Many of the dogs that come to us have experienced extreme stress. Whether through exposure to subzero temperatures, starvation, confinement, life as a stray, or abuse…they suffered. The Rocky Mountain Animal Rescue brings these animals into a home environment and works at rebuilding the dog’s true character.
There are a number of different behaviours a new dog arriving at the sanctuary may display:
- Resource Guarding
- Post-Traumatic Stress
In all instances, the dog benefits from the patience, consistency, and balance our volunteers offer. The animals are brought into our sanctuary – which is a home-like environment – and under the guidance of Rory O’Neill (who is one of Canada’s leading dog behaviourists!) the dogs are worked with as much as possible.
Rory keeps her own dogs at the sanctuary, too. If a particular rescued dog comes into the Sanctuary and is unbalanced, she uses her dogs (and sometimes the help of other rescued dogs) to create special, controlled interactions. This is known as Pack Rehabilitation.
How does Pack Rehabilitation Work?
A pack is a huge part of a dog’s psychology. It offers structure in a set of rules, boundaries and limitations that are communicated by instinct and body language – something a human cannot communicate. This is why using a pack for rehabilitation is often the best way to target many cases of phobia, insecurity, dominance and aggression.
In our case, Rory’s dogs are able to help new rescues transition to the sanctuary environment in a way that greatly reduces stress and anxiety. They’re able to say, “Hey – welcome to the pack, dude. This is how we do things, and we need you to respect that.”