Romeo is a charming 18-month-old American bulldog/terrier mix who weighs in at about 65 pounds, but should be closer to 70 at his ideal weight. He’s a handsome dog with a striking black and white coat, with hints of brindle mixed in. He has soulful puppy dog eyes that he knows how to use to his advantage, and a big bully smile that’s very endearing. Romeo looks a little like “Petey,” the famous dog from The Little Rascals, and has similarly cute expressions.
When I met Romeo and his foster mom, Vicki, at the park for his photo shoot, he was the perfect model—calm, attentive, and he knew how to strike a pose. He warmed up to me right away, took treats gently, and was very engaging. Vicki jokingly calls Romeo the “ladies’ man” because he bonds very quickly with women. He is initially more standoffish with men, but does eventually warm up when given time to trust. This is not uncommon with rescue pups, and Romeo was most likely mistreated by the last man in his life.
Romeo was rescued out of a shelter in Maryland, surrendered by his former owner along with his best buddy, a chihuahua with whom he was raised. The chi’ quickly found a new home, but Romeo was left behind, and grew very depressed at the shelter and stopped eating. Luckily, Mutts Matter learned about Romeo from one of our volunteers and stepped in to help. He’s been in his foster home for about three weeks and has really come out of his shell. Vicki said Romeo seemed very sad when he first arrived, but now that he’s being loved and cared for, he’s like a new dog.
Vicki describes Romeo as “a very sweet and cuddly dog who just wants to be loved. He likes to be as close to me as possible and fancies himself a lap dog.” He’s also a social dog and is great on public outings. Vicki recently took him to the Cherry Blossom Festival in downtown DC, and he was very relaxed, even with all the activity, and greeted everyone he met with his wide bully smile and a happy tail wag.
Romeo is not a big fan of toys or bones, but he does love playing chase and going to the dog park to play with the other dogs, both large and small. Aaron, Romeo’s foster dad, will start the chase game with him and sit back and watch as Romeo does his “zoomies” around the park, running round and round with pure joy. Even though Romeo loves to run and play, he has more of a moderate energy level, and is very laid back inside the home. He just wants to cuddle and be with his people, so he has a really nice balance.
Vicki and Aaron are working with Romeo on his leash-walking skills and he’s getting better, but is still a very strong dog who will pull on the leash when he sees other dogs and gets excited. He needs an experienced and confident owner who will continue to work with him on leash walking, and correct him when he becomes overanxious. He’s already crate-trained and mostly potty-trained, with a few accidents until he learns his routine. He is already a great dog, and because he is very food motivated and easy to train, with the right leadership, he has unlimited potential.
Romeo is still a young dog and will need daily walks and playtime to stay healthy and balanced. He would make a great family dog or companion pup, and would fit best in a home without toddlers or small pets that he could knock over or chase when he gets excited and wants to play. A fenced yard would be ideal for him, too, so he can play a little game of chase with you after work.
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