Mon 5th April: The black fluffy dogs

Hong Kong has amazing countryside perfect for hikes with dogs.

This holiday seems to be endless, but at least a lot of the dogs are feeling the benefit as volunteers  sign them out for all-day hikes.  It’s great for the dogs to get out like this to enjoy hours of exercise and fun away from the kennels.  I just wish every dog could be chosen.  Imagine that, a day when the whole kennel emptied!

I was back at kennels today, and spent some time introducing our selection of  puppies to a potential adopter.  We have two groups, the babies and the youngsters.  Normally, the babies at least would be living on Lamma, but until I home more of my current stock the kennels can provide a safe home. They’re all adorable, of course, and as could be expected there was a lot of discussion and back and forth between the two groups, but in the end it was adult Simone who went home.  She most closely resembles the adopter’s current dog, in both shape, size and character, so now we just have to hope the two like each other.

Sweet Simone is a typical black fluffy dog

Simone was one of a group of three very similar-looking dogs that came to AFCD together, and I assume they are from the same family.  They had been living at the Stanley Barracks, presumably being fed by the soldiers there, so they were all very tame and sweet natured.  I’m convinced that there is a “sweet” gene running through local black fluffy dogs, because in my experience they all seem to be true to type.  Currently on Lamma I have Fiji, one of a litter that were quite timid as puppies but have grown into very nice dogs, but it’s Fiji, the black fluffy one, who stands out as being the most loving and affectionate.  She has quite a personality and loves to play games which always have to end with her on her back wanting her tummy tickled.

Nina (top) snuggles up with her "brother" after a hard day's playing

There was a lovely email from Nina’s adopters talking about how she has become tight friends with their other previously-adopted dog, and how she has blossomed from the shy girl that left kennels.  These stories are the reward for all the work and heartbreak that goes with dog rescue work, and as with all of our HKDR dogs, my clearest memory of Nina is seeing her at AFCD and wondering what her story was.  She was scared and shy, but I knew I had to take her.

Dogs change so much once they let go of their fear-based behaviour, and many dogs that come to us are very scared.  The mini pin, Pinny, is a good recent example.  He was the dog that was surrendered twice to AFCD, and we heard from the neighbour of the ex-owner that he was “untrainable”.  Well I don’t know about that, all I know is that the dog that arrived as a trembling wreck is now an affectionate and happy boy. There is still a way to go as he can retreat into his fear if something spooks him, but what a change.

This was the happy boy that left our kennels. Now his life hangs in the balance

Sadly the reverse can also be true, and dogs that leave our kennels as happy and outgoing characters can change into fearful and reactive biters.  How? Once again we have seen the result of a certain trainer and his handiwork with a dog that was adopted a couple of years ago.  The dog was absolutely fine until this trainer was called in, only to help stop the dog from pulling when on a leash.  Actually it’s a very simple issue to deal with, but using a choke chain and yanking at it is not the answer.  Nor is bullying and punishment, the result of which we have seen time and time again.  The dog becomes afraid, and while the initial result may seem to be successful the end result is a dog that will start to see people as the enemy, and a source of pain.  Please, if ever a dog trainer brings out a choke chain and talks about showing the dog who’s boss, show him the door immediately.  This is not the way to gain a dog’s trust and to teach it how to behave politely.  Now there is yet another dog who has been turned into one who lunges at people and other dogs, and is at the point where being put to sleep may be the only solution.

Here’s another dog that has improved immensely since coming to us with serious behaviour issues.  Look at Cooper now, happy as a clam and no more food guarding!

Cooper loves the water

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One Response to “Mon 5th April: The black fluffy dogs”

  1. jennifer Says:

    GREAT NEWS FOR NINA!

    i was there with mark when this couple came to look at nina with her now ‘brother’. she was quite scared of the other dog at first as she wasn’t used to his playful advances. it’s very good to see that she got used to it and is loving her new family.

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