Rosie's story

by Michaela Maryon // May 2017

Paws up for smuggled puppy who graduates from Dog School West Midlands

A puppy who was illegally smuggled into the country has graduated from Dogs Trust Dog School with lots of licks and waggy tails.

Eight-month-old Maltese Terrier, Rosie, was one of six puppies that arrived at Dogs Trust in Evesham at just 15 weeks old after being bred in Hungary and illegally imported into the UK, enduring a traumatic journey of almost 1,500 miles before being intercepted at the border and taken into quarantine kennels.

She was adopted by Richard and Helen Pye and their children Jacob and Beth from Pershore in January 2017 who fell in love with Rosie after meeting her at the rehoming centre. They understood that Rosie did not have the best start in life but were determined to help her succeed and become a well-socialised and confident dog.

Thankfully, Dogs Trust had recently launched Dog School, a national network of dog training classes providing fun, educational courses and advice for all dog owners to understand the behaviour of their dog and avoid the common pitfalls that can lead to problems, and the family were quick to book on.

Rosie has now completed her initial six-week Puppy course and passed with flying colours.

Richard said:

“When we first met her, she was a nervous little thing. We found out about the Dog School classes during the adoption process and knew that her lack of socialisation and early experiences, as well as her nervousness could’ve potentially led to problems further down the line. We really wanted to learn the techniques needed to help us gain her confidence and in turn help her reach her full potential.

“We found the whole Dog School experience to be a really worthwhile experience. The small class sizes worked really well and we had lots of support from the coaches who were able to adapt the training to your dog if it was struggling with a particular area.

“Rosie has turned into a much different puppy than the timid puppy she was when we adopted her. She’s confident, mixes well with other dogs and settles beautifully when we have visitors. She does walk well on the lead, except when she knows we’re off to the park!”

The Pye family also have Pickle, a 10-year-old Labrador Cross also from Dogs Trust Evesham who has been integral to help Rosie settle in and build her confidence during what must have been a difficult transition for her.

Emma Rex, Senior Coach at Dog School West Midlands, said:

“Rosie is an absolutely adorable pup who had a terrible start to life. Puppies who are smuggled into the country don’t have appropriate socialisation to everyday experiences which can lead to problems later in life.

“Rosie was a little star in Dog School and it’s great that we’ve been able to equip her owners with the skills and tools required to set her up to succeed as a family pet. Not only has she got the trust and bond with her owners she is much happier and confident in herself so it’s clear that her owners have practised what they have learnt in class in the home.

“Her owners found it so enjoyable that they have booked her into the next course for older puppies.”

If you are interested in attending Dog School with your four-legged friend, please contact the team on

wmidsdogschool@dogstrust.org.uk or call 01926 485777