Cheeto is a sweet Shepard mix brought to us by Animal Control. He was found as a stray on Wadmalaw Island and they thought he had been wandering the area for over a year. He was underweight and terrified of people and his new environment.
Arriving at a shelter was a drastic adjustment for Cheeto after being a stray for so long and he expressed his fear through barrier reactivity, which is when dogs vocalize with barks or growls or lunge when they are in a crate or a run. During evaluation he also expressed resource guarding, which is being protective of food, toys or other items. Both behaviors are common in animals that have had to survive as a stray for a long time. Our Behavior Team knew that Cheeto would need some time, patience and training before he would be ready for a home. Our staff is skilled at working with animals to improve socialization and teach specific behaviors that make life in a home much easier for animals and people.
CHEETO MAKES A TURN
After a couple of months with our staff, Cheeto has drastically improved and become more confident and comfortable. He plays well with other dogs and has learned several tricks like “shake,” “wave,” “spin,” “sit,” and he is currently working on “down.” Cheeto loves tug-of-war, tennis balls and squeaky plush toys. His laser focus and love for food helps him learn new tricks and behaviors quickly.
Cheeto is now looking for a loving and experienced home where he can continue to build confidence and trust. He would do best with a family with no young children that can make sure he gets plenty of exercise and enrichment. It may take some time for him to adjust to a new environment and he may still express some fear-based behaviors, but with a little extra love and patience, this incredibly smart, playful and affectionate dog will make a wonderful addition to a family.
ARE YOU THE ONE?
Cheeto would love to meet you! Are you or someone you know interested in opening your heart and home to Cheeto? Visit our adoptable animals page or stop by the shelter. If you would like to meet Cheeto in person, ask a staff member when you arrive.
We see animals like Cheeto frequently and our dedicated staff devotes significant time and resources to save the lives of these animals in need. PetSmart Charities makes it possible for us to provide specialized care for animals like Cheeto.