by Stephanie Mann // May 2018
Lucky girl Peppa who lived 2 years in Merseyside Dogs Trust Kennels now has 2 wonderful owners Gregg and Stephanie. They are a very active couple who take Peppa out and about on special walks to exciting locations regularly!
Peppa now sees the world far and wide!
Peppas carers in kennels worked with her to help her specifically with her impulse control and to help her learn how to settle and relax. They made great steps with her and so Gregg and Steph were keen to come to Dog school classes to help Peppa progress in all her new skills.
Here is their Journey of adoption and also through Dog School Merseyside’s Rescue class
Peppa was the first dog we saw when we came to Dogs Trust Merseyside. We looked at her and walked on. After enquiring about other dogs at the centre we eventually asked about Peppa. We soon found out that Peppa was a bit different to the other dogs. She had been in kennels for 2 years from the age of 6 months, been rehomed twice, briefly (24hrs the second time) and had a reputation for mouthing, being too boisterous and generally wrecking the place. She was also a week away from being moved to the Manchester branch as nobody was showing any interest. She came out of her kennel to meet us and once off the lead in an enclosed space ran into both myself and my husband, jumping constantly to our head height. She eventually calmed down and responded well to us both, listening to commands and playing.
My husband then went down to the centre and met Peppa through the week, he works shifts, and the more time he spent with her he could see she just needed love and control in her life. She came to visit our house and we took her for a walk around Carr Mill, everything went really well so it was decided to leave her with us for a day. I had her on my own and she took everything she could get her teeth into from the house and tried to shred it. I spent most of the day walking her. My husband had her the following Monday and spent the day chasing her around the house trying to rescue things she was stealing and destroying.
Peppa shuffling up to the starting line of the Olympics!
Not to be deterred we took her for a weekend. After a long walk on the Saturday, she was very tired and we all slept. Sunday we took her for a 10 mile walk along the canal and when it was time to take her back to The Dogs Trust she was snoring away, so it was agreed to bring her back on Monday. It was the Tuesday before she eventually went back.
The following weekend we took her for a 2-week trial. All slippers, shoes, remote controls etc. were hidden and put out of reach. Footballs were dotted around the garden for her to play with and sticks were left around the house for her to chew on. She would wake at 4 am to go to the toilet, often in the house if we didn’t hear her, but we persevered and she slowly got into a routine that suited us all.
Peppa snuffling about in the enrichment at the centre
Her stress levels were going down on a daily basis and the stealing and shredding of items were reducing. She now does it only when we’re in and ignoring her. To our amazement, we found we could leave her in the house on her own and the house is absolutely fine. We found we could reward her with food to reinforce new behaviours and turn them into long-term habits. She is a very intelligent dog and we decided to go to Dog School Training as they had done so much with her and it would help us to be consistent with her. Through this and much patience, she is getting more confident in herself and others. She has a few quirks still that we are all working on, but we’ve never had a dog that was perfect. We were told that she could not be let off the lead around other dogs and outside she can react badly if they run at her or she feels threatened, but she loves playing in the garden with my sister in law’s Staffy. We’re hoping that in time she can get over this, and she will now settle in a busy area with other dogs and be comfortable. We’ve even taken her camping, she chewed through one guy rope but she recalled and are pleased with her progress.
Everything is taken at Peppa’s pace as she is still young and spent a lot of her life in kennels. We carry on what we’ve learnt at Dog School into the real world and it’s great to see Peppa respond. She does get over excited at times but you can see she’s trying really hard. When she wasn’t well, just a torn nail, we missed her exuberant greetings and were so relieved when she started to get better. We know the next year will have its trying times but we’re in it for the long haul. We went to Dogs Trust looking for a collie but having had Peppa in our lives now I wouldn’t have it any other way.