Anatolian Shepherd/Lab Mix|Male|10 years old|80 lbs|Adoption Fee $200

Bandit prefers to roll solo when it comes to other dogs.

Updates from  Foster Home: 

Pupdate 13: Bandit had a wonderful fall Game Day walk with visitors from Illinois. We ended off leash in our neighbor’s fenced-in yard, and Bandit went straight for the wood pile, where he proceeded to dive under the tarp, and all we could see was his back end, and tail waving madly. There was no barking, no howling, just an intensity about what exactly was under the tarp. It was a possum!  I had visions of death and destruction, but that didn’t happen. Yes, Bandit was interested. Yes, he dug after the possum retreated, however, I was able to approach him, get his leash on, and we walked away from the wood pile together. Afterwards, I checked for any puncture wounds or scratches. He was fine, and I realized he probably thought it was a cat.

Pupdate 12: Let me tell you about Bandit.

We just went for a check-up and wanted to share a little more about this well loved senior.

He is nine years old. He weighs 84 pounds.

He loves air conditioning, baby carrots, & trachea chews from Nutzy Mutz & Crazy Catz.

He prefers his dog bed cover not have the pillow inside.

The most delicious find on a walk is an entirely dried-out worm.

He will also eat clumps of grass left behind from the lawn mower and shake the clumps to make sure they’re dead.

He loves the Doodle next door, and he has touched noses with a neighborhood cat.

Pupdate 11: Bandit has enjoyed my neighbors’ fenced yards since arriving as my foster, however in the last few weeks, and with slow introductions, we’ve introduced Bandit to the ‘Doodle Next Door (a female who can hold her own), and they are friends. 

He runs with her. He wants to see, on our walks, if she’s home. In the fenced yard, we’ve also added respectful children (under 8), and it has been fine. He will lay on the deck or under the play fort with the whole family in the yard.

In addition to this welcome new activity, I have to add, that more than once, strangers readily comments on his coat. “Do you bathe him all the time or what? He looks so good!”

Maybe friendship between Bandit & the ‘Doodle won’t exactly replicate in future dog meetings, however he made a friend. And I’m so proud of him.

Pupdate 10: Bandit’s Retriever-side* presented itself over the last few weeks. He had an ear hematoma, on the left side, which did not respond to a drug course. The good folks at SpayMe! Clinic took care of it with surgery. He came home with a bandage around his ear and head. We refer to it now as the Van Gogh incident.

He is wearing the Cone of Shame until the sutures are removed.

Luckily both mother and pup are medicated!

*These are more common in dogs with ear flaps which hang down, such as Retrievers.

Pupdate 9: Majors Academy Dog Training and Rehabilitation was Bandit’s home for two weeks in January.  There, this lucky Fetch Pup was an on-site student with Jeremy Majors’ Stay and Learn Program.  And this foster (helicopter!) parent even got to watch his training sessions via Facebook posts!

Bandit came home to Madison on a Monday, and on Wednesday we went to the clinic to pick up some lovely supplements for his skin and coat.  We also got a nail trim, and the vet (who’d last seen him in August) said while petting his head, “We didn’t even have to muzzle him; he’s a real sweetheart!”  He was really pleased to see how Bandit had progressed.

Continuing to take advantage of Fetch’s behavioral resources is key to making this initially fearful canine, a “real sweetheart.” 

Pupdate 8:  Bandit transitioned to his new foster home over Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. Initially I considered him my Dire Wolf, because he was so grand and strong and handsome to walk! He came to me with very good manners, understanding a polite wait was necessary until released to eat, and patient with me when I would put on his prong collar for walks. Within days of arriving, he truly surprised me with reaching out for affection. He gently and bravely licked my face, then went for his tennis ball and pushed it into my leg to play.

The schedule we keep is very straightforward. Upon waking, I take him outside to relieve himself. I then give him two cups of grain-free kibble (Fromm Salmon Tunalini) while I feed and brush the cat (in another room, separated by a baby gate). We then go for a walk. He goes in the crate with a chew, and I'm off to work. When I come home, I again take him out to relive himself. We hang out, binge NetFlix or just read. Then it's a long walk, kibble dinner, and bed.

Pupdate 7:  Bandit is an amazing case study in the power of trust. When he came to Fetch, he was frightened - plain and simple. It took time to show him that hands are not scary, that food won’t be taken away, and that it’s alright to let loose every once in a while and have fun. 

Bandit is a loyal companion and one of the best walking buddies anyone could ask for. He was clearly trained to walk on the RIGHT side of the pack leader, and gets pretty confused if he is asked to walk on the left! The walk is where we built the bonds of trust that were required to bring bandit around in other parts of life, too. He is perfectly comfortable using a prong collar, and responds very well to small corrections to keep him walking nicely at your side, and to calm down in the face of stimulation! He still gets excited when walking by large dogs, but with calm, firm directions, is able to sit, re-focus, and wait for further instructions. We practice often by finding situations where we can lie down, find a relaxed position in the midst of something exciting, and wait - he makes progress every day!

Because he was found as a stray, we assume his possessiveness of food comes from a time of uncertainty about where it would come from next. Again, building trust around food was crucial. He’s now able to sit patiently while we prepare his food, and wait for the release command even after we walk away. We avoid disturbing him while he eats, but his hesitancy of anyone near him while he eats has almost completely disappeared. He takes treats well! He loves to chew on rawhides and bully sticks, but should be left alone while he does so.

The real magic of owning a dog like Bandit is the increasingly frequent moments where he shows his playfulness and allows himself to chase balls with abandon and lick your face uncontrollably. Seeing him open up so readily is enough to make all of the time spent building trust feel like nothing at all. 

Overall, the “bandito,” as we affectionately call him, is a calm old man who is a perfect companion for a lazy afternoon, but will always be ready for a walk when the mood strikes. He is perfectly capable of being left at home for extended periods of time, and has never once had an accident in the house. He enjoys a grain-free diet, the occasional rawhide, and responds very well to training.

It’s been an incredible journey to watch him grow and become such a loyal companion. His ideal adopter won’t have children, and will enjoy his quiet companionship without having frequent visitors. They will need to be confident pack leaders, able to advocate for Bandit in situations that don’t suit him, and to give him the space and support he needs during the initial transition. The rewards will be more than worthwhile.

Pupdate 6: Bandit is back on his anti-anxiety medication as of a few days ago. We took him off of it for a month or so because we didn't notice any difference, but he got really cranky when he wasn't on it.

Overall he's doing well! He's great with handling as long as we pay attention to his body language and back off when he's looking grump. The other day i grabbed his face and kissed him on the forehead for the first time, and he seemed totally fine with it!

We had a couple people over last night and he barked for a minute but then he was calm and quiet as long as no one approached him.

He has some ear infection issues but is great about letting me clean them and knows that he'll get a treat afterwards.

Overall Bandit is doing well. He still has some things to work on but we've found our groove with him and he's a great companion as long as you listen to what he's telling you.

Pupdate 5: Bandit has recently figured out how to break into our bedroom (we keep him in the hallway with the doors closed when we're gone). But all he does when he breaks in is sleep on the bed! Kind of sweet :)

Pupdate 4: We have spent a lot of time updating you on Bandit's issues, but I wanted to let you know all the lovely things about him, too :)

Bandit is a very easy dog, overall. He's perfect for a family that lives in an apartment because he doesn't need a lot of room and rarely barks (only once or twice when we first get home). He is awful at backing up, and it is the sweetest thing. For some reason, when he needs to switch directions, he awkwardly walks backwards instead of turning around and it cracks us up every time. He sleeps through the night without a peep at the foot of our bed, and never tries to jump on the bed or couch because he knows it's not allowed here. He has never had an accident in the house and only needs to be let out 3 times a day. He loves walking and running - doesn't require a ton of exercise, but could definitely keep up with an active family. He never gets into anything in our apartment other than tissues - he loves chewing on tissue boxes so we keep those out of reach. Otherwise, we don't even crate him during the day. He does great on walks - can pass people and dogs without any crazy reactions. He doesn't need many toys - he's content with the occasional rawhide and peanut butter in his Kong. He takes two pills every day and eats them really easily with a bit of peanut butter. He's very gentle when taking treats from your hand. Overall he's a very sweet companion that we love having around!

Pupdate 3: Bandit is doing well with his fosters, and even sometimes gives kisses! He's still not a big fan of new people and likes his space. We picture him being with an old man who just kind of hangs out all day and wants a companion. Bandit likes to relax and does well on walks, but definitely isn't the most cuddly guy!

Pupdate 2: Bandit has been with a wonderful foster home for a couple of months now and is making GREAT strides! 

Bandit came to Fetch in November from a Shelter in Indiana. We don't know much about his background other than the fact that he was about 30 pounds underweight when he arrived. He has a big scar on his face and is extremely nervous around new people, which lead us to believe that he had a tough life.
For the first couple of weeks in our home, Bandit was very withdrawn, wouldn't make eye contact with us and didn't really do anything other than sleep all day. He didn't want us to touch him - if we tried to pet him he'd growl, especially when we'd put our hands near his face. He also had some food aggression issues - he would start growling the second we started filling up his bowl and we couldn't get anywhere near him while he was eating. We gave him a bigger rawhide one day and he just held it in his mouth and froze. He stood that way for hours and wouldn't put it down, as if he was terrified that we'd take it away from him.
From the very first day, however, he always loved going on walks. The second we got the leash out he would stand up right away and walk towards us, and he learned to heel incredibly quickly. You could see him come back to life on walks - it was the only time that he would hold his head high, his tail would be up, and he actually seemed engaged in the world around him. That was how we learned that all Bandit wanted was leadership. The second he was on the leash, it was very clear that we were the leaders and he was the follower, and it was almost as if a huge burden was lifted because he no longer had to be in charge.
As time went on, he had these sporadic moments where he remembered that he was a dog and we got these glimpses of playful happy pup. About a month after we got him, he started playing with a tennis ball for the first time and chased it around for a few minutes. A few weeks later, we went on a walk right after a big snowstorm and he started playing around in the snow. We ran around together and climbed snow banks and were just being silly. Slowly he started warming up to us touching him, and he started coming up to us when we got home and actively seeking affection. Then one day, he came up to me and gave me the tiniest kiss on my forehead.
Some dogs, like Bandit, need space and distance in order to heal and build trust. At first we pushed Bandit and tried to get him over his fears right away, but as soon as we took a step back and allowed him to have a little more space, he started making progress much more quickly. Some dogs, who are insecure and scared, need time to adjust before they're ready to start moving forward. We did start things off right away with rules and structure, but we moved very slowly with the things that made him uncomfortable.
Fast-forward to today - Bandit still has some food issues, but he never growls while we're making his food anymore. He knows to sit and wait before we put his bowl down, and we can stand next to him while he eats. He can eat small rawhides normally and doesn't get defensive. He rarely growls now when we pet him, even when he's lying down or in his bed, which used to be the worst times to approach him. We feel confident handing him treats and will move towards hand-feeding. We have him on a new food and salmon oil so he's gained weight and his fur and skin are looking much better. We still have to be careful when new people come over so they don’t approach him too quickly; and we will continue to work with Bandit on meeting new people.

Pupdate 1: Bandit is settling in at his new foster home in Wisconsin. He has started taking supplements to help gain some weight. I've also put him on fish oils, which should help his coat. He has had a great appetite, is very alert and active, and was great in the car. We've gone on 4 walks today and each time, he was so happy.  He's chased the cats a bit (which didn't end well for him),  and he does that side-eye thing that I'm pretty sure means he doesn't want to give up dominance, but other than that he's been pretty good!