At Scamps and Champs South East London we are receiving more and more enquiries from owners of dogs who are anxious, and who want to know whether we have the knowledge and experience to care for their pet.
This is an area of service that some of our pet carers have particular experience of and they also have the patience to slowly build a trusting relationship with the anxious dog. The support we can offer for these dogs has to be carefully planned in close collaboration with the dog’s owner, and for the most anxious dogs, we have to start slowly building the relationship some months before the owner plans to leave the dog alone in our care.
Beautiful Spanish Podenco, Rufus, is a great story showing how both owner, Clare and one of Scamps and Champs South East London’s pet carers, Klaudia, have worked brilliantly together to build up Rufus’ confidence, with the ultimate aim of Clare being able to leave Rufus whilst she goes out for whole days, either for work or for other reasons.
Klaudia started visiting Rufus in his home a few months ago. Visits about 1-2 times a week were arranged when Clare was there. Klaudia started by just being in the same room as Rufus and Clare, ensuring that she moved slowly and quietly around him, as new people, loud noise and quick movements were very frightening to him. Rufus loves a sausage and Klaudia began to win his confidence by slowly feeding these to him. Although treats don’t always work with Rufus, he gradually allowed Klaudia to stroke him and in time would also stay in the room with Klaudia without Clare being there. Now, Clare explicitly tells Rufus she is leaving the room or house and repeats Klaudia’s name to him. Last week, when Klaudia arrived, Rufus came to meet her and wagged his tail and allowed her to stroke him immediately! It is still a challenge for Rufus when Klaudia arrives and Clare isn’t there, but he is gradually reducing his fears and they are now going to work on Klaudia letting Rufus into the garden and getting him back into the house on her own.
Klaudia, who is delighted that Rufus is accepting her, says the key to giving him confidence is to be patient and relaxed and not to rush him. She knows Rufus’ triggers and the signs of anxiety in him; no eye contact, jumping back, shaking and freezing. Close collaboration and planning between owner and pet carer is key and ensuring that you are gradually working towards key goals.
Ultimately we hope to be able to offer dog walking services to Clare for Rufus and to be able to pet sit in the house if Clare needs to go away.
Rufus’ story is just one from several dogs we are slowly getting to know and love at Scamps and Champs South East London. Please contact us to find out more about how we can support you with your anxious dog.
For a detailed quotation, please contact us for further information.
Scamps and Champs South East London are members of the National Association of Registered Pet Sitters and the Pet Industry Federation. Contact Scamps & Champs via our online form, to check availability and make a booking.