With more people at home than ever before, lockdown saw an influx of people taking in rescue dogs from shelters. To help people – and their dogs – settle in with each other, author and dog trainer Dom Hodgson, from Ryhope, has compiled a new book, Rescue Dog Rehoming Remedies.
As well as giving handy tips to owners of rescue dogs, the book raises money for rescue centres who work tirelessly to help find new homes for them.
It brings together contributions from 11 leading dog trainers from around the UK, including Dom, Stephen Wylie who runs SHAK Sanctuary in Alnwick and South Shields-based Tim Jackson from Pets 2 Impress.
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It follows on from Dom’s sponsored bike ride to rescue centres around the country, Tour de Rescue, which he took part in last year and all proceeds from the book are going to the 15 rescue centres he visited.
Dom said: “When the pandemic hit it also caused a puppy pandemic because people saw it as a great opportunity to get a puppy at home. However, many of them didn’t get very well socialised. Because people were working from home, it meant their dogs were glued to their hip and a lot of them have got separation anxiety now their owners are back at work. That results in barking or destructive behaviour which can cause big problems, so I came up with the idea of the book to help dog owners.”
According to the Dog’s Trust, internet searches for “buy a puppy” increased by 120% during the first month of coronavirus restrictions. The book is designed to provide simple, 'real life' training advice to enable dog owners to stay with their dogs even when their circumstances change.
Dom said: “Rescuing a dog can be a very emotional and stressful time for the dog and the owner. The training tips and stories in the book will help owners to adjust to their new addition and hopefully inspire more people to consider rescuing a dog.
"Winter is always a difficult time for rescue centres but the Covid restrictions, coupled with the Puppy pandemic, mean many rescues are expecting a surge in puppies and dogs being given up after lockdown.
"It's become something of a mission of mine to help these local heroes who give up so much of their lives to help pets in need. I'm really proud that I've been able to build on the success of last year and shine a light on these North East rescue dogs.”
Dom says it’s very rare that a dog can’t be rehomed.
"Most dogs become rescue dogs, just because their previous owner didn’t know what they needed and they didn’t get enough walks or stimulation,” he explained. “Give a dog a good routine and they will thrive.”