"Dogs like Gigo", Staffies in rescue.
There are many reasons dogs end up in rescue centres, 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! Dogs 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 center environment.
Maud's rescue profile - http://ncar.org.uk/animals/maud/
check out her photo album - www.flickr.com/photos/ncar/albums/72157669710083326
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 over come 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.
Del's profile - http://www.ncar.org.uk/portfolio/del/
check out his video...
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 competetion! 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.
Buddy's rescue profile - http://www.ncar.org.uk/portfolio/buddy/
check out his video...
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.
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.
Striders rehab video - getting him to accept a stranger. He is still up for adoption.
Strider struggles meeting strangers which makes getting this boy a home very difficult. He's been at the rescue for a few years and I finally got time to work with him. Initially I asked Kim, who Strider likes, to start walking with him and then pass the lead to me. Strider was instantly very tense about this and when it became just me and him he watched me very warily as we walked. I simply ignored him and kept walking without letting him pull. After 5-10 minutes he was walking fine and we ignored each other. After 15 minutes and called him, he stopped, I asked him to sit, he did so I dropped him a piece of Turkey, let him eat it then we set off again. He visibly relaxed more and more as the walk went on with him sitting and getting turkey. After 30 minutes I sat on a bench and Strider choose to sit near me, even making contact with me with his head. This time I let him eat the turkey out of my hand, a show of trust by both of us. After the 45 minute walk we were back at the rescue centre so I thought I'd extend and build on the trust and let him offlead in the paddock. He was fine and we played with a ball and did some recall for 20 minutes. Once Strider was beginning to look tired I walked him back down to the carpark and sat on a bench. This time Strider really relaxed into me and really enjoyed the fuss and the contact, showing no sign of stress or tension. So all in all, it took around 1 and a half hours for Strider to go from completely distrusting me to showing a high level of trust in me. Anybody interested in giving Strider a chance wouldn't take much more time than this to get him onboard and loving the company.
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!
North Clwyd Animal Rescue - http://www.ncar.org.uk/
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 is 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 an 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 usually have to wake him up before I take him out for a walk.
Once out he's easy going, he walks well on lead with some guidance and is happy to plod along with other dogs. Offlead his recall seems good, but this is helped by him begin so calm whilst he is offlead. He just trots around checking out his surroundings and never wanders too far away.
His basic training is good too. I also put him through some simple but novel tests which he completed really well. He does take his time and consider the situation first which makes him easy to work with.
Marley isn't far off the finished article as a family companion. He has already lived with children and a calm dog, so with a little guidance to help his transition from the rescue center back to a family home should be a smooth one.
Marley was under weight when he came into the rescue but is slowly putting it back on and is looking healthier all the time. As with all 'wrinkley' dogs his skin folds will need regular cleaning and care. He wasn't sure about this at first but he's getting used to the routine now.
Bonnie the Yorkies' one week rehab, she has now found a home...
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 to work on cutting the matts out. 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.
Leon's promotional video, he had spent several years in rescue but has recently found a home!
Educating Percy the pup whilst he was at NCAR...
Snowy's rehab video, he didn't like being touched or groomed! He is currently on foster.
Sam's rehab video. Sam was unsure of other dogs so I got Lewis in to help him, (both dogs now have homes)...