ExtraMile_logo_squareADOPTED! August 25, 2015

It’s dogs like Guinness that we go The Extra Mile for.

Guinness has received months of stay-and-training at HDP K9 Training Center and he is now ready for his forever famliy to come and adopt him.

The back story of Guinness:
Guinness, a Doberman Pinscher mix, was a stray in the city of Cleveland taken to the City of Cleveland Kennel in December 2013. He was emaciated, all bones exposed but had a great spirit. He waited out his hold time and we agreed to take him in. One of our volunteers visited him daily to bring him cooked chicken and rice before he arrived at our facility just to give him a good meal. When he arrived he took a trip to The Mutt Hutt Grooming Salon for a spa day. His nails were over an inch long and he was obviously neglected. Guinness is estimated to be around 2-3 years old – he could be younger. We placed in this past February in a home but the adopters recently returned him. Guinness is up to date on shots, neutered and micrcohipped. He is still on the skinny side but we are working on fattening him up for his next family.

Guinness has lots of energy and love to give to whomever will accept it. He would do best with a family that is willing to train him and get him through some basic obedience. We are willing to assist with a 4-lesson package to the family who adopts him and commits to the training. We are seeking a foster home for him and hope his temporary “parents” can commit to taking him to weekly training sessions at HDP K9. Guinness is good with kids, he is crate trained and house trained. Guinness does have some prey drive with little animals and would do best in a home without cats or little dogs. He will require a yard with privacy style fencing.

Guinness moved into HDP K9 Training Center under the instruction of owner and trainer Roxanna Vlasceanu. He has been in her care receiving structure and training at a stay-and-train facility with other dogs. Here is a current report on his progress since being admitted three months ago.


GuinnessSHM_bodyGuinness is a Secondhand Mutts rescue dog, a goofy, high energy adult male that has been staying in our board-and-train program since September, as part of his training and rehabilitation journey towards a home of his own.

Prior to coming to arriving to Secondhand Mutts, little is known with respect to his background. To make an educated guess, he likely received little to no training and social guidance in interacting with other dogs during puppyhood and adolescence.

As a result, during his first months in rescue, while staying at The Mutt Hutt, he was a “wild man.” Even after several sessions of basic obedience training, he was highly reactive to other dogs when on leash, and very difficult to control when off leash. He was very easily overstimulated by play with other dogs, barked and bounced throughout the play sessions, and ignored verbal cues (come, down, sit, etc.) from the floor managers.  It became obvious Guinness needed intensive training in order to be successfully placed in an adoptive home.

Due to our track record of working with and rehabilitating adult rescue dogs, Secondhand Mutts reached out and enrolled Guinness in our board-and-train program.  The long term goal was to teach him to properly interact with other dogs, reduce his on-leash reactivity, improve handler focus and help him become well versed in off leash obedience.

Since staying with us, Guinness has made significant progress.  We have started his foundation training in obedience from scratch with verbal markers (similar to clicker training) and food rewards, building a good bond and clear understanding of expectations, and gradually progressed to leash pressure work and e-collar training (vibration and low stimulation) for off leash obedience.

He is now not only able to properly socialize with other dogs, but also perform advanced obedience commands, when off leash with a small group of dogs, his regular play mates: he will recall to handler, come to heel position, make eye contact, contact-heel off leash, down at a distance, and down stay.  He complies with commands for polite, patient behavior (e.g., down, wait) on and off leash before being released/allowed to run out into the yard and play.  He will now willingly go to his crate for down-time in between play and work sessions, where he will quietly relax even with other dogs around.  He will always be a vocal dog who loves to bark, but his vocalization (primarily rooted in overstimulation, confusion, and frustration) has been greatly reduced.  He can heel on leash, with auto sit, around dogs he has never met before – in our training facility, our training yard, and during walks in our neighborhood.

Best I can describe Guinness, informally, would be as a very smart, perpetual teenager with an enthusiastically goofy side.  In a new home, he will continue to need clear guidance, maintenance training, and reinforcement of boundaries. He is high energy, but he can also settle well under the right circumstances.  While he could work and play for hours if given the opportunity, it is important that his new family understands he does need his down-time to unwind and practice relaxed behavior. He is also a fun dog to work with food – very motivated, eager to engage in a familiar environment, and fast to learn new tricks once engaged.  He thrives on mental stimulation and will do best in a home willing to schedule work/play sessions in the daily routine.

His toy drive is situation dependent.  In familiar environment, he will engage to play tug and perform basic obedience behaviors (sit, down) in order to access the tug.  Fetch is a work in progress, as he is possessive (without aggression) and loves to play “keep away” if given the opportunity.  He does likes to carry a ball or a KONG in his mouth while in a group with other dogs, possibly as a way release overstimulation during play.  Again, there is no aggression associated with his possession, even when other dogs get a hold of the toy when he drops it.  The behavior simply performs a basic “pacifier” / relaxation function.  While we have worked with him on basic impulse control with toys (“drop it” and “leave it”), he does have high prey drive for birds, squirrels, small animals in general.  He would do best in a home without cats or small dogs.

He is social, happy-go-lucky with new people he meets.  He will, however, need to be reminded to greet politely (sitting patiently, waiting to be pet).  He will also bond quickly to a new person (within days), showing an affectionate, relaxed side generally masked by his overall enthusiasm and energy level.

In conclusion, Guinness does have a lot to give, a lot of potential – for the right home.  Due to his energy level, tendency to overstimulate, and prey drive, Guinness would do best in an adult-only home, without small animals, either cats or small dogs.

If you are looking for a companion that would love to bond with you, challenge you with his intelligence yet also provide hours of entertainment and silliness, he may be just the dog for you.  Life with Guinness will never be a dull moment.

fosterhomeIf you are interested in fostering Guinness please email us at

We are not a traditional shelter, we are a cage-free facility. All dogs are temperament tested and must get along with other dogs to stay here. Appointments must be made in advance to meet our Secondhand Mutts. Please call 216-664-9660 or email to set up a time. We are closed on Sundays. We prefer to adopt to local families but will consider long distance adoptions.


Dog Adoption Fee $200 – Includes transitional lessons with Roxanna and/or her staff



Teach Me The Way
Sponsorship of dogs whose behaviors leave a little bit to be desired. We work with skilled trainers and offer training and evaluations to potential adoptive families to ensure the training needs of the dog they are interested in can be adequately met and managed.

$25: One, discounted evaluation by a trainer of a Secondhand Mutt
$50: One training session with a Secondhand Mutt and a foster-to-adopt applicant
$100: Two training sessions with a Secondhand Mutt and their potential adopters (Secondhand Mutts pays for this out of pocket for amy dogs [up to two visits] to ensure we are making a good fit for our dog and the adoptive family)
$150: Three training sessions
$250: Five, one-on-one training sessions, often needed for some of our tougher cases
$500:  One month ‘Stay and Train’ boarding at a training facility

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Our Adoptables Are
  • Socialized in a cage-free dog daycare environment
  • Dog-Friendly
  • Cat Tested (upon request)
  • Fostered in real homes
  • Spayed or Neutered
  • Temperament tested
  • Veterinary Health Checked
  • Fully Vaccinated
  • Distemper Vaccinated
  • Rabies Vaccinated
  • Bordetella Vaccinated
  • Heartworm Tested
  • Microchipped
  • Flea Preventative
  • Heartworm Preventative
  • Groomed prior to adoption

Services provided by
Gateway Animal Clinic

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