Meet HUNTER! Hunter came to Lab Friends of the South from a local County shelter in the early months of 2015. He was approximately 2 to 3 years of age, skinny, heartworm positive, and not neutered. But even more importantly, he was a very frightened little boy. Hunter had not been socialized well with other dogs, had tremendous fear of noises, and a general fear of people in general, but particularly men. It was apparent he had not been treated kindly and had withdrawn into himself as a refuge. Thank goodness Lab Friends did not overlook this beautiful boy, because there is a lot more to Hunter than meets the eye! But it was not an easy road at first. There was neutering, heartworm treatment and a whole new, strange world Hunter was trying to adjust to. There were a few bumps along the way. Hunter went to a training facility to learn social skills. But he was not progressing out of his “withdrawal” mode. So Lab Friends reached out and found Hunter a foster home that could help him ” learn to be a dog.”
Update from Hunter’s foster mom: 1-29-16: Hunter is progressing so well. Today was the first time since I have had him that he ran after the squirrels and BARKED at them!! It was so great to see him just be a dog and do what dogs normally do. I would put him in the “timid” category now, opposed to the “terrified” status he used to have. He really is doing wonderful. I’m so proud of how much he has worked at trusting. Hunter will truly entertain you with his playful side. And he is so loving, it will just melt your heart. Don’t miss out on this wonderful companion!!
Update from Hunter’s foster mom 1-12-16:
Hunter came to me several months ago a very frightened dog. It was clear he was a “special needs” boy, and he had a lot to overcome. He was afraid of everything basically. The noises outside sent him running back to the door. It was a whole new world opening up for him. But what absolutely thrilled me was how fast Hunter learned and progressed. The strategy: just let him find his own way on his own time! No push, no expectations; just gentle encouraging words and lots of praise. And within two weeks, Hunter started to emerge and show me what a truly wonderful dog he is. He is the most loving companion you could ask for, once he gets to know and trust you. He lives for affection and is a huge “cuddle buddy”. He is crate trained, and I’ve had no issues with housebreaking, or destructive behavior. He does seek the safety of the crate if he feels threatened. He is nervous with thunderstorms or loud noises such as fireworks, etc. He is quiet and not demanding. He loves to play outside with the ball and rope toys. He is quite the comedian when he gets so excited he runs circles and laps around the yard. He loves to go for walks, and is a very good car rider. Hunter surprised me with his acceptance of children. I would say that younger children or toddlers would NOT be a match for him, but children above the age of 6 to 8 who know how to be gentle with a dog and have adult supervision would be fine. Hunter earns his name in the fact that he loves now to chase the squirrels around the yard, but still is perplexed how quickly they can get over that fence and he can’t!
Hunter does not do well with other dogs, and will need to be an only dog. He may be curious about cats but is not aggressive towards them . Hunter will walk nicely with my neighbors dogs, as long as everyone is leashed and there’s no interaction. He is not reactive unless they approach him. I am guessing somewhere in Hunter’s past he has either been taught this behavior, or it could be fear based where he was just not socialized as a pup.
In summary, Hunter needs a loving home that will be patient with him and continue to work in a positive way to build his confidence and trust. He is an amazing dog, and would be a wonderful companion to anyone who is lucky enough to have him. So if you are looking for a loving, faithful, handsome and smart little buddy, Hunter is the dog for you! He has progressed so much and actually lives the life of a normal dog now. I think the following pictures will show you without a doubt how much love is in this dogs heart. He just needs a real family to share it with. I will have some videos of him on the site very soon!