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Monday, 23 September 2013

Leadchanges Virtual Tour, Dog holidays, Behaviour Modification and Workshops

Magnificent 7 - six dogs and a human... evening dog walk
It has been a great month here at Leadchanges.  The first two kennels are finished and in use and the dogs that have visited so far seem to approve!  They are doing just what it says on the tin - keeping cool in the hot weather but warm and cosy in the cooler nights.  I have even been inside testing them out myself!

We have had Rafa a German Shepherd who needed some time learning a few manners, learning not to rush and to be a bit more confident around dogs.  He has been a delight and so willing.  The girls fell in love with him and had the "best" time playing chase with him.  Rafa is now home and practicing all he learnt with his family.
George crate training

Jack with Akina

We also have two terriers - Jack and George - who will be heading to their new home in England in a few weeks.  There foster carers are having some holiday so the boys are having some holiday combined with a bit of confidence training and crate training ready for their journey.  They too are a delight and very quick to learn!  We were also joined by Cressa another dog like Betsey but much, much smaller!  She is such fun and also loves the girls but desperately needs to work on her confidence as she has issues of over submission.  Everyone might think it is cute to see her curling and wriggling, but it is actually not at all healthy.  When really over submissive, greeting us in the mornings, having her supper and so on or if she is just over excited and does not know "how to be" and so just submits in what almost looks like a fit, she urinates everywhere including all over herself.  Although it sounds harsh, it's really important to ignore her and not touch her, talk to her or stimulate her - only in this way as she relaxes and when she shows confidence can she be re-engaged and I have to be ready with a reward very quickly for all her positive and confident behaviour.

Testing out the raised bed and new
kennel accommodation
With dogs like Cressa it is so helpful having the other relaxed and confident dogs - especially as she copies them.  This means she shows more confidence when they are around and behaves more like a dog and this is what she seems to have forgotten.  She has been a bit "cutsified" (my own made up word??!) and so responds like a live version of a furry toy - not helpful!  When she is a "dog" she is great and it takes great time and patience with dogs like this but she show glimpses of great potential.  She is extraordinarily bright and learns ultra fast, and although she barked at Cleo when she first saw her, it was more from fear than anything else.  She has not batted an eyelid with her since.  She learnt where her bed and place was from the first night and does not wander the house or cry, whine or whinge and is confident inside the crate.

Rafa and the girls at the lake
At the end of October and during November we have more dogs due which is wonderful and they will arrive toward the end of and after the Camino.  We are very fortunate in having friends and family coming to house, cat and dog sit to help us through the time we are away and they have been stars in stepping up to the challenge.  We make the next leg of the Camino from October 11th with the girls and this time Cressa.  I am sure that this will also help her make big changes.

Cressa - as cute as can be!  If you know
anyone looking for a small dog and
would like to give Cressa her forever home
contact us or Axarquia Animal Rescue

I have a little video clip of a virtual tour of the play/kennel area and some photos of them during construction and finished.  The raised beds and lying platforms have proved a hit!  Jack and George in particular love lying under theirs and playing in their sand pit.

The Leadchanges workshop and fundraiser for AAR is now going to take place on November 23rd as we hope to get more people then and therefore raise more money!

I will be writing up the Camino as soon as I am home so look forward to the latest adventures and if I get a chance I will post a few comments "en route".

The last bit of news is that Betsey found a great new home in Germany and although there were a few teething troubles over the first week as she settled in - never easy for a dog that has not had security before and when she finds it suddenly it's all change again (!) - but they are now all on their way to being one big happy family and Betsey is a jogging partner to one member of the family every day.  Now we just have to find Cressa a family and she is going to be a star!!

More soon and enjoy the virtual tour!

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