A young couple had a child who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer at the age of 8. Their son, Daniel, dearly wanted a dog and so they went to their local animal shelter where Daniel fell in love with a beagle who was on death row. The staff told the couple that the dog had been brought in as a stray and had been adopted out twice but returned because they were not able to bond with the dog. They were frustrated that the dog was not house trained and didn’t want to deal with the problems. Daniel persisted and they adopted the dog who Daniel named Barney. When Barney was first brought into his new home he cowered in a corner and shook and didn’t seem to know what to do.
So how did we succeed in helping this pup become a loving family member and a best friend to Daniel?
I suggested that they get a bed for the dog and a crate so Barney could have his own space where he would feel safe, to give him space and time so he didn’t feel threatened and let him come to the family on his own terms.
The family was also told not to raise their hands or voice to Barney but rather talk to him in a gentle manner and give him as much love as possible.
We also suggested that they take him out in the yard every two hours and when he did his business to praise him and reward him with a small treat. Barney caught on quickly to house training.
We then introduced Barney to a collar and leash. It was quite obvious that Barney had never been walked on a lead before but with patience and training he soon realized that he could go on long walks with Daniel and enjoy all the different sights and smells out there.
Today Barney has blossomed into a loving family member and a constant companion to Daniel and is very happy in his forever home.
We’d love to hear of any stories you have about bringing a dog into your home.