Monday, April 16, 2012

SociaBulls: A Small Dog in a Big-Dog Group

 One question we hear a lot about our SociaBulls dog-walking group is whether you need to have a pitbull-type dog to join. We know all dogs can benefit from pack-walking socialization so we love having a broad range of dogs in our group: including a couple of little guys.
You may recognize Franklin in a cameo from this post where a rivalry between former foster dog SuperLevi and Franklin was born (it's been an on-going competition about who's the cuter pooch!). Franklin lives with pitbull sister, Lola, and he doesn't realize he's actually a small dog; he even likes barking smack. The group is helping him realize how to positively interact with other dogs. Read the story of Franklin and see photos from one of our latest walks:
While most of the Chicago SociaBulls pack comes from the Pit Bull side of the Pit Bull Terrier family, our smallest member is firmly from the Terrier branch. Franklin is 17 punds of Shih Tzu- Miniature Schnauzer (our best guess) mix. Franklin, however, does not realize that he's any different from the rest of the pack. He probably thinks he's a pittie himself, since the only other dogs he sees regularly are his life partner Lola, and his friends at SociaBulls. 
Because he thinks he's a big dog, he has no issues going up to big dogs and getting right in their faces. There are two St. Bernards who live down the street, with a combined weight of close to 300 pounds. Franklin jumps right up on them and barks smack. I worry about him doing this to the wrong dog. Participating in the walks gives Franklin a chance to learn how to act respectfully with dogs who outweigh him by probably 50 pounds and outmuscle him considerably. Having a group of well-behaved big dogs is the perfect training ground for Franklin. 
Franklin gets along well with most of the pack, sometimes he leads the group and he fits into the walking order wherever we need what we call a "buffer dog" (a dog who can walk by excitable dogs without issue). He does however have a nemesis, who we try to keep him away from. Franklin and SuperLevi do not get along. There appears to be a little cuteness competition going on in the smaller part of the pack, and I think that Franklin knows that I have a serious crush on Levi, and if I didn't already have Franklin, I would've seriously considered adopting Levi. But I couldn't be happier to have Franklin and Franklin couldn't be happier to be a SociaBull.
And if you want to read more about adorable Franklin and his pitbull sister Lola (and cats!), check out their blog: A Franklin a Day.

15 comments:

Two Grad Students and a Pittie said...

We had a bichon frise and a mini goldendoodle join us yesterday - they definitely brought some variety to the pack!

goosie mama said...

I loved this post!

We had an adorable Bichon Frise and mini Goldendoodle join us this weekend on our Big Apple Pittie Pack Walk. When we were taking attendance, the Bichon's owner was like "One of these things is not like the other!" haha!

But seriously, it is great to have the non-pittie contingent attend the walks because people who are drawn to smaller dogs notice the group as well. I was joking around that it gives us some street cred!

goosie mama said...

Clearly, Two Grad Students and I attended the same walk :)

Mr. Pip said...

Franklin is a cutie!

Two Kitties One Pittie said...

As far as I'm concerned, I can never have too much Franklin in my life! Great post!

Froggy said...

I LOOOOVE FRANKLIN! Not only is he super adorable but he is an amazing cuddler to boot.

Christine said...

Love Franklin! He always does so great on the walks and adds an extra dose of cute anywhere he goes!

Life_With_Alfred said...

I love Franklin in his little sweater (and always). Super cuteness abounds!

Kate said...

He's so cute!! I love that the small dogs can hang with the big dogs :)

Of Pit Bulls and Patience said...

This makes me want to road-trip out to Chicago and join you guys for a walk! I love Franklin!

Rebelwerewolf said...

Good for Franklin being able to hold his own against larger dogs. All of the small dogs in our apartment complex have barked at Badger during our walks.

I guess it's fitting that Super Levi has his very own nemesis?

Skinny Fat Kid said...

We've had JRTs and Chis and mini schnauzers join our Positive Pittie Pack as well! I think its great because some of the dogs Izzy reacts most to are the little ones.

Faith Shen said...

Wow, what a great event, I see a lot of our paw friends out there, did you enjoy playing with them :)

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Two French Bulldogs said...

You are the cutest pit tie, BOL
Benny & Lily

thattouchofpit.com said...

What a great post! Along with Goosie Mama and Two Grads, we are part of the Big Apple Pittie Pack walk...My dog is a scruffy terrier but enjoys the walk for so many reasons. As sensitive and perceptive dog, I think Bird likes pitties because they show their true colors right away. No games! They are who they are and proud!
-jennifer

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