Smiley Riley is still at the JSPCA and, even though we all love spending time with him, we are desperate to find him the forever home that he deserves.
We have received some comments and questions about him so we thought we would provide answers to the most common ones…
Why can’t Riley live with dogs?
Riley has been social with dogs prior to coming to the JSPCA and when he was initially put up for rehoming, we did say he could live with another dog. We had a few people come to meet him with their dogs and none of the introductions went well. The difficulty is that Riley barks at dogs when he is on the lead and this was upsetting the other dogs before they’d even had a chance to go off lead together. We decided to change the rehoming criteria to no dogs whilst we work on his barking. He has improved and continues to do so which means that this criteria may change in the future. On his most recent walk with a dog, he approached calmly and sniffed her but later on when she sniffed him, he growled. Riley can be frustrated when he is on the lead but he is also a little bit scared of dogs. Please bear in mind that a kennel environment is stressful to most animals and unfortunately, stress can make any minor problems bigger problems. Most of us are not at our best when stressed.
His barking puts people off.
Riley is a German Spitz, originally a herder and guarder, making them great watchdogs. This breed was bred to bark at things to alert their owners to intruders. Knowing his breed, it is typical that Riley barks a bit more than some other breeds of dogs. When he first came to the JSPCA, he barked a lot more than he does now that he has settled in. Riley’s barking has reduced but it is still his first go-to behaviour at any times of arousal. This is why Riley barks when he’s excited to see people he knows or other dogs. One of our volunteers takes Riley home when she can and has said that he is an absolute dream; so easy to care for and doesn’t bark. As said previously, the kennel environment can be stressful for some dogs and their bad habits can become worse which might be why he barks more at the Shelter than in a home where he’s relaxed.
Why can he not live with children under 10 years old?
Riley has been around a 10 month old child and a 10 year old child. He was best friends with the 10 year old but he did not like the baby at all. It’s quite a large age gap between a baby and a 10 year old so we aren’t sure at what age Riley decides he likes children, and we can’t test Riley with various ages as that could be risky. As we know that Riley gets on well with a 10 year old, we feel this is the age he can safely be rehomed with or any older children. The other factor in this decision is that Riley loves affection!! But he doesn’t like to be hugged or pulled into a person for cuddle which is something that any child that he would be rehomed with needs to be able to understand and carry out.
Why can’t he be rehomed close to where his previous owners lived?
If a dog sees his previous owner it can be very upsetting both of them, and potentially the new owner as they have to pull their dog away from their previous owner. Usually dogs go for walks close to home so they often know the routes around their home and how to find their way back. If a dog is rehomed to the same area they lived in previously, and an accident happened causing them to escape from their lead when on a walk, or to escape from the new home, they could run back to the previous home causing upset for all. When on walks with their new family, the dog might not enjoy their walks if they are constantly trying to pull their new owner back to their old home. Any of these types of incidents could affect the bonding process between the new owner and the dog. The dog is likely to have had a loving bond with their previous owner so when they are adopted, a bond with the new owners will take time to form. We want to give the new relationship the best chance of working out so avoiding the previous home and family is in the best interests of the dog. This is something we have in place for all dogs before rehoming them. We are aware Jersey is small and it is not possible to avoid dogs meeting previous owners completely but we do our best to minimise the chances of these meetings happening by rehoming to a different area.
We have discussed Riley’s negative points but we also want to remind you all that he is a very sweet boy who loves walks and car rides, can be left home alone for 4-5 hours and be content, is completely toilet trained, loves being groomed and is the best companion doggy. He is finding kennel life difficult and his problems are likely to be much less of an issue once he is settled in his forever home. Some of our rehoming requirement decisions frustrate people but we have to go off what we see here and the dog’s previous history when deciding on the right home for the dog. It is not surprising that some animals change to be better versions of themselves when they are happy and content in their forever homes but we can’t pretend that what we see here in kennel environment didn’t happen and this plays a role in our decisions.
If you are interested in rehoming Riley, please complete our application form: Adopt a Dog – JSPCA