Austin Pets Alive! | APA! Gives Behavior Dogs a Second Lease on Life:…

Jul 20, 2023
Four years ago, Zeus was surrendered to the city’s municipal shelter, after living the first two years in a yard, largely left alone. And in 2021, he was pulled into APA!’s care so that the Dog Behavior Program could help support Zeus who was struggling with behavioral challenges that were causing him to be overlooked. Since that time, he’s gone in and out of foster care. The behavior team, along with his circle of friends, have continued to work with him, offering tools to navigate his world and giving him time and space to build his confidence. Zeus has plenty of love to give and he so deeply deserves a home to call his own. 
Zeus is not a difficult dog. He has behaviors that can be difficult if not approached appropriately, but APA!’s Dog Behavior team, paired with Zeus’ best friends (staff and volunteers)  work to break down the barriers of how people interact with certain behaviors while also working to understand what the dogs are trying to communicate when they showcase those difficult behaviors. Zeus struggles with “stranger danger” and can also act out when over-aroused. This boy has a whole team of friends who have stayed by his side, offering him tools to help manage those behaviors to help him find a loving home.   
Not all dogs get excited and wiggly to meet new people. Zeus needs new people to go slowly with him. We use treat tosses to build up trust, and watch for his body language to relax and for him to show consent before getting too close and offering any pets. A dog’s body language is an important part of their communication! With time and patience, Zeus will build enough trust to let you into his circle! Our team of staff and volunteers, will work with potential fosters or adopters to ensure they have the right tools to successfully become a Zeus BFF!
Another of Zeus’s quirks is the behaviors he exhibits when he is over stimulated. He may hump, or give “leg hugs” as his friends jokingly call it! Zeus does this when he is happy and excited, but we also know this isn’t exactly a desirable behavior. This is easily managed with treat tosses down and away or redirecting his behavior with a toy. He also loves to give little “pibble nibbles” when giving kisses. While he does this out of affection, not all people want face nibbles. Luckily treats and toys and appropriate chews and toys help redirect Zeus when he’s getting too excited! 
This silly pupper also has a number of behaviors that we love to see! Zeus enjoys carrying one of his beloved toys whenever he goes on walks. Not only is it adorable to witness, having a toy in his mouth is a helpful tool to combat stranger danger, too! Zeus loves to go on adventures, whether that be to a local park or going to a friend’s house with a swimming pool. And afterwards, he turns into a snuggle bug — by cozying up on a couch with his best bud by his side. 
Zeus has waited for his family long enough — let’s get this boy home! His ideal home would be low-traffic without small children. He could live in either a house or apartment.  Zeus goes to playgroup at APA! and would be best suited to live with a similar-sized dog who has the same play styles. Our teams are happy to help assess a potential friendship and facilitate a meet and greet! Most importantly, this deserving dog is looking for someone who will trust the process, be patient as he warms up to a new human and new surroundings and pledge to love him for the good boy he is!

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