Norman

Dogs, Rehome

We catch up with Norman's new owners, who adopted him a few months ago.

Norman is the gentlest of souls. When he first came home with us, he was scared of humans and would flinch at the slightest thing. But we could see he was desperate to trust and love and it wasn’t long at all before he relaxed around us. Within a month he went from a dog afraid of the stairs who was wary of humans to a snuggle monster who loves spending time with us.

He will happily trot up to any other dog he sees to say a gentle hello. He loves zoomies in big circles and when he runs, he can’t control his tongue which hangs out of his mouth…it is very dopey and incredibly cute. Like any lurcher though, his energy is short lived and he spends most of the time curled up like a little mouse sleeping. When he dreams, his ears sometimes twitch and he makes some very cute noises.
 
 
You already had gorgeous Charlie, why did you choose another lurcher?
 
Lurchers are dogs that can easily fit into your life.

There’s a misconception that they are high energy and need a lot of work. That is so far from the truth and they are generally pretty easy dogs.

We call Charlie & Norman 100mph coach potatoes. Providing they’ve had a stretch of the legs, they will sleep all day! Charlie fitted into our lives so easily that getting another lurcher was an easy decision and we haven’t regretted it.
 
What’s your favourite thing about owning lurchers?
 
The little signs of affection and love that they offer us.

Norman does the “lurcher lean” when he stands next to one of us, leaning in gently on our side. It’s his way of giving a hug.

When Charlie lies down next to me, he will glue himself to my side. And they both rest their chins on us…whether it’s an ankle, a leg, our lap or even a shoulder. It’s even cuter when they do it to each other.  

Second favourite is the compliments! We get a lot of comments from people about how handsome they both are and I am a ridiculously proud dog mum…you’d think we share DNA, the way I beam with pride! 
 
Tell us about the hard bits too! 
 
Generally, recall training has been challenging. They are sighthounds so their instinct can be to chase. With some group dog training classes, we worked out ways to get Charlie to come back to us and we are now using those techniques with Norman. It sounds odd but if we hide, crouch down or turn around and walk the other way, Charlie will run back to find us. However, we know the limits. Charlie is fine off lead in a big field where the nearest road is the other side of it, as he doesn’t like to run too far from us. But we know we’ll never be able to walk him off lead next to a road like some owners can do with their dogs, as the whiff of a squirrel and he’ll be off across the road like a flash. 

Adopted lurchers Charlie and Norman walking behind their owner
 
With Norman, the hardest part has been toilet training. We don’t think he’s ever lived in a house before and we’ve had to be really patient and consistent, but he’s getting there. Having his big brother to copy and learn from has really helped. 
 
Charlie went through a phase where he was very reactive to motorbikes if they went past him and sometimes other dogs if he was on the lead. We worked with a fab dog trainer for a couple of private sessions, learned what his “tells” were and learned to react to his body language so we could reassure him, and the reactivity gradually stopped. 
 
What surprised you about adopting? 
 
How quickly we were head over heels in love and could see Norman as part of our family. In our minds he was ours before it was official. It was the same when we adopted Charlie. I can’t remember life before them. 
 
What would your advice be to those thinking of adopting a dog? 
 
Be patient and consistent. When you bring a dog home, it’s unlikely that everything will be perfect straight away. They’ll need training and time to adjust.

Take some dog training classes, as it’s as much about you learning things as it is the dog.

All of it is SO worth it and your efforts will be rewarded. Both of our boys bring us so much joy and happiness and we cannot imagine our lives without them. 

Adopted dog Norman on a long line, enjoying the scenic walk

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