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Currently in kennels in Sunderland.
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Wesley is 3.5 years of age: neutered: vaccinated: microchipped. A small male weighing approximately 32kgms.
As we understand Wesley’s
history in his early life he was kept chained up. This owner met a guy in a pub and exchanged Wesley for a bicycle. Luckily this owner
when he realised that he did not really have the time to care for a dog contacted the rescue.
Wesley has since been rehomed twice.
He has proved for the most part to be an affectionate dog, but sadly he has built up a bit of a bite history. We are aware of triggers
for particular incidents, but whether the need to react in this way is the result of abuse in early life we cannot be sure. Suffice
to say that being chained up in one home and being walked on a choker in another home does not indicate that he has not always enjoyed
positive training techniques.
Wesley is, however, an intelligent dog and responds to a number of commands including sit, down, paw
and other one, stay and come. His stay is very good and has been proven in a number of ways: in a stay with handler walking away up
to around 20 yards before returning to Wesley: in a stay with handler walking off a distance and circling Wesley at that distance:
and in a stay until he is called. Not always 100%: sometimes the prospect of his ball or a treat just proves too much. His recall
which has only been tested in a secure area is very good. Very ball orientated: he loves to play fetch. Will bring ball back and drop
it most of the time. He will respond to sit and leave it and the ball can be picked up without difficulty. If the handler has to step
towards the ball Wesley will immediately pounce on the ball. Won’t give it up from his mouth: currently handler has had hold of the
ball in his mouth without reaction, but he won’t give it up. This is the type of fixation that needs to be broken with distraction
rather than forced compliance.
Wesley is fine with all people. He will quickly bond and actively seeks affection by rubbing against
you. He was in his last home for two years where he lived with a couple and had regular contact with an adult daughter and 13 year
old Granddaughter. Wesley was very much the lady’s dog: she provided the care, exercise and affection. The man of the house was not
interested in Wesley and although I am certain he suffered no abuse he did become increasingly anxious and the man became increasingly
distrustful of Wesley. Wesley had a good relationship with the adult daughter, but could be grumbly with Granddaughter, but was good
with her when her Mum was not present. Care would need to be taken that Wesley’s desire for affection does not result in intimate
or prolonged handling which might lead to him becoming uneasy and unexpected behavioural change. He can be inclined to fixate on his
ball or a treat and currently this is being dealt with by stopping the activity and distracting him. Any force will potentially lead
to a warning or worse a bite. It is not premeditated it is simply a reaction. Wesley is reactive to other dogs on walks. I see it
as an issue which needs more work, but not a major issue. The reaction tends to come on meeting another dog on lead and does not really
happen until he is virtually alongside another dog. More work is needed on socialisation, but until this is achieved he can be distracted
by offering him his Kong on a rope which he will then carry with him.
A little strong on lead, but walks quite well on a Dogmatic
headcollar. Recall is good, but care would need to be taken in areas where he might unexpectedly meet other dogs.
The right home for
Wesley would probably be with an experienced single person or couple: both committed to working consistently with him. After a quiet
settling in period he can be increasingly shown affection, but owners would need to remain alert to any sudden behavioural changes.
Continued training, appropriate exercise and affection may well overcome his need to react. Last owner who had him for two years found
him to be affectionate for the vast majority of time and current handler after 10 has only experienced one unwanted reaction. A lovely
lad who needs commitment and understanding.