Spanish galgos, like greyhounds, can make wonderful pets and dozens of galgos are rehomed by rescue associations. The associations have to rely on the volunteers working in the Spanish refuges to assess the dog’s character, test it with other dogs, cats, etc. Sometimes they get it wrong.
Whether or not a dog is suitable for rehoming depends to a large extent on the treatment of the dog before it arrived at the refuge. Most of them are rehomed without problems, apart from having to be toilet trained! But some of them need rehabilitation before being suitable for a forever home.
A dog can be ‘normal’ in a refuge, living outside with other dogs, familiar with the volunteers. But put it in a car with strangers, transport it hundreds of kilometres across the border, introduce it to a home with yet more strangers, and it might freak out.
Got to wear a collar, for starters, so that needs scratching off. Wild-eyed and scared, it won’t go near the strangers. Refusing to go through a door – scared of what might be the other side. Not allowing itself to be caught by the strangers, another traumatic situation.
What about indoor sounds? We take them for granted. But for a scared galgo used to being outside, everything is new. The fridge switching on, the telephone ringing, lights going on and off, moving pictures on the television. It all adds to the trauma.
And then there’s still the strangers, trying to catch the dog to take it outside to the toilet, exercise it, introduce it to life in another country, with grass, cows, tractors.
Most of the galgos cope superbly well with all these changes, but the odd one slips through the net. And that is not good, either for the dog or the fosterers/adoptants.
Alpha Dog World is one such centre with the expertise and facilities to work with traumatized galgos. There are websites offering advice to the inexperienced fosterer or adopter, and some offer contact numbers for professional dog behaviour experts.
Check out the site listed below.