At the age of 8, Rocco has proven that he is still capable of learning new tricks. Having mastered sign language, he has been able to find a new family.
Rocco is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier who has been to a shelter twice. The first time was in February 2020. He joined the RSPCA in Swansea, Wales, after he was brought in by an officer who suspected the Staffie was mistreated. Rocco was partially deaf, but could still hear. He was lucky enough to be adopted by a wonderful elderly couple, but after 2 years with them, he was returned to the shelter, and unfortunately, completely deaf this time...
After his owner passed away, Rocco returned to the shelter
When he was first adopted, Rocco immediately fell in love with his new owners.
"I remember laughing at the fact he didn’t want to come and say goodbye to me when I dropped him off; he stayed by their side like he’d known them all his life," says Sally Humphries, the shelter team leader.
Unfortunately, after two wonderful years with them, the man passed away and his wife was too ill to take care of Rocco by herself. So the dog had to return to the shelter.
Rocco was already 8 years old and had an ear infection that left him completely deaf.
Rocco has learned sign language to find a new family
Senior dogs often have a hard time finding a home, and this is even harder in case they have a disability. To improve Rocco's chances, the shelter staff came up with the idea to teach him sign language.
The dog worked hard during short sessions, with rewards, and managed to learn new things, despite his age.
"He reads our hand signals and body language as a way of telling what we're asking for. For example, thumbs up means 'good boy,'" Sally explains.
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Rocco knows all the basic commands, such as sit, down, and stay.
Thanks to his commitment, this "extremely friendly and adorable" dog has managed to find a forever home. We wish him all the best for the future!
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