To adopt dogs from Crete or from southern Mediterranean countries is similar to adopting an orphan from a distant Third World country. This concerns the feelings as well as the everyday life with them. There are lively discussions whether dogs from the Mediterranean region or Eastern Europe should be placed in Central Europe, where there are proponents and opponents. Due to lack of local experience the latter often misjudge how much worse the dogs are doing here in the Mediterranean than their comrades in Western and Northern Europe.
The dogs are often the mirror image of humans and their society. Therefore, the dogs from Crete are also a reflection of the society of Greece. Central and Western Europe are more densely populated and there is another tradition of living with dogs. Therefore, there are differences, so that the dogs from the south have a clearer body language and a greater desire for freedom. Many of them are anxious, but at the same time very self-confident and independent.
Wolf and human entered into a symbiosis about 20,000 years ago, but the basic behavior of a species together with its genetics takes about one hundred thousand years to change from wolf to dog. Therefore, the correct and successful education of a dog is only possible on the basis of its species behavior and the knowledge of its origin. However, the dog learns its whole life long and adapts also to changed conditions. Therefore, even the wildest stray dog can become a problem-free city dog over time, depending on what his master does for it or not.
Therefore, it is the task of Best Dogs to help with the adoption, mediation, education and training of dogs – and in particular of their fellow dogs – from the south and at the same time to engage ourselves for the animal protection and against cruelty to animals, poisonings or keeping of barrel dogs, in order to improve the lot of their fellow sufferers locally bit by bit.
Particularly if the animal was treated badly in the past, suspended or abandoned because of his problematic behavior, special care and attention is needed against the animal protection dog.
Having taken a whole series of rescue dogs in Crete, I can say without any hesitation, that this was a genuine happiness for both – the dogs and for me. The joy that you feel when an abused, poor creature recovers again, is simply indescribable. I have to admit that it satisfies me deeply, to offer these animals a happy, reliable home that they didn’t have for such a long time.
The trend towards a rescue dog is steadily increasing. Through the Internet, transnational exchanging of information and images of poor dogs are possible, that are most barely escaped a certain death. Not only adult dogs, but also especially puppies pass through an international network of transfer to travel to the people who want to help these four-legged friends to forget the misery they have experienced – or better survived.
In particular, on Crete many puppies are simply abandoned or killed after a short time as many people do not feel able to provide them and there are just a few private animal shelters. The annual number of puppies is great, because only a few dogs are brought to castration or sterilization to the vet and the uncontrolled proliferation is therefore predictable. Many dogs have to life under unimaginable conditions, chained short where they must spend their entire, in these cases especially short dog life. Animal dog attitude, as it is understood in Western Europe, is on Crete unfortunately rarely encountered, when also lately some things have changed to the better way.
Nevertheless, I will not deny at this point that rescue dogs often bring great problems. In my opinion, however, there are no ‘problem-dogs’, but dogs or dog owners with problems. And that rescue dogs usually have more problems than others is probably obvious.
Usually it is not possible to bring a lot of information about the experience of the animals. Often these scanty information is sad, but not meaningful. The new pet owner can indeed understand in what way the dog had found its way to him, but what is really important, he does not know what has really dug deep into the soul of his new protégée in the past. Physical injuries heal much faster than psychological wounds. And above all, you have no chance to recognize this from the outside.
The extent of psychological injuries seen only gradually, as well as the behaviors that your new protégée has acquired as a result. For many rescue dogs you have to expect that the imprinting on humans is not optimal expired, that it is scarcely come into contact with environmental influences that we feel here as commonplace. Substrates, smells, sounds, etc., which are taken for granted can cause great uncertainty with them. Many dogs had to hunt to survive. Many tortured dogs shows problematic behavior when they meet people who remind them of their tormentors. And hiking from hand to hand until it reaches you, was not good for the stability of his inner life, any way.
If such a dog didn’t find a person which is a safe person of authority – in the positive sense – that provides security, so the spiral of fear and compensation behavior continues downward, in which it is trapped. For dog owners, such a dog is a living appeal to his leadership qualities. If the rescue dog comes in a new home where it is being treated humanely, this is the opportunity for it to find out of this vicious circle, gradually confidence in the world that surrounds it and enter into a new life, which also the person wants for his dog since he has looked for the first time in its puppy eyes.
Please question yourself before taking a rescue dog, if you are able to meet your new family member even in difficult situations humanely and not make mistakes from false sense of love for animals. Cuddle loving its head and talk to it doing well when the first sign of insecurity appears, will thereby confirm its fears and the assumption that the world is an evil. This is the opposite of what a rescue dog needs. It will only help if the dog finds someone who masterfully shows it how to behave in a situation that it can not handle properly. Leave it to the decision, it will be the same as before. The rescue dog has to take its life in its own four paws, despite its shortcomings, which can lead to behaviors that might exceed your worst expectations.
Many dog owners will then abuts to their own limits and often the whole family is about to surrender. This would mean for the dog to walk back again from hand to hand – and even worse prospects for a family where it can find the place where it flourishes and expand in a positive sense, and show from what it’s made.
Take this challenge, and you are aware that these dogs in particularly need a reliable pack leader. Although you must expect that your dog will check you in every particular case, whether you like it too serious about him.
Quality of life for a rescue dog is not only to find a roof over its head, sufficient attention and every day a well-filled bowl, but also to find people who offer its behavioral needs of security that it urgently needs – to leave it mental shadow behind and go on all four paws in a fear-free life.
The rescue dog which you have saved its life will stay its whole life together and loyal to you!
Handling and training of a pack full of dogs.
The pack in the nature, problems with new arrivals and separations, training and feeding.
Is the keeping of chain dogs legal ? Information about the ‘barrel dogs’, the legal situation, measures against the owners, warning, reporting to the police and penalties.
Dogs of the South
The dog types in the Mediterranean countries.
From bell dogs to guard dogs, hunting dog breeds, herd dogs to barrel dogs, strays and street dogs.
The dog diseases of the south around the Mediterranean.
Symptoms and treatment of leishmaniasis, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis and heart worm disease. Annoying fleas and ticks as vectors and their control.
A visit to the Bronx Familia Animal Shelter near Chersonissos.
In the hinterland, not far between Chersonissos and Gouves, lies Bronx Familia Animal Shelter, a shelter for dogs, built and run by Nikos Tsikalakis.
Legal status of animals
Presentation of the book of the police chief Nikos Chrysakis on ‘The legal status of animals in the Greek legal order’ in Aghios Nikolaos on Crete.
Needs of dogs
The needs of the dog, which are a prerequisite for species-appropriate husbandry.
Every animal has a set of basic needs or requirements that must be met to ensure its survival. In addition, there are typical needs of individual species or breeds, which may also vary depending on the individual.