Angel is a 3 year old female English Cocker Spaniel. She has had an exceptionally hard life and unfortunately the traumas of her past mean that she’s going to require a home committed to helping her find some peace to become a well balanced dog in the future. We are Angels 4th Rescue placement and are dedicated to help find her a suitable adopter and stop this girl being bounced around. Angel was originally purchased as a puppy by a family with 7 young children.
All had learning disabilities ranging from Asperger’s, ADHD, Autism and basically bullied/tormented her. This resulted in her being incredibly fear reactive and aggressive with them. The family decided the only way to fix this was to keep her crated when the children were around. The children unfortunately continued to taunt her through the cage, grabbing at her ears and tail and poking her with objects which resulted in her becoming further agitated. She was barely walked and lacked socialisation and pretty much spent 24/7 in her crate.
Lucky for Angel her family decided to do the right thing by her and handed her over to a rescue where she spent about a year in kennels. They tried to place her unsuccessfully a few times where she was returned for biting and this appears to be a repeated pattern throughout all of her rescue placements. Her last rescue was a foster based rescue but unfortunately after she bit her foster for attempting to dry her legs after a walk they had nowhere else to place her and asked for our help.
Angel is somewhat of a troubled little girl who has had multiple homes and been passed around a lot further adding to her insecurities. Her issues are manageable, she just needs confident handlers and measures put in place in order for her to succeed. It really needs to be noted that Angel is essentially an abuse case and has had to endure a lot of suffering; as a result she has a lot of deep seated trust issues around humans and touch (especially strangers) and whilst she may ask for fuss initially, she may then decide she does not want it after all and snap suddenly.
She is so friendly and happy when she meets people but does have issues being over handled. Her last foster home reported she was very affectionate with them however would suddenly bite without warning at times when being heavily handled. She has had a lot of behavioural training since and trust building exercises to get her to this point where she will interact with people happily and ask for attention but there is a long way to go yet.
Angel is a typical spaniel. She is bright and vibrant, loves everyone she meets. Enjoys going on pack walks with other dogs and playing in the play yard. Angel is a confident, social and well rounded girl who you wouldn’t think had any kind of handling issues when you first meet her. She is a very smart lady and we are sure with a bit of encouragement, consistency, and lots of positive reinforcement her behaviour and trust issues will improve as they already have.
Angel gets on well with the dogs here out and about but does resource guarding her human against them. She is also quite reactive through barriers at them. Because of this we will only be placing her in a home as a solo dog.
All of Angels biting triggers appear to centre around being enveloped and over handled. Vets cannot find a pain source relating to the aggression and have put it down to a trauma response instead. Whilst there is no definitive handling trigger, potential adopters must consider situations that could also elicit a similar response and be mindful of them arising.
Part of her trust issues may affect vets and dog groomers. (Any kind of handling really) She needs to be muzzled for examinations and grooming. She also massively does not like the muzzle so we are conditioning her to it slowly with training. Her new owner must be willing to continue with this desensitization training in order for her to build a healthy relationship with her muzzle and enjoy the nice things life has to offer without putting herself or anyone else at risk.
Overall Angel is not an easy dog and requires time and space to heal from her traumas at her pace, she may never be a dog who likes to be overly handled but I am hopeful this may not be the case given how far she has already come. There just needs to be reasonable adjustments in place to keep everyone (her included) safe. Her ideal adopter would be someone who has no expectations for her early on and is incredibly kind, patient and hands off. Angel essentially needs to be ignored until she feels confident to start interacting with people. Upon doing that she shouldn’t be pushed, just reassured with treats and positive reinforcement and once that phase is over it can be built upon slowly. Although visiting people will need to be aware not to stroke her suddenly or try to pick her up.
Ange’s issues will need ongoing work although he is honestly the sweetest little dog and is no trouble at all here.