REHABILITATING DOGS AND YOUNG OFFENDERS
Every single day in the UK, dogs are discarded due to “anti-social behaviour” and are passed from home to home (further impacting their behaviour) or find themselves in council pounds, where they have 7 statutory days before being euthanised. Moorlands Dog Rescue have found that the majority of the dogs that are surrendered are adolescent dogs, because that is when the lack of training, exercise, enrichment and consistency provided by their owner starts to emerge in the dog’s behaviour. These dogs are usually easily frustrated and lack the basic life skills required to make family dogs. They have often missed out on vital development milestones, leading to their owners believing them to be difficult dogs. Previously, these dogs may have been exposed to people who have tried to change their behaviour through confrontation and cohersion, which has led to a further escalation of their behaviour and eroded the dog’s trust and bond with the owners.
The project aims to teach the young people who currently reside at HMYOI Werrington the skills to rehabilitate the dogs who are at risk of being euthanised, or who are in very vulnerable positions due to a lack of basic training that is required, so that the dogs can function in a human world. The boys will be setting the dogs up for success by shaping their behaviour in a proactive and positive manner, training the dogs alternative behaviours and reinforcing the desired behaviours that the dogs perform.