Custard is a 5 year old male Cross-Breed. He is an anxious little fella who has come into rescue via the pound system. Little is known of his history prior to entering the pound nor his reason for surrender. He shows a lot of evidence of abuse and being beaten as he is fearful of touch at times and will panic if you reach down to him suddenly, he will scream and exhibit true levels of fear. He is very keen to please, incredibly smart and easy to train and does want to be friends with people if they approach calm and kindly.
Custard has been sweet on first meets and generally very friendly and affectionate but became snappy and defensive around situations if touched whilst he is not expecting it or unsure. In his defense he does give a fair degree of warning before snapping and shows a lot of teeth and vocalisation. He takes treats nicely though and does not appear to have any nervousness around these.
Custard has shown some nervousness when being handled. He sometimes acts out quite badly when trying to put a collar or harness on, or when trying to attach a lead to his collar if he doesn’t know you. He becomes very distressed and will sometimes bite in an attempt to get you to stop. Although he would rather not. We have been working very hard with Custard using desensitisation tactics and redirection alongside praise and positive reinforcement. He is responding very well and will now tolerate having a collar on as well as a slip lead. He is still nervous at the sight of both but is coming on slowly.
We have been moving slowly towards him wearing a harness but are finding he is most confident wearing a slip lead so would advise this going forward whilst continuing desensitisation towards his harness. His main fear is having it put over his head or adjusted to size. He does not like when people hesitate, this makes him anxious but if you calmly go for it he is not as bad.
He takes a lot of confidence from his handler but occasionally will turn to mouth when he is uncomfortable with the situation but he is not jumping straight to biting anymore. This is great progress for him but potential adopters will need at accept that we cannot rule this out. Especially in a new situation with new handlers.
It would appear Custard’s previous family have done a really great job with him. He has had a great deal of training and socialisation and in many ways is the perfect dog other than being aggressive and snappy when he feels unsure. For his and others own safety we will not be accepting applications with visiting or resident children under the age of 13 years.
Custard is housebroken and happy to be left for reasonable durations of time but does cry in kennels. At first, Custard can be independent and aloof. He doesn’t enjoy being overly fussed at first, it has to be on his terms but overall he is sweet and affectionate with his owners and people he knows.
Custard has shown a huge amount of excitement and comfort around more mature/elder ladies when assessing his reaction to new people. During the assessment he was so happy to be the first to interact, he jumped for joy and openly welcomed handling and attention. He was so happy it almost felt like, in his mind he was reconnecting with his past owner because he was a different dog. We do feel his previous owner might have been older.
Custard likes other dogs and we feel he would do well in a home with another social canine companion to learn from or as a solo dog with plenty of opportunity to enjoy 1-on-1 attention. He will need owners who are consistent, understanding and willing to dedicate the time to use redirection and desensitisation training in order to stop Custard from snapping when he is unsure of something. He needs a home with people who are incredibly patient and understand how to deal with fear aggression to set him up to succeed in a new home.
The rescue is happy to advise and offer ongoing support for life with his behavioral issues. We know in the right home, Custard would be a fantastic addition to a family unit and we welcome the correct applicants to apply for him. In all honestly he is incredibly easy if you can safely recognise his signals that he is unsure and take adequate measures to keep everyone safe.