Training a rescue dog

Adopting a rescue dog is extremely worthwhile and can be very rewarding; however, you should ensure that you are prepared for the challenges that may be ahead. Some rescue dogs may have been abandoned, suffered abuse, neglect, or travelled here from another country, which can often result in varying degrees of behavioural issues. It’s essential that you anticipate potential problems and be prepared to put time, effort and understanding into your rescue dog. Kirsty can help you to prepare for this new arrival in your life.

Give you Guidance

Kirsty is extremely experienced when it comes to rescue dogs and specialises in this area. As well as being a qualified Canine Behaviourist and Certified Trainer, Kirsty has taken numerous extra specialised courses and qualifications to assess and help with the behavioural problems associated with rescue dogs, which also include stray, ex-racing Greyhounds, free-roaming dogs and street dogs from other countries.

Kirsty has many years of practical experience in rescue centres, alongside her 17 years as a Behaviourist. This includes working with abandoned, stray dogs, neglect and abuse cases in rescue centres in the UK, which required her to nurture, train, assess and rehabilitate the dogs and prepare them for a new life and home.

Kirsty was the Canine Behaviourist for two RSPCA centres and Wolfwood Animal Rescue Centre in Lancaster, which she still receives referrals from. In addition to this Kirsty designed a youth offending project, which helped young offenders learn how to build a relationship and train rescue dogs in shelters.

Kirsty has owned and fostered many rescue dogs of her own over the years with each dog having their own behavioural issues and therefore can empathise with the owner she is working with, having been in their position many times.

She can help guide you before you get your dog in a pre-rescue dog virtual / home session or help you after the adoption at an outside one to one training session or home consultation.

The list below is only some of the behavioural issues that rescue dogs can struggle with and some of the things that Kirsty can help with.

  • Separation Anxiety

  • Stress
  • Toilet Training

  • Lead Reactivity

  • Human Interaction

  • Understanding Body Language
  • Understanding Emotional State

  • Fear
  • Generalised Anxiety
  • Noise Phobia
  • Lack of Socialisation and Habituation

  • How to Handle your Dog – In a Calm Way
  • Travel Anxiety

  • Aggression

  • Relaxation Techniques
  • How to Avoid Triggers for Your Dog and Reducing Over Arousal

Pre-rescue Virtual / home session

During a pre-rescue session Kirsty will discuss with you what history you have of the dog you are proposing to adopt, your personal circumstances, including home environment and any concerns you may have.
She will advise you on the likely issues that you may face and how to start thinking about how to overcome them. She will provide you with advice in relation to:

  • Diet

  • Exercise

  • How to bond and build a relationship

  • Sleeping arrangements

  • Creating some boundaries

  • Enrichment

  • Expectations

  • How to help your dog with any anxiety it may be showing


This session will cost from £35 including a plan to follow depending on where you live or £28 if done remotely, which this first session often can be.

outside one to one training session

During this session Kirsty will assess your new dog in the home or outside setting and new environment. Ideally this may have followed the pre rescue dog session, but if not, Kirsty will discuss any issues that have arisen with you prior to attending.

The first session will cost £35 and comes with a full tailored and easy to follow plan, any sessions after this will take place outside around the local area and will cost £20. If these sessions take place at your home, the cost will be extra dependant on where you live, please email for an exact cost.

Behaviours may include

  • Dog to Dog Interaction Issues
  • Stress
  • Fear
  • Trauma
  • Hyperactivity
  • Seperation Anxiety
  • Aggression (including dogs, humans, children and other animals)
  • Noise Phobias
  • Veterinarian Phobias
  • Generalised Anxiety
  • Excessive Barking
  • Lead reactivity
  • Noise Phobia
  • Lack of Socialisation and Habituation

  • How to Handle your Dog – In a Calm Way
  • Travel Anxiety

  • Aggression

  • Relaxation Techniques
  • How to Avoid Triggers for Your Dog and Reducing Over Arousal

areas covered

Kirsty covers a vast area of Lancashire and Cumbria for home visits including: Carnforth, Morecambe, Lancaster, Heysham, Overton, Caton, Bolton-le-Sands, Slyne-with-Hest, Hest bank, Garstang, Cockerham, Yealand, Warton, Burton in Kendal, Halton, Nether Kellet, Over Kellet, Kendal, Grange Over Sands, Milnthorpe, Arnside, Windermere, Ambleside.

Get in Touch

If you have any questions or want to have an informal chat please contact Kirsty.