Strider the long-termer (now adopted)
Strider is an older Lab who has been at the rescue for several years.
He is a calm sweet lad and all he wants in life is a walk, a fuss and to chase a ball a bit. His only issue is he is unsure of strangers and needs a bit of time to get used to them. Of course at a rescue centre where meeting strangers is the only way to get adopted this sort of issue cripples his chances of finding a forever home.

I thought I see what it takes to get Strider on board. He has actually taken an active dislike to me over the years I've worked at the rescue and I have never acutally had time to work with him. He has also bitten me when I mistook him for another black lab and went to stroke him on the head (my fault completely).

So initially I asked Kim, who Strider likes, to start walking with him and then pass the lead to me. Strider was instantly very tense about this and when it became just me and him he watched me very warely as we walked. I simply ignored him and kept walking without letting him pull. After 5-10 minutes he was walking fine and we ignored each other. After 15 minutes and called him, he stopped, I asked him to sit, he did so I dropped him a peice of Turkey, let him eat it then we set off again. He visibly relaxed more and more as the walk went on with him sitting and getting turkey.
After 30 minutes I sat on a bench and Strider choose to sit near me, even making contact with me with his head. This time I let him eat the turkey out of my hand, a show of trust by both of us.
After the 45 minute walk we were back at the rescue centre so I thought I'd extend and build on the trust and let him offlead in the paddock. He was fine and we played with a ball and did some recall for 20 minutes. Once Strider was beginning to look tired I walked him back down to the carpark and sat on a bench. This time Strider really relaxed into me and really enjoyed the fuss and the contact, showing no sign of stress or tension.
So all in all, it took around 1 and a half hours for Strider to go from completely distrusting me to showing a high level of trust in me. Anybody interested in giving Strider a chance wouldn't take much more time than this to get him onboard and loving the company.

here's his video -

Once out of the rescue centre his stranger issue could be resolved much easier than at the rescue centre. I will continue to work with him as we push to try to get this long termer a home.

Adam -
81 photos · 1 video · 1,308 views