News 2010 - page 4
THINK BEFORE YOU BUY A DOG
BELLA AND BARNEY,OWNED BY DEBBIE
AND ALI SYKES - ENJOYING THE SNOW!
Most rotts love the snow, but ours have steadfastly refused to go out and brave the cold weather. Byron has "hung on" for hours, whilst Cleo has perfected the art of backing out of the kitchen door and depositing within a couple of feet of it! What I do find a bit confusing however, is that if we take them to the kennels with us to give them a run in the field, they love the snow there! And they say rotts are intelligent!
"Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow"!
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PATIENCE, PATIENCE, …………………………..
When a dog comes into care we have to take our assessments slowly. Every dog reacts differently to being thrust into a new and unfamiliar environment. Many apparently confident dogs will show fear when put into kennels, and without their owner around. Others will become completely introverted and show little interest in anything at all.
We are at the kennels every day and for the first few days all we do is walk the dog. We do not attempt to teach it to walk to heel, sit, down or over handle the dog. We find that this approach works. Within a week or so, the dog is happy and confident with us. We will then gradually introduce some commands, and start to introduce it to other dogs.
Only when we are happy that the dog has built a bond with us do we even try letting the dog off lead – and even this is a gradual process. The dog will be let off the lead in the enclosed pen first, then for 20 yards, then 30 the next day and so on.
Of course some dogs will be relaxed from the first day they come in. These dogs tend to be the ones who have had very little in their lives, and are just happy to be getting food, exercise and some attention. However, we still take things slowly.
It may seem that we are over cautious, but we are responsible not only for the dogs in our care, but for making sure that any prospective owner is the correct match for the dog.
If we push a dog too far, too quickly it can set the dog’s progress back for weeks.
Similarly, when a dog goes into a new home, the process will almost certainly have to begin again in the home. Although we do tell new owners the importance of taking everything slowly, many feel that we are being over cautious. Undoubtedly some of these new owners get away with it, but some do not, and are surprised that the dog does not feel confident with everyone immediately. (In fact, one owner who had had a dog for 2 days said the dog had snapped at someone who was trying to cuddle it, who had come to the house. When we said “the person was a stranger” the owner’s answer was – “No, it was a member of my family”! But of course, the dog didn’t know that – and was not confident enough in it’s new owners to accept overhandling from a stranger)
If only we could teach everyone to take things slowly and calmly there would be far fewer “hiccups” when the dogs are still learning their new rules and to trust their new people.
If you have taken one of our dogs and are having any problems with it, please remember we are always here to help - we will have spent a lot of time with them and will be able to help you resolve any little problems you may be having.
Please consider one of our adult dogs. Many will be better suited to your lifestyle, and less time and trouble than a pup. Please remember, we are a rescue - and we cannot destroy dogs just because they are "past their sell by date".
We are very honest about the dogs in our care. We feel it is better to tell a prospective owner the good and bad points about any dog they are considering taking. But this is not always enough to stop the new home from trying to do too much, too quickly, and not following the basic "rules" to introduce the dog into the family routine gradually. This ranges from letting the dog off the lead in the first few days, to having lots of friends and family visiting before the dog knows it's routine and new owners, or allowing the dog upstairs and playing unsuitable games with them. We then get a call saying that the dog is unsuitable for one reason or another. Please listen to the advice you are given on the day you are introduced to the dog. If you feel you will not be able to follow the advice, don't take the dog. These dogs have been through enough stress and misery without having the unsettling experience of having to come back into kennels again. Of the dogs we have had returned in the last year, most have been exactly what we said they were, and given time and patience to settle would have been good additions to the family. Patience is the key to settling a rescue dog - not trying to do everything that you did with your last dog in the first few days.
We have received this email from Margaret, who has been the proud owner of Tally for a year now! As you can see from the photo, Tally looks very settled and happy.
This is Rosie, one of RRT's dogs. She was rehomed to Richard in 2007. Rosie was not the sweetest dog in the world, but Richard persevered with her, and she is very much loved - and a very nice dog. It is so good to hear from those of you who took a dog from us some time ago. We love hearing your stories - we love to know that the dogs are all okay. Please keep talking to us.
CALL OF THE WEEK - 04.02.10
Have just had a phone call from a man who has a two year old rott male that he cannot keep as he has 4 kids, and his wife is expecting another. I started to question where he got the dog from. He explained that his brother in law has the sire. His brother in law's dog is sired by a Best of Breed at Crufts dog from a few years ago, and bought from a very well known breeder. He said that he used his brother in law's dog on his bitch. I was not very impressed, and was rather curt with him when he said he could show me the dog's sire. I explained that we were offered 1,000 plus dogs last year and that he shopuld not have bred the dog at all, especially as his brother in law's dog had breeding restrictions placed on it by the breeder. He then said he would find somewhere else to rehome the dog, as he felt he was being responsible ad that it was not his fault that his wife was pregnant! I resisted the temptation to ask him whose fault it was! But on a serious note - it does make me wonder whether breeding restrictions work.........
The phone calls keep on coming - 6 today so far. Sometimes the things we hear are distressing, sad and hard to handle. But we also hear some of the most selfish, stupid and ridiculous reasons for wanting to give a dog to rescue. For example, we had a man call us to say his wife had just had a baby, so the dog needed to be rehomed. I asked if the dog had shown any aggression to the child. He said that the dog really loved the child, but he was frightened that the dog may fall on the baby when they put the baby on the floor! I refrained from saying "don't put the baby on the floor then!"
Everyone at RRT would like to thank all those who were so generous to the dogs over Christmas. Every dog ended up with four presents each, and we are still giving them the treats you sent. We have had several donations directly into the bank from people who have not left their names or addresses so that we can thank them properly.
WE COULD NOT SURVIVE WITHOUT YOUR SUPPORT.
Those of you who have taken dogs from RRT - please keep in touch with us - we love hearing from you, getting your photos and hearing how the dogs are getting on.
A THOUGHT - How could you do more to help your breed?