Meet this beautiful and very clever Romanian rescue. Like many overseas rescues, he can be uncertain of unknown dogs and people.
Many rescue dogs are fine with any people and dogs that they meet within the first 2 weeks of being adopted - it's almost like a honeymoon period.
This can be because the dog has gone through quite a bit of upset and disruption before moving-in. They tend to 'shut-down' and can be subdued in their reactions to new things. Most dogs are the same when they go into kennels or home-boarding: they're a little bit reserved and cautious in new surroundings
WORKING OUT NEW WAYS
They're often more receptive to new things because their brains are looking for patterns and routines, which most brains do in order to feel safe. If first meetings with people and dogs go ok, the rescue dog's brain will accept the dogs or people as 'normal for this new context.'
During this period, they're still working things out, which results in tired brains; and tired dogs often seem more manageable. But those issues are there, lurking below the surface and waiting to emerge...
Once they feel they can settle-in to their new home, they unpack their baggage and their new owners can find they have taken on a dog with more issues than they realised.
I always see this as a good sign - they feel safe enough in their new home to start showing how they really feel. Dogs that growl, bark and lunge may be hard work to manage, but they trust that they can show how they feel about a trigger.
More worrying are the dogs who want to hide, who cower away from triggers or who barely react at all, because they're so traumatised that their body has shut-down into survival mode. Their emotional system is right on the back-burner.
Badger's family gave him time to settle. They took time off work and very gradually left him for longer and longer periods so that he never developed any worries about being left alone.
He met people and dogs, and has some good dog friends and can be affectionate with people he trusts. He's wary of new people, though, and is never really sure about most new dogs - although he's fine with some.
This can be hard for owners to read; in a way, it's easier to deal with a dog who reacts to all people and dogs because you know what you're dealing with. A dog like Badger can seem unpredictable because you need quite high level skills to be able to read him.
ADJUSTING TO FAMILY LIFE INDOORS
His owners have made good progress with him over the year that he has lived with them. He has gone from being scared of most things in a domestic setting to only reacting to loud noises.
He is highly intelligent and his mum handles him well. She has never used Thinking-dog methods before and this is the first 5 mins of our session, meeting outside so that he didn't feel threatened by me in the enclosed space of his home.
I tend to meet Romanian rescues outside because they feel easier with the space. Most of them are Field or Street dogs who have lived indoors and they're generally more comfortable outside.
His mum is nicely connected with him and her calmness and our slow and steady approach meant that he came and sat on my foot for a back rub within 20 mins of going back inside :)
He's a very special dog.
#dogbehavioursolutions #dogtraininglincoln #carpathiansheepdog #romanianrescue #fearfuldog #reactivedog #muzzletraining #connectionwithyourdog #howtocalmyourdog #thinkingdog#fernemberdogbehaviour