Case Study

Fearful Collie

Owner: Ruth
Dog: Chevy
Breed: Border Collie
Location: Odcombe

Chevy was the foster dog I thought I couldn't rehabilitate. He was so fearful of other dogs he sometimes wouldn't even come out of his kennel in the rescue centre. Physically he was very small, clearly had an eye problem and walked with a very pronounced gait. This walk coupled with a very domed head led the vets to suspect he had some brain damage which affected his movement as well as his brain function. After a failed rehoming from the rescue centre I agreed to take him in but mostly with a view to letting him have a short period of 'normal' life and then putting him to sleep as there was little hope of finding him a home where he could be comfortable given all his issues.

For the first few weeks he could not even leave my property as he was so fearful of traffic and other dogs and pulled so badly on the lead because of these fears that it wasn't safe or fair to take him anywhere. I concentrated on slowly mixing him with my own dogs, basic obedience and clicker work to help with both aspects of training. Within a few weeks his confidence had grown and we introduced some agility and short walks around my quiet village. We also spent many hours a week by a road junction at a good distance slowly reducing the reactivity to faster traffic.

It soon became clear that in fact the physical issues were not as pronounced as previously thought and as he developed better muscle structure his coordination improved to a point where the vets now doubted their original prognosis. Following a hip x ray it was discovered that in fact he had a late developed pelvis with a bony growth which was the main cause of his peculiar gait. Following a thorough vet check and a behavioural test by the charitys own behaviourists Chevy was given the green light to be rehomed! Although it has taken 6 months to find him a suitable owner he is now settled in a loving home close by where he is delighted to be the only canine in the house and although originally  highly aggressive to cats, having lived with my 2 very dog tolerant felines he is taking no notice of their cat. The cat is less impressed with her new companion!

Testimonial: Chevy has changed beyond anyones expectations and has been given the chance to live a fulfilling life thanks to his time in foster care with Paula.
Main Image: Chev at Bideford nov 13 045.JPG