          I wish I was closer :-( I would take him in a heartbeat. I have a pit now and love the breed. I watched your video and they play the same way!
          Almost Famous Farm


          • #6
            OMG he's SO cute.

            I would take him but I have 2 cats

            I LOVE my once stray pit mix. She is the most grateful, affectionate dog i've ever met.

            Hope this one finds a great home
            http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn


            • Original Poster

              He is getting better about the cats (he still can't resist the urge to try to chase sometimes but he knows he's going to catch hell for it!), but no way is he trustworthy around them.

              He is such a neat dog, though. Super smart, super sweet and snuggly (to me, anyway! ) ... getting him to trust a new person will take several visits , so it'll be a time consuming process, but I really hope I can find someone willing to put in the time.

              I haven't had a chance to do his vet work yet, but that is next on the agenda. He looks great, though -- has put on quite a bit of weight, and the long stripe of grease (from hiding under trucks?) he had down his back is finally gone!


              • #8
                I'm sure you know the ins/outs of rescue, but I wanted to give you a link to PBRC (Pit Bull Rescue Central), as they have a TON of info. on what to look for in a home for a Pit Bull. They also have an area where you can list him for adoption.



                • #9
                  is he stil avalible? my boyfriend loves pits and my aussi sheppard just loves anything that moves..even our horses.. She likes to kiss their noses.. My oldest dog passed recently and i am looking for a new dog.


                  • Original Poster

                    Yep, he's still here! He is definitely a "work in progress" and getting him transferred to a new home will be a process -- right now he is not friendly to new people he meets, so he has to meet someone several times. But the behaviorist I'm working with is happy to help him make the transfer, and happy to help his adopters work on his "stranger danger" issues.

                    (Despite his wariness of strangers, I can say without a doubt that once he decides someone is "his," he is a joy -- a total lovebug! Which is hard for people to believe when he is going nuts barking at a stranger... but I swear, it's true!)

                    He definitely needs a very dog-savvy, responsible home experienced with bully breeds. (And sans cats! ) If you'd like to talk further and see more pics, videos, etc., email me at eharty@gmail.com.


                    • Original Poster

                      OK, I'm finally getting really serious about finding Cinco a home!

                      We have settled into a routine here, but this really is not the ideal home for him, so it's time to start the legwork on getting him moved along to a new family.

                      He got neutered and got his shots in mid July, and is HW negative with a negative fecal. He's gained about 10-15 lbs. since I found him, and tipped the scale at the vet's at just a hair under 50 lbs.

                      I walk him all around the neighborhood, go running with him, and have taken him hiking and to lots of various local parks (he stays on-leash, obviously). He has gone and stayed with me at a friend's house (crated, on-leash when not in the crate), rides all over the place in the car, and even went to the Festival of Champions at Gladstone. (Funny, pit bulls don't stick out in Baltimore, but they sure do at a dressage show! ) He is not great around horses yet -- barks at them and wants to chase them -- but he's only been exposed to them twice so far.

                      He likes to play in water, but only wants to wade, not swim. And for some reason, he is terrified of the hose. I have given him a bath with a bucket and sponge, which he didn't enjoy but was OK with. Need to work on his hose phobia.

                      He knows sit/stay/down/come, and is pretty good on a leash (although he is definitely strong and when he gets excited, can drag you around). I have not yet introduced him to any new dogs, but he and my dog get along wonderfully (although she is 9 years old and does get annoyed with his boundless energy!).

                      He would probably do best as a suburban, rather than an urban or rural, dog. He needs lots of long walks, and would LOVE to have a secure, fenced yard where he could run around like a fool. Unfortunately I have no yard, so the only safe place for him to play off-leash is in my living room.

                      I'm a sucker for animals who are not highly-adoptable, but who you know can be productive members of society with some time and TLC, and that's the kind of person Cinco needs. (i.e. someone like me, but without any cats!)

                      Here's an album of photos:


                      And several videos:


                      If you think you even MIGHT be interested, please send me an email or PM. I really want to make sure he finds the right home, so I'll be brutally honest about his good and bad points. He really is a love of a dog, and he WANTS to be a good boy... he just needs the right person to keep showing him the way!

                      Oh, and I should add, I would be happy to make several road trips if someone not in the immediate area was interested in adopting him. He would need to meet someone several times before you could even think about taking him home, but I am more than willing to do some driving if that's what's required.


                      • #12
                        Awwwww, he's SOOOO gorgeous! If we didn't already have two rescue dogs and two rescue cats, I know my fiance and I would take him in a heartbeat and drive all the way up from Alabama! We need a fenced yard before we can take on another high energy youngster. Our boxer is very attentive and listens well and comes when called, which is the only reason we didn't insist on immediately putting up a fence when we moved. I will forward his photo and the posting to my friends up in your area!
                        When life throws you lemons, put on your best Asian accent and scream "Faaack yuuuu Rehmooohns!" (says yours truly, the half-Japanese kid )

                        My Pony Blog Dressage & My Horsey Life


                        • #13
                          Just had to say that he is beautiful and SO lucky to have found you! We found our German Shorthaired Pointer as a puppy in '05 tied to a tree in Patterson Park (Baltimore)... I heard her barking as we were leaving a friend's house off Eastern Ave around midnight and sent my brave hubbie in to check it out. He re-emerged with a 4 month old puppy COVERED with ringworm! She is our baby though and we were so lucky to find such a great dog!

                          I will keep my ears open for someone looking to rehome this guy. He sounds like a great dog and anyone who is able to take him would be so lucky! If we were in the position to add another dog, I would jump at the chance to give Cinco a forever home...

                          Not sure where in Baltimore you live but there is a great dog park in Canton. A lot of the people that use it do rescue and I think there is even a bulletin board that you could post his info on.
                          "Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful."
                          -Ann Landers


                          • Original Poster

                            Hey Strollincash! I'm over in Pigtown, right near the Ravens' stadium. And I know quite a few people in Baltimore who have gotten dogs the same way you did, unfortunately.

                            I keep meaning to get my other dog a dog park license, so we'll do that and check out the one in Canton. Cinco, needless to say, is not going to the dog park!

                            I really hope Cinco can find "his" place... he's definitely not the dog for everyone (or even most people!), but I think for the right person, he'd really be a gem. It sure has been educational having him -- I've learned a ton, and it's been really awesome to see him learn how to be a normal (mostly ) dog. Especially since I know he would have been put down the moment he set foot in a shelter. (Not that I can blame a shelter for that!)

                            And I should add, he *could* possibly live in a house with a cat or two, with the understanding that he is not safe to leave around a kitty unattended. Or maybe if you had a tough-guy cat who would swipe him across the nose a few times. He wants to chase, and unfortunately most of my foster kitties are shy and so they run. I do have one cat who seems enamored with him and tries to make friends (when he is safely in the crate, she's no dummy!)... he seems quite interested in her, in a curious way, not a "you look tasty!" way. Maybe with the right cat, he could co-exist, but I would never fully trust him and would always want him to be supervised. (And I know that's more trouble than most people want to deal with, but I thought I'd throw it out there as a possibility!)


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Erin View Post

                              I keep meaning to get my other dog a dog park license, so we'll do that and check out the one in Canton. Cinco, needless to say, is not going to the dog park!
                              Definitely agree with you there. Pit Bulls (and IMO, most dogs) do not belong in dog parks. They are a recipe for disaster for Bully breeds.
                              Plus, they're generally a breeding ground for diseases, worms, etc.

                              Can you tell I'm anti dog park LOL?
                              Here's a good link with info. on why:

                              You should list him here: http://pbrc.net/
                              Lots of Pit Bull savvy people there.

                              Also, check with Bully Paws in Fredericksburg, http://www.bullypaws.org/ they might list him as a courtesy dog for you.
                              Ring Dog Rescue, in Richmond, would probably do the same. I would definitely network him to Pit Bull 'people'.

                              I can also list him on the Pit Bull page on Facebook that I am an admin. on if you'd like, just email me a little blurb about him, basic info., and some pictures and I'll post him. If you want to check it out, it's www.facebook.com/vapbac
                              My email is kady12905@gmail.com

                              Good luck, it's tough finding good homes for Pit Bulls, but they are out there! I just adopted out my foster pup to a great family, so it's possible


                              • Original Poster

                                Kady, I'll send you an email... Adopt a Homeless Animal offered to courtesy-list him for me too. But as swamped as the Baltimore area is with rescued pit bulls, casting the net a little wider might not be a bad idea. And I'd certainly appreciate any advice you have for important things to say in his listing, or how best to find him an appropriate home.

                                Sigh... I hope he can find a place. I love the big lug, but being juggled from crate to leash to crate is really no life for a dog!