K999, for last chance dogs!
Special adoption - Twm
Twm at North Clwyd Animal Rescue
Twm was adopted from North Clwyd Animal Rescue but was returned after nipping his family on a few occasions. I began spending time with Twm assess his behaviour and try to understand why he reacted the way he did in whilst living with his adopting family.
It was immediately clear that Twm was very nervous, he didn’t have a good understanding of the world around him and was very defensive when encountering anything he hadn’t seen before. These reactions ranged from lying down and refusing to move and freezing to growling and stalking. There are many situations Twm also struggles with; being cornered, being directly approached, getting into, and travelling in, cars. He was also very unsure around dogs particularly if they weren’t too confident themselves.
It also became clear that Twm has had a very bad encounter with a man at some point in his past as he very defensive when being approached by men he doesn’t recognise or trust.
Clearly nobody has ever given the time and education he needs to understand our human society which explains why he finds so many things scary.
Twm on Foster
I took Twm on foster over Christmas so I could get to know him better and hopefully make some progress with his education.
What was immediate apparent is how affectionate Twm is! It doesn’t take long for Twm to trust you and once he does he literally can’t get close enough to you. He is polite enough not to force himself on you but he will stare up at you with the sweetest face full of hope you’ll invite him up for a cuddle! He actually got pretty good all round manners, he’ll wait for food, he’s house trained, he walks well on lead (with a little guidance), he’s actually pretty good with dogs (maybe a little cautious but soon looks to play), he’s been very good with my dog Coco (they love playing together), he good in the car (although a little nervous he does sit still), he can be left at home for a few hours with no problems and he always like to hang around without being clingy.
Twm had a very busy Christmas holiday with us, we had a few visitors to the house and I took him along with us to visit family’s houses and their dogs. He coped very well with everything only requiring to be ignored by any men for a short period until he felt confident enough to approach them for a fuss. Once he had built enough trust to accept being stroked he really relaxed and enjoyed meeting new people. We went on many different walks, streets, mountains, forests, beaches, sand dunes, fields and rivers and he loved every minute of it. We got to do some work approaching men without Twm worrying and he met many dogs. Although a
little unsure around dogs he always looked to meet them and get them to play. He even coped well with really pushy dogs, all whilst on lead. Of course he needs to know he is safe with me so I didn’t allow him to pull and didn’t let him meet dogs whilst holding the lead tight. Offlead he showed some good manners around dogs and even assisted me with a young fear aggressive Chihuahua pup at the rescue. Whilst both offlead the Chihuahua hid in a corner growling, snapping and lunging at Twm everytime he approached. Twm kept trying to meet the pup, taking his time and making it easy for the pup to relax. Within 20 minutes the pup was wandering around with Twm and ex NCAR Coco showing much more confidence and enjoying both Twm and Coco’s company. I was impressed with how Twm approached this situation.
The one issue he does need help on is around unknown men. He has clearly had at least one bad experience with men as he can become very concerned when men approach (he seems great with women). This is particularly bad if the man is wearing his hoodie up or has a helmet on. Fortunately he doesn’t need much encouragement to stop being defensive, so I do feel this issue can be resolved without too much work. There are a couple of other things Twm needs some help and guidance on, for instance he gets jumpy around unusual (to him) sounds like phones ringing and mobile phone tones. But again it doesn’t take much to show him there is nothing to worry about. With each lesson he learns his education grows allowing him to relax and show more confidence.
Twm has great potential in regards to obedience training; he is very alert, focuses well, learns very fast and is also food motivated. He is only really limited by the imagination of the trainer!
Whoever decides to give Twm a chance and helps him overcome his fear based behaviours will be rewarded with the most sweet, affectionate and loyal dog. Anybody who is interested in Twm will have full canine behavioural support from myself at K999.com
Check out Twm’s rescue profile at North Clwyd Animal Rescue - http://ncar.org.uk/animals/twm/
Adam – www.K999.com