Joey #4 Black Labrador Retriever Male 4 Years Old ID# 3084

Meet 4 year old Joey.  Joey was no longer wanted for breeding so this handsome boy is coming into rescue.  Follow his journey/blog from bottom up.

3 Year Old Black Lab


March 17, 2023

Joey is still looking for that perfect furever family. He continues to make strides and break throughs.  He’s getting quite attached to the trainer whose home he is living in. Just the other night he decided to come over and lay down beside her while she was in the kitchen!

Black Labrador Retriever Joey

Joey continues to love other dogs and it seems he is the most playful with other young/adult females. The trainer speculates this is because he’s a bit submissive towards other males.  He’s a peace keeper so he will defer to a dominant male.

February 1, 2023

Slow and steady wins the race, and every day Joey is continuing to do better at the trainer’s house.  When I go visit him, he will now let me get close and even toss a treat to him. And when we’re talking, he’ll lie down near us and not hide in the other room. When I’m not there, the trainer says he comes right up to her and has even solicited a pet or two.  And he’s getting braver not hiding from the two leggeds who come to her house with their dogs for training.

3 year old black lab Joey

There’s no doubt that he has way more confidence when he’s with another dog and he is enjoying playing with them.  And when they are outside in the yard, you can’t tell that he’s at all shy.  He’s just one of the pack.

We think it’s just about time to see if the right adoptive or foster to adopt family is out there for this handsome man.  While he’s likely going to regress some, we think he’s figuring out that people are good and he might as well be bonding with his furever family. That family must have another playful young dog to help Joey feel more confident, and they will also need a good fence and be mindful that until he gets used to his new digs, he will be a flight risk.  He’s such a sweet boy though and wants so much to trust people.  With the right family’s love and patience, he’s going to blossom into an awesome happy dog.  Please inquire if you think you might be that family/person.


January 1, 2023

Joey wants to wish everyone a Happy New Year.  He’s hoping that this year will be his best ever!  I haven’t provided an update on him since he went to a local trainer’s house on December 9 who is essentially his foster mom now.  He isn’t in a kennel, but rather he’s part of her pack of labs in her home where she does training in a few indoor rooms as well as outside;  she has a good set up and he can go in an out easily into the fenced in yard with their no risk of him getting away.   Joey also got neutered a few weeks ago, and had an issue with pulling out a stitch or two (in spite of the cone) and he also got a scrotal hematoma, but luckily he is now all healed up!

Joey is making good progress.  He now will come up for treats and take them out of his new foster mom’s hand.   He  will go into his kennel when asked.  He also is easy to get in and out of his crate now and he follows the other dogs going outside and then back inside (so she no longer has to have him on a  leash outside). He’s doing great with her pack. I have been to see him a few times. On my most recent visit, he would not take treats out of foster mom’s hand while I was there (and of course not mine) but after keeping an eye on me for a bit, he finally laid down and went to sleep.  I’ll go visit him next week.

Black Labrador Retriever

We both agree that this boy doesn’t have an aggressive bone in his body, but it’s going to take time for him to trust and feel comfortable with any new two legged person.  And what’s really clear is that not only does he need another confident dog in the home, the best home would be one where the dog is younger dog who will initiate play (and be a bit more persistent/not take no for an answer).  I think he’d do even better if there were multiple dogs (as is the situation now). Check out him playing in the videos.   I have a multi-dog home and my dogs gave Joey plenty of companionship, but they didn’t pester him to play since they’re older.  Lastly, Joey is going to have to have a fence (physical not invisible).  I think it’s going to be a long time before he won’t be a flight risk.  So sadly I don’t think he’ll be coming back here!

Black Labrador Retriever

I think it’s likely going to take Joey a long while to really relax and truly feel comfortable in his environment.  That being said, I know the right adopter is out there for him.  That adopter will need to have that “rescue” gene, be very patient and be very aware that he’s a work in progress, but they will be rewarded with a sweet beautiful boy in the end.   Please reach out if you are in our coverage area and might be interested.



December 11, 2022

Joey was continuing to come out of his shell and we had the best morning when he actually ventured into the family room and interacted with all the dogs .

But that same afternoon, our worst fears were realized and Joey pushed his way out the door when we weren’t expecting it and he took off into the woods.  This was her worst nightmare since we knew he knew from the get go that he was a flight risk and that he would not be easy to get back.  Indeed while we calmly tried to coax him back, if we got too close he trotted further out of reach.  We didn’t want him to leave our property as behind us our thousands of acres of State GameLands, but leave the property is exactly what he did.  We knew if we followed him he would just go further.  To make a long story less long, let’s just say it took us two days to get him back, and that’s only because we borrowed special cameras and a live trap.  We spotted him on the cameras running through our property a few times on day 2, and neighbors also saw him, as well as hunters and walkers in the GameLands (I had put up signs and they called) so when we felt confident he was still close by, we set up the trap at dusk with very yummy items in it and PRAYED.  Sure enough, at around 10:15pm on the end of the second day he started checking out the trap (we could watch him via camera- if we had gone out, he would have taken off).  At around 11pm he actually went in far enough to trigger the door behind in to close.  And then we proceeded to carry him and the trap into the garage so that we could then safely get him into the house.  Phew!  It was really scary.  Here’s the clip where we finally got him.


So we decided to move Joey to a local small board and train where he can more safely start to come out of his shell.  He’s actually staying in the trainer’s house, but she can let him out in her secure back yard, and she has a pack of dogs to help him as well.

I’ll share updates from the trainer in his next update, but here’s a video of him checking out his housemates.

December 2, 2022

Time sure flies when you have a new foster dog.  Joey is settling in but we have a long way to go.  Unfortunately Joey is very afraid of us, and it’s going to take some time for us to win his trust.  I can tell that the presence of the resident dogs is helping a lot, but still not nearly as much as I hoped for.  We have fostered many of these breeder dogs before,  but Joey’s the first of the fearful ones not to make a marked transformation once they get in the home with our dogs.  It’s not helping that’s he’s not a fan of the leash at all, but it’s an absolute necessity to have him on one to go outside to do his business.  But once outside he pulls and carries on to try and get away from us.  Thank heavens for strong foster dad!  We did notice a bit of an improvement this morning- he was a bit calmer.

Inside the house Joey still has free roam of the entire front hall where his crate is.  We leave the door open to the crate and only insist that he be in it with the door closed if there is no one home, or during the night when we’re upstairs sleeping.  Once he’s in the crate he doesn’t really want to come out, but with a bit of coaxing and the three resident dogs milling about and getting excited, he eventually comes out.  After he comes inside from a potty break, he then usually chooses to lie down next to his crate.  That’s fine with us.  He is free to come out of the front hall into the family room/kitchen area but except for once or twice he hasn’t chosen to.

Except for having to get close to him to leash him to go out, we’re trying to give him as much space as he needs to decompress. And we hope he’s watching and starting to see the loving that the other dogs are getting.  We also toss him a high value treat whenever we have to go through the front hall (to my office or the upstairs).  Slowly but surely we’re hoping that he’ll connect seeing two leggeds with good things happening.

In good news, Joey is eating and drinking.  It took him a full 24 hours to drink and longer than that to eat, but now, as long as you don’t put his kibble in a bowl (we’ve moved from putting kibble on the bed insert in the crate to now putting it on a paper plate in his crate) he’ll eat the kibble.   He’ll even eat with you watching as long as you don’t get too close.  I’ve tried a few times to see if he’ll take a really high value treat (yum, liverwurst) from my hand, but he’s not there yet.  I do think he is able to keep eye contact more though- he isn’t looking away into the corner as much.

Joey also quietly sleeps through the night in the crate.  With no one around at all, I think he finally then truly relaxes and gets some much needed rest. I check on him via camera a few times a night and he has always been asleep.

It’s so sad for me to think that probably quite a few families have beautiful pups that he sired, and that they have no idea at what cost to him.  Some of these dogs rebound so quickly, but others, like Joey, have really suffered a toll from not getting socialized at critical periods in their development.

Say a prayer for Joey and his continued progress on this journey to being the happy dog that he deserves to be.

November 29, 2022

This morning I picked up Joey from the breeder.  He was not a fan of walking on a leash (he didn’t) or getting in the car ( he wouldn’t), but once in, he rode like a champ, and was quiet as a mouse.  He was super shy and was not interested in pats, treats or even making eye contact.

3 year old black Labrador retriever

The first order of business was a much needed bath.  We met foster dad and the doggie wash station and got him all cleaned up.  I’ve never seen so much fur left behind, but even so Joey still has a very thick coat.

3 year old black Labrador retriever

Introductions to the three resident labs went smoothly.  Joey perked up a bit as everyone took turns doing the nose to butt sniff.  At this point, we usually take all the dogs for a walk to get them better acquainted in a neutral outdoor setting, but Joey had other ideas.  He is not interested in taking walks as the world just got really big really quickly.  So we’ll need to keep it small for now.  He’s also a flight risk, as he’s not at all sure what’s happening and if he even likes this change.  So he needs to be double leashed with a martingale collar and a well-fitted harness.

We set up Joey’s very large crate (so he has room to move around) in the front hall where it’s tiled (for easy cleanup), we have easy access outside, and so he can see what’s going on with the two and four leggeds in the house while still having a space of his own. We can close doors and use gates so that he can have the whole front hall if he wants.  Indeed when the dogs went in the front hall, he came out of the crate on his own.  He even did a little exploring!  Good boy Joey.

Joey has yet to eat (no surprise) or drink, but I’m hoping he does during the night when no one is watching him.  We have a camera set up so we can monitor how he is doing.  We’re hoping everyone gets a good night’s rest!

3 year old black Labrador retriever

Adopt Your New Best Friend! 

PLEASE NOTE: While this Lab may not be available for adoption by the time you complete the adoption process, other great Labs are always finding their way into our Rescue. (Note: Sometimes a foster home falls in love and adopts their foster dog so the dog doesn’t make it to “Available Now”)

If you are interested in adopting this Lab or any other Lab from our Rescue, please visit our Web site,, for more information on our adoption process. If you need additional information about the adoption process or whether you are in our coverage area, please send an e-mail to our Rescue at

Even if you are not ready to adopt, you can still help us help our Labs!

Brookline Labrador Retriever Rescue is a 501(c)3 non-profit volunteer organization funded entirely by donations. Donations are always needed to help with veterinary costs, transportation, and supplies for our dogs. For information on donating to BLRR please click here. Donations are accepted via PayPal or you can mail a check to: Brookline Labrador Retriever Rescue, P.O. Box 638, Warrington, PA 18976-0638