Lucy

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Female 8 years

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My wife and I are looking for a new home for our 8 year old 85 pound German Shepherd, Lucy.  We love her very much, and we are committed to finding her a loving home for the remainder of her life.  We are expecting our first baby in November and Lucy needs more attention than we will be able to give her.  We would be keeping her with us under other circumstances. Unfortunately, she has behavior issues that concern us with a little one.  Her new parent(s) will need to have previous experience with behavior challenged dogs, ideally with female German Shepherds. Please be prepared to answer adoption questions similar to those you would answer from a rescue organization.  We will ask to see your home and where she will sleep, eat, and where you’ll keep her when you leave her on her own.

Lucy was rescued in Oakland, CA in 2012.  She had been living with a young man in his parents’ garage.  When she was about 7 months old, she started to become trouble and that’s when we took her in.  When she came to us she had not been trained, she was scared of other dogs, she was aggressive and dominant.  We worked with a trainer over several months, and on our own after that.  She has the temperament of a K9, but we did not want that life for her when she was younger. Someone with K9 experience, or working dogs in the military, would be an ideal fit. 

She is a very smart dog.  She walks on a leash well.  She understands standard voice commands and she learns new directives quickly, given the right motivation.  She is motivated through positive reinforcement and food, but she can also be food aggressive.  We use treats sparingly and associate them with a few select commands.  We crate trained her as a puppy, but since then she has usually had her own room in our house where she sleeps. She loves to hike and take walks to the park.  She also loves to sit in the backyard and she is a good “helper” in the garden.  We lived on a farm for 4 ½ years.  In that time, we trained Lucy to guard our chickens (which after careful training she did quite well).  She is a garden dog, and given the chance will eat cucumbers and snow peas from the vine.  She also really likes watermelon.  

Lucy is getting older and slowing down a little with her stiff muscles, but she still loves to play ball and take walks.  When we lived outside the city she would run and run.  We played a lot of fetch.  She’s not a very strong swimmer, but sometimes we do go swimming on hot summer days to cool off.  Lucy loves the snow and she’s a great companion when snowshoeing or cross country skiing.  She also really likes to sleep, especially on the couch.

We are looking for someone who can give her the attention that she needs.  She has usually had someone at home with her for most of her life, but she does fine on her own for several hours at a time.  She does not get along with other dogs, and has been aggressive in the past.  She will chase cats and birds, as well.  Occasionally, she will kill a mouse.  She is very particular about her personal space, especially her feet and undercarriage.  Sometimes she doesn’t like her face or chest touched.  We muzzle her when we bathe her or take her to the vet.  We also use a muzzle on busy beaches if there are other dogs or small children present.  She has been aggressive with my wife, who is smaller than me, and challenged her a few times.  She will give warning by putting her ears back, ducking her head, growling, and showing her teeth, but sometimes she does not give much warning and you must be aware around her.  She has never bitten a person, but she has warned several times and has been aggressive.  In these instances we have separated her for several hours or until she has come out of that mindset, and then we only keep her with us for short periods of time, using a separate space as an alternative (usually just with a kid gate) until we feel like we can trust her again.  

Lucy is not a good match for someone inexperienced or for a family with small children and pets.  But, she could be a great dog for someone who is willing to spend time and to work with her.  She will keep you company and she’s a good buddy for someone who is home a lot and can respect her personality.  We really love her and this is a very difficult thing for us.  We want to find her a good home where she will be happy. 

We live in San Leandro, but distance is not a limitation.  It’s more important to us that we find the right fit.  Contact Stacey Smith at staceyb.smith@gmail.com or by phone at (530) 848-9353

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