Dexter is a 3 year old, American Bulldog mix who weighs about 65lbs. He is very smart and knows several commands. Dexter will be working on his loose leash walking skills and basic socialization while in our program. He loves nothing more than to snuggle on your lap or under the covers of your bed. He is an active dog and due to his love of running, has to be placed in a home with a fenced in yard. 

For information on adopting Dexter, please contact the HOPE Program by CLICKING HERE.

You can complete an application online by clicking here.

Ever hear the saying, "When the cat's away?" Well, what do dogs do? I'll tell you, they run out back and chase a ball that isn't theirs! Let me explain... I'm working with my man, Dexter, where I would have him sit and stay, then I would run and hide on the other side of the block. Then I call him and he comes running. This worked well for the first few times, until he notices the outside door is open. I'm standing by the phone, dude pauses, looks at me, looks at the door, and takes off. So, I'm thinking, "Well, the chase is on." Nope, Old Dex just walks out back, as if he owns the joint, takes the ball from another handler, and starts ripping around with it. When I catch up to him, he brings me the ball, expecting me to play fetch! Before you ask, yes, yes... I gave in and played. You had to see the look on his face. You would've given in as well.

So my neighbor decided he wanted to watch Dexter while I was out. No problem, until Dexter got confused. I went back to the block and I see Dexter and my neighbor playing on the tier. I mess with the dude for a couple more minutes to tire him out. But now it’s time to go in. Normally when I give Dex the “house” cue, he goes in our cell or his crate. This time he runs into my neighbor’s cell, looks around, and comes running back out. He looks at me, puzzled, then runs into the right cell. But when I walked away, he went right back to my neighbors. And guess what! He is still over there while I write this! #HomeIsWhereTheHeartIsDexter gets a gold star for settling into his crate and not crying like he used to do. His anxiety has lessened and he has been socializing with Reggie.

"I'm 100% sure Dexter is milking this "sick" thing for all it's worth. He has a case of hives, so everyone is walking up to him and petting him, making a big deal, and showing all kinds of concern. So we're sitting on the block, waiting to give the dude a bath. Normally Dex would have to "sit" before being petted. Now the dude was just lying down letting every person that passed by give him belly rubs. If they stopped, he would lift his head and stare at them until they started petting him again. #DontStop"

“Okay, I’ll take this one, it’s on me. I guess we’re sharing bowls now? Normally I give Dexter a little mackerel or tuna fist at night. It helps with his coat, plus, who doesn’t like fish? Anyway, tonight I made a bowl of fish and rice for me, and fisch and kibble for Dexter. But his wasn’t enough. I was out of the cell for two minutes, TWO MINUTES! I get back, dude ate his bowl and mine! My bowl was on the table when I left, when I got back, it was by the door. Dexter was stting on the bottom bunk licking his lips! I picked the bowl up, he had the nerve to jump down, tail wagging (always tail wagging with this one) acting like I’d brought him more. I’ve officially put him in time out. We haven’t spoken since last night.” 

"I wasn't jealous, I was only concerned."
For all of last week I had to attend class, so Dex was left with another handler. I'm guessing these dudes have formed some kind of bond. (??) Anyway, I got Dex running the tier and chasing a ball. All was fine and dandy until Dex sees the other dude and goes running over to him. Ole Dex decides the other dude might be more fun! I recall Dex, he comes back to me, drops the ball, and goes running back to dude. So, now I offer him a treat. Don't you know the greedy lil dude runs to me, grabs the treat, and then runs back to the other handler. So I tricked him to come back, when he noticed nothing was in my hand, he took off on me again! Now I'm chasing after him, and that Dex is smart. Instead of running to the other handler, now he runs around the table. Just when I thought I could grab him, he scoots quick back to the cell. When I get there, he's on the bunk, ball in his mouth, tail wagging, and pleased with his new game. So I bring the dude back out, but this time I've leashed him. The second we come back out everyone is laughing and saying, "Aw Dex, he doesn't want you to play with other people!" Now both of my neighbors are teasing me, telling me I got jealous cuz Dexter played with someone else. #NotJealousJustConcerned
P.S. Maybe I was a little bit...


“Okay, I feel kind of bad. This puppy just came in, cute as can be. So I’m missing with the littlest dude, Stewie, while my man Dex is standing at the door with his head cocked to one side, ears up, and a sad look on his face. I’m yelling, “Dex, it’s over. I’ve got Stewie and getting rid of you.” The dude sits down and stares at me. When I walk back to the door he jumps up, runs and brings me the ball, trying to get me to play fetch. I ignore him, so he brings me his bone. When I ignore him again, he just lays down at my feet. Naturally, I gave in and played tug-o-war. But really, I wish ya’ll could’ve seen the look on my dude Dexter’s face while I was with Stewie.
This week I was really impressed with Dexter meeting Stewie. He sat down and waited until I released him. We’ve been working on loose leash walking. I practiced ‘being a tree’ for an hour! Most times he would look back as soon as I stopped. I also did the “change direction” technique, but that doesn’t seem to work as well.”

“Yup, Dexter just got a new friend! Reggie and Dex are forming a friendship. I’ve been working with the other handler to introduce the two for a meet and play. Slow introductions work best with a dog like Dexter, who gets really excited for play. We only let them play for a few minutes. Today we had them outside about 3-4 feet apart and Dexter does his play bow. Then Reggie responds the same. The funny thing was, they just froze for a few moments before they began crawling toward each other. I guess they were waiting to see who would start first? Dexter rolls onto his back and Reggie sniffs the dude, before taking off running. Then Dex jumps up and gives chase, and Reggie would turn and chase Dex. They repeated this performance like 4-5 times. I guess Reggie finally got tired or bored, because he finally walked off. Dex tries play bowing from a distance and then chasing after Reggie, but Reg just sits there like, “Nah, dude, I’m done.” So I hooked up Dexter to take him in and Reggie throws a fit!" #KeepMyFriendOut

Dex gets a gold star this week because, while he already knows his basics without distractions, he has made strides on being more responsive with distractions.

“My plan was to teach Dex how to clean-up, but then it turned into a whole new game. I started by placing my wash bin at one end of the cell, then having Dexter go get the ball. Once he would get to the wash bin, I would give him the “out” command. It worked once or twice, until he realized he could move the bin. What he started doing then is dropping the ball in the bin and nudging it with his nose. I would kick the bin back into place and Dexter would nudge it back. So now he has forgotten about the ball or cleaning anything up. All he wants to do is push the bin. After 5-6 times of us pushing the bin back and forth, I pushed the bin under the bunk and went to grab another toy. Dexter crawls under the bunk and tries to push the bin back out. Every time he would get it close, I would push it back, until he finally came out from under the bunk. He’d had it! He looked at me, grabs the bin and tries to yank it out. Needless to say, I now need a new wash bin and Dexter got a new chew toy.”


2-28-18 "Dexter and I were standing on the tier, waiting to get into the cell, when Trevor and his handler come out. Normally I would let Dexter run over to Trevor and play for a few seconds, but Dexter didn’t wait. He licks his chops, gives a quick glance at me, and bounces off after Trevor without warning. I’ve never seen Trevor move so fast! He darts back into his cell, so Dexter comes back to me. Then Trevor pokes his head out & Dex bounces back. I’m laughing because after Trevor dips back into his cell, Dexter walks away, then stops to look back to see if Trevor came back out. Finally after like three or four cycles, Trevor jumps all the way out, does a play bow, and takes off down the tier. Dexter runs full speed after him. I’m yelling, “Dexter!” The chase is on! Finally, Trevor runs back into his cell and Dexter, who isn’t too far behind, skids into the door. When I catch up to Dexter he is happy, like he’s won the lottery. I guess they started a new game. #Who’sIt?
This week Dexter is learning about going to “place.” To help him lower his anxiety he gets a lot of exercise in the dog yard and out back. To mentally challenge him I let him smell a treat, put it under a bowl, and when he moves the bowl I let him have the treat."


It started around 8 AM, right around yard out… I’m taking my dude Dexter outside, but today when he sees Trevor he starts pulling toward him and crying. So I figured, “Okay, Dex wants to play with Trevor. I’ll take them both out this afternoon.” I’m trying to bring Trevor into the cage, so I tell Dexter to “Sit/Stay” while I’m taking Trevor’s leash off. I look back and sneaky dude is doing a Scooby Doo crawl to get to us. Trevor takes one look and takes off running, full speed into the cage door, which then bangs out. The crash of the door must’ve scared Dexter, because instead of chasing after Trevor he comes running back to me, between my legs, and sits down. Trevor is out in front now, looking back at us. These dudes are funny.

In other news, Dexter has been slowly introduced to the other dogs and he seems to like Reggie so we’ve increased their playtime a little bit. We are also working on crate anxiety. I lure him into the crate, give him a few treats, and then let him out. I was able to work up to 10 seconds, but if I walk away from the door he freaks out. He does fine in the cell when he’s not crated."


I’m 100% sure Dexter thinks he just won the lottery. I got my man doing a few laps around the block doing our daily meet & greet. So there’s this one guy that just loves Dexter. Here he comes, wanting to play with Dex. I’m trying to tell him we have to go outside so Dexter can go potty. America, you can’t make this stuff up. Homeboy got Dexter on his back, rubbing his belly and Dex is in la-la land, happy as can be. Then the guy stops petting him, so Dex jumps up and without even thinking twice, lifts his leg and lets it rip all over the guys foot. Aww, man! Everyone is laughing and that got Dexter really going. His tail was whipping 100 miles an hour. Now he’s looking like, “What’s next?” I’m caught up in the moment, so I’m laughing and giggling as well. Oh, did I mention the dude Dex is off leash? So when he ran back to the guy he peed on, the dude is chasing Dexter around the table laughing and yelling, "Are you gonna wash these off?” It was a sight to see.
Dexter is a good dude and slowly learning to pay attention to me when we are on a walk together.



Sometimes you gotta know when to hold’em, and when to take off running if you’re Dexter! I’m out front with my man Dexter when Trevor walks by. Dex does this weird thing where he crouches down like he’s stalking Trevor. Once Trevor gets close enough, Dexter pounces, but Trevor wasn’t in a playful mood. At first Trevor tried to run, but Dexter would catch him and knock him over. So three or four times of this, I guess Trevor got tired of running. So he turns and runs full speed into Dexter and puts Dexter on his back, then runs away. I look at Dexter, the dude gets up and sits next to me, looking super sad. Now when he sees Trevor, he turns away. I think Dex is holding a grudge. #PlayNice


“Okay, so today Dexter and I have decided that January 27th will be his birthday from here on out. Since it’s my birthday, why not have them together. So anyway, I’m trying to clean up and get things straight around my cell. My man, Dexter, is sitting on the bunk, watching me. But I’m singing, and dancing, and messing with him. The first few times I would spin around and point at Dexter while I’m singing. So I guess Dexter figured he would get something out of the deal. Now, when I would spin around and point at him, he would go straight down and play dead, like I was doing the ‘bang’ trick. The first few times, I ignored it. But then he pulls this… He rolls over super slow, lays on his back, but his tail is going 100 mph, and he has the saddest look on his face. So I hook the dude up with a few treats, but now the dude is still in the same position, waiting for more treats! #I’veCreatedAMonster”

Dexter gets a gold star this week for playing with Reggie and for learning to walk on a loose leash while inside the block. He has not transferred this skill outside of the building. Good thing we talked about ‘proofing’ at training this past session.


“Okay, I’m sending Dexter to New Orleans to try out for a defensive position! This evening I took him out and I’m trying to teach him to play fetch. I wanted him to get some exercise before the end of the night. Me and another guy are tossing the ball back and forth and having Dexter chase it down. I guess Dexter went into full linebacker mode! I threw the ball to the other guy and Dexter takes off at full speed and tackles the guy to the floor! My dude, Dexter, steps over the other guy like he just sacked the quarterback and then takes off running. The guy that fell is okay, and naturally we all laughed, before spending the next 5 minutes chasing Dexter!

            Dexter is settling in well and getting comfortable with his new home. Right now he knows sit, down, stay, place and he's getting pretty good with 'bang' or 'playing dead' but it needs work. We are also working on his loose leash walking.”


"You know how you might meet a person, or dog in this case, and it seems as if you’ve known each other for years? That’s how I feel with my man, Dexter. The dude thinks he knows my routine. When I jump down and put my boots on, he thinks we’re leaving. He’ll climb out of the bottom bunk, tail wagging like crazy, and stare at his leash. One of the coolest things that he has started doing is when I sit on the bottom bunk dude comes running out of the cage and curls up under me. What’s really cool about that is I think he just wants to chill out with me. So now, I put his food bowl on the bottom bunk so he can chill and watch TV with me. The funniest part is how he cocks his head to the side when I change channels.
Dexter is still new here and still adjusting. Sometimes he seems sad and needs a lot of reassurance. In my attempts to help him out I am giving him lots of treats, and praise, and rewarding him for simple stuff."

"Yup, this just happened… So over the last 3-4 days Dexter has been showing a lot of interest in Trevor. As you may know, Trevor is our mutual ice breaker. His calm demeanor allows him to meet all our dogs. Anyway, we run into Trevor and his handler outside. We’re standing about 7-8 feet apart when Dexter decides to do the play bow and they take off running in circles. So now Trevor and Dexter are both running like 100 mph in circles, kicking up snow, but neither decides to make contact for 4-5 laps. Finally on the way in Dexter runs full speed into Trevor’s butt. Trevor runs away, then looks back at Dexter and sits down as if to say, 'No! Bad dog Dexter!'”

“I’ve only known Dexter for 2-3 days, but you would think it was longer. Oh yeah, let me tell you ‘bout Dexter. He’s an American Bulldog & pit mix, white with blue-grayish spots. He almost looks like the dog from ‘Lil Rascals,’ only Dexter doesn’t have any eye patches. When you first see the dude, you know what I mean.
So last night I had to remake the bottom bunk for Dexter. He doesn’t seem too excited about going into his new ‘house’ [his crate], but he likes the bottom bunk so far as I can tell. Like I said, I just met the dude, so we’ll keep you posted. I haven’t done much training except leash walking. He seems to know sit, stay and shake. Right now he is reacting when he sees other dogs. I’m not sure what his reactions mean yet, so I will wait a few weeks before I introduce him to the other dogs.”