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  • So... You Rescued a Pitbull. Now What?

    So... You Rescued a Pitbull. Now What?

    If you recently rescued a Pitbull from a shelter, one truth to understand is that it may take several months for your new family member to adjust to her new home; furthermore, your new best friend may still be experiencing the doggo-equivalent of loss or "grief" over losing touch with her former family.

    Remember when the rescue organization asked whether you had a fenced yard? While your Pittie is adjusting, please don't let her off leash outside. She might just take off to find her old group — and she may need rescued all over again.

    Here are some things you can do to ease the adjustment and make your new friend feel right at home.

    Obedience Training. Depending upon the age and previous training of your rescue, you may find yourself imagining your rescue dog is too old for training or doesn't need it, but consider this. Your new Pitbull hasn't trained with you.  Beyond reinforcing commands like come, sit, stay, or down, obedience training creates opportunity to improve communication between you and your Pittie. It will foster a sense of teamwork and of belonging to one another. And you may be surprised how much more quickly your bond develops when you make obedience training a hobby for both of you.

    Engage Your New Friend. You won't always know your rescue dog's background. Some Pittie's may be afraid to initiate play. They may not even know how. No matter your dog’s age, consider this time in your relationship to be a formative period, and take responsibility for engaging your Pitbull in retrieving, agility, swimming, jogging, walking, or other types of safe, gentle fun. Playtime isn't just exercise. Playtime is a time to build friendship, loyalty, and trust.

    Teach or Reinforce the Most Important Command. If you can succeed at teaching your rescue Pittie to come when called, without fail, then you are well on your way to establishing an amazing bond. Begin practicing this command indoors at first — and outdoors on a leash. Work your way up to off-leash activity, and when you're practicing that, be sure to move around often. Don't stay in one place. This will "gamify" your training and encourage your new friend to want to engage with you.

    Teach Her to Play Hide-and-Seek. This may sound funny, but your Pitbull's mentality has some similarity with that of very young children. Both love to play hide-and-seek. Finding you gives your dog a chance to "win." It also gives you another opportunity to reward your pup when she comes to you. Do this regularly, and over the course of a few weeks, you'll discover your Pitbull has become attentive. She'll have a strong desire to be with you.

    Give Your Rescue a Sense of Purpose. You don't have to teach her to fetch the mail to give your Pittie a sense of purpose, but you could. In fact, regardless of her age, it's possible to teach her many things. Any time you train, do it with a sense of importance. Even the act of training can be purpose enough for your dog. So can going with you on walks, going to bed when you do, or just spending time with you in the same way, every morning.

    (May I suggest sharing time with her while you enjoy a cup of Pitbull Coffee Company coffee?)

    Socialize Your New Family Member. This is another thing rescuers can easily overlook, especially when adopting a friendly, experienced Pittie. But, remember, your social group — and, by default, your Pitbull's — may be a bit different than what she was used to before you met her. Or worse... her former mentor may not have taken the time to introduce her to the world around her... to other people... other dogs. Your rescue may be timid, fearful, or anxious at any age. Do her a favor and let her get to know her neighborhood, her new friends, and family.

    Groom Your Pet. Perhaps even more so than a new puppy, your Pitbull rescue may need acclimated to human touch. You can enrich your bond with her and enhance her desire for affection by grooming her regularly. Dogs in groups naturally reinforce bonds through grooming. You and your new roommate are not much different.

    Go Places with Your Dog. Can you imagine any creature more curious than a puppy? To a puppy, the world is new and fascinating. Naturally, a puppy is driven to explore. Well, your rescue Pittie's situation is pretty darn new, too. And you can help her explore by taking her on hikes, to visit new parks, on camping trips, or even just visits to grandma's house. Don't push her too hard, too fast.

    Remember, your rescue dog needs time to adjust. But if you're doing all — or even much — of the above, you'll have a best friend who wants to go where you go, experience what you experience, and to be one-half of a supportive, respectful, fun, committed and loving duo — you and her.

    Admittedly, every Pitbull is different. Some of these strategies will work better for some dogs than others. There's no doubt that rescue Pitbulls from various backgrounds need more of some activities and less of others, especially at the beginning of a new relationship...a new home. Yet, if you take the time to help your dog adjust, you'll form a lasting bond with your companion.

    Finally, if you have any trouble with your new Pittie, the best place to turn is often the agency you adopted her from. They'll usually have, at least, a little information about her background, and most people who do this work have incredible experience with animal care and behavior. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

    You'll know you're doing things right when you see a light in her eyes and a wag in her tail. You'll know the connection when you've achieved it. And so will she.

    George Carson is a dog advocate, a former trainer, a Pitbull owner, and the founder of Pitbull Coffee Company. He's obsessed with his best friends, Fetty and Monty, and they are the inspiration for the company and this blog. Twenty percent of Pitbull Coffee Company's profits go to no-kill animal shelters, dog foster care organizations, and Pitbull Rescue operations. If you wish to try our coffee, use code "RESCUE" for 10% off your order. 

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  • Pitbull Coffee Company Seeks Pitbull Rescue Organizations to Support Financially

    George Carson, President and Chief Executive Dog Walker of The Carson Group, announced today the formation of Pitbull Coffee Company, a new brand of single-origin, blended, and flavored coffees benefiting no-kill animal shelters, dog foster care organizations, and Pitbull Rescue operations.

    Pitbull Coffee Company is now seeking 501(c)3 rescue organizations that would like to receive the company's donations on a quarterly basis.

    "We’re reaching out to the Pitbull Rescue Community now and asking for referrals to deserving shelters.  Our goal is to donate $500 to $1,000, each, to approximately ten shelters across the U.S., in our first year." Carson explained.  "We've already had that type of success with our other coffee brands, where we support more than four dozen shelters who specialize in rescuing other breeds.”

    "Pitbulls are commonly found in shelters for a variety of reasons," Carson continued.  "They are an enthusiastic and powerful breed that can benefit from plenty of exercise and early training.  And they're easily misunderstood, because they can be protective.  In the right homes,  they are amazing, gentle, and loving companions.  We want to provide financial support to the hardworking and dedicated people who rescue abandoned Pitbulls and give these dogs a second chance at finding homes."

    Pitbull Coffee Company will offer freshly roasted, sought-after coffee from small, family, and co-family farms around the world.  The company doesn't roast the beans until customers place orders.  Then, it vacuum seals and ships beans or ground coffee at the peak of freshness.

    "I don't think you can buy coffee this fresh at the grocery store," Carson declared. "That coffee's been sitting around, waiting for you to visit.  Our beans are roasted on-demand and shipped immediately.  There's no experience quite like opening one of our bags and smelling coffee at the peak of freshness.  If you've never experienced it, you'll notice the difference immediately.  And I think you'll feel good about it, because it's coffee with a purpose."

    With the addition of the Pitbull Coffee Company brand, Carson's business — which also owns Doberman, Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, Boxer, Labrador Retriever, Rottweiler and Great Dane coffee brands — will provide significant financial support to approximately 60 rescues and no-kill shelters, nationwide.  The company also offers branded apparel, tumblers, and even a few items for Pitbulls, themselves, at pitbullcoffeecompany.com.  Twenty percent of the profit in every purchase will be set aside and provided to what Carson refers to as his company's "shelter partners," quarterly.

    Carson says he and his family were inspired to start the company by their own dogs, by their son's volunteerism at a Honolulu-based Humane Society, and by Carson's sister's involvement in a Colorado-based rescue organization.

    "We just looked at our relationships with our animals, the home life we provide for them and the love they give back to us, and we think every dog deserves to have that," Carson added.  "One Pitbull abandoned in one shelter is too many — and, unfortunately, there are thousands abandoned each year.  We think we can do something about that."

    It's worth noting that no one working at Carson's company takes a salary from any of the existing coffee brands or Pitbull Coffee Company.  Both are managed by a staff of volunteers who work together at Carson's Cleveland-based advertising agency.

    "Twenty percent of the profit in every sale goes to our rescue partners, and the rest will go back into the business to make it sustainable," Carson explained.  "We want this company to be around and able to help for the long term.  So we're contributing our time to ensure its success.

    “The concept is simple:  Drink coffee. Save dogs," Carson concluded.

    Anyone wanting to try the coffee, request financial support, or just checkout the website can visit Pitbull Coffee Company at: pitbullcoffeecompany.com. 

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