Alfie is a 2 year old male Terrier mix boy being fostered in Gloucestershire in family home with children and dogs. This does not happen very often for us but unfortunately Alfie has come back into our care as things did not work out in his home. When this happens as upsetting as it is for everyone involved the main thing is Alfie – and this write up is about him and getting it right next time for him.
He has been back in our care for over a month now as we wanted to assess him properly before looking again for a potential home and getting to the bottom of some of problems encounter in his previous home and the reasons given for his return. So please read carefully as the next home has to be his forever home.
There is a lot of information here and hopefully the right home will appreciate this.
Alfie is from Spain, he was found as a stray as are quite a few of our dogs from Spain, we did meet him before he travelled over and also arranged a foster home prior to travel – in Spain he was living with other dogs – he was taken out to cafe’s etc to see how he coped and he did very well – when he came to UK even though he had a homed lined up he still went into foster for a week so his new owners could meet him prior to the adoption – this was a family home with other dogs and kids – Alfie was a friendly happy boy, could be a bit nervous at times but no problems or real issues nor in Spain. Below are a few videos taken before homing.
In his new home he seemed to do well initially, he was taken away in a camper van, went to the pub and attended dog training, his new owners were around for him the first few weeks and then returned to work and so Alfie was left a lot longer on his own which we knew of and felt he would adapt to this – the first problems that were encountered was he started getting barky when he saw other dogs, wanted to chase bikes if they past him and was acting really nervous around the people.
He was never happy to see them when they came in and would take himself off, he was not allowed on the furniture and because he was in his previous foster home and is so sensitive, I think he maybe thought he had done something wrong, second guessing here and trying to put ourselves in Alfie’s shoes. Their cleaning lady they had come in he got really barky with her on occasions to and they felt he was too much to manage and were worried about his behaviour when they had visitors etc, we did try and work with the couple but they felt he really was the wrong match for them.
After assessing – I think yes there were problems with Alfie that maybe we did not pick up but now knowing him we feel too much was done with him – especially his nervousness around people at times, he can get scared and looks very worried, again I think the same out on walks its a worry bark. I think too much was done with him too soon as Alfie had never really known home life and I think the adjustment of this he found a lot harder than we thought and really I think in hindsight he should have just been left to get used to home life etc first we did not realise he would struggle with so much change – its a shame and no one is to blame people do what they feel is the right thing but it really seem to affect him.
So Mr Alfie came back into our care and back to the same foster home – he came back a different dog to the one that had left our care – he was quiet and withdrawn to begin with and we were worried how he would be with the children – so his experienced foster home just let him be while we monitored him.
What we have learnt about Alfie is that he can be very nervous especially of men sometimes and gets very worried this has happened on a few occasions, if he is asleep and gets woken up suddenly, if he feel threatened at all in different situations ie his foster home was leaning over him, laying on your lap and the book touched him, he can growl and snap but he has never bitten and its a warning that he is worried and he lets you know. He is one of those dogs that you have to leave it to him to initiate when he wants a fuss especially in the beginning – out and about he can lunge at other dogs but if you take the time and introduce him he soon settles down its just a fear thing, the same with the bikes and Deb his foster carer has done a lot of work with this in the garden.
I think all of this will put a lot of people off but we have to be honest if you are still reading what you have to remember for the last month he has been in a foster home with children at primary school and two dogs – its probably not the ideal set up for a dog like Alfie but Debbie is very experienced and the kids know to leave him when he wants to be alone and he has made amazing progress – he is a fun dog, affectionate with a heart of gold but has probably suffered abuse in his previous life and being a Terrier they need careful handling as they react to stress differently to other dogs as people with experience of rescue terrier will know – in the right home he will get there and put the past behind him.
We think he would probably suit a women on her own – a country home – someone who has had rescued terriers and will not put any pressure on him – where he will be allowed on the sofa – given his space when needed – he does live with two other dogs – he is quite bossy with the male dog at times but fine with the Cavalier bitch not convinced he needs to be with other dogs – he needs the same routine – being left he is fine with no problems but not fair him being left long hours as we feel he needs his person around – not a busy house with lots of comings and goings – he likes to take himself alone at times like a little cat – so someone who respects that. He is a very loving little dog and will bond closely with one person.
Aunty Deb his foster mummy has worked very hard with little Alfie to help him settle and grow in confidence, she also knows him best and we will discuss this with potential owners as we need for his forever family to carry on with this approach to give him consistency.
Time will be a huge factor in this. He does not need training or behaviourists at this stage. We do want to see a willingness to work with the rescue if problems occur and we do want to be kept updated on his progress. We feel in the right home he will be fine once he has been given time to settle, trust and bond with his new owners.
In his foster home with the other dogs and he does meet new dogs too. Alfie is neutered, vaccinated and has had full blood tests, his own Pet Passport – if you feel you could be the right home for him please can you email us in the first instance for our questionnaire.