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ADOPTED & ADORED: Georgia conquers her fears

August 7, 2016

When we first met Georgia, she was so terrified that she spent her time cowering under her bed. Whenever someone approached her, she’d curl up into a ball, trying to hide.

Beneath the fear, our shelter team knew there was a sweet dog waiting to flourish.

Due to her fear and anxiety, Georgia was placed into the Home’s Behaviour Program. Helen, behaviour trainer at the Home, spent two-and-a-half months working with Georgia, building her confidence and teaching her new skills.

LDH-adopted-adored-georgia2Training with Georgia

“With gentle, positive training working one-on-one, Georgia gradually started to come out of her shell. It didn’t take long for her to build a strong bond with me, and the feeling was mutual,” said Helen.

“Georgia learned to sit, drop, look and touch on cue. The ‘touch’ cue meant that she was rewarded for touching my hand or any other part of my body. This is a really gentle way to help very fearful dogs feel more comfortable about human contact.

LDH-adopted-adored-Georgia5“Teaching fearful dogs foundation or life skills is really important. For Georgia it gave her the tools to interact with new people. She could offer them a behaviour and be rewarded with a tasty treat. By repeating this exercise with everyone she met, Georgia’s confidence started to skyrocket.”

During her stay with us, Georgia was prescribed anti-anxiety medication due to her generalised anxiety and separation anxiety. In addition to positive reinforcement training, this medication helps to reduce anxiety in dogs like Georgia, allowing them to concentrate on their training and increase their learning capacity.

Georgia responded to her training very well. She went from a dog who was so fearful she couldn’t interact with people, to a dog who would actively seek out interaction and cuddles.

Working with dogs like Georgia and getting them adopted into loving homes is by far the most rewarding part of my job. I get teary just thinking about her, how brave she was and how privileged I felt to meet and help such a beautiful creature,” said Helen.

LDH-adopted-adored-georgia4A new lease on life

Today, Georgia is a happy and confident pooch who continues to flourish in her new home.

“I’d been looking for a while to adopt, because I figured I’d give a home to a dog that hasn’t already got a home,” said Georgia’s new owner, Beth.

“Georgia’s going really well. She’s settled in quite quickly. We haven’t had any problems really – she’s doing great.

“She’s got a favourite toy, and at night when I come home from work, she has to make sure that she brings all the toys in from outside. It’s a duck toy that she likes most.

She’s just a sweet little girl, and it’s unconditional love… it’s nice to come home to someone at night.

“I think any dog makes a great pet, but it’s just nice to give someone that hasn’t got a home, a home – someone that really needs one.”

Georgia has found her forever home, but many other dogs just like her are still waiting to find theirs. Meet our adoption candidates today!