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Healing for Hershey

Hershey_yardSome dogs come to the California GSP Rescue with wounds we can see, like broken bones or diseases, and some come with different kinds of wounds, emotional ones that often manifest as behavioral issues like Hershey. We don’t always know the root cause of what happened in the past or if the behaviors were a result of being abandoned by those they loved and trusted. Regardless, if the wound is visible or not, at the rescue, we strive to heal all of the wounds to the best of our ability. Such is the case with Hershey.

Hershey is a beautiful six year old GSP with the energy of a dog half his age. Hershey is a typical GSP; he likes to go on walks, hunt for critters and does best with plenty of daily exercise. He is very loving. He likes to snuggle and responds very well to praise. Hershey is very good while riding in the car and tells you when he needs to go outside. He can also shake hands like a gentleman!

Hershey also gets excited and anxious and has trouble controlling the way he acts in certain situations. Usually, if things are chaotic or hectic, you can bet that Hershey will be anxiously excited, barking, and running around. When the rescue learned that Hershey was struggling with these issues, he was placed with a foster family where he began his path toward healing by learning to control his impulses. The good news is, Hershey is smart and he’s a fast learner. His foster family started his training on a very basic level; teaching him the rules of the home and allowing him to adjust to the daily routine. Hershey appreciates rules and routine and does very well when he knows what is expected of him, although he will test all the rules first just to make sure you “really” mean them! With absolute consistency from his family, he will do what is expected of him and behave appropriately. He already knew basic commands such as “sit,” “stay,” “leave-it,” “lay down,” etc. So the second step was to teach Hershey some basic impulse control techniques using the commands he was already familiar with. His foster family taught Hershey to “sit” and “stay” before he eats – he is a whiz at this one already! Hershey really wants the food, but is showing he can learn control by waiting for it. Hershey gets most excited about playing ball! He goes nuts for it! His foster family has been working on “sit” and “hush” commands before the ball is thrown. This one has been particularly tough for him but now, with a little effort, he will “sit” and “hush” for all of our volunteers before the ball is thrown.

In the case of healing for Hershey, the prognosis is very good! With a lot of little things done consistently over time, changes for Hershey are not only possible, but they have happened in even the short amount of time he’s been with his foster family. Spending time with Hershey and helping him reach his potential is so rewarding and he will continue to thrive in a home that will provide a consistent schedule, set rules, lots of exercise, love and patience, and of course, an ample supply of treats!

Learn more about Hershey here.

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