Many of the dogs we receive into our care come from working backgrounds, and therefore haven’t had proper socialisation as a young pup. During our assessments, we discover some can be reactive to other dogs, especially to non-sighthounds. Their web profiles may say such things as “needs to be walked away from off-lead dogs”, or “needs a rural home”, these requirements are there to ensure the dog is set up to succeed in their new home. Whilst this may initially seem restrictive, it doesn’t mean that the dog in question can’t make an amazing family companion.
Have a read of the testimonial below from one of our adopters in response to our home appeal for Coco, who can be reactive to unknown dogs and has been in our care for a long time. Rather than considering their lurcher Fettle’s reactivity as an barrier, they opened up their heart and home to give her a second chance at life, whilst embracing new opportunities.
I have a slightly reactive lurcher very similar to Coco that came to us via Forever Hounds Trust. She’s a bundle of energy too! I worried that I wouldn’t get to enjoy the doggy lifestyle due to her fear of other dogs and yes, we do avoid other dogs off lead & places where that’s likely to happen, but we have discovered some really lovely peaceful walks, amazing fenced in dog fields and how to creatively play games in the garden. I can’t imagine life now without her! The rewards from having her and knowing that she is no longer lonely in kennels far, far outweighs the slight detours we sometimes make on walks. Coco looks like a beautiful, fun companion and I hope that she gets snapped up quickly! I can also reassure any potential Coco adoptees that the support post adoption from the charity is great, so you won’t be doing it alone. Good luck Coco! X”Leona
For any dog adopted from us, we give full guidance and support at the time of adoption, and provide behavioural support for this life of the dog, not just for reactivity, but for any issues you need help with.
So, please don’t be put off by reactive dogs, instead, consider how they can enrich your life and ultimately how rewarding it would be to give that dog a second chance at life.