Barclay is a 12mths old, neutered Golden Retriever Cross. As normal, he received all
the vaccinations necessary to get his Pet Passport for travel to the UK.
Barclay was a stray who ended up in the Pound and was due for destruction. He is being
fostered in the UK by Malcolm and Marilyn.
Barclay is a sociable dog who loves to meet and be fussed by new humans. He is also
very friendly with other dogs.
At times he is still anxious and wary, especially outside of the house. Inside he is a typical
Retriever who loves to eat, sleep and be cuddled. Although we feel that he now trusts us
more, there are times when he still gives the impression of wanting to “break free”. We
believe that time is the key here.
We felt Barclay needed to come to trust us and to feel secure in our home where he is
loved and cared for and then we were sure we would see his true personality. His
outward confidence belies an insecurity which we think may have been gained from his
time as an anxious stray who has had to survive on his wits.
Barclay is a great opportunist thief from work surfaces in the kitchen, tables or the
hands of unwitting children. Again, this could be a direct result of previous experience
on the street before he was placed in the Pound.
After a few weeks, it seems that Barclay has accepted our house as home now and is
content to be part of our family group. Time has definitely allowed some mutual
trust to develop and his new owners will need to understand that it will take time and
patience again for Barclay to bond with them.
He is still an opportunist thief and obviously considers that any food left within reach is
fair game but this is also a very typical Labrador trait! He is a very athletic dog and
we have witnessed his ability to jump a four foot obstacle or squeeze through the
narrowest of gaps. We found that the stairgate was also an easy hurdle for Barclay.
Any garden will need to be very secure ie 5 to 6 foot unbroken fencing with no breaches.
Barclay was very thin and we could feel all his ribs and vertebrae but, otherwise, he is healthy.
After a couple of weeks, he appears to have put on weight and his coat has
definitely benefited from regular grooming. We love the colour and uniqueness of his fur!
BASIC TRAINING: Barclay is a more complex character than might appear at first
sight and we feel he is definitely a “work in progress” rescue dog.
He did not know or understand any basic commands such as sit, stay, walk etc
and likewise he did not react when we picked up a lead or even his dog bowl!
The facts that he is housetrained, has no inclination to chew other than his own toys
and he is sociable with adults, young children and other dogs lead us to believe that
he has maybe lived with a family and had close contact with these at some time in his short life.
On the other hand, he has demonstrated his ability as an escape artist and is constantly
on the lookout for an opportunity to get past a person at the door and he paces the
perimeter of the garden looking for a break in the fencing or a low spot.
We have learned much from these experiences and he no longer has even a
moment unsupervised. In any new building or house, he paces every room and when
out for a walk is constantly scanning all round as if to find an escape route. All this
leads us to believe that he finds it difficult to trust people and wants to make his own way.
Barclay now shows interest when we pick up his food bowl and even more so when
we pick up the lead to take him out. He is definitely becoming more of a family
dog and is showing fewer and fewer signs of his background as a stray. He has just
started to respond to the sit command and we feel that he is now eager to learn
from us, especially when a treat is available!
TRAVEL: He travels brilliantly in the car – almost in complete silence on journeys up to two hours.
HOUSETRAINING: Initially, we let him out regularly every two hours and very early in
the morning and we have had no accidents in the house. He does not yet give us any
signals that he needs the toilet.
Barclay is clean and dry in the house and throughout the night too. However, he still
gives us no signal if he needs to go out although he always waits for his regular walks
rather than use the garden to toilet.
LEAD WALKING: He is learning quickly. We take him out three times a day. We have now
stopped using the harness and Barclay walks with a collar and lead. He still pulls like a
steam train for the first five to ten minutes but then settles and walks with a loose lead.
RESOURCE GUARDING: He shows no evidence of resource guarding.
SEPARATION ANXIETY: He was, initially, anxious when we moved around him and he
whined when we moved into another room if he could not see us. We didn’t leave
him on his own because of this as we wanted him to feel secure in our house. He used
to cry if either Malcolm or myself went out and also makes a tweeting sound. However,
he was quite happy to stay downstairs in the kitchen throughout the night on his own in the dark.
We have now found that we can leave him alone and actually left him for two hours.
Although he still “tweets” as we leave the house, he seems calm and settled when we return.
ADULTS & CHILDREN: He is very good with all adults . Until he settles down, he can
be boisterous with toddlers and young children but, once he has gotten over the
initial excitement, he does calm down.
He was very good with our three grandchildren (aged 5yrs, 2yrs and 20 months) over
Christmas. He was put firmly to the test as we had three very loud and excited
youngsters over the holiday period and we feel that Barclay is now less boisterous with them.
DOGS: He has proved himself to be sociable with other dogs and approaches them with no aggression or fear. He has been great with all the other dogs he has met so far
CATS & SMALL FURRIES: Barclay certainly will never be a cat or squirrel lover! He is
very determined to chase cats and squirrels and needs a strong arm at the end of
his lead when he spies these.
BARCLAY’S DREAM HOME
Barclay is a lovely family dog but he would not be good with cats or small furries. He would
benefit from having a slightly older canine companions who could help to show him
what is expected of him. His forever home needs to have a very secure perimeter.
He needs experienced people who are prepared to continue with his training as he is
exceptionally bright and, like a sponge, he will absorb as much information as he is given.
In return, he will become a wonderful, loyal companion and friend.