Aspen is a deaf American Bulldog mix. At about 35 pounds, she is much smaller than she looks in her picture. She still has that Bulldog strength, though. She was picked up as a stray in the Florida Panhandle and was brought to a local kill shelter where her time was soon up. She is super cute and super sweet.
Aspen weighs about 35 pounds and is very muscular and strong. Although she is still a puppy, she isn’t overly hyper. While she is deaf, Aspen is extremely intelligent and understands basic commands.
Aspen is now being fostered with someone who understands and uses sign language, which is super great for Aspen! Here is what she writes on 4/23:
We did babysit Aspen in the past, and so far all is going well. We currently have our own yellow Lab and a deaf Bully mix. Aspen is responding to several signs and being a good girl. I am a sign language interpreter and work with the deaf community and my partner is a former behavior specialist. We are excited to work with Aspen and get her some great life skills so she can be adopted into a wonderful family. FYI... Aspen is smart... we are enjoying her very much!
Aspen had been living with Judy and we have learned a lot about her. She loves all dogs and car rides. She is housetrained and has complete freedom in the house (even when home alone). She might be deaf but responds to all hand motions just like a young child does. And her favorite place to hangout at the end of the day is on a big dog pillow at your feet!
Basics on Aspen:
•Food: Aspen eats about 1 cup of dry food twice a day. She has sensitive skin so I have been experimenting with different dog foods, trying to find one that works best for her. Adopters should be aware that they will need to keep her on a high quality, grain free food for her skin and coat.
•Adaptability: She adapts quickly to new situations.
•Behaviors: She likes to give kisses! She also does pull on the leash some and is a work in progress in that area. Aspen likes to cuddle and will sleep under the covers if you let her.
• Human Social Skills: Aspen LOVES people and getting attention. She seems to be as fine with men as she is with women. She hasn’t been around children much but has been great with those she has met.
• Animal Social Skills: Aspen is great with other dogs in the house. Outside she likes to be the one who approaches and greets, and she doesn't like being snuck up on. Sometimes when other dogs approach her quickly, almost always when she is on leash, she gets a little snippy. As long as she can be the one to do the greeting she is fine. She has also been to the dog park and does fine there. Aspen is an alpha female and will take bones away from dogs three times her size, so she needs to be with dogs that will tolerate her bossiness. She can get a little possessive of her foster mom; however, she is easily corrected. As for felines, Aspen would do best with dog savy cats - she might try to play with them, especially a hyper little kitten, but she's not aggressive towards them.
• Obedience: Aspen knows signs for no, sit, wait, good girl, come, crate, eat and potty.
• Training: Aspen is very smart and learns new things quickly. She is crate trained and will go in for you no problem.
• Personality: Aspen was very mature as a puppy – so much so that I often forgot how young she was. Then out of the blue she would chase her tail or start playing with a toy all by herself and I was reminded that she’s just a baby. She loves to chase lizards and leaves that blow in the wind.
• Ideal Home: Aspen would do best with people who are pretty dog savy and who are willing to keep signing to her and keep teaching her new signs. She is not a good fit for first time or inexperienced dog owners. She would not do well as an only dog – she should have canine companions. She also really needs a fenced in yard so she can chase lizards and play securely – there is no way to call her if she gets out.
Dogs are NOT born with an innate understanding of the steady stream of babble we direct at them daily. Over time, a hearing dog learns to associate words with events and, eventually, these words become meaningful to the dog. A deaf dog is just as capable of making these associations, albeit he will be learning based on visual cues.
So if you think special needs dogs are too much of a challenge, think again. Challenge is in the eye of the beholder. The trainer of a deaf dog will have to learn techniques designed for a visually oriented dog. This is not a difficult task. Resources abound to assist the deaf dog trainer in this process. All that is required is a willingness to learn. According to www.dogbreedinfo.com, early Bulldogs were used in the bloody sport of bull bating. Some of these dogs emigrated with their masters from England to America. Eventually the English Bulldog was bred down in size and his personality was softened, but the American version remained a larger, fiercer dog. The American version has longer legs and more speed and agility than the English show dog. Thanks to the efforts of John D. Johnson of Summerville, Georgia the American Bulldog exists today. After he returned from WW II he was disappointed to find that, like the English Mastiff, they were almost completely extinct. He then decided to gather the best he could find from all across the rural south and bring them back from the brink of extinction. He has been breeding these dogs longer than anyone else in the world and his father bred them before him. He is an old man now (in his 80's) and these dogs have always existed in his family. He is the sole reason why they exist today. If it were not for his efforts they surely would be gone. He has been breeding them non-stop since then. The American Bulldog has also been used as a guard and in hunting bear, wild boar, squirrel and raccoon. They have even been trained to drive cattle and guard stock from predators. Farmers prize these dogs for their stamina, protectiveness, intelligence and working abilities. Some of the American Bulldogs talents are hunting, watchdogging, tracking, weight pulling, and guarding. An American Bulldog should never be confused with uniquely different breeds such as the American Staffordshire Terrier or the American Pit Bull Terrier. The American Bulldog is a brave and determined, but not hostile dog. Alert and self-confident, this breed genuinely loves children. It is known for its acts of heroism towards its master. These dogs have fought wild dogs, bulls and even fire. It is said "fighting off one of these dogs is like fighting an animal that possesses an alligator's head and a python's body." Yet when called off by their handler, they immediately obey. No wonder they are said to have "true grit, true devotion and true love." Because of its strong protective instincts, the American Bulldog should be well-socialized and obedience trained at an early age. Some may be aggressive with other dogs and reserved with strangers. They need to be around people to be truly happy. This breed tends to drool and slobber. They have a life expectancy of up to 16 years.
More about Aspen the Petite Bulldog
Good with Dogs
Special Needs: Deaf
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Other Pictures of Aspen the Petite Bulldog (click to see larger version):