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Bentley Golden Retriever Cantonment, FL
- Red / Chestnut / Orange
- Coat length
- Vaccinations up to date, spayed / neutered, special needs.
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Bentley is a sweet and loving Golden Retriever who has been waiting patiently for his life to be put back together since being abandoned at a shelter by his former owner. Like most Goldens, he loves his toys and likes for you to throw them. Sometimes he will bring them back to you and sometimes he will want to bury them! He also loves belly rubs and being scratched behind his ears! Bentley also enjoys riding in the car and is good on a leash. He is house-trained, and is a very good boy, simply looking for his new person to bond with.
One of his favorite humans at our rescue frequently takes Bentley on outings. She shares that he enjoys going to get his puppy cup treat when they go to the Coffee Shop together. He also loves going in his pool and going to the creek for a swim. He is a very outgoing boy and likes to meet people too when they go for walks. One day, while out walking, they met a turtle. He was very gentle but did get excited and bark and jump at it, trying to play. He walks pretty well on the leash but sometimes gets excited - like when he sees a puddle and wants to walk though it! Typical boy!! He gets along with dogs well and doesn't pay too much attention to cats. He enjoys getting brushed and getting his ears clean. Oh, and he's always up for a game of fetch!
Like many dogs, Bentley does not like thunderstorms, but he has some medicine for anxiety. Bentley is the type of dog that wants to be with someone. The only reason that Bentley is not already in his forever home is because he has three special needs that will require specific management from his adopter.
Bentley has anxiety, which has been made worse by all that he has endured over the past 4 months. Managing his anxiety will require an inexpensive daily medication.
Bentley exhibits a behavior called “resource guarding.” Many retrievers and spaniels must be trained to manage this behavior. It makes sense that dogs who have been bred to retrieve wild birds shot down by their master have instincts to also guard this resource for their master. However, for some of these dogs who are pets, not hunting dogs, and don’t receive the training to teach them to use this instinct properly, they will “retrieve” objects they find by “stealing” them and then they will guard them - not for their master but from their master and from anyone else to tries to take it away from them. We have learned that when confronted, Bentley will drop the stolen object if told to do so in a stern voice. Due to his fear and anxiety, he must then have the ability to “escape” the confrontation and not feel trapped.
In connection to the other two issues, Bentley will ingest soft objects if they are in his environment. Bentley has twice had to have surgery to remove soft swallowed objects. The last time was a couple of months ago after he swallowed a rope at a training facility that our rescue sent him to. Because of this, Bentley will likely need a home with a fenced in backyard that is free of furniture cushions, ropes or any other soft object. When Bentley is in the house during the day, he will need to wear a comfortable “latticed” muzzle, which allows him to drink, pant and bark, but will protect him from ingesting soft objects. When he comes in the house at night to sleep, he will need to be confined to a room with no soft objects.
The resource guarding behavior can be modified by first addressing his anxiety with medication and then having his adopter, in his home environment, work with a virtual trainer whose expertise is resource guarding in order to learn how to eliminate the behavior through management techniques. Of course, the cost of this training, and an initial supply of his medication, will be covered by the rescue. The adopter’s investment in Bentley will be the time, effort, and patience to work with the trainer and practice the management techniques. While we believe that taking these measures may affect Bentley’s urge to ingest soft objects, that can never be proven, so the ingesting behavior must be considered permanent.
All of the information provided above we have learned the hard way, at Bentley’s expense. We made the mistake of sending Bentley off for 5 weeks of training at a facility that did not specialize in resource guarding. Even worse, and unbeknownst to us, this facility used negative reinforcement techniques, otherwise known as “shocking the dog,” which is extremely harmful, especially for a dog with high anxiety. When Bentley came back to us, he had lost 12 lbs., some of his hair, and his anxiety was through the roof.
Since that time, Bentley has been staying at the vet and his anxiety is being treated. He still has not received the necessary training to address the resource guarding because he is not in his home, but he is benefiting emotionally from getting out of his kennel and spending time in the dog yard, playing with his “safe” toys with the kennel techs, who love him dearly.
Bentley is about 7-years-old and weighs around 75-lb. He has been neutered, brought up-to-date on vaccinations, and microchipped. Best of all, he is negative for heartworms. For more info on Bentley and to apply to adopt him, please visit http://jlgoldenretrieverrescue.com/adoptable-dogs.html or contact Lisa at 251-404-0045
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