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Featured pet


yellow labrador

Golden Retriever X Labrador. 2 years old. Ref: DO21309-Dog

Meet Otis – a special dog looking for a very special home!

Though he is not a typical Labrador and would not make a suitable pet for a young family, Otis will certainly be the perfect companion for the right people who are willing to give him the time, patience and understanding he truly deserves.

Otis is a highly sensitive dog who gets stressed and overwhelmed very easily. Being in a kennel environment does not help with this and we think that some of his current behaviour difficulties will fall away once he is settled into a home.

When Otis first came into rescue he would grab his handler’s arms as a way to try and release some of his stress – it’s important to state that this was a coping mechanism and not aggressive behaviour. We have worked hard with him to help him cope and de-stress in a safe and manageable way so this behaviour is no longer an issue here. However, this former grabbing behaviour is the main reason we will not rehome Otis with children.

Otis can be noise sensitive which causes him additional stress. He has been on a trial in a home but was returned to us as the home was in a very busy area which caused him to develop other stress related behaviours like barking and jumping up at the window whenever someone went past. Because of this and the noise sensitivity his new home needs to be in a quiet area and/or have a large driveway/front garden.

Otis does not enjoy being cuddled and fussed, unless on his own terms. Once he trusts you he will present himself for a scratch and will allow you to give him a cuddle when he is comfortable.

He is wary of strangers and is spooked easily, however if handled correctly so he doesn’t feel threatened he can behave calmly when out and about.
Otis will require a lot of mental stimulation to help him de-stress and settle into his new life – we have found this to be the most effective way to help him cope here. Along with a set routine he needs varied activities to keep him stimulated and engaged.

Otis is well socialised with other dogs. He regularly walks with them and can be mixed off lead – he will even run around and play. However, if the dog is over the top or bouncy he may growl at them as a warning he has had enough. Whilst in our care he has never tried to bite or attack a dog.
He will need to be the only dog in his new home initially, however does have the potential to live with one in the future once he is settled.

Otis has mild hip dysplasia in one of his legs. This is being treated by our vets to manage his pain. He also attends hydrotherapy sessions to build up the muscles in his legs to help support his hips.

Canine Behaviour Practitioner Karen Carnell of kindly did some work with Otis which has really helped him to build up his confidence. Karen said:
“I spent a few weeks with Otis and in that short space of time he made super progress.

“At sniffer classes he was initially a bit overwhelmed and would react by getting very over excited. After a while he settled well and became calm around strangers and the unfamiliar setting. On our long lead walks on Dartmoor it was great to see him relax and play. There, Otis seemed to be happiest. The environment was calm and stimulating, with plenty of space.

“Otis is intelligent, perceptive, funny and entertaining and one day will be a beautifully loyal companion to someone.
“Otis may have some slight unwanted behaviours but like his mild hip dysplasia, these can be managed easily. What he really needs is an opportunity to thrive mentally and physically in a loving and kind home.

“Otis needs a family so he can be the dog he is meant to be.”

If you think you could offer Otis the special home he so desperately needs, please fill out an application form on our website or contact us for a chat. We really look forward to hearing from you!