There is never a second chance to make a first impression!
Some dogs are returned to rescue through perceived behavioural issues. These can be brought about by either unrealistic expectations or a lack of understanding. Let’s look at this from your new dogs view point. Let’s say you have chosen a 6 month old Spaniel x Collie. A mix called a Sprollie. The rescue have called him Fred. Fred is in rescue as someone was breeding for money and he was the runt and is now too old to sell and was therefore dumped in a rescue.
This is Fred’s tale.
Why am I in this big kennel all alone? Where have my litter mates gone? Why are all these other dogs shouting? Whose this is person coming into my kennel? I’m scared. Ok this isn’t too bad, menu is good and lots of walks. I like this human but still miss my brothers and sister
Who are all these humans standing over me? Ok they seem ok. They want me……what does this mean? I’m in a car? Who are these little people? I’m scared!
The car has stopped we are getting out. Where am I? I don’t know these people, they seem nice but I am still scared!
We are going to a huge kennel, it smells funny. I will wee and make it smell better, humans don’t like my smell, I have no where safe to go. I am scared!
The humans have put me outside, grass is good but what are these smelly colourful things? This brown stuff is soft, I’m bored so will play a digging game. Humans not happy with me. I’m scared.
My little humans have toys, I don’t have any so we must be sharing the toys. Humans not happy I’m scared.
Yippee it is food time. When I was with my litter mates I had to fight for my food as I was the smallest. The little human is by my food…….Humans not happy I’m scared!
It is walk time. I love walking but I don’t know if I trust these humans. I walked nice on my lead in kennels but these humans didn’t see that, so don’t know how to walk me, maybe I can pull to get to park, humans not happy, I’m scared!
There is a dog coming over. I don’t know this dog. I can’t run away I’m on a lead. My humans are not protecting me so I’m going to bark and growl at the other dog so he goes away. Humans not happy …. I’m scared.
We are back in big kennel, Lots of humans here now, come to see me apparently. Why are they tapping the top of my head? Why are little humans grabbing me? I’m scared.
That was a long day, sleep time. I have woken up all alone? I don’t know where I am? I’m scared.
It is morning, humans rushing around? No one has walked me, no one has time for me. Oh everyone has gone out of the kennel and I’m here all alone. I’m scared.
I will bark and maybe they will realise they have forgotten me. No one heard me. I’m bored, what games can I play? This bed is good to chew and throw about, I need a wee, Yes yes yes, humans back. Hi Hi you’re back yippee, good to see you. I didn’t mean to knock you when I jumped up, Humans not happy I’m scared.
We are going out in the car thing again. No one seems happy with me. Oh I’m back at the rescue, in a big kennel all alone….I’m scared!
What did I do wrong?
Ok now let’s look what should have happened. This is Fred again.
Oh look it is those humans who have been to see me a few times, they have seen how to walk me properly. I’m starting to like these humans. We are going in a car, they are taking me to their kennel. Wait no, before I am allowed into their kennel they are taking me for a walk somewhere quiet, with no dogs. I like this.
Oh look a tree I’m going to have a wee. Wow I got a treat and a gentle fuss of these humans. Ok I will do this again. Oh no there is a dog coming…I can’t get away I’m on my lead, hang on the humans have spoken to the other humans and they have taken the dog away, they protected me. I’m starting to like these guys.
We are going into their kennel now, I’ve still got my lead on. They are showing me my bed, looks really comfy, still on my lead they are showing me a big room with big sofa’s. I’m tired, let’s jump on a sofa for a minute. Oh my human didn’t let me jump on sofa. I will lie on comfy carpet. Oh I got a treat, this must be what they want to do, ok but I will try to get on sofa again later.
What are these stair things? Oh I have been told No to the stairs…ok they look too much like hard work for now any way.
Food time yippee. They want me to wait for my food? Ok but not too long. They have left me in peace to eat, no litter mates trying to take it, all mine. I like it here.
We are going on another walk, good I need the toilet and a treat. Bed time…comfy bed and I’m exhausted after a long day, the humans have gone upstairs but a can still hear some gentle voices, that must be what the call a radio. There is a warm squidgy thing in my bed, it feels like my mum or littermates. I feel safe. I like it here.
Morning everyone is up. Breakfast? Yes please I know I have to sit and wait. It seems these humans got up early to take me for a walk, more treats for weeing outside, I’m liking this.
Oh everyone has gone without saying goodbye. Hang on what’s this? I have a toy in my bed and that radio thing is on, maybe it is like last night were they go and come back. Yes it is the humans are back and they are pleased to see me calm. I like it here I want to stay.