Rescue and Rehabilitation work with the dogs at North Clwyd Animal Rescue
"Dogs like Gigo", Staffies in rescue
There are many reasons dog end up in rescue centers, but one of the most common ones is, owners not taking the time and effort to educate, train and guide their dogs to enable them to be socially acceptable companion animals. They simply don't prepare the dogs for living with people! Dog's who don't have the education to give them the confidence to relax within our human world simply get stressed out, stressed out dogs usually show 'bad' behaviours as they try to cope with the stress. The owners then blame the dog for it's bad behaviour and dump it in a rescue center or even worse abandon it to stray.
At some point somebody has to step in and teach these dogs who to live along side people in a relaxed, confident, stress free way, unfortunately there are not many people willing to take on such an adult dog and put the time into these dogs....Dogs like Gigo....
"Meet Miss Maud", rehabilitating Maud after her tough start to life.
Miss Maud came into North Clwyd Animal Rescue in a very stressed state. The scars on her body and her intensive fear of other dogs point a pretty horrible start to life. At North Clwyd Animal Rescue we are slowly re-building her confidence and re-educating her which is quite a difficult task in the rescue centre environment.
Working with Del the fluffy staffie. After several years at NCAR he now got a home!!
Del has been has been at the rescue for too many years now, which is a shame because although he has an issue with strangers it is a fear based behaviour which can be overcome if he is allowed to gain some confidence! He will bark and growl at some strangers but with a little guidance he will rapidly accept them and relax in their presence.
In this video I took Del to a high street to show him strangers aren't so terrifying. He coped quite well but needed lots of reassurance and guidance during the session, but took it all on board and he didn't feel the need to react negatively to anybody we came across.He would make a fantastic companion for the person who takes him on and helps him regain his confidence in the world again.
Buddy's adoption video, he's now found himself a home!
Buddy has been at the rescue for a few years now and gets overlooked time after time. He has a couple for things which go against him when potential adopters come to the rescue; 1) He is a Staffie, which simply means he is one of the many staffies (usually around 30) we always have in at NCAR, so if somebody is looking for a staffie type he has much competition! 2) He is a bit aloof with new people and needs strangers to prove to him they are calm relaxed people before wants to interact with them. All this means is you don't shower him with affection as soon as you meet, but go for a nice calm interesting walk instead. So basically, being an slightly aloof staffie isn't a good way to get adopted!
Once Buddy is comfortable with you (which doesn't take long at all) he is a right laugh, he's always looking for a bit of fun and is pretty easy going. His perfect day would be a couple of interesting walks during the day, a bit of reward based training in the evening before crashing out with you in front of the telly.
Rafa's adoption video, he'd been at NCAR for 8 years...and has now found a home!!!
Rafa has been at the rescue for several years now which indicates he has issues which make rehoming him a little more difficult than the average rescue dog. I spent some time with him to study his behaviour and issues to asses what is required to increase his chances of being rehomed.
Rafa's main problem isn't entirely his, people's predisposed ideas of him often cause conflict points. Rafa is unsure of new situations and needs time to work them out and then become comfortable and relax, this includes meeting new people. Ideally he'd like to approach people on his own terms, sniff them, check them out then decide whether he'd like to interact with them (as in be fussed and stroked by them), usually people don't give Rafa this chance and come straight in to shower him with affection, this scares him and he then acts defensively, freezing, growling then maybe snapping. Rafa is a very clever dog and is very astute is recognising when people are unsure or hesitant around him and quite rightly doesn't want to interact with them, he loves calm confident people. He isn't a lapdog, what he wants in life is good long calm walks where he can take his time and explore, some training to give his sharp brain a work out, then just relax either on his own or around the family. What he doesn't want is to be sat in people's laps getting fussed all the time. Once he is relaxed and comfortable around a person (as in, once he's built up trust in them) he is happy to sit in their lap for a fuss, but this is mainly for the person's benefit, not Rafa's. He is more than happy to sit next to you, so long as you don't constantly stroke him.
He does like to test boundaries you set him, he's only making sure you know what you are doing in regards to being a trustworthy consistent companion, usually this means him not getting off furniture when asked, but calm consistent positive work will prove to Rafa you are worth listening to.
Once he is sure you are a calm relaxed confident dog owner he himself becomes a calm relaxed confident dog and a fantastic companion.
All he needs is somebody who is willing to put in some time and effort to help him achieve this. Unfortunately, due to his cute looks, most people interested in him just want a cuddly lapdog to smoother, where as Rafa just want's to be a proper dog where affection is a bonus after a day of exploring and working.
Rhianna's rehab video, she's currently out on foster and still looking for a forever home.Rhianna came into the rescue petrified of people, we are not sure what had happened to her before she came into us. I set about getting her used to being around people and trying to build her confidence up. Once I got her walking ok without too many panic attacks I clipped her to my belt and let her simply follow me around as I worked with other dogs at the rescue. She slowly grew in confidence and began to show signs she was relaxing a bit, but things were helped along when we noticed she loved other dogs! I set up several socialisation sessions for her where she got to run free with other dogs and she really came out of herself. As an added bonus she inturn helped out other nervous dogs at the rescue by getting them to play! Rhianna was also a great calming influence when I was teaching other dogs to walk well on lead, she just trotted along behind us being a great example. Rhianna just needs a decent home where she will be guided and allowed to grow in confidence until she becomes the fantastic dog that is clearly within her.
Bonnie’s 1 week transformation (she’s now adopted).
Bonnie came into the rescue as a stray, she was completely matted and covered in dirt and brambles. Her matts were so tight they were pulling on her skin, she bit several people as they tried to touch her or try to put lead on or off her. Her owners were contacted but wanted nothing to do with her! First I needed to gain some trust from her before I even thought about sorting out her coat. I spent some time with her getting her used to being touched getting her ready for her grooming. The matts were so tight they restricted her movement! It took two of us to groom Bonnie, one to hold her and keep her calm and one (a professional hairdresser!) to work on cutting the matts out. Shaving Bonnie wasn't an option as this would have been too traumatic for her and would have taken much longer desensitising her to the whole process which was more stress than she needed to be exposed to. Once Bonnie was matt free she was much more comfortable moving about, she was able to run fast and even jump (which she previously couldn't). She also became much more happy about being picked up and handled to the point where she was actively came looking for a fuss.
Bonnie's turnaround in behaviour is testament to what dogs can achieve in a short space of time with the right guidance despite having a poor background. This video was filmed over the 3 sessions I spent with Bonnie at North Clwyd Animal Rescue.
Little Rescue Staffie Packs at North Clwyd Animal Rescue.
At North Clwyd Animal Rescue we always have lots of Staffies in residence, so we started taking some of them out for walks together so they get to socialise, exercise and explore at the same time.
The Staffies in this video have all since found new homes!
Humbug the happy Staffie (he's now found a home!)
Humbug has been at North
Clwyd Animal Rescue for too many years. He's a cracking Staffie who is always
happy to see you, it doesn't take him long to throw himself on his back looking
for a belly rub!
He is super friendly which has got him into trouble in the past, people have mistaken his playfulness for something more serious, which is a shame for him. He will also protect his owners if they allow him, or ask him to which has also seen his reputation suffer.
Whilst I've been working with Humbug in and around North Clwyd Animal Rescue I've seen no negative reactions or perceptions from him, he simply seems to look for the fun in every situation. He loves to come walking, he's met plenty of strangers and loved the attention from them and he stays calm around other dogs, even ones acting aggressively!
He adores trying to be a lapdog and curling up with you on the couch taking all the attention your can lavish on him.
He's got some basic training, but because of his love of treats he'd be easy to train further.
Humbug is one of the only dog's at the rescue who can relax and sleep through all of the commotion associated with living in a rescue, which makes me think he would be a really chilled out dog in a family home without too much effort.
Marley the chilled Shar Pei, (he's now found a home!)
Marley is a 5 year old Shar Pei. He quite a chilled out lad who takes most things in his stride. He can be a bit aloof to begin with but once he gets to know you he is happy to come and relax with you.
He was signed into the rescue by his owners after they let him into the garden with their chickens, and like most dogs would he chased and caught some of them. He also got out of their unsecured garden into the adjacent field. So any potential owners should be aware of this.
At the rescue, he is one of the few dogs who can ignore the hustle and bustle of the busy kennel block and sleep most of the time. I often have to wake him up to put a lead on and bring him out!
Once out he's easy going, he walks well with minimal guidance and is happy to plod along with other dogs. Offlead his recall seems good, but this is helped by him being so calm when he is offlead. He just trots around checking out his surroundings and never really wanders too far away.
His basic training is good too, he can sit, give paw, wait and seems to have been taught some 'begging' tricks. I've put him through a few novel experiences and he's done really well, he does take his time and consider his options before making a decision, this makes him easy to work with and train.
Marley isn't far off the finished article as a family companion. He has already lived with children and another dog, so with a little guidance to help his transition from the rescue center back to a family home.
Marley was under weight when he came into the NCAR but he is steadily putting it back on and is looking much more healthy now.
As with nearly all Shar Peis, Marley will need help keeping his wrinkles clean with a daily wipe. He wasn't sure about this at first but is getting used to the routine now.