I am a dog rescued from a puppy mill where I received no medical care or socialization and was used for breeding purposes. Before you fall in love with my adorable face, please remember that I will have some specific needs in my forever home. I need a secure fenced yard, someone with lots of patience and time during the day to help me with my housetraining and socialization, an adult dog-experienced home. Thank you for reading!

Neo needs: I am named Neo like the main character in the “Matrix” because I’m entering a new world since I came from a puppy mill where cages were the rule. I am learning all kinds of different things that I’ve never had an opportunity to experience.

I’m a handsome, happy 5-year-old, 7-pound Maltese boy whose lovely, fluffy white coat is growing out. I will require regular brushing and professional grooming. I’m a great eater, and I love treats so continuing to train me will be much easier since I’m food-motivated. I will do “patty-cake” with my front paws when I get excited about food!

After spending 5 years in a cage with very little socialization, it’s important that I go to people who really understand puppy mill dogs. Since being in rescue I am learning about: contact with people who can touch me and I can enjoy it, that pottying is for outside (and that’s been really challenging), that I can’t bark all the time, and that a crate doesn’t mean I’m back at the puppy mill.

Now what does that mean for my new family? I am still on a long-line at my foster home. That means that a leash is attached to my halter all the time so that my foster moms can step on the leash in case I run away from them in the fenced area or in the house. They are training me to let them walk toward me while stepping on the leash and approaching me with verbal cues. My new home will need to continue this training. If I get loose, you would probably never catch me. The good news is that I’m already learning that loving and rubbing my chinny-chin-chin is a great thing. I’m still a little scared of men, but if you’re a patient kinda guy, I’ll learn to love you. I really love women best right now so my new home needs to have a lady around.

Next, potty-training is an on-going project. I need to go out frequently to reduce the number of mistakes that I make so someone at home most of the day is really important. The good news is that I’m getting better and better at doing my business with the other dogs, AND wearing a belly band indoors helps with accidents. It takes me a bit of time to decide to get all my business done outside so if you have a tight schedule and don’t have time for me to do my business, you should probably pick a different dog. Because I’ve been in a puppy mill, I have no clue about what grass is for. So a secure fenced area is a must. My foster home has a rocked area and I’ve figured out that it’s a great place to potty.

I do like to bark, but my foster mom is teaching me to HUSH and does not reward me at all for barking.

And the last biggie is the crate issue…I do NOT want to go back in a cage…5 years was enough! My foster mom is teaching me to stay in a small crate at the foot of her bed at night so that I can see her and my dog buddies on the bed. She also puts a Kong toy with some treats and a Nylabone in my crate to distract me until I settle down for the night. That’s working great! I don’t think she’ll ever leave me in a crate while she leaves the house because I let her know how panicked I get by pooping all over the crate and myself! Whew! What a mess! Now she leaves me with a dog buddy in a gated area and that has been much better! She is working with me to get more accustomed to crating by feeding my meals in one, and now, I’m going into the crate on my own to eat so that’s real progress. Car rides are improving too if you put me in a crate beside you or in a secure harness/seat beside you while we’re traveling.

I think you can tell that a dog buddy is a requirement for me. I learn from them so that’s great! I haven’t met a dog that I didn’t like, and the cats in my foster home think I’m great too.

I am making super progress walking on a leash without pulling and you can help me continue to improve on that. I love to play in a fenced area. A fenced area allows me to use up some energy in a safe place and to do my business. I really like to go on walks but I haven’t done my business on walks yet. I tend to squirt out a door when you open it, so until I learn your routine, you would need to have me on a leash before you open your doors so that’s another good reason to keep me on a long line. I am learning, “Go to bed,” whenever I need to be in my crate for the night or for meals. I’m also learning: “Sit, Come, Go to the door/Out, Back, Off, Potty, and Hush (I have a large bark for my size!).” I am also learning that toys are FUN.

The vet says I’m in great health, and I’ve been neutered, had all my vaccinations, heartworm-negative, microchipped, dewormed, and had flea and heartworm prevention…you will need to continue vaccinations and flea/heartworm prevention if you decide to be my furever home. My foster moms say I’m a bargain for $175 since I can give you a lifetime promise of love and fun!