Rocco has an application in progress
Sponsored by Lynda in loving memory of her sweet rescue girl Bootsie
See a bit of Rocco play time, click here
Meet Rocco. He is a sweet and playful 3-year-old Chihuahua/Jack Russell. We don’t know why Rocco ended up in the shelter and it certainly isn’t due to his lovely, gentle and funny personality. Rocco is approximately 9 lbs and is quite adorable.
Rocco learns quickly to love everyone he has met. If you offer him a treat he’ll be your friend and snuggle buddy forever. He has quickly connected with his foster mom.
You may think that due to his breed mix (Chi/JT) that he has endless energy and would be bouncing off the walls. He definitely can bounce and jump and he loves to run and play, but he is not a maniac. He settles very easily and loves to nap near or on his people. He’s warming my lap as I write this.
Rocco is a happy little guy who is also gentle and mild-mannered. He doesn’t have any bad behaviours that we have needed to work through. He was obviously well loved and trained in his previous home. He offered a sit the first day he was in his foster home and can also shake paw. Your guess is as good as mine as to why he ended up in the shelter.
He’s had a couple of accidents in the first few days after arriving at his foster home, but that’s to be expected after the changes he went through. Since then his potty manners have been perfect.
“The Rock” is a smart dog and learns quickly – his desire to please his human is what drives his positive response to training. The only time he doesn’t listen is out in the yard when he has caught a scent. He is very interested in smells and they can get the better of his attention. For this reason, his forever home needs to either have a securely fenced in yard; or he must be kept securely on a leash at all times when outside.
Rocco doesn’t have to be on his people at all times … if he knows where you are. He is happy to curl up in a dog bed either alone or with his foster-sister. He also loves to sit in the front window and watch the world go by. However, if he doesn’t know where you are in the house he gets some separation anxiety. He easily figured out how to get through the gate and into the basement when his foster-mom was downstairs for a time (twice).
He has had his moments of barking at people/dogs while he sits in the front window, but he quiets quickly. I am actually amazed at how well he responds to training in this regard. I’ve had 4 previous Chihuahua foster dogs and all of them have been more difficult when it comes to controlling their barking. But remember, Rocco does bark initially, the good thing is he settles when given the “quiet” command.
Rocco LOVES his walks. He does require some continued training when it comes to walking on leash. He wants to smell and mark EVERY! SINGLE! TREE! Every walk presents a new adventure for Rocco – new smells – new people – smells – new dogs – smells smells smells. It’s so exciting for him! He is such a happy little guy it is almost tempting to let him make all the stops he wants. His handler mustn’t give into his urges to stop at every smell along the way or there would be no exercise during walk time. Perhaps he would do best with a family who has the time to take him for a “smell adventure” walk on top of an “exercise walk” each day.
Rocco does have his hyper moments – one is during meal preparation but he is getting so much better at waiting for his bowl to be put down. Once I put the bowl down he will sit and wait for the signal to start devouring his food.
Another moment when Rocco gets hyper is when someone comes to the door or when his foster mom returns home. When guests arrive, he will bark and jump on people. I ask guests to ignore him completely (no eye contact, no talking to him, and definitely no touching). This will be a training opportunity for his new family to work on.
Rocco has met some children and his initial energy was too much for them. He can jump quite high and this is scary for children. We recommend that Rocco go to a home without children. We think he would easily and quickly learn to trust and love children in a forever home, but with children come more children (i.e. friends who come over to visit). We feel that it would be stressful for Rocco and his family to have to deal with his over excitement with children. We would consider making an exception with a family who prove to be very knowledgeable and experienced with dog training and who have the time to commit to his training. This is as much for the safety of the dog as it is for the safety of children.
Rocco would do well as an only dog because he loves to have the attention of his people (he will try to “butt in” when his people are giving attention to another dog – but if ignored he will move away). As Rocco is such a social dog he may feel lonely if his family are away for hours a day. We feel he would be happiest to go to a home where someone is home most of the day – or – to a home with a canine playmate for him to hang out with while the humans are gone.
Rocco loves to tussle with his Jack Russell/Pug friend. He is a gentle and fair playmate. He would do best with a dog of similar size and energy level. A bigger dog could overpower Rocco – Rocco is a small dog (which is easy to forget because he seems not to be phased by anything) but he could get trampled by a bigger, energetic dog.
We previously had Rocco listed as “in rehab”. Rocco came to us from the OSPCA in Bracebridge. He had a limp on his left-hind leg when he arrived there – the vet at the shelter x-rayed him but found no reason for the limp. Since arriving at his foster home he lifts his leg quite often and will keep it lifted for periods of time. This may be because is more active in his foster home. Regardless of the reason, it certainly doesn’t slow him down as he easily walks, runs, and jumps on three legs.
Since coming into Save Me Dog Rescue Rocco has also been to visit another vet for a second opinion – the opinion was the same – the x-rays show no visible reason for him to favour his leg (i.e. keep his leg lifted). The vet suspects that it is a neurological deficit originating in his mid-lower spinal – it was likely caused by an injury early in life. Rocco has definitely learned to live with it.
Rocco, like many small breed dogs, has a sensitive trachea – meaning his trachea (windpipe) has a tendency to collapse when pressure is put on his throat and on his upper chest. He must never be tethered or leashed by his collar. A harness that has a leash attachment at the back of the neck is also dangerous because the front of those harnesses still ride up too high on his chest and put pressure on the lower trachea. His foster mom is investigating alternative type harnesses that will not put pressure on his sensitive trachea.
Rocco will make an incredible companion for someone – whoever gets Rocco will receive so much love, affection, and laughs with this little guy. We will post updates as they are available.
Thanks for reading about Rocco, and thanks for considering adopting a rescue dog. We are accepting email inquiries about Rocco as well as formal applications.
Please feel free to reach out to Rocco’s foster mom with any questions you may have: Cynthia at firstname.lastname@example.org