Dogs
German Shepherd who spent years on short chain takes first steps to freedom
It’s so beautiful to watch Alex learn to love again.
Rachel Shapiro
11.18.21

All dogs deserve to run free. Dogs are naturally curious animals who are at their happiest when they’re running around and exploring with their powerful noses. Preventing them from using their natural instincts can result in a dog getting depressed or even aggressive.

A dog named Alex is a good example of this.

Unsplash/freestocks
Source:
Unsplash/freestocks

Aggression in dogs in often attributed to a fault in a dog rather than external factors that could have caused this behavior.

When you see a dog barking at you, do you assume it’s a mean dog with a bad attitude, or do you assume that the dog learned this behavior because of how it was treated and conditioned?

The video below shows a German Shepherd named Alex who has been chained to a fence his whole life.

YouTube Screenshot
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YouTube Screenshot

A stranger approaches one day trying to help Alex, but Alex acts very hostile and aggressive towards him. But when Alex is finally unchained, he transforms into a whole new dog.

Alex’s story is documented in a video by Steve Markwell, an animal rescuer who worked with the Humane Society to save Alex.

Markwell, who runs the Olympic Animal Sanctuary in Washington, shared that the Humane Society asked him to help rescue a dog who’d been on a chain for most of his life. Nobody could touch Alex anymore, including his owner. Markwell agreed to help and went to meet the dog.

YouTube Screenshot
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YouTube Screenshot

Alex seemed very nervous when Markwell first appeared. He barked incessantly and tried his hardest to break free from his metal chain.

Markwell was very patient with Alex as he attempted to get him the chain. The poor dog kept barking, unsure what was happening. Finally, though, Markwell was able to guide Alex into a carrier. Then, he took the dog into the car.

As they were driving, Markwell realized that Alex had calmed down now that he was free from his chain.

“He actually wanted me to pet him,” Markwell said. “So instead of doing the hands-off transfer that I planned, I took him out for a few minutes just to get to know him a little better.”

YouTube Screenshot
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YouTube Screenshot

Markwell started petting Alex.

And Alex, who just 30 minutes earlier had been barking up a storm, now seemed completely relaxed.

YouTube Screenshot
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YouTube Screenshot

Less than 24 hours later, Alex had transformed into the sweetest dog who simply wanted to be held and pet.

Markwell was amazed by Alex’s transformation.

“We’ve done no behavior modification,” Markwell explained as he held Alex. “No rehab at all. The only thing we did is take him off the chain. That’s the only thing that changed in his life. And as you can see the dog that was snarling and trying to get me yesterday doesn’t want anything now but to sit on my lap.”

YouTube Screenshot
Source:
YouTube Screenshot

Since Alex was so sweet, Markwell was able to put the dog up for adoption quickly, and he soon found his forever home with a man named Ron Smith. Markwell was so amazed by Alex’s transformation, and it just goes to show how much a dog needs freedom to be their best self.

Check out a video about Alex below!

Please SHARE this with your family and friends.

[Source: olympicanimals1]

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By Rachel Shapiro
hi@sbly.com
Rachel Shapiro is a contributing writing at Shareably. She is based in New York and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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