Dog Behaviour Consultancy Ferne Animal Sanctuary
Back in 2010 Tara Nirula, Animal Care Manager at Ferne Animal Sanctuary near Chard, contacted me to discuss the possibility of helping them with problem behaviour in some of their re-homed dogs.
Most dogs go into sanctuaries and rehoming facilities through no fault of their own and often do not display any problem behaviour at all in the sanctuary environment, usually displaying their issues a week or two after going to their new home, following what we call the honeymoon period.
Problems can range from dog aggression, human aggression, separation anxiety, excessive barking, destructive behaviour etc. and the honeymoon period usually expires when the dog has had enough time to weigh up the leadership standards of their new owner, exploiting perceived weaknesses. Many new owners feel sorry for their rescue dog and unfortunately, show it too much by failing to set clear boundaries when the dog first arrives.
Following a meeting with Tara and her predeccessor Naomi Clarke at the sanctuary, they obviously liked me and vice versa and I agreed to be their consultant behaviourist. We agreed that they would continue to assess the dogs in the sanctuary environment and my involvement would be when new owners were experiencing problems.
The overall objective was to minimise the number of dogs returned to the sanctuary by their new owners and in the years since that first meeting, the arrangement has been a massive success, with over 90% of dogs which I have worked with, remaining in their new homes.
In all honesty, a 90% success rate is something to be proud about in any field of dog behaviour work, but when those dogs are all rescue dogs many of which had problems prior to going into rescue, it does give me a great sense of pride and achievement and I hope our working relationship continues for many years to come. Tara was happy to include her comments on my website:-
“Since 2010, Peter Mounsey of Ashclyst Dog Training and Behaviour, has worked with many of our problem dogs which had been re-homed and were subsequently showing serious behavioural issues which needed to be addressed if they were to remain in their new homes.”
Peter always travels to the new owner’s home, usually at short notice and has been very successful in rehabilitating the overwhelming majority of these dogs with his skills. Consequently, almost all of them have been able to remain in their new homes.”
“Without Peter’s considerable expertise and support, many would undoubtedly have been returned to the sanctuary and we are extremely grateful for his help and professionalism over the years and we continue to consult him whenever one of our re-homed dogs causes problems for its new owners.” Tara Nirula, Animal Care Manager, Ferne Animal Sanctuary, Chard, Somerset