Our dog Bytsy Spydr came to us as an eight-week old puppy. We are fosters and volunteers for a local pitbull rescue. Bytsy and her sister were both our fosters. We spent a lot of time training and socializing both pups — both were then adopted out.
After seven weeks in her new home, Bytsy was returned to us for aggression. My husband and I couldn’t bring ourselves to put her through the adoption process again, and decided to adopt her ourselves. It didn’t long for us to figure out that without a doubt, she did have reactive tendencies towards people she wasn’t familiar with and other dogs — this included reactions such as lunging, barking and showing teeth.
We immediately decided that Bytsy needed to go back to training as soon as possible. We started her in a reactive class, and then moved on to agility. As the process unfolded, we discovered her reactions were actually related to fear.
We worked tirelessly to help Bysty for over two years. Right around when we came to accept she would never be a “perfect” dog, and we would always have to be cautious of where we could take her, she made a huge break through! We realized she actually loves other dogs. Her reactivity on-leash stemmed from her being frustrated at not being able to meet another dog. Admittedly, Bytsy still doesn’t like strange people all that much, but she has definitely made progress there too. She has never bitten anybody, nor has she ever attacked another dog.
One thing we don’t really enjoy, but have come to accept, is how many people perceive our dog as if she’s a monster. People assume that because of her over-the-top behavior in wanting to meet another dog, she wants to attack their dog. Nothing could be further from the truth! We work very hard with Bytsy, and it’s disappointing and hurtful to see people be so judgmental.
I do know this, I would not trade Bytsy Spydr for anything. I am very aware of the type of dog I have, but I am also highly aware of her limits. We have learned her limits over time, and never ask anything of her that could potentially cause her stress.
It is certainly not easy having a dog that all too many people are willing to harshly judge, but we love Bytsy with all of our hearts. We know what kind of dog she truly is — sweet, loving, and sometimes a little afraid — but no matter what, we will always love her!