Roberta Sá Griner and her family have fostered and rehomed over 90 shelter dogs – but Duke the American Bulldog will always be their most challenging case.
Duke belonged to a family who loved to tease him. They would tie his legs with fabric just to mock him while he struggled to move.
This turned Duke into a compulsive and nervous dog, something which was going to haunt him for years to come.
Source: Greater Charlotte SPCA/Facebook
In 2014, 3-year-old Duke found himself wandering on the freeway after his family abandoned him. He was picked up by the Greater Charlotte SPCA and placed with Roberta as a foster.
But the traumatized dog turned out to be an absolute “nightmare” for his foster parents.
Duke had serious abandonment and anxiety issues. He was okay at home, but would go nuts every time he saw another dog or strangers outside.
Combined with his muscular built and energetic demeanor, it was difficult to control him and keep him safe. He wasn’t exactly aggressive, but wasn’t scared to drag down “terrifying” humans either.
An anxious Roberta reached out to a number of trainers to help him deal with his behavioral issues.
After a year of training, Duke had transformed into a well-behaved dog who got along well with kids and other dogs.
He eventually found a loving home and it seemed like he had finally hit the jackpot. But just 3 years later, Duke’s regressed abusive scars reared its ugly head once again.
Source: Greater Charlotte SPCA/Facebook
Duke’s new family noticed that the dog had become “over-possessive” of his toys and less tolerant of their little children.
It was a tough choice, but they surrendered him back to the shelter. When the shelter informed Roberta of the situation, the woman knew she couldn’t foster Duke this time.
Roberta had just adopted 3 young girls, and seeing that Duke was now a “well-trained lunatic”, she didn’t want to risk the safety of her kids.
But over the months, it became clear that Duke wasn’t going to have a future with his current unsettling behavior patterns.
Roberta reluctantly took Duke back as a foster, but kept him leashed at all times to protect her girls.
Just when things looked bleak, a beautiful miracle changed everything. Veronica, Roberta’s youngest daughter, began bonding with Duke – and the dog surprisingly accepted the 6-year-old as his human!
Veronica would always sneak in treats for him and even snuggle with him while napping. And just like that, Duke was back to being his friendly, harmless self!
Roberta feels that Veronica’s bossy yet affectionate personality makes Duke feel safe and protected.
He has no behavioral issues now, and simply needs a home with a structured environment and attentive humans.
A home without kids would be preferable so that he can seamlessly fit in without adjustment training.
Source: Roberta Sá Griner/Facebook
It’s sad to think that a good dog like Duke has to endure so much unpredictability in his life due to his worthless past owners. He needs a family that understands him and gives him room to blossom.
Let’s get the word out and help Duke find the happy ending that he deserves.
Click the video below to watch Duke’s emotional plea to find a forever home of his own.
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A friend of mine has a beautiful Dalmatian. Friendly, energetic and lovable, she was a perfect family pet… but she wasn’t the smartest pooch on the planet. See, she knew how to go through the pet door out into the garden, but she had no clue how to get back inside. It never occurred to her that the flap could swing both ways. So she would sit outside and howl until my friend would open the door.
Repeated demonstrations of the dual movement of the flap had no effect; it just did not compute. The dog breeds on this list, however, probably don’t have that problem. They’re widely considered to be among the cleverest canines in the world. Take a look and see if you agree.
1. German Shepherd
No surprise here. German Shepherds are the world’s best police dogs, military dogs, and some have even been movie stars (remember Rin Tin Tin?). Brave, loyal, smart and strong, they’re the total package.
Also on the list of the best family-friendly dogs in the world, the Beagle has an incredible nose that lets them sniff out just about anything. Born detectives, they’re not the most trainable pets, but they are smart. And hey, nobody ever accused Snoopy of being dumb.
3. Golden Retriever
A popular choice for assistance dogs for their easy temperament, natural intelligence and loyalty, Golden Retrievers are natural guides and also serve as great rescue dogs. Active and fun to be around, they’re wonderful family pets.
4. Border Collie
Border Collies are considered by many to be the geniuses of the dog world. Expert herders, laser-focused (they’re known for their intense stare), and incredibly agile to boot, they’re workaholics and excellent athletes. Just don’t expect to keep one cooped up in an apartment.
Did you know poodles were originally hunting dogs? They respond very well to training and are quick to learn tricks. So don’t let the fluffy looks and styled mane fool you! These dogs are among the smart canines around. Plus, they’re among the best dogs in the world for those who suffer allergies.
6. Belgian Malinois
A terrific military dog, the Malinois is a natural herder, tracker and worker. Smart, trainable and protective, these dogs require an owner who knows what he or she is doing. In addition to the military, Malinois are often recruited as guard dogs and police dogs as well.
Named for their butterfly-shaped ears, papillons are small, cute and pretty smart. They’re considered the smartest of the toy dog breed, with intelligence levels comparable to the über-smart border collie. They’re alert and focused pets, and loyal and lovable: an ideal friend for he family.
Sadly, Dobermans are known more for their ferocity than their smarts, but these are considered among the most intelligent dogs in the world, as well as one of the most effective guard dogs around. They’re outstanding students known to be affectionate and obedient.
Don’t let the wrinkles and dopey expression fool you! Bloodhounds have the keenest of noses, and are often used for trailing (so much so that their evidence can be used in court against you!). These are loving but strong-willed dogs, and are often used on search and rescue missions.
10. Australian Cattle Dog
You need a smart, determined and energetic dog to control unruly cows. And that’s just what the Australian Cattle Dog, or ACD, does. They’re intelligent enough to herd these much larger creatures, and while they need their independence and wide open spaces, they’re eager workers who know how to get the job done.
Did we miss your brainy dog on this list? If so, write in and let us know about it!