Lola has been assessed by our professionally qualified behaviourist and her assessment, which follows, actually brought tears to my eyes, this poor girl …
“In an ideal world she would benefit from being in a quiet knowledgeable home to help her experience gentle kindness and love. She is desperate to be loved bless her, but can’t actually cope with it right now she is so wary and afraid”.
Lola is very friendly towards people and is actually over the top in her welcome which I think is stress/anxiety based as she can very easily cower if she thinks you might get upset with her. so the initial behaviour is trying to “warm you to her” I feel. She is also very timid around other dogs, very wary and on her guard – she has been OK with the ones we have met both on and off lead but she gets worried – more so down to an expectation of what might happen from the person holding the lead. Lola has not been well treated in my opinion and has had some very negative experiences of people.
Lola cannot live with cats – she growled and would have chased if she could have so cat free home is essential.
Lola had a mixed reaction with toys – she does not understand how to play – it would seem that she has not had the experience of play and is unsure how it all works. She can be a bit ball obsessed so I wonder if she has been exercised with a ball – she certainly has not had any lead training which makes me wonder what experiences she has had.
Lola was fine around feeding – no problems, but again was so wound up and stressed that she could not enjoy being fed treats. It was difficult to handle her as she was so worried and in my opinion this dog is not actually used to having nice, gentle cuddles/strokes etc. She almost panicked when I tried to stroke her all over and literally jumped all over the place with anxiety to start with – I was very gentle with her but you could feel how tense her body was, almost as if anticipating bad feelings.
Lola is terrible on a lead and harness and in my opinion has had no training whatsoever. It does not occur to her not to pull, or to perhaps follow in another direction. Some of that is stress as well as lack of training. One of the staff has also experienced her dropping to the ground and cowering when he tried to pull her back, again as if she anticipated getting punished for not walking nicely – this girl has NOT had a nice experience at all and it makes me so very sad as she is so beautiful and desperate to be loved.
She travelled well in the car and was not bothered about traffic or traffic noises when we got out to walk. She is OK on her own in the kennel, waggy tailed and doesn’t mind being alone but she is struggling to be calm – she is anticipating bad things and in my opinion this poor dog has not had a good experience.
There has been no proper training and most definitely she has experienced some negative punishment techniques, and sadly she expects to receive it as well. This adds to the huge amount of stress and anxiety she has right now. She wants to do right…but doesn’t actually know how. Our plan is to help her by lots of positive interactions, gentle touch and handling and whilst she is in kennels to help her walking on a lead, gaining confidence around other dogs and with people etc. She may struggle to learn very well whilst she is so stressed and her adrenaline levels so high. We need to work on helping her trust people more, realise it is safe to be calmer and then she will have the capacity to learn quickly as underneath it all she wants to please.
Because of this can we please suggest that Lola needs a very experienced family who will not move too quickly to fuss her. They will understand her stress and anxiety and that this sometimes will come across as manic over-activity which unfortunately is simply due to her high anxiety right now. We want her to be the only dog in a home, no children as they can be unpredictable and even in play could frighten her given how she is reacting – a raised hand and she cowers, a loud voice and she cowers, seemingly expecting to receive negative punishment, so we feel a home that is calm and relatively quiet, with adults who can take their time to help this poor girl develop into the amazing dog she could be.
As with all our dogs we will offer full post adoption support for Lola with a professionally qualified behaviourist to advise and help. Please help us find Lola the home she deserves where she can experience kindness, gentle handling, positive interactions and love?