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Gypsy 2-Year-Old Female Black Lab Mix, 60 Pounds, Approximately

Background:We were recently contacted about Gypsy, and the person networking her wrote, "I have this beautiful girl at Los Banos shelter we named Gypsy! She was picked up as a stray with a female Shepherd who was pretty emaciated. They both had ticks and have been treated. Can you help?"

What Gypsy's Foster Says:Since her arrival 2 weeks ago in mid-August, Gypsy is becoming comfortable with the order of the house. She was completely house trained from the very first day, no accidents, sleeps quietly in her wire frame kennel, or on a doggy bed in the bedroom after the lights go out. The first several days she would jump on the bed, but gentle corrections have (mostly) stopped that behavior). I’ve taken to calling her “Shadow” because of her color and because she follows me around everywhere. She has a very submissive and sweet disposition, bonds strongly to people, checks in frequently for petting and belly rubs, and would benefit from gentle corrections during training.

I see evidence that her past life was not happy - she cowered and was hand-shy when I first met her at the shelter. Sometimes Gypsy will lay down on her dog bed in the garage, look sad, and not want to come inside the house. Her food aggression, resource guarding, and fighting with my other dog suggests she was on the streets or left alone for some time and had to learn to take care of herself.

She’s been with me to a local running/walking club (75 people + a dozen dogs) and is initially anxious, then settles down when the walk starts, and is good with casual contact with people, other friendly dogs, and their children (after slow introductions). A trip to Petsmart was also a chance for her to be alert, interested in everything, and show she was good with people in movement and dogs at a distance, without any major issues.

At home and in the yard, Gypsy’s behavior is still very much that of a puppy / young dog - she is curious about everything I’m doing in the house and garden. Inside the house she is a shameless counter surfer, getting up on her hind legs to snag food and kitchen items, Amazon boxes, and other household items from shelves, tables, and the recycling bin. She likes to shred cardboard boxes (and their contents), and chew on plastic items (food containers, eye drop bottles, pill bottles). Her new owners will need to puppy-proof their homes and garages up to about the 3 1/2 foot level and remove things of concern - valued items, food items, and toxic chemicals (medicines, cleaners, fertilizers, pesticides, solvents, paints, automobile anti-freeze, etc.).

On walks around the neighborhood, she is back to high alert and not relaxed - bicycles, skateboards, people coming out of cars or from houses, workers at a construction site, even a woman pushing a baby carriage, seem to trigger her to be wary and anxious. She reacts to reactive dogs across the street with barks and growls, but is quieter when the other dog is quiet. Gypsy does pull very hard for cats, squirrels, birds, and any tidbit of food on the sidewalk, otherwise she walks mostly alongside with occasional leash tension and verbal reminders. Her owners need to be aware of these sensitivities and walk her appropriately - groups of kids going to school, bicycles on the sidewalk, people moving unexpectedly, Gypsy will need both help and some distancing.

Still working on basic commands - sit, stay - and door etiquette, she was a real door charger the first few days I had her, her owners need to be aware of this until she settles into her new home.

Gypsy has a real desire to please and craves affection from people. I believe she is very trainable and has great potential to become an even more loving and well-adjusted companion animal.

What Gypsy's Rescue Rep Says: Since Gypsy was picked up a stray, we don't know much about her. She seemed to quickly acclimate to living inside her foster's home, attached easily to the foster, and has been comfortable with crate training.

We're not sure what she's mixed with, but it could possibly be Hound.

The first day with Gypsy's foster, she did growl at a few people they encountered on their walk and lunged at a passerby on a skateboard.

Gypsy was tested with another older, mellow male dog at the shelter and did well. However, she did get into a scuffle with the foster's alpha male dog over food while out in the backyard. Gypsy is a dog that will stand her ground, and not back down from a challenge. Probably not a dog park dog (where you don't know who you will encounter) but might do fine having playdates with a few good dog friends after proper introductions.

I went out and met Gypsy in the foster's home approximately 4 days after she had arrived. Standing in the kitchen, she came in from the garage, approached me and my husband accepting our pets immediately. She seemed pretty submissive, even rolled onto her back for belly rubs.

She walked nicely on leash in the foster's neighborhood, where we didn't encounter any other people or dogs. She did spot a cat and was on high alert.

She will need experienced dog owners who might want to work with a positive trainer. I would not put her with a trainer who uses more aversive methods. I think she needs a trainer who helps the adopters understand how to recognize when she is uncomfortable with something and how to avoid forcing those situations on her, and then how to slowly acclimate her to becoming more comfortable with those situations.

Her ideal family would be experienced dog owners, possibly consider her as an only dog, and understand that she can be triggered and nervous with new sights, sounds, dogs and even strangers. A home without children, cats, and,or small dogs would be best.

Medical: Gypsy will be going in for a vet wellness visit in September to be vaccinated, microchipped, and examined to determine whether or not she's intact, and if so, Lab Rescue will coordinate her future spay procedure.

Located in: Santa Clara

Please note our service area: GGLRR adopts to the greater San Francisco Bay Area.

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Our volunteers donate their personal time phones so please only call during reasonable hours (8am - 8pm). The Rescue Rep identified in the dog posting is the only person with information about the dog - please only contact the designated volunteer. We do call everyone back within 2-3 days so please be patient. We work very hard to make the right matches for the dogs and for the new owners. We get 3-5 dogs per week; we do not have a facility where the dogs are housed, they are in foster homes throughout the Bay Area.