Webster is a young male Labrador or Lab mix. He is probably about a year or year and a half old, and weighs about 60 lbs. He was left tied up with a home-made string harness outside the home of one of our team members. He was skeletally thin and had large bare patches worn in his fur, some of which were bleeding.

It became clear quite quickly that Webster had likely spent his entire life tied up on a very hard surface. He was heartbreakingly skinny and it took a long time to start to get weight on him. He was completely disconnected when he arrived, and flipped into frantic excitement with no focus every time we entered his run. He was like a child with severe ADD. It took weeks to start to build focus with him and teach him the most basic sit, but we finally got there. Because we were unsure of his ability to be with other dogs, we kept him in a large, separate run. Webster was very barrier-frustrated during this time. We assume he lived a life of isolation and frustration wherever he came from.

Webster can now be out with some of the more tolerant dogs in the play area. He doesn’t engage with them, nor they with him. He likely never had any opportunity to play or interact with other dogs, so he doesn’t connect with them, or read their body language or signals.

He is now connecting with people and will offer his tummy for a belly rub. He has learned that behaviors get treats and is now interested in getting treats in lower distraction, familiar settings. Webster likes to chase a ball and will sometimes return it to you. He is now walking on leash fairly well. He is very strong, and pulls and pulls hard when walked with other dogs, but does much better when on his own. We have used several types of front attach (no-pull) harnesses, but they don’t reduce his pulling that much. We have conditioned him to wear a Halti head halter, and this does work pretty well when he is being walked on his own. We have not let Webster off leash yet except in a completely fenced area.

We are looking for a local (Guatemala) placement for Webster. He is neutered, vaccinated, and healthy. He likes people and kids, and can co-exist with tolerant dogs. Webster will be a work in progress for a while, but he has a lovely Lab temperament and is coming along nicely.