Hope is a 2-3 year old female German Shepherd Cross. Hope was originally taken into RSPCA care September 2016 as a welfare case as she was extremely emaciated, living in filthy conditions, overgrown claws, poor coat and poor teeth. The owner was successfully prosecuted and banned from keeping all animals. So now Hope can be rehomed and has been transferred to our centre. She originally weighed just 13kg but now she’s almost 29kg! She was reported to be nervous around people and very hand shy initially, but started to feel more comfortable over time. We found Hope to be very nervous during her first few days at Chesterfield and although she has now settled well with familiar staff members and become affectionate and friendly with them, she can still bark and become unsure of people she doesn’t know (this can happen in kennels or sometimes out on a walk).
Hope is extremely food motivated and with a gentle, reassuring voice and offering Hope treats, she normally soon settles around people. Hope can also be reactive towards other dogs. A training programme was put in place to help Hope feel more uncomfortable about meeting dogs and strangers on walks. As previously mentioned, Hope is extremely food motivated and we have found that Hope can be protective over food and bones. Hope will need an experienced owner who can manage her in situations that make her feel anxious and unsure e.g. meeting new people, when in new places or situations and when eating her food and hopefully improve the way she feels in these situations. Her new owner will need to adhere to all the management/training advice provided to give her the best possible chance of being re-homed successfully. We feel that Hope would be best suited to an adult home where she is the only pet.
Some information from her 6 month stay with the prosecution centre staff: Hope is now a very sweet natured girl who loves cuddles and kisses, she also loves running around in our paddock and walks lovely on a harness. She has no ‘soft spots’ on her body and will allow you to groom and bathe easily. She doesn’t like other dogs very much but we have been working really hard to get her out of this, she knows the word ‘watch’ so with a confident handler she will walk past other dogs without barking, when she see’s another dog if you tell her to ‘watch’ with either a treat in your hand or a tube of cheese she will watch intensely until her reward. We have been parallel walking with her and other calm dogs and she has made huge amounts of progress from when she came in. She can be a bit nervous around strangers but with treats and a soft voice she soon comes round. Since she has been spayed her behaviour towards other dogs has got better which leads me to think it was partially to do with a hormone imbalance and also a lack of socializing.
Hope understands, sit, wait, watch and has a basic understanding of come. She loves to play with a squeaky ball and is keen to learn new commands, she is very food motivated!