Around this time last year we were contacted by the Animal Welfare team asking if we would be able to take a number of dogs into our care, among this group were two Staffordshire Bull Terrier pups who affectionately became known as the ‘Staffi Sisters’ – real names Betty and Judy!
At just over a year these two girls had missed out on so much of the socialisation puppies and young adolescent dogs require. Both their temperaments were superb but the outside world was a scary place as they had never been exposed to this environment and normal, day to day noises.
Whilst lockdown was a difficult and a strange time for everyone, animals included, it did provide a great opportunity for the sisters – roads were quieter with much less traffic, there were fewer visitors to the Sanctuary, fewer dogs within our kennel environment and more individual staff time to address the needs to our two girls.
From this the staff team developed Behavioural Mentoring Plans (BMPs) for the each of the girls which ensured a slow and steady approach to all the things these two had missed out on while also documenting their progress and allowing others to assist and maintain the constant and consistent training needed. This included the introduction to leads and harnesses along with tasty treats of chicken to ensure all new experiences were positive. Trips out in the van also helped ensure the best chance possible for future rehoming.
Through time, and with dedicated training, Betty and Judy became less afraid of the roads, got used to a wider social circle of both humans and dogs and began to enjoy the experiences that all dogs should have in their lives. At the end of lockdown we began the search for their individual, forever homes with experienced owners who would continue with their journey. Both are now settled with their own family and living the dream!