Motor: Best Improvement Award

Rescuing Motor the puppy

As a puppy of about 8 to 9 months, a very very skinny and hungry Motor was rescued from a newly constructed building site around 2013. Regular dog feeders caught Motor easily by luring him with food. He was found between some motorbikes – inspiring his name, Motor (originally Motto)! The feeders took him in, and he was initially housed at the shelters in Pasir Ris after sterilization. Presently, he’s boarding at the same premises as Uncle Khoe’s Shelter, at The Animal Lodge. Hence, NUS Pawfriends are also his weekend minders!

Introducing Motor

Based on an account from Jac, a member of Volunteers Anonymous, “Motor seemed fierce from stories we all heard before handling him. However, since we started befriending him and started on the rehabilitation journey, he seems to accept and love all his handlers. One of his pet peeves is licking his handlers especially their face and necks after pack walks.” 

Bonding with Motor

Motor needs dedicated handlers who have earned his trust. At our shelter, we have protocols in place to properly introduce new student handlers to prevent him from feeling threatened.

Although Motor is slow to warm up to new handlers, winning his trust is not a herculean task. Jac said that Motor just needed several private and quiet moments bonding with his new handlers inside his comfort zone. Besides clicker training (an animal training method based on a bridging stimulus-the clicker- in operant conditioning), feeding treats can also build trust between handler and dog. According to Jac “After gaining his trust and forming a bond, we leashed him to walk within the shelter compound. He was very afraid of new sights and sounds (for example, moving vehicles) and was once spooked out by a vending machine.” Also, Motor used to have food aggression, which he has now overcome, but for safety protocols, we still stick to regular handlers for food wise. Despite these difficulties, Motor has made great strides during his rehabilitation, and can now do a multitude of tricks! 

Motor’s array of tricks

Motor with his partner in crime, Gobi and handler – Jun Jie

Despite Motor’s very short attention span, he has learnt quite a number of tricks.

For example, his performance in hand targeting (touching your palm with his nose when presented) is not bad. However, handlers did need one to two semesters to teach the trick “down”, as crouching down is a vulnerable pose for him. (An ex-NUS student, Jolene taught him that!) Basically, he’s mastered tasks such as, paw, sit, down, stay! It’s been impressive progress, however, his attention span for showing off these tricks and learning more, is still short. 

Adopting Motor: Calling all dedicated and patient handlers!

Good news! Motor is ready for adoption now. Nonetheless, he needs a very dedicated adopter who would be willing to come to the shelter and bond with him first as he is slow to warm up to new handlers (although he is not too fussy when choosing his handlers)

Do drop us an inquiry to learn more if you think you have what it takes to love and care for Motor!


A big thank you to Jac from Volunteers Anonymous for sharing her insights and pictures of Motor.


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