Newcastle Herald

LETTER: Dogs settle easily after some TLC



WE owned a beautiful dog, just like Max (“Life or death” Herald 17/10), who lived until she was 15. She had the same loving eyes as Max and wouldn’t hurt anything.

But there was one time when we heard a different type of bark – not threatening, just a bark to say: “I’m a little bit scared of you because you are a stranger.”

When we went to see what she was barking at, she stopped barking and allowed herself to be patted, because she trusted us.

So, how on earth can you complete a proper temperament test when the distressed animal is scared stiff and is not in its comfort zone, with someone they know and trust?

What if Mr Cornwell or RSPCA staff had a family or work argument, or even a hangover, and went to work in a bad temper? Would that affect their assessment of the dogs awaiting their temperament tests?

As you can see, a situation has a significant impact on how a person behaves or reacts. The same can be said for an animal.

A person’s temperament can change quickly as a result of being subjected to an unfamiliar experience, so how can you expect an animal to respond naturally when they are confused and frightened?

I don’t believe the RSPCA test gives a true reflection of a dog’s natural disposition.

All our pets have been from the RSPCA and I remember vividly that most of them were unsettled and anxious when we were ready to take them home.

But it didn’t take them long to calm down and fit into our very loving lifestyle.

Linda Hall, New Lambton


Showing 2 comments

  • Alison Smith

    Too right – it has to change – killing healthy animals because they are frightened is shameful.  Other shelters take a different approach.

    (Edited by a moderator)

  • Anne Greenaway

    Yes. Too true Alison. it is disgraceful that an organisation supposed to care and protect animals takes donations from the public, yet instead kills them and uses such a test to do so.

    Unconscionable behaviour imho!

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