Understanding Rescue Dogs

by Margaret Wells (Volunteer Kennel Care Team)

There are many varied reasons why dogs need to be rehomed: From dogs that have previously had very good homes but through genuine unfortunate circumstances find themselves in a rescue through to dogs that have been abused and abandoned. When the history of the dog isn’t known, one has to presume that they have not had the best upbringing: haven’t been socialised, trained or had any guidance throughout their puppyhood. Once they reach adolescence they have become unruly and difficult to manage through mental or/and physical mistreatment. It is, therefore, very important to assess all dogs that come into SYD and determine what kind of, if any, rehabilitation and training is needed. An individual plan is set up for that dog and then followed until the dog is fit for rehoming.

A dog is only ready to rehome once its behaviour and training are at a level appropriate for a life in a new “forever” home. We then match the right kind of dog to the right kind of home and circumstances. The rehoming volunteers know every detail about the dogs in SYD’s care and matches them to their ideal homes. Whenever possible the dogs in stay with fosterers; even just for a short while. This is because a dog’s behaviour in kennels can be very different to the home environment. We cannot always put them with a fosterer but other actions we take is to allow them to stay with a volunteer for a day or so , Or just to go out for the day away from the kennels. Any type of socialisation helps the dogs in their rehabilitation.

Problems like fearfulness, nervousness, anxiety, over excitement, boisterousness, mouthing, stealing and pulling on the lead are just a few of the problems that may be encountered. But with time, patience and training the issues can be resolved to a point that is either manageable and/or acceptable. Once rehomed, members of the Kennel care team are always available to help and there are even qualified canine behaviourists to help on a voluntary basis.


Common behaviour issues

 “There are no problem dogs just dogs with problems” caused by inappropriate ownership. A dog doesn’t just grow up knowing how to toilet outside, walk calmly on a lead, not bark all day every day or to share food and toys with other doggie pals.

Common issues

  • Lack of socialisation from an early age

  • Fearful

  • Nervous

  • Separation anxiety

  • Jumping up

  • Over excitement

  • Pulling on lead or lunging

  • Barking constantly

  • Mouthing

  • Food raiding and food aggression

  • Toileting issues

This site will be updated over the next few months with guidance on the above issues plus how to train a pup. But in the mean time please feel free to contact the SYD team if you need assistance.

Alternatively, if you would like to be put in touch with a professional dog trainer then SYD has links with then please just ask.

You are not alone – just ask any questions that you want. If SYD’s volunteers can help prevent another dog entering the rescue world they will do whatever they can to help.

6 + 4 =