I'll give a little back story, as much of it as I know, about my Jasper.
I adopted a, what the shelter listed as, 2+ year old male staffordshire bull terrier/pit bull mix a little over a month ago. I wasn't at the shelter to look for a dog. I had made several trips over the last year with my kids and we kept getting the same guy who always left us feeling as though every dog in there was so neurotic it could only go to a one person adult home or that my youngest son's energy wasn't suitable for a dog. Even though I hadn't had an issue because of him with the dogs I've had since he was a baby. So, I was there looking for a mouser that would still be a pet but didn't find one that would work so I left my daughter looking at a cat to take home to her house and thought...eh I'll just go visit the dogs.
I'm walking through the rows of barking, jumping, playful dogs and I had just passed a hall of dogs when it hit me....there was a little guy just staring at me. So I backed up and just looked at him in his cage. He was quiet and not making any movements so I thought...oh this is a pit mix and he's too quiet he's gotta be aggressive. But then he gave this little tilt of his head telling me he was curious about me. So I slowly approached his cage and very slowly due to bad knees knelt down in front of it and we just looked at each other. He was cautious and slowly got closer to the fencing and I reached out showing him the back of my hand and said "Do I smell like a friend?"He sniffed my hand then gave just a tiny wag of his tail. I don't know how long I knelt like that but it wasn't long before he gave the back of my hand a little lick and I just sat there talking to him for a good while longer. A young attendant I'd never seen came by and said "He usually doesn't get that close when people stop. Are you interested in him?" I told him that I had given up on finding a dog to add to our house because of what the usual man kept telling me but he insisted that his reaction to me was different than usual and if I'd be interested he would get a leash and let us go into the meeting area to get to know each other. So we went outside to meet...
He kept Jasper on a fairly short leash at first. He started telling me how independent, stubborn, and fearful Jasper, then called Tex, would be and how they had started to think he would have to be put down. Between his breed and how scared of everyone he was they had started to think he was un-adoptable. He told me the story, he said he didn't believe, that had come with him of how he had jumped 6ft to a window, busted out and attacked two dogs. He eventually let Jasper free to run with the leash attached just in case. I just sat on the ground and let him run around the large area. I didn't make a move toward him or try to call him to me. I gave him space to fill his doggy curiosity at being outside and he started to run toward me. The guy got a little worried at him racing towards me but as he got closer he slowed down, stretched his neck sniffing and suddenly climbed into my lap pressing his body into my chest. I thought the poor guy was going to have his jaw fall off. He said he had never once been like that with anyone since he was brought in. He stressed how just terrified Jasper had been with everyone and how amazed he was. And that was it for me. I gave him little scratches along his back, that he still just loves to have done, and said....Ok boy, you've got a home.
With my bad knees I was worried about walking him out myself on the leash. He's short but STOUT. I was afraid he'd decide to run and whoop there I'd go. And he did pull but I found if I snapped my fingers and said "Ok buddy lets redirect" he would stop and before long he was letting me walk him up and down the sidewalk with only a few times having to redirect him so he wouldn't pull. And it's been a slow go since. The first time I walked him after we got home a leaf blew by and he tucked his head and tail. He stepped on a stick and when it broke he tried to hide under my truck. My moms yorkie came out of her house barking and he tried to run. I put my large girl dog on a leash and my daughter and her boyfriend walked with us keeping them at a distance so they could smell each other but not so close either felt pushed and we walked them around the property together. When I brought him on in to my house I still kept him leashed and at a distance and did so for the first 2 weeks. Now not only does he run and play with my large dog but also my little mixed breed dog. lol But he's still scared of my moms Yorkie if she lets it out from her house and comes up here. The boys who still live at home have both been great about taking their time and not rushing up to him. Now they can approach him and he doesn't cower. He LOVES to go for rides in the truck. I take him to a park along the river that doesn't get too crowded but usually has a couple people and sometimes other dogs. I keep our distance since he's apparently just now really being socialized. I'll walk him with a wide birth so he can get scents without having to get crowded. He's managed to get loose three times from the dog run. Since I haven't trained him since a puppy where the property lines are I don't let him run loose if I can help it. And when he did get loose the first time he ran all over the community. So I went house to house, anyone I could tell was home, told them how scared he is and not to be scared of him just because of his breed and left my number so now most of the community knows or knows about him.
There are a couple things about him that I'm not sure how to properly address but will post questions about later but he's learning to sit and lay. He's showing me that he really is a smart guy with a lot of potential. There is one issue with him that may very well be a deal breaker if I can't figure out the best/right way to address it but, that's his story with me thus far.