Hilda is a 5 year old female Romanian Shepherd Dog. She is fostered in Norwich Norfolk. We have been a part of Hilda’s life and her a part of ours for over two years.
Hilda was in the private shelter in Crivatu Romania the very first time we visited and has been there until just a few weeks ago when she came to the UK.
The story of how she came to be rescued, if indeed it’s true, is too horrible to put into print so I will just say that she has been through a lot and, although understandably scared of people, treats us with nothing but gentleness.
Hilda is a large dog with a calm presence. She moves with grace and poise and is quite regal in her demeanour.
Hilda will avoid strangers if she can but once she is used to the people in the home she will choose to be close by and always looks like she wants to come for a fuss but she’s just not quite ready yet.
When you go to her she is happy to be fussed and groomed and will fall asleep with her head on your lap. Hilda walks nicely on a lead but can panic when spooked so we are looking for a rural home for her as she will not cope with a lot of traffic or crowds.
Despite her fears, Hilda is such a gentle dog, that she will need a calm and quiet environment with no children under twelve and with at least one other dog. Anyone considering adopting her must be calm and patient in gaining her trust but will be rewarded with a dog with a heart of gold in the not-too-distant future.
When you adopt a Safe Rescue dog, you MUST use a slip lead. This will keep your dog safe: your new dog will be nervous and will not trust you, and you will not know which situations might upset your dog.
If your dog panics, then a slip lead is the only way to prevent your dog from escaping (many dogs can escape from a collar and/or harness). It will take AT LEAST 3-6 months for your dog to settle in and for you to know your dog fully (longer for nervous dogs). The slip lead must ALWAYS be used during this settling-in period.
Even after your dog is settled, it is safest to use the slip lead in situations where your dog may become scared (e.g. visiting new places, around unfamiliar people, at the vet), and in situations where unexpected triggers might happen (e.g. around bonfire night). Nervous dogs may always need to wear a slip-lead as a backup safety measure.
The slip lead is a safety device and must NEVER be used as a training tool. Using the lead to apply pressure to the dog’s neck is damaging. If your dog pulls on the lead, then we can advise you on training methods that avoid harm.
Once your dog is settled, you may want to consider using a harness (together with the slip lead) if your dog is comfortable with being handled when it is fitted. Most harnesses are not escape-proof, but harnesses with a strap behind the ribcage (e.g. Ruffwear Webmaster or Perfect Fit Harnesses) are safer.
Retractable/extendable leads must never be used on our dogs. Adopted dogs must be collected from the rescue and transported straight home in a crate.