John Ritter


Arrival Date: 3/10/17
Breed: Terrier / Labrador Mix
Gender: Male
Age: 1.5 year
Weight: 65#
Personality: Fearful (strangers), Confident, Happy Go Lucky
Fully Vaccinated:  Yes
Microchipped: Yes
Spayed/Neutered: Yes
In foster Home:  Yes
Dog Social: Yes
Crate Trained:  Yes
House Trained: Yes
Kid-Friendly: Not at this time
Cat-Friendly  Unknown
Origin: Rescue Transfer (Stray in Mansfield)
Adoption Fee: $200
Training Lessons Provided!

Ritter_bedJohn Ritter and his best bud Don Knotts came in together from the Richland County Dog Warden’s shelter in Mansfield. We had originally requested to pull Don Knotts and then saw video of the pair playing together and knew the shelter could use help so we agreed to take both dogs. They were excellent companions on the drive north to our facility and have been best friends since arriving. Don Knotts was adopted in July 2017.

John Ritter is about a year old, he’s a happy-go-lucky, confident but fearful of strangers pitbull terrier mix. He is around 65#. He is young, playful and eager to please. Don Knots was placed this summer and Ritter is still looking for his forever home.

Ritter has some fear based issues we are working on pin pointing and resolving. We believe he would do best if he could be placed with an owner that can spend the time with him he will need on training. We are willing to provide training lessons to get the training started with his approved adopter. At this time given he has not had much home life structure . At this time he is not a candidate to live with children because of his fear issues. His fear is not aggression it’s hesitation and not being exposed to much at a young age and he is in a phase were he needs to learn more and continue into a training program.

Ritter bedHe is really good with other dogs and learning commands but seems to be in his “teenage” years and testing boundaries and could use some structure, guidance and a home to settle in for awhile. He has had only very short stints in foster homes since being with us and has spent the majority of his time living at The Mutt Hutt in a daycare environment. Lately we’ve been keeping him off the daycare floor to make sure he has ample rest and relaxation time similar to a “normal” dog life in a home. In the late afternoons/evenings he’s incorporated into the pack and stays with the pack for the evening sleep overs until the morning when he heads back up to the office space. He is walked every day with one of our volunteers (and employee of The Mutt Hutt) and does quite well on the leash. We did find it necessary to incorporate a pinch collar into his routine recently and it’s proven to help out. We do not put dogs on pinch collars with handlers that are not trained to use them. He is responsive to verbal commands but has a tendency to jump/mouth but he’s improving on the mouthing behavior.




Ritter is currently not in a foster home. He has had a few short stints in foster homes but is now living at our facility while we seek a foster home for him.

Ritter spends most of his time with staff member Leah in her office and this week she shared his photo and this blurb about him I wanted to also share with you to give you more insight on him:

It will happen, it will. Ritter will find his forever home, his permanent people. It is taking some time and Ritter is looking for his forever and more immediately, foster home. Once Ritter gets to know you and trust you he is a loving and kind and funny and playful companion. He spends most days in my office with me. He checks in with head bumps and still occasionally tries to sit on my lap. We have weekly arguments over begging and who’s lunch it is when I’m eating mine. He has made huge strides with manners but he does try to push that as often as he can. Ritter has learned how to kiss nice (i.e. no teeth!), he is smart but cries like a little baby girl when there’s a treat around or Kong with peanut butter.

Ritter loves and readily accepts body rubs, belly rubs, ear scratches, hugs and kisses from anyone he trusts. He will literally lean in for hugs: gah!
Here’s the zinger: Ritter has trust issues. He doesn’t do well meeting new people. He is physically strong and somewhat overbearing when excited or too amped up. He needs a strong (physically, mentally, emotionally) handler, boundaries, exercise, mental stimulation. He needs a soft spot to land but with someone who won’t get bulldozed by those beautiful brown eyes and baby-girl whimper (which is frankly hilarious!) when he doesn’t get his way.

Ritter and his foster will be offered training covered by Secondhand Mutts but we need someone willing to go the distance for this guy. He gives the best “paw” ever, he likes other dogs but I think he’d thrive being the only dog right now: to focus on decompression, re-focusing, training, manners, etc.  Ritter is worth it: he is.

Ritter blanketSummer 2017: Ritter cuts an imposing figure, with his boxy head on his solid, muscular body. He is alert and on guard as we take our walks, constantly sniffing the indicators of who has gone before us, and looking up and down the block ahead. He currently has a pretty narrow definition of who is in his pack and can be trusted (the four members of our family and maybe one or two regular visitors) and a broad one of who might pose a threat (everything and everybody else). His new family may want to do some specific training around this. We walk him with a harness to cut down on the pulling, cross the street to avoid other dogs/walkers and give him plenty of closely supervised time to adjust to new people in our house.

Because he is slow to warm up to new people, first-time meets are a little stressful. He’s barky and not a cuddly wag-fest. (Clearly he has had some history with people who were unkind or unreliable.) But since he’s tagged us as his family, he is the sweetest, most snuggly bundle of love and loyalty you could ever hope to have on your side. His favorite place is with his big head lying across our laps or curled up right beside us. He may be standoffish with strangers, but he wants to greet our family members with a big hug –front paws on our chest and his snout to our nose– tail going like crazy. (We are working on subtler ways to say hello and discourage him from jumping on people — he’s a lot of dog.)

We’ve found Ritter is only moderately interested in playing Fetch with a ball but he LOVES to chase sticks… and when he’s tired of Fetch, he flops down and likes to chew his quarry down to little splinters. He has a strong chewing instinct but he has not destroyed any of our things — probably because we have several bones around for him to satisfy that urge. He generally comes when he’s called, and will sit if you have a treat, but doesn’t respond to a lot of other commands. We’re working on that too.

We’ve had a few accidents in the house ~ likely stemming from his medication after his neutering and unfamiliar surroundings. They are not regular occurrences, but we’ve noticed that he does need to get out shortly after his meals.

Ritter is going to make a great dog for someone that realizes his potential beyond his initial reactions. He’s like a hedgehog ~ he appears prickly and unpleasant at first, but he has a soft belly and a sweet nature once you get beyond the outer layer. That said, I would discourage him from being placed in a home with younger children. He is a strong dog.


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Our Adoptables Are
  • Socialized in a cage-free dog daycare environment
  • Dog-Friendly
  • Cat Tested (upon request)
  • Fostered in real homes
  • Spayed or Neutered
  • Temperament tested
  • Veterinary Health Checked
  • Fully Vaccinated
  • Distemper Vaccinated
  • Rabies Vaccinated
  • Bordetella Vaccinated
  • Heartworm Tested
  • Microchipped
  • Flea Preventative
  • Heartworm Preventative
  • Groomed prior to adoption

Services provided by
Gateway Animal Clinic

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December 2, 2017 19565 Detroit Road Rocky River, OH 44116 Join us for an afternoon of pet pampering at Pet People. Our volunteers will be chaperoning three lucky dogs to spend the afternoon with the customers and associates of Pet People.