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What It’s Like To Foster Niels

nielsNiels has been in foster care for a few months now, and he is thriving.  We recently received an update from his foster family on his progress, and we are so thankful for them.  With the guidance and love he is receiving on a daily basis, he is becoming the dog he is meant to be, and preparing him for his forever home.

“We have been getting to know Niels while in foster care… the good, the bad and all bumps and bruises. He captured my heart long before I even took him home to foster.  We had worked with him in the field and watched his story of his owner contacting us to take him in and ultimately dumping him at a kill shelter instead.  We immediately sent one of our volunteers to pick him up from that shelter, saving his life, and bringing him into our rescue. We watched him in the field and his goofy antics and playful personality, and we knew some history on him. We knew a little bit about him before taking him home for foster.

We brought him home knowing he’d be a bit of a project.  Niels is goofy, silly and rambunctious. He’s affectionate, energetic and mischievous but can be a little nervous in general and is protective of the home or his spaces.  We knew that he gets nervous and protective around bikers, skateboarders and new people in the home.  So we had our work cut out for us and it was time to get to work.  We also knew that these are behaviors instilled in him for 7 years, and no change would occur quickly.

So first thing’s first…we got him on a schedule and got him regular exercise.  If there is one thing we are good at it is exercising our GSP’s….and so we began.  Daily morning runs and a nightly walk is what we started him on…and he took to it easily.  A tired GSP has higher potential to listen in training and to relax when needed.  We programmed him daily to know our home schedule and weekend schedule.  He acclimated to all of this very quickly so it was then time to move to the next steps…training.  We chose, in his case, to bring a trainer in to work with us.   We chose a trainer we had previous experience with and, while it isn’t necessary, we felt some guidance from a third party would be helpful for us.

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks and Niels will disagree with you.  Niels has learned to wait for his food along with several commands such as “mat”, “touch”, “focus”, “come”,  and “drop it”.  He’s learning daily and we reinforce each of these commands daily.  We now are starting to work with Niels on some of these same commands in the field and while out on walks.  That is much more difficult for him as there are so many distractions vying for his attention in these situations…but he is learning.

We don’t expect that Niels will be a full success in a week or a month but we do know that Niels is moving in the right direction and we enjoy guiding him along and receiving his love along the way.  We know there is a home out there for Niels that will continue to guide him and will receive the love and affection we have been so fortunate to receive from him”.

Niels is available for adoption with the right owner that will continue his training, and understands his needs.  Learn more about Niels here.

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