My name is Bert and here’s my story…

I came to Sophie’s Dog Adoption at the age of 8 weeks old after I was found during a police raid in a town that banned Pitbulls. Despite my young age, I was given a death sentence. The vet who was to perform my execution, knowing I was an innocent victim, called Sophie to save my life. This was now almost 4 years ago.

At the age of three month, I found what Sophie hoped would be my forever family, but they had lied to her claiming Pitbulls were not banned in their town. Goofy as I am, I decided to explore the neighborhood and to play hide and seek in someone’s backyard. They didn’t find it funny and called the city to report a Pitbull in their yard. That led the city to seek me out, bring me home and proceed with an eviction notice.

Having ten days to get out of the city, my family called Sophie and admitted having lied about the Pitbull ban and despite the fact that Sophie was very upset, she took me back and swore to find me a real forever home.

The family she found wanted a perfect dog and she knew I was exactly the right dog for them despite their “prejudice” against “us vicious killer dogs”, she gave them the opportunity to take me in and see how perfect I truly was.

I’m very vocal and intimidating when I play which made them nervous at first, so Sophie came to work with them on getting to know my body language and showing them how sweet I really was. She warned them of the judgments, dirty looks, refusal from friends and family to come over and gave them plenty of time to make sure they were ready to cope with the fact other people would be prejudice, the adoption contract was officially signed and I became their Romeo.

For a year I was that Romeo, I went from a teenager to an adult and became more dominant and rough in my play with other dogs and my Mom was banned from the dog park. We were no longer welcome there and I guess the others ruled the park. That being said I started becoming more and more frustrated of having no friends to play with so I started wanting to go see dogs I met while on walks. Being very vocal it scared people and again my Mom started getting the look.

All that to say she did everything wrong by tugging me away, crossing the street, avoiding other dogs and forgot all the training Sophie had given her and in the end I was dragging her down the street to go meet some dogs. So what do you think happened next? Sophie got the call saying I had to go, “the true Pitbull, vicious killer” personality was coming out in me and I had to go.

Bottom line is she would rather keep going to the dog park with my “siblings” (little dogs) then to have people give her the look. So I came back to Sophie’s and I truly am the best dog ever, but I am a bully with other dogs. And the longer I stay here and share my space with other foster dogs, the more dominant I am getting with new dogs. I am also lacking exercise, but once I find that right family who will truly fulfill my needs (exercise, structure, discipline, love and attention), I will shine once again!

21 thoughts on “Bert”

  1. Sophie is amazing to have taken this guy back. He is an amazing dog at home and with people and children…jesus…what more could you ask for!!!! I have a dog that has “leasgh agression” (dominance) and I work every day on it. I would never EVER consider calling up where we got him and shipping him back. This makes me sick and the fact the justify it in their head is even worse. He may have had a great year and a half but now you just tossed him to the side so someone else can deal with him. Why not ask Sophie for help, for advice on who to turn to if she can not help you. Dogs are for life… and to find one amazing with children and people you should have considered yourself so lucky.

    PS: The dogpark is more a spot for you to enjoy yourself. A dog can certainly live without going and very happily.

  2. Bert is really a handsome dog! Im a student and dont have the largest income, but I have had a pitbull mix who had leash aggresion… it wasnt as bad as its being out to be! I am now working on my mom because I truly have fallen in love with him form this picture! We have the patience for a stubborn dog in fact, would I would love the challenge! Im going to keep working her and figure something out because, as much as Sophie is an amazing person for providing him with a temp home, I want to be the one who gives him his Forever Home! I’ll be in touch these next few days!!!
    With the warmest regards,

    1. Hope you can, you will be rewarded a thousand times+…but you must be committed and just read any of the dog whisperer books, they are amazing, am lucky enough to see him here in Toronto November 1st, would not miss for anything.
      Good luck and keep us informed

  3. Bert is a wonderful dog. I walked him for an hour and crossed many dogs and witnessed no leash aggression. When playing with my pit bull he was very vocal, but his tail was up and he was happy. He’s a sweet dog, just needs a home who can deal with no dog parks and a few bad looks.. (which unfortunately is the case with many pits)

  4. I am just so sorry that the family was ill-equipped to adopt such a powerful but wonderful breed. This is why I always tell people, if you are a first time dog owner, you need to do research on the breed, know your own strengths and limitations, you need to be a pack leader then you would have never encountered such problems, working with your dog is the same as teaching your children…..commom sense!!!!! Now you know better, you will do better, but please never blame a breed for your mistakes, this is so unfair. I speak from owning a beautiful American Staffordshire, and I learned , made mistakes then corrected myself by reading and researching, I still am grieving her passing and always will have her in my heart….she was the best of me. Love you Sammy this one is for you!!!!Always Love Kat

  5. I hope all the best for this sweet baby, if he has still not found a home, when I move in May (to a place that allows dogs), I will definetly be doing my best to take him home, to live with me and my kitty. if he has found his dream home, by then, I will be contacting you for another who needs to find a loving family

    I’ve adopted with you before, sadly my ex, has my darling ‘Philbert’. Burt looks exactly like him, only blonde!

    Both myself and my roomate have all the patience and time in the world for him.

  6. seriously there is no reason in da world to say ppl pass judgement or u get bad looks commit to ur dog n nythin is possible i have a 1 yr old american rednose pittbull it has never seen a leash in its life it walks down da street wit me no problem never runs after dogs comes to work wit me on construction work sites evry one loves her.even at home there r no fences n she goes outside alone shes played wit jack russels kittens chiuauas etc never hurt 1.Pitt bulls r like any other dog love it respect it take care of it n ull get it back n neva say times r 2 hard 2 take care of my dog cuz dats just looking 4 an excuse bcuz evrythin iz possible if u want 2 put ur mind 2 it .in conclusion ive had pitt bulls since im a baby im now 24 never had a problem wit any of my pitts so dnt pass judgement just love them n treat pitts like family

  7. I am interested in foster care…. Pitbulls are my favorite breed and I have many years experience owning them and working in a animal hopsital.. My husband works and I stay home with the kids.. We have 30 plus acres and Im definately willing to foster a sweet pit in need…. contact me anytime!

  8. I never give up on a dog!!! i have even taken in dogs from other people and gave them a second chance, i have had horible pitt bulls before and they learned how to adjust and cope with other dogs and people!! ittakes time to rly understand a dog, i guess i was blessed with that thing thats sophie must have!! right now i have two pitt bulls, one is my forever dog and one is here for a short time!! and even though the one i am sitting growls and barks at everyone she see’s i know that she is wonderfull and i just keep bringing her out and exposing her to humans and dogs alike!! in just two weeks she has shown such improvment!! If I a single mother can handle two pitt bulls than anyone can with enough love and care!!!

  9. Send Bert to me! :P I would take this beauty in a heartbeat! To bad I live so far away! Bert is absolutely gorgeous! <3

  10. Bert is vocal when he gets excited, is he aggressive? NO. Does he require an experienced owner who knows all about canine psychology and canine body language? YES. Is he a danger to humans? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Is he a danger to other dogs? NO. He is dominant with some dogs but not at all aggressive. Is he safe around cats? NO, he has a high prey drive with cats. Safe around kids? Yes but would do best in a calm home. Kids will excite him but he would never hurt them on purpose. Is he obedient? YES, EXTREMELY. Under the proper leadership, Bert is a terrific dog. Because and ONLY because he’s a Pit Bull is this beautiful dog having such a hard time finding a home. His issues are very common with all breeds. If he were a Lab or a Bernese Mountain dog, he would have been adopted a long time ago. I had the honour to work with Bert and he and my own Pit Bull learned to get along and respect each other in 3 days under my leadership. They spent 2 weeks together living under the same roof side by side respectfully. All Bert needs is an experienced owner. He is truly a remarkable dog who has touched many hearts including mine. I always said “to know him is to love him”.

  11. Id like to meet him. Im looking to adopt and Im used to pitbulls more than any other breed. He seems like such a sweetie, it’s unfortunate hes been back and forth so much :(

  12. Christiane, I say go for it! Give your ex the finger and fill out the adoption form for Bert. You have the experience and you know what to do to manage him.

    As for the back and forth, anyone who understands dogs knows that dogs are not always paired with the right human. Rather than bitch about the family that gave Bert up because they were overwhelmed, you should be happy Bert will have a chance with a human who can completely fulfill his needs and give him a balanced life.

    With the right LEADER, any dog can be a joy, but no dog can be balanced and happy if his humans are afraid of him or feel they can’t handle him. And that goes for Ginger too. I know shit about pitbulls, but hand me over that chi and she’d be the best behaved and happiest dog alive.

    Good luck, Christiane!

  13. Walking my 9 year old giant schnauzer mix, Gomer, two pitbulls came charging from our neighbors’ open backyard gate. Knocking me down, they attacked poor Gomer. Only repeated kicks from the owner and my husband got them off. The result… puncture wounds through Gomer’s paw, five stitches to his ear, ten days of antibioctics and one very traumatized Gomer, not to mention his owners. I AM SO TIRED OF PEOPLE DEFENDING THIS BREED!!

  14. the message is for éloise. my pitbull and my niece was attacked by a labrador .. I AM SO TIRED OF PEOPLE like you.

  15. hey bert is a very cute dog and i love pit bulls and i would love to have bert becauze he sounds like a friend that needs a shoulder to cry on and im a dog lover an im here for bert so please please add me on facebook and i will take him off your hands a.s.a.p. matt wodnisky

  16. This story raises the issue of dog parks. Uneducated humans are in my opinion way more dangerous than all dog breeds with bad reputation put together.
    The dog we foster (a pitbull mix) is the loveliest creature ever, but she tends to be very dominant, especially with other dogs. At first we used to stop her at the first signs of grawling and teeth showing. Then Sophie advised us that it’s only the way some dogs play and that it wouldn’t lead to actual agression, as scary as these “play fights” may look. The only problem being some other dogs’ owners who don’t know/understand that. We listened to her and since, our puppy played happily with several dogs, in her own impressive style, without problems. We always explain and ask the dogs’ owners about that: many people are smart, comprehensive and educated about dogs enough to let them play without worries; many are reluctant too, we respect that and stop her when she plays with their dogs.
    The problem is, sometimes you meet a big time rude idiot, who at the first sign of dominance won’t hesitate to brutally toss aside and slap your dog, with an extremely agressive non-verbal. We met that specimen yesterday, in Lafontaine dog park, and tried to explain to him as politely but firmly as possible that this behaviour is not only unacceptable but also dangerous for everyone. Unfortunately the size of his brains only allowed him to repeat like a parrot that he grew up in a farm with animals hence knew dogs ver well, and that our dog was not “acting normal”.
    As a result, there was tension among both humans and dogs, and discomfort and fear among some dog owners who maybe gave credit to this jerk and started to dread the “pitbull pathologic nature”.
    A few minutes later, she grawled, barked and jumped at another man who was trying to play throwing a bone with her; she is still a puppy in a limits testing phase, and this kind man full of goodwill had also expressed submission and fear of her in his attitude, unfortunately. This is of course unacceptable, so we apologized and left the park, and this is an issue we are working on, so I’m not trying to make an excuse for our dog’s behaviour. But I am pretty sure that “teaching” a puppy with physical violence will lead in nothing but teaching them that agressive interactions with humans are acceptable, and that our dog partly responded to what dumb humans had just showed her.
    I don’t know dogs at all, but I completely trust Sophie’s advices and do my best to apply them. So far, they’ve turned out great.
    So, this is a message for all dogparks cowboys: We already do our best to prevent our puppy from hurting anyone, we are open and honest on that subject. While we do that, we don’t interfere between you and your animal, we always keep our mouth shut about your dog’s behaviour or how you should educate them, we don’t pretend to have any skills in that domain, and we mind our own business. So please do the same and stay the f*** away from other people’s dogs.
    I don’t care if you’ve been raised in a barn with wolves or watch Oscar the dog whisperer every day, I have no interest in hearing your self-entitled comments and certainly don’t need your dumb advices. I’m not a big fan of dog parks to begin with, though I go there on a regular basis for the dog’s sake and try to be friendly with people, including annoying ones. But there is a certain amount of bullshit that one can take, so slapping people’s dogs and bossing owners around, though it certainly helps you resolve some ego issues, will do absolutely no good, and you’ll eventually end up with some body part bitten and/or you face shoved in the mud by another jerk in a playful mood.
    Thank you.

  17. omg Bert is beautiful. looks so much like our old dog Saddie :( would have loved to have bert as part of this family

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