Rocky 19-169C

Rocky 19-169CRocky 19-169C


Rocky came into RAGOM from Shanghai as a part of RAGOM's international rescue program. Rocky is an energetic boy who can be a little nervous around new dogs and people. Due to his energy level, any children in Rocky's new home must be age 15+. Rocky cannot live with other dogs, but he is OK with dog-savvy cats. A physical fence is required because of Rocky's high energy. Rocky needs a patient family who is willing to work with him on his training, confidence, and socialization.

At a Glance #19-169C

Golden Retriever Born: February 2019
Male 65 lbs

Status: Adopted

Rocky's Sponsors


Rocky came into RAGOM from Shanghai as a part of RAGOM's international rescue program. Rocky is an energetic boy who can be a little nervous around new dogs and people. Due to his energy level, any children in Rocky's new home must be age 15+. Rocky cannot live with other dogs, but he is OK with dog-savvy cats. A physical fence is required because of Rocky's high energy. Rocky needs a patient family who is willing to work with him on his training, confidence, and socialization.


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Rocky decided that he wanted to become a Cornhusker, so he is moving to Nebraska. His new furr-ever family likes to hike, and that sounded like a lot of fun to Rocky. They also promised him car rides to get coffee every weekend, and Rocky LOVES car rides. For his part, Rocky vowed to keep their yard free of squirrels.

Rocky will also be working with a dog trainer to learn how to better deal with other dogs.

Good luck, Rocky. We all wish the best for you.

Rocky 19-169C

Saturday, February 8, 2020

After 4 months in foster care, we have a good idea of what Rocky needs in a forever home. Rocky learns easily and wants nothing more than to please his humans. Those two traits in a dog are a blessing.

With calm and loving training, Rocky will reward you with 100% adoration, devotion, and will love you with his whole heart and soul.  Working hard with a dog using love and patience to train it, results in a very special bond that Rocky will be happy to provide you.     

Rocky 19-169C

Before you submit an application for this stunner, you need to know more about Rocky’s needs. 

Energy - Rocky is a very high energy dog requiring an owner who is committed to giving him plenty of exercise, both physical and mental.

Training - He also will need someone to teach him basic manners and obedience. Right now, Rocky is a puppy in an adult dog’s body, and has not yet learned that all 4 feet need to stay on the floor when he is excited to see you.

He has already learned sit, down, come, and is very eager to learn more. Your reward for working with Rocky will be HUGE. He absolutely LOVES to snuggle on the couch and will be your movie or book buddy for life. Want to take him on a drive? Rocky loves riding in the car.  

Dogs - Because of Rocky’s unknown past on the streets of China, he is nervous about other dogs, and right now is reactive towards them.

He has great potential for training making him much more comfortable around them, however it will take a lot of time, patience, and energy. Rocky would do best in a home without another dog, or possibly with a calm, confident dog that could help show Rocky that other dogs are OK.         

Dog parks/Doggie daycare/Public events/Outdoor bars – If you are looking for a dog to go places where other dogs are present, he is not ready to be introduced to these things and he may never be able to enjoy activities with other dogs present.   

Kids – He also needs a home with no kids under the age of 15 purely because of his sheer energy. Although he would love to smother everyone with kisses, he is a big boy who doesn’t realize his size and would easily knock a kid over trying to say hello.

Fence - Additionally, he needs a physical fence in his forever home so he can burn off his energy and to ensure that no other dogs run in to say hello uninvited. 

Rocky's perfect forever home - Rocky’s future family will need to be active. He would love an avid hiker or runner once his growth plates are fully formed (around age 1.5, a vet can confirm when you could run with him).

His future family needs to be committed to training him, and realize that a 6-week obedience course will unfortunately not be enough for Rocky. He will need someone who is willing to work with him long-term.

Rocky would benefit from an owner willing to invest in some one-on-one training that would show the owner training methods that could reduce Rocky’s fear around other dogs. In return, Rocky will show you infinite love and affection - he desperately just wants humans to pet him and be with him.

Rocky needs someone to work with him and put in time and energy, but he would make it all worth it with his love for you, and it will be an incredibly rewarding experience seeing how much progress this boy can make. 

If you think you have the patience and skills needed to help this sweet boy flourish in his forever home, please apply. He truly is a diamond in the rough and will be worth the work that he needs put into him. He wants nothing more than to please his humans!

Just look at how much character Rocky has, he slides down this hill like an otter!

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Rocky Goes on a Field Trip!

Yesterday Rocky’s foster mom had a nasty stomach flu, so we brought him to our house for a one-day field trip to let foster mom get some much-needed sleep.

We started out with a 1 hour walk through about 8” of fresh new snow. For the first half of the walk Rocky didn’t stop for much, just wanted to forge ahead and get his wiggles out.

Once the deep-snow walking took his energy down a notch, the fun began. Lots of sniffing, exploring, watching birds and squirrels, and (his favorite) making “face tunnels” in the snow. This consists of Rocky submerging his head in the snow nose first and then, with his butt in the air, propelling himself forward for as long as possible.

One fun Rocky quirk: Whenever you pass a bench or picnic table, he pulls you to it as if he was pulling you to a person he wants to see, and then climbs up on it and lies down. It’s just so funny, he does it every.single.time.

Rocky 19-169C

After our walk we came home and Rocky got to see my daughter again, who helped to pick him up when he first arrived in Chicago. Rocky remembers anyone he meets, even if it has been months, and doesn’t bark a bit when they come in. He knows they are friends, greets them like his long-lost family, then plops himself down in their laps.

Rocky 19-169C
Rocky 19-169C

For the rest of the afternoon Rocky hung out on the couches and chairs with whoever would sit with him. It’s important to know that although Rocky has a lot of energy, he also likes to calm down and settle in on the couch for snuggles and nap time.

Rocky 19-169C
Rocky 19-169C
Rocky 19-169C

At dinnertime Rocky went back home to foster mom; as we walked down his street he pulled more and more - he was excited to go home! He bounced in to say hello then ran to the basement where his food toy was waiting for him to bat around and get all of his dinner kibble out. Once his tummy was full Rocky crashed on his favorite couch and spent the evening relaxing with foster mom.

Rocky 19-169C

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Hi Everyone,

Rocky here with an update.

It sure has been cold out lately. I kind of like playing out in the snow because I can run a lot faster through the snow than my foster mom can. That makes it easy for me to evade her when I'm running with a really fine stick in my mouth.

I just don't like it much when the temperature gets down to zero or colder, as my paws get so cold that they hurt on my walks. Now we have learned to keep the walks pretty short when it gets that cold outside.

On one recent walk in the evening, I found a nice thick branch that must have been over 6 feet long. I liked it so much that I carried that big branch all the way home. I'll chew on it later when I have the time.

I got to ride in a brand new pick up last weekend. I was careful not to chew on anything, as I always love car rides and don't want to be banned from riding in the new pick up.

I got to go to Pet Stuff for a bath followed by a long rub-down and massage. Now my fur is looking especially nice, and I have been told that I smell better! I also got to pick out a nice bone to chew on at home.

Last Sunday, I got to go on another car ride to Rice Marsh Lake where I went on a hike and impressed everyone there with my expertise in balancing on the top of the retaining walls. That was a lot of fun. Lots of new scents to investigate out there, too.

See you all later,


Rocky 19-169C

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Hi Everyone, it’s me, Rocky!

I don’t normally write updates, but I just saw something that is so incredibly cool and amazing that I had to write and tell you all about it. I was looking at the computer this morning and my website was up, and are you ready for this?

I HAVE MY OWN SPONSORS!                                           

I’m serious. Two humans named Steve and Jen donated money IN MY NAME in honor and memory of their Golden Retriever, Hank. I did a little digging and I found out that Hank was one of the best Goldens ever.

He had a lot of energy and wiggles when he was young, but Steve had bottomless buckets of patience and trained him to be a big, lovable Golden. Since Hank died, Steve has been really lonely for another Golden.

I got to meet Steve and Jen last month, and I fell in love. I climbed all over them, brought them my toys to throw, and let them take me for a walk. They decided they wanted me to be part of their family. My foster mom wasn’t sure if I would do OK with other dogs, so she scheduled some practice meets with other RAGOM dogs.

Meeting the other dogs made me kind of nervous when they got too close to me, so we all decided I probably should live in a home where I’m the only dog. I was really sad, and Steve and Jen were, too, but they wanted me to be successful and happy in my forever home.

Anyway, Steve and Jen, you are the best, thanks for being my sponsors and making me feel so important. Some dog is going to be incredibly lucky to get you as their mom and dad!

Rocky 19-169C

Friday, November 15, 2019

Hi everyone! Rocky had a “field trip” this week and it seemed like the perfect reason to post a new update and pictures.

Each day, when I stop by to let Rocky out for a potty break, he hopes desperately that I will take him on a car ride. We leave the house, shut the door, and he DRAGS me to the car. Think Paw Ingles behind the plow horse, it’s all I can do to stay on my feet.

Most days I have to encourage him to keep going and tell him we’re not going in the car, and he looks at me with disappointed eyes and a sigh and we begin our walk.

On Wednesday I had a blast building it up. Inside I asked if he wanted to go on a car ride (he probably has no idea what I was saying but it was fun anyway), and this time after he pulled me to the car I opened the door and he hopped in and immediately took his position as co-pilot.

Rocky 19-169C

I drove a few miles away to a beautiful, woodsy trail. Rocky had SO. MUCH. FUN! So many smells to sniff, sticks to find under the leaves, and trails to follow.

Rocky 19-169C
Rocky 19-169C

Once we were a ways in, I put him on a longer leash so he could explore a bit, and he was such a good boy.

We worked on his “come” command, too. The first time he looked at me like “huh???”, but once he realized food was involved, he was all over it:


This just shows you how trainable this dude is. All you need is a treat pack on your waist with dried dog food in it. He gives “food motivated” a new meaning.

Rocky 19-169C

If you have a dog-free home and are looking for a diamond in the rough, Rocky is your man. You will have to put in the work to train him and distract him from his puppy chewing antics, and in return you will have a beautifully trained dog who loves you completely.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

I thought I would post a quick update for Rocky with some new pictures I took of him this week. He is SUCH a handsome dude, his face melts my heart daily. That said, he’s IMPOSSIBLE to get a good picture of because sitting still is not his strong suit. I tried to get one of him doing his play bow, but in the split second between pushing the button and the click of the camera he would bounce away every time. All 14 tries. Sigh.

Rocky 19-169C
Rocky play bow outtake

Rocky had someone new do his lunchtime let-out this week, and he was a very good boy! When she met Rocky he was his usual loving self (he gets so happy and excited to meet someone new).

On the day she came to let him out, she said he was the sweetest boy and was very cute. She also said that despite his immature puppy tendencies, she could tell how badly he wanted to please her.

That truly describes Rocky perfectly, he’s like the little boy who gets caught doing something naughty and then looks at you with these regretful eyes as if to say, “Gee Mom, I really WAS trying to be good but it was so hard not to shred your paper into little pieces!”

Rocky 19-169C
Wanna play?

Rocky is hoping so desperately that some family will see him and know that he was meant to be part of their family. Someone who will love him, lumps and all, just like his foster mom, who loves him unconditionally every day -- even on the naughty days.

Someone who knows that if you put the time and patience into teaching a puppy good behaviors that you will end up with a dog who loves you with his whole heart and soul and will give you the best years of his life. Are you that family for Rocky?

Rocky 19-169C
Would you like to be my person?

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Hello, Rocky fans! I had to post a new update to tell you a story about what a GREAT job Rocky did on an outing today. Instead of our normal lunch let-out, I decided to take Rocky on a field trip.

He hopped in my car for the short ride to the park and, bless his heart, sat in the front seat and looked out the window instead of eating all the used tissues and wrappers on the floor (I’ll just say that I’m driving my daughter’s car this week and boy, does she need to clean it!).

Rocky 19-169C
"Where are we going?"

Anyway, first we went to his favorite hockey rink and chased a stick off leash. He had fun running, then settled down and chewed his stick to smithereens. Next, we walked along the woods at the edge of the park and I let him stop and sniff every little thing he wanted, which is a great de-stresser for him.

When we finished, we hopped in the car and were just about to head home, when I noticed a woman was approaching the driver's window, waving and talking. Now in general, when a dog watches a person walking towards a car they’re in, it can be a bit scary and evoke some “woofing". 

Not Rocky. He watched her carefully, so I praised him and he got a few treats. I couldn’t hear what the woman was saying, so I left Rocky in the car and slipped out the door to talk to her. We talked right next to the driver’s window, and all Rocky did was climb into the driver’s seat and look out the window at us.

Turns out this nice gal, Lenore, has worked in rescue, so I asked if she would mind meeting Rocky. Usually Rocky still woofs a few times when he meets someone new (then tries to climb into their arms…), and I was curious to see what kind of progress he has made on the woofy-ness.

Well, GET THIS: Mr. Rocky got out of the car and immediately walked up to her calmly and nuzzled his head in to get pets! Next we walked over to a picnic table and sat down.

Rocky just hung out with us, alternating between exploring, getting pets, and trying to climb into Lenore’s lap. Once he realized he didn’t fit, he settled for climbing up onto the table and lying down there, so we could pet him and he could lounge.

It’s always so great when you run into an experienced rescue person. Lenore noticed tiny positive things Rocky was doing that a “regular” person might not appreciate. Rocky tried really hard to convince her that she should remove the purple torture loop from his nose (otherwise known as the Gentle Leader), but she knew better than to fall for his big brown pleading eyes.

Rocky 19-169C
Rocky and his new friend, Lenore

It’s just so AWESOME to see the progress Rocky is making as he gets more and more secure and relaxed, because he is in a loving foster home.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Hi everyone, thanks for checking in to read more about Rocky! I stop by Rocky’s house and let him out while his foster mom is at work, and I thought I’d update you on what we’ve learned about Rocky in the last few weeks.

His foster mom has figured out that she can transform Rocky from bouncy, mouthy, overflowing-with-happiness dog to calm (and slightly pouty) model walker. When I take him for walks, he frequently lies down, puts his face in the grass, and refuses to move. I think he is basically trying to bluff that he’s not going to walk another step unless I remove the horrible purple nose strap.

Rocky in full pout mode.
Rocky in full pout mode.

On the one hand, Rocky has puppy energy. He needs walks and playtime and lots of appropriate chew toys. On the other hand, he’s not like the Energizer bunny. He loves his chew toys and if you give him one after petting him and throwing his toy for a little while, he is perfectly content to sit down and chew it.

Rocky 19-169C

After chewing it for a while, Rocky will decide he would much rather chew the toy while sitting in your lap. And he thinks he fits. If I’m in a chair he will drape his body over my lap, put his front paws over my arm on the far side, melt his head into my chest, and stay that way with his back feet still on the floor. It’s adorable and makes me love him so much.

This is why he prefers you sit on the couch so he can stretch out onto your lap more easily.

What kind of family does Rocky need? For now, and possibly forever, he needs a home without other dogs. Rocky’s behavior around other dogs is somewhat unpredictable so until his owners can take classes with him and teach him how to be around other dogs without Rocky feeling threatened, or possibly forever if that is too hard for Rocky to learn, Rocky needs to be an only dog. 

Since he IS a 9-month-old puppy, Rocky needs a family/person with time to train him and work with him. He is so trainable. He loves food and he loves attention and he learns fast, but as all puppies do he needs someone with time to teach him commands and good behavior. You know, things like: we do not chew on the furniture, bouncing is not necessary to get my attention, that kind of stuff.

Rocky does have an impressive bounce, check out this video of him trying to play with the cat without getting close enough for the cat to bat him in the nose:

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Rocky has been at my house since beginning of October. Here is what I have learned about Rocky so far:

  • Rocky is very good at riding in the car. He is now eager to go along on car rides. He quickly learned how to jump in and sit so I could fasten his seat belt restraint to his harness. 
  • We have had no house training accidents. Rocky will bark to let me know  he needs to go out if he's in his kennel, and he will scratch at sliding glass door if not in his crate.
  • Rocky is extremely food motivated, which can be quite useful with dog training.
  • He will gladly "trade" anything he has grabbed to play with for a treat or just a piece of dog food.
  • Rocky loves playing with sticks and chewing on sticks. He loves to proudly prance around the backyard with a wonderful new stick!
  • He walks reasonably well with just his martingale collar, but will pull sometimes, so I have been using an Easy Walk harness with him more
  • Rocky will definitely bark at any deer that he sees, and I am working with keeping his focus with treats to minimize his barking at other dogs that we pass when out walking.
  • Rocky gets excited easily because he is still a puppy (8 months), but he enjoys petting and tummy rubs when he calms down.

Monday, September 30, 2019

So my husband brought Rocky’s kiddie pool into the garage so it wouldn’t blow away, and we discovered it’s like a playpen for dogs. Rocky started carrying his food toys in there (toys that dispense kibble when bopped around) as well as balls and bones.

Today he was having so much fun I literally brought my laptop out to the garage and got an hour of work done while he played in the kiddie pool, it was so funny!

Rocky 19-169C
Rocky 19-169C
Rocky 19-169C

Rocky continues to relax more and adjust to all the changes in his life. When we go for walks now he rarely jumps on me or mouths my arm. Today for both walks he walked with a loose leash—good boy Rocky!

He loves going to the hockey rink in the park behind our house. It has a baseball sand-type bottom and he brings in a stick (his favorite thing ever) and settles down into the divot he dug in the sand to chew his stick and just watch the world go by.

More to come as Rocky continues to adjust and get used to Minnesota!

Rocky 19-169C

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Introducing Rocky!

Rocky was found abandoned on the streets of Shanghai, dehydrated and malnourished. Rescuers got him into a shelter and eventually into a foster home, and he arrived in the U.S. a week ago. We’ve given him a week to recover, adjust, and show us his personality so we can determine what is needed to find the perfect forever home for him.

Here is what we know so far:

Cute things about Rocky:

  • He loves water! It doesn’t matter if it’s in a water dish or in a pool, he will have a ball playing with it. This video is Rocky’s first time in a kiddie pool: 
  • Here is Rocky hanging out with his paw in his water dish:
Rocky 19-169
  • He is smart—even when he’s excited he knows he needs to sit to leave his crate, go outside, etc.
  • Likes to “bury” his bones. This involves taking them and finding a hiding spot, like under a desk or in the crack of a chair. (In the video he is trying to brush “dirt” over the bone; he does this anywhere he hides a bone. And at the end it shows his sweet smushy face.)
Rocky hid this bone in the crack of an easy chair.
Rocky hid this bone in the crack of an easy chair.
Can you find the bone he hid under the desk?
Can you find the bone he hid under the desk?
  • When Rocky was at his vet appointment there was a huge poster of a puppy and a kitten framed on the wall. Rocky saw it and ran over, stood up on his hind legs, and put his front paws on the picture trying to figure out if they were real.

Areas where Rocky’s family will need to work with him:

  • Rocky is an energetic dog who does not know his own strength. When he is excited or full of energy (which is most of the time), he has the strength of a small horse. He needs a LOT of exercise, not all at once but reasonable amounts spread throughout the day.
  • Right now, Rocky is unsure when he sees new dogs or people. Once he meets them he is fine, but he will need someone to work with him on walks to counter-condition him. What that means is that when Rocky sees someone instead of thinking “Uh-oh! Danger! I must bark and warn them to stay away!” he will instead learn to think “Oh! A person (dog)! Every time I see one it means I get a treat if I sit and look at Mom!” He is already starting to look at me for treats when he sees people so just needs continuance of this when out and about.
  • Rocky is a PUPPY. Even though he is big and is 8 months old, his family needs to realize they are adopting a puppy that when bored will chew. This include pretty much anything. Towels, rugs, furniture—anything a little puppy will chew. He needs to be watched when he is loose and redirected to appropriate chew toys.

That said, if you love puppies and understand that half the fun is looking at their personalities and laughing at the trouble they get into, he’s SO CUTE and so lovable! Some of the sayings I have used on Rocky that I don’t use on typical fosters include:

Stop digging the water out of the water dishesour bathroom looks like Lake Superior, dude.

Do not chew my shoe, it’s on my foot and that hurts! Here’s a bone instead.” (repeat, repeat)

Quit trying to hide your bone in the back corner of the chair, I’m sitting in it.”

A lot of what Rocky needs right now is time to adjust. He is still stressed from all the changes that have happened in his life, and that stress manifests in pent up energy. The more secure he gets, the more relaxed he gets, the more successes he has.

Here are some scenarios I think would be great for Rocky’s forever home. They aren’t "must haves," just some good ideas:

  • His owner is able to walk him multiple times a day.
  • The family has a fenced-in yard (not a 2-foot fence, but a fence that can’t be jumped) so Rocky can chase balls.
  • His owner has trained dogs before using positive methods or is very motivated to take classes with Rocky to learn how to train him with positive methods.