Are you the one for me?
Lucia (Loo-shuh) is a 4 year old, purebred tri-color Rat Terrier who weighs about 15 pounds. She was surrendered to New Rattitude Rat Terrier Rescue in August of 2011 when she started to show fear and snapping behavior around the infant in her family. We learned from her former family that she had very little exposure to other dogs, people or environments outside of their home. This undersocialization has been the focus of her training within her foster home. Initially she was terrified but over the first few weeks she learned to trust her foster family, although she does struggle with the other dogs in her family. She has shown herself to be an active, sweet, love of a girl who enjoys walks, playing fetch and snuggling with her humans. Here’s a little more about this fun terrier gal who is looking for a second chance at a home of her own:
Lucia loves to play ball and tug. She loves to run as well. While she does not play with other dogs, she will gladly play with her people. Lucia will give off a playful growl, which at first for was misinterpreted as aggression. However as time went on her foster family learned it was part of her play-style. She loves small stuffed toys and is not destructive. Most of all she loves her tennis ball and constantly wants to play fetch.
Lucia knows hand signals for sit, down, shake, spin and come (touch nose to hand). She also knows how to use a touch stick to touch objects, furniture or go into closets or places she's nervous about and also to touch people's legs, feet, etc. that she’s getting to know. It’s a great game that helps with her anxiety in social situations.
She barks to alert her family when she hears a noise outside or when someone comes to the door. She has a loud bark, but isn’t an excessive barker.
Lucia is very active and has a lot of energy and would prefer a home that will keep her brain busy and her body exercised with walks, run and playtime.
If Lucia sees a squirrel she will chase it and can jump extremely high so a securely fenced yard is important for her. She is not a door dasher nor does she exhibit any desire to get out of the yard or out the front door.
Prior to coming to her foster home Lucia never went on walks. With a lot of work and persistence Lucia has grown to love going on walks. She is still concerned when she sees dogs approaching and is working with a trainer to redirect her attention in these situations. She has also learned that people approaching aren’t that scary because on walks they do not confront her (we have not allowed anyone to approach her or pet her on walks so she feels safe and comfortable and walks can be an enjoyable time for her). Her leash manners could use some work but she does ok and is a very quick learner. With additional work she will be a fabulous leash-walker. She is very smart and wants to please her person, so with continued training she will be very successful.
Lucia is very sweet and loves affection on her terms and is also very independent. She is not a needy dog but does seek out attention and affection from both men and women that she has gotten to know and like. For individuals that she doesn’t know or like she will growl and avoid the person. She will not confront someone she isn’t fond of and will only growl or snap at the person if she feels cornered or if her boundaries are not being respected. She warms up to some people very quickly and not at all to others.
It has been found with strangers coming to the house that sitting on the floor to have any interaction with her is very successful. Treats increase that success. Visitors are asked not to try to pet her above the head as she has shown some reactivity, depending on the person. Lying down, while strange to ask a visitor to do, has shown even better results and produces very little anxiety in Lucia.
We feel she would be best suited for a home with no other animals, dog or cat.
She has exhibited no aggression toward either of her foster parents (outside the first couple days when she was stressed from coming to a new family and home). She has not been tested with children however, because of how she came to New Rattitude it can be assumed it would not be good for Lucia to be around small children. She would not do well with their quick and unpredictable movements. Teenage children would probably be ok as long as Lucia’s comfort level is respected.
Lucia is completely house trained. She will let you know she has to go out by either going and standing by the door or pacing and crying until you ask her if she has to go out to “go potty”. It has been noticed on a handful of occasions that she will submissively urinate if she is really excited or nervous in a situation. If she is taken out to go potty before she goes into the exciting / nervous situation that helps. She has had no other issues inside during foster care. She can hold it for 7+ hours during her foster parents’ work day.
Lucia sleeps in a crate next to the bed and her crate is a “safe spot” for her. She does just fine sleeping on the bed as well and would probably prefer that. She is very good in her crate though and is eager to get into her crate when she is feeling stressed or when she is ready for bed.
Lucia is in good health. We are hoping the glucosamine supplements she takes will help her joints stay strong and we would highly recommend continuation of this supplement, especially since she is an active dog that likes to run and jump in the yard and also go for long walks.
The skin on Lucia’s neck is very sensitive and gets irritated easily from her collar or when she scratches. A quality, grain-free diet and fish oil supplements have done wonders for her sensitive skin.
The vet said she has good teeth but brushing once to twice a week (ideally once a day) would make a big difference and keep those teeth looking great!
To see more photos of Lucia and videos of her playing, check out her album at http://imageevent.com/newrattitude/lucia or to apply to adopt her go to New Rattitude’s Website to learn about our adoption process and fill out an online application. www.newrattitude.org/adopt.htm