Major FAS: Notes on a foster dog

This is a foster dog diary post about Major. New information will be added to the end of this post so all info on this dog is kept in one place and in chronological order. If you subscribe for updates, a short note will be sent when updates are posted. If you don’t subscribe, check back periodically to see what’s been added.

Last Updated: Sept 16

Major was a family dog.  I don’t know what changed in their family, but on January 19, 2019 his family dumped him at the local animal shelter, and his troubles were just beginning.

Base Info:

  • Arrival date: Sept. 9th
  • Breed: Greater Swiss Mountain Dog mix
  • Sex: Male
  • Age: Puppy, Young Adult, Mature, Senior
  • Weight: @ 60 Pounds
  • Neutered: Yes
  • General Health: Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor
  • Temperament: Playful, affectionate, insecure right now.
  • Gets Along with Dogs: Yes
  • Gets Along with Cats: Unknown
  • Gets Along with People: Yes
  • Gets Along with Children: Yes, was a family dog
  • Housebroken/Crate Trained: Yes
  • Departure date: Undetermined


Major’s family brought him to the Friends Animal Shelter in Newport to surrender him.  While they were there, Major was a happy, bouncy boy.  But when his family left him there and went away, Major became upset, then angry, then vicious.

The shelter asked me to come look at him and determine if they were going to have to destroy him.  Their staff was unable to handle him or clean his kennel.  I arrived with a pocket full of peanut butter dog treats.  Nearly all dogs love these things.  In about 20 minutes I had him calmly eating out of my hand.  I showed their Vet Tech, Carol, what I had done and how to handle him.  She continued these techniques and got him settled enough to place him up for adoption.

Except he was not adopted.  Nine months later, he’s still there and is showing signs of shelter psychosis.  So they reached out to me once again, would I foster him to get him out of the shelter environment and help him regain his sanity?  Yes, of course I will help Major.

Progress Summary:

Detailed notes on this foster dog’s progress are posted below the summary.

Dog to Dog Behavior

  • Relates well to other dogs: No Yes
  • Can eat food/treats near other dogs: Yes

Dog to People Behavior

  • Is affectionate: Yes
  • Is good with:
    . Men: Yes
    . Women: Yes
    . Children: Yes
  • Jumps up on people: No
  • Mouths: No
  • Walks well on a leash: Not so much

House Dog Training

  • Willingly enters his crate: Yes
  • Is calm/quiet while in crate: Yes
  • Understands going outside to potty: Yes
  • Alerts me of need to go outside: No Yes
  • Is destructive of bedding and/or toys: No
  • Refrains from kitchen counter cruising: No Yes
  • Stays off people furniture: No Yes


  • Comes when called: Yes
  • Sits on command: Yes
  • Down / Off: No
  • Shake / Paw: No
  • Kennels on command: Yes

Major’s Medical

  • DA2PP: 02/20/2019 (F.A.S.)
  • Bordatella: 02/20/2019 (F.A.S.)
  • Wormed: Dates | Product | Dose | By
    . 09/05/2019, Strongid, ???, Friends Animal Shelter
  • Rabies: date (by) NEEDED
  • Neuter: Done prior to surrender
  • Heartworm Test: 09/05/2019, NEGATIVE, Friends Animal Shelter
  • Flea/Tick preventative:
    . date, product, dose
  • Heartworm preventative:
    . 09/13/2019, Ivermectin solution, 0.6 ml
  • NOTES:
    .  Shows signs of stress, is aggressive with select staff members.  During assessment on 08/31 to 09/07 he responded well to both Marie and I on all visits.


4health Salmon and Potato recipe, 1½ cups AM, 1¼ cups PM.

Progress Updates

In chronological order, newest at the bottom. Some pictures are linked to a more detailed Doggy Tale about that update, click those to open the related story.

Sept 8

I have visited with Major 3 times now and have had no trouble with him.  I can go into his kennel, pet him, hand him treats, and he will sit on command.  If I encourage play, he gets revved up quickly and can be a bit overwhelming.  He *needs* some room to run and a low stress environment.  He will get that on Monday.

Sept 9

I picked up Major today.  He gave me no trouble at all, in fact once I got my transport box inside his kennel I prepared to lure him into the box with treats.  But as soon as I opened the door, Major scooted inside and said, “I’m ready, lets go!”  Carol helped me load him up and he rode well on the trip home.

He enjoyed exploring our play yard and has settled into his room.  All the other dogs have come by to say “howdy” and no ugliness came of it.  We’re off to a great start.

Sept 12

Major has been here three full days now and has not once peed or pooped in his kennel.  I let him out every few hours during the day and he takes care of his needs in the yard.  I praise him for that, but he may well be housebroken already.

Major is also getting quite playful now that he’s settling in and getting to know the others.  He and Blondie Bear had their first play session.  Things were tense at first …

Sept 16

Major has not been especially, “frisky” when it comes to solo play time, either in his room or in the yard.  But this morning he decided to frisk things up a bit by tossing around his Benebone.


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