Rocco: 3-Year-Old Male Black Lab 85 pounds, Neutered
Background: Rocco was surrendered to the shelter as his owner had to move to help care for a sick relative. On Rocco's surrender form, it noted that he lived with a smaller dog (Terrier mix) and children aged 9 and 10. His favorite activities were fetching, playing with children, going for walks, and playing with other dogs. It was also noted that Rocco loved to be around people and a smart dog in need of more training.
What Rocco's Foster Says: Rocco is a sweet, young pup (3-years-old). He loves to play tug of war, lay on his bed and get love. He doesn’t bark and likes to follow us around. He is potty trained and crate trained. Rocco must be walked on a pinch collar as he pulls too much without it. He is great on the pinch collar. You must have him focused on you when cars, people, dogs, strollers and kids walk by. He is learning very quickly to let these things pass without lunging, crying, and sometimes growling at other dogs. He sleeps in a bed in our room at night and we leave him in a crate for short periods when we're out of the house. He is learning "sit, stay, shake and come" and he is very trainable though he can be stubborn. Rocco will be a fantastic dog with time, trust and training. He enjoys walks and so far, unlike what his surrender form says, we haven't found him to be interested in playing fetch. He is super mellow in the house and when told, will lay on his bed when we are in the kitchen or eating at the table.
What Rocco Rescue Rep Says: Upon meeting Rocco at the shelter, I found a friendly and somewhat anxious young dog. At that time, he had only been at the shelter for a few days after being surrendered by the only family he knew since he was a puppy so his anxiety was understandable. He jumped up to meet me, as well as propped himself up on the gate to say hello to passersby. The day prior to my meeting him, the shelter staff had taken him out to the yard; he would pick up toys from the bench but didn't play with them, sniffed at other dogs and continued to go to the gate seemingly in search of his family.
Rocco came into Lab Rescue right at the beginning stages of the COVID-10 quarantining and sheltering-in-place, so his foster has been limited on getting him out and desensitized to the outside world, as well as socialized with other dogs. Rocco is strong on leash, and the foster reports that he will jump up and put his mouth on your arm. Since he hasn't been able to be socialized with other dogs, when he sees them, he has been lunging towards them.
We consulted with one of our trainers, virtually and her take on Rocco is that he is exhibiting young dog behavior and his leash reactivity is presently over-excitement, so that's good. The jumping and biting (which is 100% play behavior) will be the quickest to fix. In short, Rocco is trainable!
Prior to his present foster, he was fostered by another family who couldn't keep him as they had cats and Rocco, although he did get better over time, was prone to chasing them.
Since Rocco is big and tends to jump on people, a home with children over 10 is recommended as he could unintentionally knock over small children.
Rocco does need better leash skills and he is a strong boy! We are looking for a home that knows large dogs, a home that will get him plenty of exercise and a home that will continue his training.
Rocco arrived at the shelter with missing fur on his ears and began treatment for a bacterial and yeast infection (likely due to underlying allergies). We continued treatment with one of our vets and he is doing much better after some antibiotics, an ear ointment, and allergy pills (as needed). Rocco is neutered, UTD on vaccinations, and heartworm negative.
Rocco is located in: Brentwood
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