The good news is that Barney is a very sweet and affectionate boy, is a lap dog who wants nothing more than to be close to his people. He has good bite inhibition, and when he has made contact, it has not broken skin. He also gives a warning growl way before any snapping occurs. Often while being pet, sitting on someone's lap, or when someone approaches or speaks to him, Barney will growl. His foster mom and dad say that they just move their hand, or ignore the behavior and it won't escalate. Sometimes he gives a big snappy bark which sounds scary, but is just posturing.
Barney can be picked up easily with no issues. He loves to be pick up and held or carried, actually, and rarely growls while being held. One of his favorite things is to go out on walks with his people, either for potty breaks around the block, or for an outing in the community. He can be sassy with strangers if they approach him or talk to him, but is easily redirected. It is necessary to not allow a stranger or anyone else to try to touch Barney, as he will snap. For this reason, he should not go to a home with young children, or children who don't understand that he needs space.
Barney got along well with dogs of a mild disposition at the shelter, but has been a bit reactive with dogs out in the community. We think he would do well with other dogs in the home, but probably not with dogs who might be too energetic with him. He has been safe with the cat in his foster home, but gives her a warning growl or bark if she gets too close sometimes. Barney cannot be trusted with small animals like rabbits and guinea pigs, as he has shown too much of a predator drive around the rabbits in his foster home.
Despite his feisty behavior, Barney has been the easiest dog to have around. He has no separation anxiety, uses a crate well, responds to direction and commands, and is completely house trained. He does bark, but only when someone comes to the door or if there is unusual activity outside. He is not yappy. He loves squeaky toys and is very playful! He also has a hearty appetite and responds well to treats. Barney will need a home either with experienced dog people, or with people who just understand the value of saving a special needs dog from certain death at a shelter. He will need to have some time to warm up and feel safe in his new home, but with loving support, seems to trust new people quickly. He wants attention to be on his own terms, and his caregivers will have to understand that his behaviors are deeply ingrained and likely cannot be extinguished with training. He responds best to the calming signals of eye softening and blinking, but not yawning or lip licking, which will make him react negatively.
Barney has been microchipped and had his dental in October, 2015. He is living in a foster home in San Diego. Please email email@example.com to meet him!
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