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Believe it or not, it’s Ripley! This sweet girl is a 5 to 6 year old chocolate Lab who came to us from a pretty terrible puppy mill situation. She was overbred, overweight, and had very little muscle strength in her legs. What we did not expect, only a couple of days later, is what an amazing smile she has. Turns out, all this time, all Ripley wants is a little bit of love! And while she does love the attention, she is taking her time to ensure she trusts all new people, so there’s definitely some patience involved there. She doesn’t bark, or growl, or do anything like that, but rather slinks into a corner hoping not to be seen – which given her ~30kg is quite the feat.
She is currently on a weight management food, and would likely need to remain on one until your vet indicated otherwise. She does love her walks, but she is definitely not the type of dog that needs long hikes, etc. She would be happy with shorter strolls throughout the day, and that routine has been quite good for her thus far.
In terms of toilet training, she has been perfect this entire time. I think in her previous situation she was already accustomed to being outside, so going inside probably doesn’t make much sense to her anyway.
I cannot stress enough though, what a sweet dog Ripley is. She is so easy going, hardly gets into any trouble at all (she is a bit of a paper/cardboard destroyer, so you need to be mindful of that), and is just content to be around you (but not necessarily in your face) for the entire day. She’s been with us for over a month now, and she has really just been one of the dogs for almost the entire time. She is good with cats, dogs, and while we don’t have children around, I could see her being good with them too. She is a low energy dog, and hasn’t really done much playing. She is most concerned with her “people” and less with other animals and/or toys. She is learning things pretty slowly, and right now we’re just trying to create positive associations with everything (rewards for eye contact, playing, using the bathroom, etc.).
Ripley is very good in the car, and has no problem on longer trips either (~1 hr so far). She is crate trained, though there are some issues with how she feels once she is locked into the cage. She has some pretty strong anxiety her kennel from time to time. It happens most often when we leave the house, but it has also happened at night time (and she is crated in the room with us). Ripley may be a dog that could benefit from a “run” space, or a small room, rather than a crate. During the day, she’ll happily go into her crate while it’s open. And even now, she still goes into her crate when asked. The issue is only when it’s closed (and it doesn’t happen every time). Your trainer and/or vet may offer alternative strategies as well. This is something that needs continued work and a home where someone is home more than away would be what we are looking for for her.
All in all, Ripley is a great companion and would do well in a variety of homes, though she’d probably benefit from a slightly less busy home with less guests. She has met a lot of people already, and gets better each time, but it’s definitely a slower process for her. She has benefitted from having confident foster dog sisters, and that would probably help her in her new home, though she definitely doesn’t NEED to have a dog companion.
If you have the love and patience that this sweet dog deserves, she will love you back FUREVER.