Courage was transferred to Twin Cities Pet Rescue in October of 2017 from a high-kill shelter in Texas where he was terrified. He literally army crawled rather than walked across the shelter floor, a behavior he offered whenever he was stressed. After being placed into a temporary foster home, Courage also showed severe signs of stress when his family wasn’t home–knocking down doors, chewing molding, breaking out of his crate, and soiling himself.
At that time, he was transferred to Twin Cities Pet Rescue where rescue volunteers began to work with him using positive reinforcement training. Under their care, Courage was eventually able to be alone for up to one hour. Things were going well for Courage, and he even had a family planning to adopt him when Twin Cities Pet Rescue applied for a Spencer Group scholarship. The prospective home fell through, and Courage once again found himself in a new foster home with Kelly.
When Courage arrived at Kelly’s home, he was still terrified of all people, was afraid of his leash and going through doorways, and struggled staying home alone. Kelly worked with her Spencer Group trainer to build Courage’s confidence so he would feel more comfortable when she wasn’t home. She also trained him not only to walk across floors, but to participate in group dog training classes, where he thrived and met friendly, dog-savvy people.
Eventually, new families began to consider adopting Courage, but Kelly also realized she had fallen in love with him. She chose to adopt Courage in September of 2019. Kelly had one post-adoption transitional training session through Spencer Group to help Courage feel more comfortable when visitors entered the home, and Courage has happily lived with her ever since.
“After working with Spencer Group, I saw Courage blossom from a dog who was terrified of everything and everyone to a dog who is comfortable in his environment, curious, interested in exploring, and persistent. We learned many techniques for helping him develop confidence and associate positive feelings with new experiences that my whole family was able to implement with him. He is now able to meet new people (on his terms and with lots of treats), will try new, fun things like camping, hiking, and fun activities/games, and can stay home alone for an entire workday.” ~ Kelly