jasper3midThe sight of the recognisable Lassie dog makes most people smile.  Poor Jasper had a multitude of sins when he came and found his perfect home to live out his life in.

I have to admit bias here as I have had a Rough Collie myself.  He was a wonderful and gentle creature that first came to me as a supposed lunatic that just couldn’t be helped, touched or trained.  He turned into one of the most obedient and loving dogs I have ever had, despite him being nearly blind.  I still miss him nearly 4 years on.  So from the start, I wanted to try and help Jasper.

Read his story as he arrived for training:

His owners were going abroad and didn’t want to take him.  Long story here and I don’t agree with owners doing this, but it was my job to help the dog.  Jasper lived on a huge property and simply ran wild all day.  Apart from the occasional vet and kennel visit, he had never been anywhere or seen anyone.  So as he progressed into adulthood, he became more and more difficult and territorial.  He bit his owners several times and started charging out of the wood to bite visitors arriving.  Nobody could groom or handle him, he simply bit every time he was asked to do anything at all.  Not once did they get any help for this.  Once they decided they couldn’t take him with them, they offered him to rescues.  Nobody would touch this “nasty, mad dog” and I don’t blame them.

Jasper was accepted on a training and rescue package.  Paid for by the original owners, he was signed in as a rescue dog and put through full behaviour retraining.  It was very hard and at times disheartening.  The first job was to make him work for attention, life had been a bit too easy for him.  He bit me several times in the first 3 weeks, never too badly, I was a bit too quick for him.  After about 4-5 weeks, he gashed his pad in the paddock.  One minute he was fine, the next he was limping badly.  Without thinking I rushed over and grabbed his paw to look.  Jasper didn’t bat an eye and I cleaned it up.  It was only after the initial excitement that I suddenly stopped to think……. for the first time he had just let me handle him, even in pain and didn’t react.  I was so stunned I grabbed him to kiss him and scared the life out of him!

It was a good 4-5 months before I offered him for adoption.  Whilst I was sure he would be fine in the right hands and with the right help, he needed a very special home.  One that would see past any initial problems and also one that would take my rules and handover plan seriously.  Despite the new and improved dog, he needed to be taken seriously as now, at least superficially, he looked perfectly normal.  When he was first with me, nobody could get him out of his kennel, touch him or approach me if he was with me, by now he was walked by several people and met visitors totally loose.

Luckily for him, Glen and Jacqui did take him seriously and saw a better dog there.  He did bite Glen on the finger during the introductions.  Not too badly, but it shook them up.  To that point he seemed normal and I looked daft warning them about potential hazards!  To their enormous credit, they still gave Jasper a chance.  I was thrilled to receive a short video of him playing in their garden, throwing toys around with an abandon I knew he could have, but they gave him the security and love to make it possible.  He lived out his life, happy and loved.  He even recognised my voice when the TV series “Dog Borstal” was on and ran to the door, happy I was coming!

Now read their account of life with Jasper:

In summer 2003 we lost our dear little Sheltie. She was 14 and the love of our lives. She left a huge hole and we missed her terribly. We knew we wanted another dog to love but thought it would take time.

One day we were looking online and found the Canine Lifeline webpage where we noticed a very handsome collie called Jasper. We could not believe our luck that we had spotted this dog so soon after Chloe’s passing. We checked the site daily for 6 weeks convincing ourselves that if he was meant for us he would wait until we felt ready to take him on. On the 7th week we decided to go and visit him to see if we were compatible.

We had to say we were concerned especially as this dog had a track record with being unsociable and nasty. He had even been turned away from other rescue centres.

As soon as we saw him we were hooked. Although he did nip my husband at first, he soon learned that was not the way toJasper01 (Medium) get along with us. We noticed that he only displayed aggressive behaviour when he was afraid. We now reassure him daily that he is safe and loved with us to stop any further biting – So far so good!

Now a few weeks after giving him a chance we are all delighted. Jasper is a joy to be around. He is a loving, talkative and affectionate boy. He is polite, well trained and obedient. I have to say all thanks to Debbie’s hard work with training at SafePets.

He has now learned to play with his favourite yellow ball. Although still a little nervous of sudden movements he is starting to relax more. He loves his walks and reminds us several times a day to take him out! We have been pleased that he has been sociable with all the visitors to our home including kids.

I am so glad that we gave him a new beginning, and that Debbie had the intuition to see past this mad dog who was previously written off as useless.



About Safepets UK

Expert Witness behaviourist assessing dogs for court, treating cats and dogs. Covering Midlands to London and other areas.

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