Please read our dog bios carefully to be sure that the dog you are applying for suits your family and lifestyle. At Pound Dog Rescue, we believe in the benefits of post-adoption training for our dogs and their families. This allows for continued socialization, and learning and helps to create a well-mannered and balanced dog. Post-adoption training is a requirement in our adoption process.

I hope you are ready for a lot of bread and sandwich puns because Panini is ready for adoption! Panini is a 1.5 year old male neutered Chihuahua/JRT cross. He is about 12 lbs and a small little fellow with a beautiful short pumpernickel, rye, and white bread tri-colour coat and expressive light amber eyes. He has a solid frame like a Jack Russell Terrier. He is up to date on his veterinary care, core vaccines, parasite prevention and deworming, and has a clean bill of health.

Panini came to Pound Dog Rescue from Quebec where he was surrendered to the animal shelter for fearfulness and uncertainty around men. In the shelter, he was quite nervous as many dogs can be but Pound Dog Rescue recognized the bright little soul underneath that fear and wanted to give him a second chance. Like fresh bread dough, Panini is definitely rising to the occasion! What he “kneads” is consistency, time and patience. He is turning around much faster than we thought! The first thing he did upon arrival in his foster home was to go investigate his new human family members, including a man, with no heighted fearfulness. It is very common in dogs that lack confidence with strangers to display a stronger fear for men, but we have not observed this in Panini. His fear of new people is generalized and has not displayed as more intense towards men in his time with us. We do find that he enjoys interacting with his family members equally, and is not overly attached to women versus men. Panini is reserved with all strangers initially, and his response is to tremble and display signs of discomfort like lifting one paw. However, he warms up very quickly as he is extremely curious and food-motivated. As long as new people allow him to come to them and offer tasty treats without trying to pet him immediately, he warms up, especially in environments he knows, like his foster home. He has had some visitors (including a very tall man) over who gave him treats and space, and decided to sit in their laps on his own without any food involved in the snuggling. In new environments where he is less confident, he takes comfort in his person. If strangers are walking up to or around him he tries to walk quickly away or will duck behind his handler’s legs for a moment to reset. He will go up to new people if he is given a moment to collect himself and often takes treats right from their hands. Continued positive interactions where he is allowed to go up to people at his own pace, not be expected to be touched, and retreat if needed will help build his confidence with new people in new environments. It is okay if he does not want to go up to strangers in general, but the goal will be to reduce the fear of new people being around and increase his comfort and confidence. Coddling this behaviour will not be helpful, but allowing him to choose to interact with people with positive associations and having success will! He finds physical touch like petting from new people in unfamiliar environments scary, and will back away. He needs an owner that will advocate for him and help create space for him when needed. He has a very sweet little face and unfortunately that means a lot of well-intentioned people may try to pat him and squeal happily at him, but this will overwhelm him, especially in new environments. As a result, we do not recommend a home with young children where it will be unfair to both Panini and the kids, as he needs space at times and children cannot be responsible for recognizing this body language.

Naturally, it did take us some time for Panini to trust us enough to handle him, as physical touch from new people in new environments is the scariest thing for him, and of course a new foster home is both of these things! The first ingredient to Panini’s success will be time and space. We have built a relationship of trust with Panini, and never force him physically to accept touch or handling. He is not a Panini to press! His forever home will need to have patience in building this trust of handling with positive associations, and this process will likely take a few weeks. He loves to be petted and have chest and tummy rubs once he is more familiar with you. One of his favourite things to do when he gets home from his day at work is to run at full speed through the house to find his male foster parent and roll over for belly rubs. Once he trusts you, Panini does not mind nail trims, bathing or general handling. His short coat does not require much maintenance, but you will find his little white hairs embedded in your furniture as he loves to roll all over couches and blankets. We recommend leaving a light houseline on Panini in his initial time in his forever home to limit the physical pressure needed to direct him as he becomes more familiar with his new home and family. He understands the leash very well and giving him this space will accelerate his trust in you.

Panini is very food motivated and this will be the second key ingredient in his ongoing success. Prior to rescue, he was fed a mixture of table scraps and cat food, and as a result he does beg for people food. It will be imperative that his forever home does not give him table scraps, especially not for begging. He tends to do so silently, but may pop up almost out of nowhere to investigate or select a small piece of food from your plate if you did not tell him otherwise. We have been working on him standing with all four feet on the floor nearby rather than standing on us or bracing on us while eating. As he progresses with training, he will benefit from a “place” where he can remain while people are eating. He is also a little overweight from his previous inappropriate diet, and although it is hard to look at his sweet face and not share with him, it is not healthy for him to continue to eat table scraps. He does enjoy carrots, fruits and vegetables and will enjoy having these healthy “people” foods as a reward. Panini also eats dog food with enthusiasm so there is no need to feed him unhealthy bonus snacks. He assumes all food is for him and will follow along to see if he can receive a portion. He will most certainly snatch treats dropped by other dogs or consume their meals if he could, so it will be imperative in his forever home to keep him separate for meal times if there are other animals in the home, as this behaviour could get him into trouble. Panini is currently fed in his kennel separate from other animals, and he happily eats his meals there. He has not displayed any food guarding behaviours in his time with us.

It took some trouble-shooting to figure out the best kennel situation for Panini. Initially, we started him in an appropriate-sized kennel where he could stand, move a little, turn around and lay down, as is the common rule for selecting a kennel. He would always offer to enter the kennel when asked, or if he was walked to the front of the kennel on a leash. However, as he became more comfortable, he started displaying some kennel stress behaviours like bar-biting, heavy panting, drooling and crying that he was not displaying initially. He was also asking us to go out in the middle of the night even though we knew he had recently used the bathroom and did not have a physical need to go out. Since he travels to work with one of his foster parents and spends the day in a larger kennel without issue, we weren’t sure if the issue was the size of crate versus the environment, and tried him at home first outside of the bedroom to see if having us out of his sightline would improve things. The kennel stress behaviours finally resolved when Panini happily entered one of our medium dog crates instead…and ta-da! The third ingredient to Panini’s success-sandwich was discovered: a medium-sized crate. Panini does very well in a medium-sized dog crate with a nice blanket or bed inside, and has not displayed any further stress signals when left for both short and long periods of time. He can be crated in a medium crate for a regular workday without issue, and he does not soil his crate even with the added space. He is very quiet and well-mannered in his medium crate, and barely makes a sound, and curls up happily in a blanket nest. When he hears your alarm in the morning he will usually whine and squeak softly because he knows it is time to get up, but otherwise he is very quiet. He does not have separation anxiety at this time. We still don’t know what his bark sounds like! Panini is ready to go-go-go! He is medium to high energy at this time, and absolutely loves his outdoor time. Ingredient number four: lots of walks. He gets very excited when you pick up the leash, and shows off his Jack Russell bouncing skills by jumping to waist height. His leash is attached when he is calmer and standing on the floor. He walks fairly well outside on his martingale. Panini will usually walk beside his foster parent on a loose leash or slightly ahead without pulling most of the time. He does like to sniff here and there, but is very focused on speed and distance. We do find he is more likely to pull when walked with other dogs at the same time, or if you do not appreciate a brisk walking speed. Panini wants to walk in most weather conditions and is very hardy in the cold and not bothered by it the way some small dogs often are. Panini will also pick up the pace when strangers are behind him. This is where building his confidence in the presence of strangers will be beneficial for him in his broader life. He is fairly confident walking in our semi-urban neighbourhood otherwise, and is not troubled by buses, recycling/garbage bins, metal flooring, cars, etc. He could live in a semi-urban area with calmer foot traffic without issue, and would probably benefit from the training opportunity of visiting an area with light foot traffic to work on his confidence if he ends up living in a more rural setting. He would also handle apartment living quite well, as long as his person advocates for his need for space on an elevator for example. Panini currently walks about 30 mins to 1 hour daily, and never passes up the opportunity for a walk.

Panini is fairly non-reactive to other dogs on walks, and passes them very calmly. We do not encourage leash greetings with unknown dogs on walks for any of our fosters, and Panini especially would be overwhelmed at being on a leash and meeting a strange dog without a place to retreat. He does not react to dogs barking at him from behind fences either. Panini is interested in wildlife, especially birds and squirrels, but is fairly easily redirected with treats. He tends to try to walk/run quickly toward them before collecting himself. In general, he is focused on walking and is not overly distracted by the environment.

Panini is fairly well-adjusted in the home, even without a long walk. Enter the fifth ingredient: a blanket or dog bed! He prefers to be nice and toasty. After a walk he will find a dog bed or blanket (preferably a stack of blankets or a blanket to nestle underneath) to snooze/loaf in. Like many chihuahuas, Panini is definitely the type of dog who will try to slip into the human bed, so if you are looking for a nap buddy Panini is definitely up to task. He is equally happy to sit on a bed nearby or snuggle with you. Occasionally he will play by himself with a toy or with one of our dogs before settling for a nap. He has not been destructive in his foster home. With his love of people food he will at times search for little crumbs to consume. He loves to sit on the back of the sofa and balance on the crest of the highest pillow, and will quietly people-watch out the window. As long as this behaviour continues to be neutral and does not escalate to barking or becoming upset, we think Panini would really appreciate a window-side viewing area in his forever home. While he is usually calm and content, he does occasionally have bursts of puppy-like energy and will throw himself onto his toys and fling them about. When overstimulated he has tried to mount our legs to try to dispel the excessive energy, but this energy has been easily redirected to playing tug with a toy. Panini loves soft squeaky toys, especially ones that are nearly the size of him. He likes to throw them around and body slam them.

Panini is very reliable in his house-training. After an initial accident or two, we recognized his alerts and he has not had an accident since. He tends to either sit by the door, or comes to find you and will bounce and cry at you to take him out. He was formerly pee-pad trained, so his accidents occurred on the rug beside the door. We have not continued offering pee pads in his foster home. He tends to prefer to pee/poo in his own yard, and will do so right away when given the command “duties” or at the end of his walk if he can hold it. He has never displayed marking behaviours in the home, and definitely understands that outside is the place for relieving himself.

He is currently fostered with other dogs, the dogs being both medium and large in size. Panini the small bread is not afraid of larger dogs and is very adept in dodging the one clumsier large dog with ease to avoid being stepped on, and he is very forgiving. Panini gets along quite well with dogs of all sizes and shares his space quite well. The only hesitancy we observe with Panini in his interactions with other dogs is when the other dog is too forward with him. In these situations, he will back away to reset, but returns quickly to try to interact again. He does try to play with our dogs who are more than twice his size, and sometimes gets overwhelmed when they try to play back with him. If there are dogs in his forever home, they should be a similar size or be familiar with dogs that are smaller than him at the bare minimum. Panini communicates his need for space during play very well, and is very appropriate in his corrections. Similarly, he listens when our dogs do not reciprocate his desire to play. He seems to prefer a run and chase play style with our dogs, and does try to steal toys to get them to chase him. He has not displayed guarding behaviours with toys, and would benefit from a forever home where his playmates do not mind him trying to steal their toys playfully. It is not mandatory for him to go to a home with another dog, but he will appreciate playdates with known dogs with similar playstyles. He is a playful and social little fellow in environments where he’s had some time to become comfortable.

Panini is also fostered with cats. He is fairly good with cats, especially after his first introduction. He does tend to treat cats like small dogs, so any cats in his forever home need to be dog savvy. He will play bow at our cats occasionally, and we have caught him in his playful moments mounting one of them like a top bun out of overstimulation. He is very good at listening to either his people or our cats when they have had enough, but there are many cats who would not tolerate this behaviour at all. Our cats are extremely tolerant and do not swat at Panini, but we believe he would not read a swat as a correction, but as an invitation to play further. Any feline companions should be the type to de-escalate by moving away, or have a reliable person to redirect him in these infrequent moments (or both). He is not a pest, and usually is most excited to say hello to our cats after a long absence like being away for a workday, or when he was away at a pet-sitter for a few days. He does not chase the cats when they are playing, and often snuggles in the same blankets as our cats peacefully. Most of the time he is just happy to have them around. He definitely enjoys the company of cats, but you will be the best at knowing how much your cat will appreciate the company of Panini!

He knows his recipe–Panini thrives on structure and routine. Once he has done something a few times he quickly picks up on the routine. He knows where he lives, what door to go into, what kennel to enter, he learned his name very quickly, etc. and will offer all these behaviours on his own. Panini will benefit from a home who will give him boundaries and expectations as he is happiest when he knows what to do, otherwise we could see him making his own solutions to build the routine that he craves. He is a very smart dog and learns very quickly. The majority of Panini’s training in foster care has focused on building confidence with strangers, general handling, and some manners such as not begging for food, so although he has not formally learned commands like sit, we do not anticipate any difficulty in training him. In terms of travel, Panini does tend to have some anxiety and pant in the car, but we are unsure if it is due to his smaller kennel in the car or the travel itself. We have not been able to troubleshoot a crash-tested harness or different type of car crate yet, but recommend car safety measures and confinement for travel. He hops into the car and loads himself into his car kennel now that he has the routine of travel down-pat. He also recognizes parking versus driving, and will softly cry once you have parked because he is ready to see where you have driven to! Once you open the car crate he does try to exit the car like a hot cross bun and we usually leave a leash attached to him for safety.

We are working on some threshold manners in the car so that he will pause instead of launching out, and his forever home should be prepared to help him learn these skills for safety. The recipe is laid out, the ingredients are ready…all that’s missing is you! Is Panini the right dog for you? If you want to check out some of Panini’s time in foster care he is on Instagram @twiceluckyfosters. Panini will do best with a dog owner who has some experience due to his personality traits and shyness outlined above. Thank you for considering a rescue dog and taking the time to read his bio