• Rescue Dogs

  • Rescue Dog 'Settling In' Session

    Taking on a rescue dog is a very rewarding experience but often rescue dogs come with ‘baggage’ that we may not realise until they have settled into their new environment. We call this 'The Honeymoon Period' – having settled into their new home and environment they begin to feel comfortable to start exhibiting behaviours that they used to show in their previous life.

    If we can anticipate this stage we can help to prevent these issues occurring. These sessions will also help you as the new adopters to minimise the stress that a rescue dog goes through in the transition from its previous environment to its new home, therefore helping them to deal with life in a much more relaxed and enriched way.

    This session is ideally done before the dog arrives at its new home or very soon after if this is not possible. The session will talk through what to expect in the first few days and to help them deal with life in their home and to promote general wellbeing.

    The session is offered online as this is a more relaxing, less distracting experience for the family and the rescue dog.  

  • What the session will cover:

    • How to prepare your home for the new arrival (if they are still at the rescue centre)
    • Ways of reducing the stress of the move
    • What to do with the dog in the first few days (and what not to do)
    • What toys / chews etc to buy (and what not to buy)
    • Discussion on Body Language – how to understand what your dog is telling you
    • Children and dogs (if relevant)
    • House training
    • Getting through the first few nights
    • Enrichment Games to help promote health and wellbeing
    • Gentle introduction to training

    And more.....

  • Details and Prices

    These sessions are offered online at a cost of £45.

    The session will last for one hour and is delivered online via Zoom, in the comfort of your own home at a time convenient for the whole family to be in attendance and will be supported by email handouts and resources for the family to read and consider together as well as a written Management Plan to guide you through the first few days or weeks.

    THE SESSION CAN BE OFFERED FACE TO FACE FOR THOSE NOT FAMILIAR WITH ONLINE LEARNING, AT A COST OF £55

    PLEASE NOTE: Face to face sessions outside a 10 mile radius from Biggin Hill are subject to a travel charge of 45p per mile

  • Skipper's Story

    Hi all! I am writing this from the comfort of my new sofa! This new chapter of my life as a Bedlington Terrier Rescue dog started a few weeks ago, but I really don’t remember that much about it. I was so worried and stressed that I couldn’t enjoy or understand anything about my new home in the first few days.

    There is far too much to go through with you here now but I wanted to share with you the most important bits that me and any rescue dog need in the first few days of living in a new home to give you some idea of how to help us feel safe and relaxed.

    Exercise
    The biggie - nope, we DO NOT want to rush headlong out into the big blue yonder on walks and be shown all the highlights of our new environment. That’s way too scary, our brains can’t cope with all that new stuff yet. We MAY be up for a 10min sniffy walk but mostly we are not – I certainly wasn’t. I just wanted to potter in the garden, sniffing out my new home and getting used to all the different things there – oh and get used to you too – our new ‘Lovely People’.

    Cuddles
    Highly likely a NO on that too. We don’t know you from Adam – some of us may have had bad experiences with humans and the last thing we need is to be cuddled and fussed over where we can’t move away if we feel we want to. That’s way too scary too. We need time to get to know and trust you first – we’ll come to you when we feel ready for some fuss.

    Play
    Ah now, you may think we want to play lots of chase games or take part in lots of very over exciting activities with you the day you collect us but that will not help our already raised adrenaline levels in those early days. We just may not be able to cope with that, in fact it could mean we will be able to cope less with everything going on in our new life and this could make things worse for us and you.

    Food
    In the first few days most of us will be too stressed to eat properly. So let us take our time. We would probably appreciate having something to chew, or forage or lick because that helps us feel better about life – that’s called enrichment apparently. Oh and please, we don’t want to have to work for our food – that again makes us feel insecure if you are making us wait for our food or just making it too difficult for us to fulfil that need easily.

    Sleep
    Oh boy do we need good quality sleep – you know how it feels when you can’t sleep. Good quality sleep is vital for us when we may not have had much of this in the lead up to our rehome and we certainly won’t sleep too well in the first few days in a new home – way too stressed to sleep as much as we should. So you can help us by giving us lots of choice of where we can sleep – different types of beds in different places – some raised positions too as that helps us feel safer. Allowing us to lay out flat will also help us to regulate our temperature – which also helps us feel secure. Remember that choice in all things always helps us feel emotionally better about life.

    So please just let us sleep – it helps us recover from the stress of a move.

    So these are the absolute basic needs for us rescue dogs, whatever background we have come from. We need to feel safe, have choices and plenty of sleep – we don’t want to go for a five mile hike or a 10 mile run or go visiting all your friends and family the day you adopt us – please, that’s the last thing we want in those early days it’s way way too stressful. We just need time to take a breath and ‘noodle’ around in our new home while we get to know you ‘Lovely People’ and form a long and lasting relationship.

    Foster dog ‘Skipper’