FOREVER FRIEND: Chow Chow mix needs some “tentative loving care”

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Don’t say ciao to this chow chow mix just yet.

Rather say hello with some “tentative loving care.”

Meet Leonardo, a six-year-old male Chow Chow mix with “puppy energy,” who is ready for his Forever Home according to the Toronto Humane Society’s Hannah Sotropa.

“He is very carefree and joyous and really does enjoy going out for long strolls,” said Sotropa.

“So, with his energy, somebody who is excited for adventures with him, to play with a tennis ball, he loves to play catch. He does love cuddles and pets so he’ll roll on his back and show his tummy. He loves to be brushed as well. He will sit for treats, so he’s got some tricks up his sleeve, and he also smiles. So he does show his happy face when he’s feeling happy.”

That’s the good news.

Turns out this doggie was first surrendered to the THS as part of a transfer from another location five years ago.

Leonardo. Toronto Humane Society
Leonardo. Toronto Humane Society

He was adopted but was a custodial surrender this year and was adopted out again but in March was returned again to the THS “because of behavioral reasons.”

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Leonardo does have some generalized anxiety along with a history of separation anxiety, meaning he “gets fussy” when left alone, and is fearful.

He also has some potential resource guarding behaviour (guarding or protecting certain items) which can mean everything from a look to a growl, snap, snarl, or bite, and reactivity behaviour on a leash (lunging and or barking) towards rabbits and other larger dogs.

Sotropa says because of this the right home for Leonardo would be outside of the city or in a quiet suburban area.

“Of course, there’s lower foot traffic, there’s fewer opportunities for him to react so that will be a really great place to develop some training with him,” she said.

“The adopters can work with positive reinforcement and get him to a place where he’s maybe less reactive in the future.”

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Sotropa also recommends “a quiet household. Owners willing to follow up with a Toronto Humane Society trainer on free modification sessions and work with a veterinarian on behaviour medication (for separation anxiety).”

She said other dogs and older children already in the potential owner’s house is fine as long as there is a meet and great in a neutral setting first.

If you are interested in adopting Leonardo, please visit
www.torontohumanesociety.com/adopt-a-pet/adoption-process to check available appointment times to start the process.

UPDATE: Mishka, the six-year-old male Siberian Husky featured in my last Forever Friend column, was adopted.

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