“If I look a bit exhausted, that’s exactly how I feel,” explains “Die Unvermittelbare” dog trainer Marcel Wunderlich in a video message. The reason for this is shelter dog “Timmy” who gave him a sleepless night. The three and a half year old retriever mix is totally receptive to stimuli. Above all, the insecure “Timmy” cannot judge other dogs at all and therefore barks loudly at them.
Marcel took “Timmy” home to better assess him. However, Martin Rütter suspects how much time his colleague has to invest in the hyper-nervous dog: “The dog’s important thing is that he learns to calm down. ‘Timmy’ is very restless.” But there is also a ray of hope: At Marcel’s home, “Timmy” is making great progress after a two-week training session, for example going onto the ceiling on command and lowering himself during the shutdown training. This is especially important for a stimulus-sensitive dog like him.
But trainer Marcel has discovered something else: “‘Timmy’ is an incredible charmer,” he says, “he’s a dream at home!” – only outside does the insecure dog show a less charming appearance. Martin Rütter recognized this immediately: “It’s sooo hard for ‘Timmy’ outside,” says the “dog professional”. But why does the male dog so freak out when he encounters a dog on a leash? Martin Rütter sees insecurity as the cause: “Whenever he can’t assess a dog, he freaks out completely.” On the other hand, if he meets a dog more often, he can also relax a bit. A good approach to training!
When someone interested in the nervous “Timmy” also got in touch, everyone was cautiously optimistic. With “Duke”, Helena already has an animal protection dog at home, who has to wear a muzzle at times because of his insecurity towards strangers. Now that Duke is older, his family wants a younger dog so Duke is less lonely. Martin Rütter immediately got the alarm bells ringing: “I immediately have a fair in mind: On the one hand, I think it’s great that there’s someone who has already taken a dog from the animal shelter and managed it. But with ‘Duke’ I see a dog who is no longer physically fit and not without problems, and now we want to add ‘Timmy’ to that? A dog who is full of ecstasy, who has speed, who is agile. Phew, that’s a real challenge!”
But Helena is deeply relaxed: “In fact, ‘Timmy’ was too young for me and almost too unproblematic and he doesn’t have such blatant behavioral problems,” she says. If he gets along with “Duke”, he could “definitely move in”. Martin Rütter: “Of course it’s very touching, but also incredibly naive, what Helena is saying about ‘actually he doesn’t have enough problems’ – let’s wait and see…”
In any case, when they meet for the first time, there is enthusiasm everywhere: “He’s great!” Enthuses Helena. Martin Rütter has to grin: “I’ve never seen people say when they first met: ‘No, I think he’s ugly. We’re going again.’ People always fall in love straight away, always!” But trainer Marcel Wunderlich also warns that “Timmy” is far from always so relaxed on the road.
And how does the first dog “Duke” react to the new addition? Despite the loud barking of “Timmy”, the old gentleman remains surprisingly calm – just like his keeper: “A little bit of barking over there,” says Helena, “well, I’ve seen worse things. I’m still in good spirits.” Martin Rütter: “I think it’s really good that Helena is so positive. She’s right: It’s always worse! “Nevertheless, it was “completely naive” to believe that “Timmy” could go for a walk in a relaxed manner in six weeks: “That’s also an important indication for Helena: it will be a lot of work for a long time.”
But the “dog professional” also relies on the help of first dog “Duke”. He makes it clear to the young savage in freewheeling with a snap in his direction: Up to here and no further! Martin Rütter translates: “‘Duke’ says quite clearly: ‘Get lost, kid – you’re annoying!’ And ‘Timmy’ accepts that. If they stick to the rules, then that’s a great basis for them to really get to know each other.” The chances of a happy ending for “Timmy” have thus increased significantly.
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*The contribution “Martin Rütter: Dog “Timmy” is “full of ecstasy”” is published by Teleschau. Contact the person responsible here.