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.

Meet sweet Walter, a 3 year old Bernese Mountain Dog who might be the biggest fan of naps, cuddles, and love that you have ever met. With his big smile, eager-to-please personality, and adoration of laying his head in your lap whenever possible, you too will find yourself quickly falling in love with this 80 pound sweetheart. Walter has all of the classic Bernese traits; tri-colouring, an adorable face, a “big suck” personality, and a gorgeous coat to boot! He is a handsome boy with a laid back and happy temperament, a charming personality, and tons of love to give.

Walter is a quiet, eager-to-please boy who is extremely gentle and affectionate. Not having barked once in foster care, the only noise you can catch Walter making is his version of “purring” when he is super relaxed from getting pets. When resting his head in your lap, his eyes begin to close and he lets out a soft, happy groan/sigh, while his blinks get slower and slower and he practically dozes off. This is especially the case if you are slowly petting his ears, which are a sweet spot for him and almost guaranteed to result in an impromptu relaxation-induced snooze. Be warned that he also has a signature morning noise; the Big Stretch part-squeal/part-yawn in downward dog position. Walter finds that a big unrushed stretch, paired with a partial yawn-squeak, is the best way to get the day off to a great start. Aside from these adorable happy noises, you won’t be hearing a whole lot from him!

Walter came to us from a breeding-for-profit puppy mill environment, where he found himself living in a barn, only leaving the confines of his stall when it was time to do the deed. Because of this, he can startle quite easily at new or sudden noises/movements, so his forever home will need to be patient and help him continue to build confidence in this strange new world. Despite being treated as livestock in his puppy mill days, Walter loves home life, truly enjoys being close to his trusted humans, and has even conquered some of his initial fears during his foster stay. Walter would love a forever family to call his own so he can continue feeling the grass under his paws and sun shining on his smiling face, and most importantly – to keep experiencing how great it is to just be a dog!

Walter is very calm and relaxed indoors, and needs a home that is on the more relaxed side too. He will be suitable for a house (no condos) situated in a quiet suburb, or countryside, that is far from the hustle and bustle of a downtown core environment. Walter asked me to add this important part too – he’d like to be far from noisy bus routes, please! Walter should have a fenced yard for him to relax in, especially as a ‘safe place’ for the times when the neighbourhood is too noisy and scary for walks; like when there is windy weather or very loud, weird sounds happening on garbage day.  During those days he will find solitude and relaxation by just lying in the backyard in lieu of a full-blown neighbourhood stroll. Because of his quiet and loving nature, he will need a home with adults only or children over 12 years old where sudden movements and strange loud noises aren’t a frequent occurrence. Walter adores cuddling and giving affection, so the more attention he can get from beloved humans, the better. He would be suitable for a couple or a family with older children. Plus, because of his size, it’s best to have at least two adults around to help manage instances when he needs to be carried (i.e. when he is being stubborn and doesn’t want to do something).  Houses of all sizes are welcomed; although he is a big 80 pound boy, he doesn’t need a ton of indoor space because he spends most of his day lazing around in one or two areas (typically the ones closest to his humans!), or in his crate, and he is a perfectly happy pup enjoying his downtime in his favourite, go-to spots. 

Walter is a medium energy dog and does well with regular walks and some play time outside in the yard. He is not rowdy or demanding about going out for walks, although he does really enjoy them and gets a huge smile on his face when he sees the leash come out. When it’s time for a walk he sits, smiles, and patiently waits for the leash to go on and for the adventure to start! He should be a part of a forever family who are fairly active and happy to take him on several 25-30 minute walks per day, and would also enjoy taking him on small hikes or nice local nature trails on a regular basis. Hiking trails have proven to be a really great way to reduce his nerves and allow him to get exercise during those windy days when noisy street walks aren’t ideal. He absolutely loves going on nature trails and has his best leash manners while doing so! Walter is so laid back that he will match your routine and energy, but it’s clear that he is his happiest self with at least 2 substantial walks per day, so this will need to be the baseline in his forever home. Despite coming from a puppy mill where he was never given the opportunity to walk and explore, he has grown very fond of exercise and now it makes his day! 

When there are certain unexpected and loud neighbourhood noises, he can pull on the leash and want to go in the opposite direction, so adopters should be prepared for this happening on occasion and have the physical strength to be able to manage these little episodes. His nerves have already improved immensely in foster care, so with time, exposure, and encouragement, his confidence should continue to build and these occurrences will likely become few and far between.

Now that we’ve got some of the basics out of the way, let’s talk about some of the many fabulous traits that make Walter the special, loving, charming dog that he is. First, Walter is a pro-level cuddler and the king of affection! While he’s not yet sold on the idea of hopping onto a couch, he is absolutely thrilled if you sit down on the floor; he takes this as an invitation to trot over to you, ears flopping, and nuzzle his head into your arms. After a few seconds of gentle head nuzzling, he will then turn into the world’s largest lap dog and either plop his bum right in your lap (perfect time for back scratches), or lay his head down in your lap while enjoying some nice, slow pets. It is not uncommon that after a couple minutes of Walter’s head being in your lap, you will hear him start to snore and drift off into a doggy dream. He is so comfortable being in your lap that sometimes you feel bad waking him up to move; he will purposely give you puppy eyes or nuzzle his head further into your lap if he can sense you have to bring the cuddle session to an end. Further proof that Walter is the “king of affection”, he will gently paw at your leg if he is ready for some pets or is just plain old happy to see you when you get home. Walter is also a big fan of being pampered (who isn’t?), and almost dozes off while his back is being brushed at night. Sometimes he even sits on your lap with his back facing you, asking for brushes. Further evidence that Walter enjoys the simple things in life, he is a very happy camper when he is just sitting out in the sunshine with you and gets the chance to spend a few minutes relaxing together. If you’re sitting in a lawn chair, he will want to be by your side and will come over to sit near (…or on) your feet, occasionally flipping his head to look back at you in admiration. He loves to check in to make sure you’re loving the moment and weather as much as he is! It’s clear that Walter loves his people, positive attention, and affection.

Walter is loved by the whole neighbourhood and is really good with meeting new people. Every so often he is absolutely in awe of humans, and people light up when they see this happening. For example, he recently became friends with a man who was putting up Christmas lights. Walter thought it was the coolest thing ever and had to stop and stare in amazement & curiosity. He stared for a good minute and the man got a good laugh and had to come down from the ladder to say hi to Walter as a result. Walter has little moments like this and people just love it; it really warms your heart!

Clearly, Walter has many things that make him special, but perhaps one of his more hilarious traits is his admiration of swimming. How do we know, you wonder? On night one in his foster home, this big goofball happily jumped into a small backyard pond to say hi to the Koi fish and have a little night time skinny-dip. He is so eager to earn praise from his humans, so since being told that his foster fish siblings don’t appreciate the company, he has not done it again and respects that the pond is off limits. We hope Walter (aka Canine Michael Phelps) gets the chance to enjoy a proper swim from a beach one day with his forever family; we think he would love that!

Walter has been such a good boy during his entire stay and to top it off has been house trained with only a couple initial accidents when he first arrived. Walter goes outside every 4 hours or so, and knows that that’s the best time to take care of his business. Since the day he arrived, he has only had 2 accidents in the house and both were the result of his stomach adjusting to a new diet and putting him in a compromising position. Since then, he has yet to have another incident and has learned that if he needs to urgently go, he can make it known.  A few times when he really has to go and he knows time is of the essence, he has taken it upon himself to paw at the door or scratch the floor of his crate very loudly – there’s some great potential to train this into a formal potty queue that becomes habitual. He is smart enough that he can one day master this skill and use it on a more regular basis (not just when it’s super urgent).

Walter is loving home life and based on his excellent manners you’d never guess this was his first time in a home environment. He is not destructive, couldn’t care any less about household objects, and is very happy to relax on the floor or in his crate and take it all in with his people nearby. During initial weeks, when he was bored at night, he did show some interest in chewing a fuzzy slipper, but the solve for that was giving him access to something positive to chew on and the behaviour hasn’t resurfaced since. Walter has some inner couch potato in him and loves a good Sunday night reality TV episode and finds it’s best watched beside the couch near his humans. If he can cuddle with you while you’re watching TV, he is in heaven, and you will get to experience the previously mentioned “Walter purr”. 

Speaking of being a good boy in the house, Walter loves his crate. He sleeps in his crate quietly, and as a result his foster mom has enjoyed blissful 8 hour slumbers during his stay. He does not whimper in the crate and is happy to lie down quietly in his little nest of crate blankets while he is in there. Walter often retreats to his crate when he’d like a quiet and comfortable place to chill out in for a bit. It is a safe, secure, relaxing place for him that is home to the best treats and a nice, comfy set up.

When it comes to other dogs, Walter is good with canine company. He is sometimes reluctant or excited about other dogs passing by on walks (depending on the breed/where they are located in relation to him), but is totally fine with other dogs when there is a proper introduction.  We think he would do well in a home with another well-behaved, friendly dog of similar age who won’t be bothered by Walter’s enthusiasm and youthful energy, but this is not a necessity and he would do just fine being the only dog, too! He has met several dogs in foster care and has done well with all of them after a proper introduction. When he was at the groomer he really took a shining to the groomer’s confident and friendly Corgi, who “showed him the ropes” and helped him understand that this was not a scary place or experience. Unlike his Corgi bestie, if a dog is older and very selective (read: cranky) about who they like or dislike, Walter may have too much energy for their taste. Walter met his older Foster Cousin named Rosie, and she was quite perturbed by how often he wanted to playfully interact and get up into her personal space– plus he sniffed her parts one too many times, so she gave him the side-eye and chose to keep her distance throughout their walk. Walter wouldn’t be a fit for someone who has an older, slower dog like Rosie who likes their space. However, again, Walter is very friendly and has not had any actual issues meeting dogs throughout his foster stay. In his forever home he would be happy to either be the only dog, or a brother to a similar aged, friendly dog in the home. 

Walter will sometimes get whimpery and pull towards another dog if it is on the other side of the road, mostly out of curiosity and excitement. He just doesn’t quite realize that not every passing stranger wants to be sniffed! He is a big boy so when this happens it is important to have a good grip and be prepared for some momentary pulling. He is just a curious guy and not aggressive towards other dogs or reactive in a negative way. On a hike, an unleashed dog came running up to Walter out of nowhere and very suddenly, but Walter was a good sport and just sniffed the unleashed dog when it approached him and was unbothered and moved right onto more interesting things, like sniffing trees.

Walter is hit or miss with cats. He is curious, but shows some signs of prey drive when he sees the neighbourhood strays on his walks, so we’d recommend a home without cats. Prey drive is quite low for squirrels and other smaller creatures; it’s mostly cats that get his attention.

Walter hasn’t been around many kids one-on-one, but has seen the neighbourhood kids playing on the street and has passed the local schoolyard at recess time. Typically when there is a lot of action and liveliness from the local kids, he will stop and stare in bewilderment, or try to go the opposite direction. He will do well around well-mannered older kids (teens), who will compliment his quiet and calm nature.

Walter is practicing his basic obedience in his foster home, and while he has shown a ton of promise, he’s working on getting some more tricks up his sleeve! He knows “sit” and “crate” but is working on his consistency with responding to the verbal commands. “Paw” should be his next trick, especially seeing as he naturally paws at you when he’d like some love and attention. His adoptive family should commit to continuing his obedience training to bring out the best in this smart boy!

Aside from building his arsenal of tricks, Walter is also working on building up his leash manners, but overall they are quite impressive considering the circumstances he came from. He is still learning to walk in a straight line and can be a bit “zig zaggy” on his walks, but overall he’s a great walking partner. Sometimes if he is scared or just not in the mood to pass a certain house or area, he will sit down in protest. Teenage attitude! We’ve found that sometimes he sits in the middle of the street when he doesn’t feel like heading in a certain direction (not ideal!), so be prepared to lift his butt to get him moving again. 

Walter was a brave boy and did very well at the vet when he was getting neutered. During his visit he received key vaccinations and also had his fecal matter tested. It was found during this test that he has a form of worms. He has undergone the first two stages of a 3 stage, simple treatment to eliminate these pesky worms (1 Advantage topical treatment, 1 de-wormer pill). He will require one further topical Advantage treatment in February 2023 to eliminate the unwanted worms once and for all. In the meantime, he may have some loose stools as the worms are eliminated from his system.

Aside from that one car ride to the vet to get neutered, overall Walter really enjoys the car and would probably rate it as a top 10 favourite activity. Walter is very relaxed while in the car and really enjoys quietly soaking in the views; he would be great on road trips. However, showing signs of some Bernese Mountain Dog attitude, Walter can be stubborn when it comes to getting into the car, although this has improved A TON recently! For weeks he was extremely hesitant about getting in the car and would express this by sitting his big butt down and looking at you as if to say “you seriously want me to do that?! No chance!”, which resulted in him needing to be lifted in. Always a fast learner, he is now understanding that car rides lead to fun places, and is hopping right in without coaxing or assistance. We haven’t had a stubborn episode in some time now and he has been thrilled to jump in the car and see where he’s going next. 

In summary, Walter is an absolute sweetheart with a very kind and calm demeanour. Despite his puppy mill years, he is learning how to “be a dog” very quickly and we can’t wait to see his confidence continue to build in his forever home. He has consistently shown that he is fun, loving, goofy/funny, friendly and calm; overall just a really special dog. Everyone who meets him loves him, and for good reason. He has so much love to give and would be a great addition to someone’s family.