Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Posted September 2, 2015
Theo, after having lived in a dog shelter with about 40 other small dogs for many years, is very anxious all the time. We like to say that he has "no chill". When there are new people around, he often won't let them touch him growling at them if they approach him, and snapping at them if they try to touch him. However, he is often just as likely to walk right up to you and climb onto your lap, asking to be pet. But, he will sometimes change his mind in the middle of being pet and decide that he doesn't want to be pet and start growling at you. I said earlier that this is for new people, but really, he does this same thing with his family.
Theo fears men and we believe that he was once abused by a men, so he doesn't really like the men of the family very much. The women however, he sticks to like glue. He picked out the alpha female and he protects her at all costs. He sleeps by her and her husband, but when the husband gets out of bed in the morning to get coffee and bring it back to her, he growls at him. He sits next to her on the couch and if anyone approaches her too quickly, he will snap at them. Being a woman myself, I have fostered a really good relationship with Theo. He's really sweet when he doesn't feel threatened, by he has really bad shelter shock, so he often feels threatened.
He barks at everything. If a leaf falls outside, he knows, and he barks at it. A lot. He barks at everything that happens outside and sometimes at nothing, but, he is a great watch dog. Although, as aggressive as he is, he is not a great guard dog. When a new person comes in he will first jump on them excitedly and ask to be pet, but he might later realize he doesn't know them and bite them. Maybe.
Theo is great on a leash. He likes walks and behaves extremely well on a leash. He just calmly walks next to you.
It's hard to bathe him and trim his nails because he is so aggressive. He will feel threatened when we try to do these things and try to bite us. To avoid this, we drape a towel over his head and he doesn't bite.
He hates being picked up. He loves to jump up on your lap and climb and crawl up on you and be pet, but, if you try to pick him up, he will attack.
All in all, he is a sweet dog who's a bit too high-strung, but I actually kind of relate to him and love him for it. Not safe around children, prefers women, protects well.