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Fudge- A post pandemic puppy

For the past 50 years animal welfare and improving the lives of homeless animals that come into our care, have been a top priority at NAWT. COVID-19 has presented us all with many challenges but now that restrictions have been lifted and we are returning to a new normal, the pandemic has left a very worrying problem in its wake – serious behavioural problems in dogs and other animals.

Like many dogs coming to NAWT at the moment, Fudge, a highly energetic young Collie, was relinquished because of her anxiety and behavioural problems partly attributable to the fall-out from the pandemic.

Collies require a lot of exercise and stimulation and unfortunately due to the lockdowns she was not able to get this. There were also no agility and training classes open and behaviourists were not coming into homes to assess dogs.

Not only that, but during lockdown the places and sounds Fudge was exposed to were very limited and once restrictions started lifting she didn’t know how to handle loud noises and fast moving objects she was experiencing for the first time. Fudge was particularly nervous of cyclists, tractors and cars. Her lack of socialisation during COVID also manifested itself in barking at new people she encountered.

When Fudge arrived at NAWT Bedfordshire, she was very unsure of life in the new normal. She would pull on the lead, bite the handler’s boots or try to get away when she saw or heard something which made her anxious. The NAWT Animal Care team focused on calm training using rewards for positive behaviour such as sitting or lying down with a dental stick and being calm for a few minutes. They also worked on her connection training with her handler and reward based preventative training before an anxiety provoking situation arose.

Fortunately, all the training paid off and Fudge has now settled into her forever home where she is doing really well.  At the NAWT it’s our policy to give a healthy animal as long as it needs to be ready to be rehomed and we aim to provide as much care and training as we can during their stays with us to make them ready for their new families.

You can read about another post-pandemic case HERE; the tale of Cocker Spaniel puppy, Bob.

If you are able to donate whatever you can afford today, you’ll be contributing to animals like Fudge and Bob having the behavioural treatment they need so they can be rehomed and live the happy life they deserve.

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