NCAR Dog Rehabilitation work

Sox’s rehabilitation at North Clwyd Animal Rescue

Sweet little Sox came into NCAR with behaviour which was heart breaking, she knew very little of the world and everything terrified her. She was completely shutting down, we needed to help her fast.

Our team at North Clwyd Animal Rescue set about trying to build some confidence in her to enable her to deal with the world, here is how we got on….

(She has since been adopted and is continuing to progress and thrive)

Bob the shutdown Collie starting his rehab journey

Bob the farm Collie spent 5 years unwanted, unloved and treated badly on a farm in North Wales until he was finally rescued. Unfortunately, such was the impact of his traumatic life, once at his new home he took over a spare room and refused to come out for two whole weeks! Facing eviction over this problem the family asked NCAR for help. I went out to see Bob and after an hour or so managed to get him into the van and heading to NCAR to begin his rehab.

Nahla helping Rehabilitate 3 blind & deaf foster pups

These 3 deaf and almost blind pups were left to perish next to a road in a box. Fortunately they were found just in time and brought into the rescue. They were clearly under nourished showing no consideration for their needs had been given by their callous breeder before they were dumped.

Now currently on foster they are getting over their traumatic start to life and learning to be puppies again.

Nahla, who I only rescued a few months before, immediately decided she would help these pups and set about guiding, educating and rehabilitating the youngsters. She did an awesome job!

“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!

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….

check out his photo gallery

FOxy the Nervous Collie

Foxy the collie came in as a stray and clearly hadn’t seen much of life indoors with a loving family. This could explain why he was struggling so much in the rescue kennel environment, his stress levels were high and he was beginning to hurt himself. I took him on foster to help build his confidence whilst hopefully preparing him for when his lucky day comes and a family takes him in. The great news is; after seeing this video a family came forward and now Foxy is living a fantastic life and progressing all the time!

Abandoned Collie pup Jasmine’s socialisation bootcamp

Jasmine is part of a litter who were dumped in a farmers trailer. All of these Collie pups were in poor condition and had no understanding of the world around them. They were all displaying various fear based defensive behaviours. Jasmine was really struggling so our I took her home for a 3 day socialisation boot camp to kick start her education.

She really progressed well in this short period and handled everything well with just a little guidance. Her fear of dogs, strangers, cars, noises and weird objects melted away as her confidence soared. She soon made friends with Coco (Frenchie) and Nahla (Staffie cross) who helped her understand how to react/behave in every situation (which was basically staying calm).

Dexter learning polite play skills

Big Dexter loves to play, but sometimes he can be a bit much and play a bit too rough which most dogs (and people) don’t like. ex-NCAR (and super patient) Nahla had a go at teaching him some manners and, although he’s not the quickest learner, he did eventually pick up the lesson. Once Dex learns to control his boisterous behaviour he’ll make a fantastic dog. He can do it, he just needs a family to keep his education up!

Star the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog

Star the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog came into North Clwyd Animal Rescue in a pretty poor mental state. She also had marks around her face and front legs which tell an unpleasant story. I set about gaining her trust and starting the slow process of rebuilding her confidence and education. She was very cautious but slowly and steadily we made progress.

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 off-lead 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 one 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.

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 in-turn 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 One 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.

check out her photo gallery

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.

check out his photo gallery