It is fairly common to receive an email requesting urgent assistance with a new dog an owner has got either as a pup or from a rescue and has found they have bitten off more than they can chew. Heck, it’s what happened to me when I bought my first dog back in the late ’90s and I could only have wished there had been an expert around I could have called to guide me through those all-important first couple of months of ownership.
So, when I received one of these calls back in November 2021, I kind of knew what to expect, Penny was a 6-month-old Romanian rescue Collie cross who after a week with her new owner was not exactly displaying normal behaviour as promised by the rescue they had got her from. Now let me just say that no matter the size of the rescue, certain dogs have gone through the trauma of leaving loved ones, whether this is human or canine and have to adjust to kennelled life or foster care. If you import a rescue dog, there can be sometimes the added complication of cultural and environmental influences that are sometimes very different from the environment they end up in in the UK. And we cannot forget the possible trauma and stress of a dog being transported from one country to another.
When I arrived, Penny would not come out of her crate, and I was told that other than picking her up and taking her out for the chance to go to the toilet in the garden this is where she has been for the past week. I explained to her enthusiastic owners that even though this is not the dog they were promised, there were things that we could do to encourage Penny to be the best dog she can be and maybe with some training and a lot of patience she would be the perfect dog for their family.
So, over the next year or so I designed and modified a plan for Penny’s owners to follow which you can see the results of in the video below. The lesson here is that no matter how much planning we do we don’t always get the dog we want, but the dog we need!!!