We help you a bit with the introduction of your new cat/kitten to your current cat.

It is important to do an introduction very gradually.

  • Put the new cat/kitten aside for a few days with all the necessary resources and attention, so that he/she can get used to the new home, new smells and sounds and of course to you as the new owner.
  • Exchange scents by, for example, presenting blankets from each other’s baskets to each other when they get something tasty. As a result, the cats will make a positive association with that new scent.(You can always bring a blanket with you when you visit a kitten.

You can use it to hold/pet the kitten. You then put the blanket in a tightly closed bag, so you can already do this step at home with your current cat.)

  • You’re going to extend this positive association by introducing the cats a few times a day for 2 to 3 weeks by performing something really tasty each on one side of the door and gradually opening the door further over days. When you notice that the cats are getting nervous, it is best to take a step back. It is very important to have patience for the introduction to succeed. Let the cats set the pace.

The introduction will probably go a little faster in a kitten than in an adult cat. In general, kittens are accepted more quickly. We are also happy to help you choose a kitten or an adult cat, female cat or male. Together we will see what best suits your own cat.

It is also important that there are sufficient escape options in the house: hiding places, high shelves, so that the cats can distance themselves from each other. If the cats themselves can make a choice in this, it will be easier.

Keep the meetings short, don’t let tensions rise. If the cats stare at each other, try to distract them with a toy, if this is not possible, separate them quietly.

Sometimes you hear advice that you should let the cats fight it out, please don’t do this and get them out of the situation! Also, never force your cat, don’t let them eat together. Cats like to have peace while eating and if you put the bowls next to each other “forcing” the cats to eat. What you can do is give a candy as a reward for each other’s presence.

If the cats start fighting, don’t get angry and stay calm and don’t use a plant spray, etc. This causes more stress. If you have problems with the new cat, keep the cats completely apart for at least 48 hours and then apply the step-by-step plan again.

Do you need help/advice?? Feel free to send us an email:

Castration and sterilization*
*Since April 1, 2018, kittens must be spayed or neutered before they are 5 months old.
*Cats born between August 31, 2014 and April 1, 2018 will have to be neutered by January 1, 2020 at the latest.*
*Each cat must be neutered or spayed before being sold or given away.Identification and registration
Identification and registration
Since November 1, 2017, the following cats must be identified (with chip) and registered in the central database CatID
*all cats less than 12 weeks old
*all cats before they are given away or sol
*all cats from abroad, if they are going to stay in Belgium for more than 6 months.
*If your cat is already registered in another database, you do not need to register them again in CatID.
The identification and registration is done by the veterinarian. Changes in the data (e.g. a change of address) are also passed on by the vet.
By identifying your cat with a chip, you will be reunited more quickly if the animal is lost. And by spaying or neutering cats, fewer cats will end up in shelters. Cats in shelters are already neutered and identified with a chip.
Congratulations on your new roommate! How wonderful that you want to give a dog (from abroad) a good life. Adopting a dog (from abroad) is special and definitely worth it, but of course there are also plenty of things to take into account. That is why we would like to give you some tips and advice, so that you can get started with your sweet and fun adopted dog! First of all, you should take into account that the dog has already been through a lot in recent weeks. (Including the trip to the Netherlands or Belgium.) Such a trip involves many stimuli and therefore also a lot of stress and anxiety. What you see a lot when the dogs arrive is that many people want to hug and pet the dogs right away, but there are few dogs who like or enjoy that. After all, you are a strange person to the dog. In addition, the dog has just come from a long journey in a strange environment. So what the dog needs is some space and the best thing is to just leave the dog alone and offer support if he / she asks for it. This also applies in the house. Let the dog discover his new place to live, Let him make choices in this. Do not always pick up or put the dog on your lap, especially not by several strange people. This will come later, when the dog is more familiar and will feel safe in its new environment. Do not expect too much from your dog from abroad. And keep in mind that you may have to deal with the following;
  • Difficulty with all stimuli from the environment. This can manifest itself in very busy behavior and pulling on the leash.
  • Being afraid of other dogs, people or traffic can express itself in aggression, or flight behavior / running away
  • Fear of abandonment, being home alone has to be built up in very small steps
  • Prey behavior towards cats or hunting instinct.
Of course it doesn’t mean that all dogs show this behavior, absolutely not. But it is something to keep in mind and be prepared for.
Make sure that you do not take the dog out of the crate until the crate is inside and the doors to the house and garden are properly closed. If he/she doesn’t have to get out immediately, leave the crate open and let the dog get out on his own. If it is necessary that he / she has to get out of the crate for a certain reason, it is best to first try to lure the dog out with kibble or something else tasty. Most dogs are very hungry after the trip, so this usually works out, try not to look the dog in the eye and let him / her out quietly. During the first weeks/months you should absolutely not let go of the dog, even if it stays with you, it can suddenly startle and then run in the other direction because you are not yet its confidant. Keep the dog well on a leash, best with a well-fitting harness and possibly double leash. Do not use a flexion leash at all, when it slips out of your hand and ends up on the dog, this can unfortunately cause nasty accidents. And practice the here and staying with you in a securely fenced environment! If you have chosen a hunting dog, keep in mind that many hunting dogs can never run loose. Use a well-fitting harness and a 5 meter leash for these dogs,
so that the dog gets the space to sniff and make choices. Also important to have a fence of at least 180 high and that they cannot dig a road under the fence, but that applies to more dogs. When you have a shelter dog or an adopted dog, it is important to make a safe place in the house, where there are few stimuli and no people walk by. This can be done with a basket or bench (door open). The dog must be able to get in and out of its safe haven by itself. In the safe harbour/place you give all his goodies, possibly also his food, so all the nice things happen in that place. So you never disturb the dog there, not even to pet it, if you want to vacuum there, you always wait until the dog is gone. This place is very important for the dog, here he / she can relax and escape if it gets too much for him / her. All stimuli can be processed here and his / her stress will go down. A dog that has been on a journey needs at least 6 weeks to “sleep in” this means REST, REST and again REST! Sometimes you hear people say my dog is so busy, I’ve been walking outside for hours and throwing the ball etc. and he / she is still busy in the house. Often the dog is busy because he / she is overstimulated and therefore needs rest. If he/she can’t do this himself, then you must give him or her rest! You also don’t want to take your dog everywhere with you, getting used to your home and your family already gives enough stimuli. We often leave the shelter dogs alone in the garden for the first week, when we see that he / she is ready, we take them for a walk outside. Choose the same route around the house. This way the dog learns the way home. The same route may seem boring to you, but not to the dog There are different people, dogs, cats, etc. in those places every day, so there is enough information and stimuli for your dog. Little by little you can build this up or take the dog to new places and gain positive experiences. The dog is now also more familiar with you and is starting to bond with you! Let the dog sniff, don’t constantly pull him away. He/she has to sniff to get information. The dog extracts information from other dogs’ urine. Whether this was a bitch in heat, or a big exciting dog, etc. Sniffing also lowers the dog’s stress. And feel free to let him or her choose the path for themselves.
Brain work, such as hiding sweets or chewing on a bone, also has a stress-reducing effect. Be sure to apply this daily as well. For the first few days, for example, you can put the dog in a crate with a rug over it next to your bed. Because it is all quite exciting, this is a safe feeling for the dog that he is not left alone. You will move the crate little by little and as soon as he / she feels completely at home, the crate can be placed in the desired place and the puppy or dog will not cry. Build up staying home alone in very small steps. Stay at home for the first few weeks, even for groceries. Your partner may be able to go alone for a while or a good neighbor so that the dog is never alone. Then slowly build it up by being away for a while. Start by leaving them alone in a room, for example the living room. And provide a positive experience. Give the dog a treat first and show that you will be back. The dog feels more and more at home and is ready to stay home alone. This goes faster with one dog than with the other.
Finally, we would like to say never to use correction materials, loud voice, jerking on the leash, sludge chain, power bands, etc. Especially foreign dogs can be very sensitive to this. Positive training is therefore very important. (Confirm positive behavior, train with reward) Should I go straight to the dog school, I hear you say? No, certainly not, this can be just a bit too much for the dog. First let him/her get used to you and your family and to his/her new home. After a few weeks, when you see that he / she is ready, you can go to the dog school and continue working on your bond. A dog is never too old to learn and socializes throughout its life. Don’t expect a lot from your dog right away, give him / her that REST! We wish you a lot of success, but above all a lot of fun and lots of love with your new four-legged friend! If you want more advice, we are happy to help you!
Written by: Aftercare team, TWAS Animal Rescue

A happy dog

It is important for every dog that it has an owner who has some knowledge of dog behavior. On
this way you can better understand your dog, but also better guide and train it. Especially with a relocator or a
dog from abroad who may already have a backpack, some knowledge is necessary to work together so harmoniously
live together and get a good bond with your dog. Because a dog in his sas is not only nice for the dog,
but certainly also for you as owner.

The following information comes from the latest scientific research on dogs. Especially by the
new facts and insights from Jaak Panksepp and John Bradshaw we’ve made the dog go better in recent years to

Dominance an outdated concept
For years, wrong assumptions have been made about dogs and behavior. It is believed that a dog
always wants to be the leader of the pack, wanting to move up the ladder within the hierarchy in the pack. And therefor,
a dog would use aggression.
This theory comes from a study with wolves in the 1960s. They had a group
wolves in a relatively small space and with a shortage of food in captivity. In this situation,
a lot of aggression arose among them.
Based on the observations, they concluded that the status of the pack leader, the “alpha”, was very important and
that the wolves were constantly trying to get this status through conflict. Or at least higher
up to rank.
At that time it was still assumed that you could link the behavior of wolves to the behavior of dogs.
Now there are other insights, wolves live in family groups, and the situation in the study was because of this
an unnatural situation for the wolves. In addition, our dog is not descended from the wolf species in which it
research has taken place. The wolf our dog may be descended from is already extinct. But we can conclude
that… a dog is not a wolf!
Unfortunately, you still hear a lot of people in the forest or dog park, but even veterinarians and some dog schools
talking about a dominant dog. Unfortunately, these people have not yet received further training and understand
the dog not in the right way either.
This also often causes misunderstanding of dogs and wrong training or education. Because of the dominance theory,
there is a lot of work with corrections, both physical and verbal, because you must be
the leader of the pack.
This is still very prevalent in dog land, it is important as a dog owner to know that this is a
an outdated concept and the dominant dog therefore does not exist.
But how can you explain certain dog behavior? Important for the dog are resources, the social bond
and learning experiences. A resource is something that is important to the dog. This can be, food, a nice place to lie down, a
toy, but also you as the owner. You could also explain it in a Dutch word as riches for
the dog. The importance for the dog depends on the situation and the dog’s character. How
important a resource is for a dog and what it has learned about its opponent determine how a dog
responds in interaction with the other. How dogs interact with each other or with us is based on what they like to
have or keep and on what the other has done in the past (learning experiences).
If you want to know more about this, there are some links at the bottom with useful websites, including one by Monique Bladder who has written
an article about it.

Stress signals
Dogs communicate through body language and are very conflict avoidant. Via very recognizable, but also small
ones subtle signals, a dog indicates that he is not comfortable or that he prefers not to
go into conflict. Well socialized dogs will listen to this too. With these signals, a dog indicates
that he wants space and does not want to enter into conflict.
But a dog also shows that he does not feel comfortable in the situation in which he finds himself. This feeling
can cause stress, which is why they are also called stress signals. Therefor It
is important as an owner that you recognize these signals.
If you see that your dog is giving off stress signals, it is important that you remove him from the situation, or distance
yourself, when the signals are directed towards you.

When a dog shows stress signals and is not responsive, it may be that a dog reacts
feel compelled to use aggression.

The most common stress signals are;
• the moment the dog licks his nose or his lips)
• look away (the head is turned away)
• to yawn
• panting
• raise a paw (the dog lifts one of its front legs very briefly or slightly longer)
• showing the whites of the eyes (you can clearly see the white rims of the eyes)
• shaking (this is often after a stressful situation to get rid of the stress)
• vocalize (bark, squeal, howl)
• physical restlessness (being busy, hyper, walking back and forth, not being able to find rest)
• Blinking with the eyes
• vibrate
• closing the mouth tightly
• freeze (the whole body stiffens and the dog remains standing)
• slow moving (stealth)
• lie on the back with raised legs and look away

In a stressful situation for the dog, it will show multiple stress signals at the same time or in succession.
It will differ per dog and situation how many stress signals the dog shows. Does the dog think it’s just a little
little exciting, then he will only show a few subtle signals. But if the dog finds it really annoying,
then he will show several stress signals, it is advised to get your dog out of the situation as soon as

The stress bucket
Excitement and stress play an important role in the dog’s behavior. One dog can handle stress better
than the other dog. And sometimes a dog finds a situation scary and other times it doesn’t bother him. If you know
the theory of the stress bucket (trigger stacking in English), then your dog’s behavior can be a lot better to
Stress is a reaction to an emotion of the dog. The emotion prompts the dog to act and this
we call stress or excitement. This can be a negative emotion such as fear (stress),
but also a negative emotion positive emotion such as happiness (excitement).
The stress bucket in the dog is an imaginary bucket. With one dog the bucket is bigger than with the other
dog. Each bucket is filled with a healthy amount of stress hormones. But every time your dog in a
challenging situation that causes stress or excitement, the stress bucket fills up. Normally the stress (cortisol)
decreases through sleep or brain work or on chewing a nice bone. But sometimes the dog experiences too much stress (stimulations)
and the bucket overflows. This then creates a short fuse. The stimulus that your dog with a full bucket.
He will not be able to process properly. And this makes for explosive behavior, like falling out, hyper behavior,
sleepless or excessive barking.

How do you recognize stress;
• stress signals (as mentioned above)
• mark (to urinate everywhere)
• driving behaviour
• coping mechanisms; flee, freeze, fight and the crazy 5 minutes (running very fast in circles with
a low pinched tail)
How do you prevent stress;
• knowledge of the stress signals and the stress bucket
When you can read your dog on the basis of the signals it gives, you can offer your dog support or get
out of the situation. This way you ensure that the stress rises.
• a dog needs about 16 to 18 hours of sleep per day
A dog needs a lot of sleep to be able to process all the stimuli of the day and to get rid of the stress bucket
empty. A dog needs 16 to 18 hours of sleep out of 24 hours. By making sure that your dog has enough
sleep, you make sure he can handle stress better
• self control during the walk

Let your dog also regularly determine the route itself when you are walking. When a dog is in control
This creates self-confidence and strengthens the bond with your dog.
• the dog can collect information (sniff, look)
Sniffing is very important for a dog. As everyone probably knows, the dog has a
very good nose. With this he collects a lot of information when he is walking. The dog
smells who has passed by, who has urinated where and also extracts information from the pee of other dogs. How
more information a dog has about its environment, the more confidence this gives and therefore less stress.
• no corrections (only work with rewards)
Working with corrections is not only recommended for the well-being of your dog, but also recently scientifically
has proven that working with rewards works better than working with corrections. In addition, has
giving corrections also affects the bond you have with your dog. And corrections both physical and verbal
cause stress in the dog.
• physical and mental satisfaction
A dog needs about 1 1⁄2 hours of exercise per day. Divide the hour and a half over the day
for example, walking once for an hour and once for half an hour. In addition, there are two short ones
rounds needed. But what many people don’t know is that mental challenge might be
even more important. This can be done through training, but especially brain work and search games.
• rules and structure
Dogs benefit from predictability. That is why rules and structure are important and, above all, the whole thing
family in the same way. So eat, walk, sleep, play, etc. at set times. And the rule is that the
dog is not allowed on the couch, be consistent in this and ensure that everyone in the family adheres to this rule.
• A private (stimulant-poor) place in the house with a nice place to sleep.
A nice basket or pillow where the dog can sleep comfortably, in a place in the house that is not too busy. So put the
dog not in a place where there is a walk-through. And also make sure that the dog can lie near you. And still
it is nicer when the dog has the choice of a number of places to sleep and can occasionally get up and choose
a different location.

The dog’s behavior is driven by emotions. Dogs experience emotions the same way we do. The
dog possesses 7 emotional systems (Panksepp)
• Seeking (exploring)
• Grief (panic) (feeling lonely, abandoned)
• Rage (frustration, anger)
• Play (game)
• Lust
• Care (to take care of)
• Fear (anxiety)

Problem behavior in dogs is usually caused by negative emotions. Do you experience problem behavior with your
dog, please contact TWAS aftercare.
The above information is a concise explanation about the dog. This will help you to a certain extent to treat your dog well guide
and make sure your dog is happy!

For more information on dog behavior;

• Take a look at your dog from Monique Bladder
• A dog’s life long physically and mentally in balance by Sam Turner and Martine Burgers
• This is John Bradshaw’s dog

Written by: Saskia Bekkema, aftercare team TWAS Animal Rescue

For questions you can always contact us:

* A maximum of 2 varieties are bred.
* The breeder does not have puppies/kittens for sale non-stop (waiting lists are usually used).
* The puppies/kittens grow up together with their mother in a homely atmosphere and are well socialized. You can always see the mother dog / mother cat!
You are always welcome for a visit.
* The puppies do not leave the nest before the age of 8 weeks (15 weeks for abroad). And the kittens not before 12 weeks.
* The puppies/kittens are chipped and vaccinated and have a European passport and have been declared healthy by a recognized veterinarian. (defects are always mentioned) Kittens are neutered.
* No puppies / kittens are sold to pet stores.
* The breeder is interested in your home situation and asks a lot of questions. You usually don’t get the puppy/kitten the same day, but several visits follow.
*The puppies/kittens have been given a name and pedigree.
* The puppies/kittens are not offered on classifieds sites.

BEWARE OF BAD BREEDERS! A dog/kitten from the shelter/non-profit organization or find a good breeder!

In addition to the possibility to adopt a dog or cat through TWAS, we also provide educational lessons at primary schools in Belgium. In these lessons, children learn, for example, why adoption is so important and how to properly handle dogs. Would you also like to receive an educational lesson at your school? Please contact: and ask about the possibilities.

It is always difficult to come up with a fun and original topic for a speech. Pets are a popular subject, but there are often many classmates who give a talk about their pet.

How about giving your talk about TWAS Animal Rescue, about animals that no longer have a home and for which TWAS is looking for a home. And what happens to kittens that are found and no longer have a mom?
That’s a fun and interesting topic!

If you think it would be fun to give your speech on this subject, please send an email to We will send you all kinds of information and photos for your speech by email.

Good luck with your speech and who knows, you might help a dog or kitten find a new home with your speech about TWAS Animal Rescue.

TWAS also provides information evenings.

There are several evenings that are organized.

*Purchasing a dog or cat, this evening will discuss some specific highlights to know when purchasing a dog or cat, what bread breeding is and how you can make it as pleasant as possible for your new 4-legged friend. We will make extra time at the end of the evening for all your questions.

*Become a volunteer at TWAS: Here we explain different tasks and you can meet and greet our volunteers.

Hond en Lot provides modern, up-to-date information on the relationship between dog and human, dog behavior and dog training, with an emphasis on dog welfare.

Doggo information about dogs

Monique Bladder behavior therapist

Brain work for dogs

Brain work for cats

Luxury dog walking service in Groeningen, Netherlands

Boarding for dogs in Bonheiden, Belgium