DYLAN ... is a stunning-looking black retriever cross boy who was picked up as a stray in Northampton in November.

He was never reclaimed and spent 5 weeks in a council pound. Now, normally, a dog this good-looking would have been rehomed very quickly (and not least because they advertised him as a flatcoat), but Dylan (then called Moss) was terrified and presented very badly whenever anyone approached his kennel - retreated to the back and barked/growled. He seemed particularly scared of men.

We took him on just before Christmas and the moment we got him into a home situation, he transformed  into a loving, affectionate, playful and much more confident boy, although he's a little shy when you first meet him.  

Dylan spent Christmas with foster mum Jacqui in Abingdon (thank you!) and is now in Beaconsfield with foster mum Jenni and her family, where he has been fine with the children, although has taken a bit longer to accept Jenni’s husband Elliott (although will now happily go out on a walk with him). He is also a little nervous still if you lean over him, but otherwise fine.

He’s been great on walks and has played with other dogs he has met, and has come every time he has been called.

He has been clean in the house and settles well when you’re busy with non-Dylan stuff.

Dylan bonds quickly, especially to women, and he is a little needy/clingy at the mo so he’s looking for a home that won’t find this irritating and, ideally, has several people in the house to stop him becoming over-attached to any one person. An older guiding dog would be perfect, too.

We think he's a GSD/golden retriever x, between one and two years old. His eyes look older, but this is because of what he's been through. Dylan has a slightly wonky front left leg - born with it rather than an accident, and it's possibly why he was dumped. It doesn't cause him any pain, he does not limp and in a strange way it adds to his charm! 

UPDATE 20/2/11

Dylan has now been with us for a few weeks and has proved a gorgeous, loving young man - although he still has a way to go to fulfil his full potential.

His strengths: he is pretty good with cats, he settles beautifully in the house, he gets on very well with most dogs, he is not in the least hyper and he has good recall.

Dylan is still nervous of strangers, particularly men. This means he sometimes barks when passing strangers when out on a lead; and he will also bark if new people come into the house (although settles down once they’re in). This is not aggression - just anxiety stemming from some trauma in his past (the vet believes it is possible that his front legs are wonky because of abuse when he was a puppy).

Dylan surprised us a lot two weeks ago by flattening a submissive male golden retriever belonging to a friend that foster mum Jenni went walking with.  He stopped when shouted at but this will need a bit of work.  It was the first time foster mum Jenni had gone walking with another dog and we feel it was caused by possessiveness (the goldie is very fond of Jenni).  Dylan has been fine and playful with other dogs he has met on walks and, if anything, he is an essentially submissive dog.

So... a beautiful, vulnerable young man who needs a loving, calm, patient home.  Absolutely perfect for Dylan would be a home with an older, confident bitch to help show him the ropes.  Although he’s OK with children, he doesn’t particularly enjoy little ones.

Dylan has come on hugely since he arrived with us (a huge thank you to foster mum Jenni who has worked wonders with him).  He’s not quite there yet, but with love and patience he will be a super dog.

He touches my heart, this boy. Dylan wants to trust, doesn’t get it quite right at the mo, but with a bit of time and guidance will be just fabulous - an incredibly loving and loyal boy. We will, of course, give lots of support to anyone who would like to give him a try.

UPDATE 12/4/11

Yay! Rehomed! Gorgeous Dylan went to his new home a few days ago and is settling in absolutely beautifully - really, has not put a paw wrong (a huge testament to foser mum Jenni who really has transformed this boy).

A very big thank you to Alan and Louise who have welcomed this special boy into their hearts and home in Cheshire.

Here’s the latest update (with pix of Dylan with his new family on the left... We’ll encourage Alan to smile for the next lot... :-)

What a beautiful boy Dylan has turned out to be.  He is my husbands best companion and I get so jealous of the adventures they have together!  Dylan is great with everyone and all my friends and family are so impressed by his lovely nature, unique personality and his bouncy puppy ways whilst knowing when to be gentle!  He really is a diamond. 


“His lead walking is really good, not perfect but we’re getting there.  I stopped using the halti after your advice Jemima and instead we use a “padded stop pull harness” – wow what a difference. Dylan is comfortable with it, he seems to feel secure when he wears the harness and he is easy to lead walk now and we both enjoy it without the pulling and tugging!!  It’s been a great benefit for walking and he is still able to run around in the open woods and fields with it on – the lead simply unclips.  I’d recommend it to anyone because it’s so comfortable for both the walker and the dog.


“He is very well behaved in the house, the car and when he is outside.  He enjoys socializing with other dogs – just great!  We have been to Delamere Forest with him today and he simply loved all the woodland with new smells and the other dogs to say hello to. He doesn’t get excitable or anxious when children run past or stop to pet him, he isn’t phased when the cyclists pass by – he simply enjoys the world around him and as long as he can see us walking close by he makes the most of his adventure.  His recall remains excellent – he comes to us as soon as he is called so if there is a dog approaching who we are not too sure of we simply call Dylan to us and he comes immediately. 

“Please be reassured that he is happy and very well loved.  We can’t thank you enough!  We never thought that we would ever find a dog who would come close to being as precious to us as Harvey was – but Dylan already is that special!”

(added 12/1/11)