'Traumatised' dog wins award 18 months after rescue
- Credit: RSPCA
A dog who had been found abandoned, starving and “traumatised” has been awarded the Kennel Club’s Good Citizen award after his adoptive family helped to turn his life around.
Major, a four-year-old Shar Pei, who was so scared of the outside world that he would be left "shaking and whining," has earned his Kennel Club Good Citizen bronze award after almost 18 months of hard work and dedication by his adopters.
Lorraine and her family, from near Swaffham, in Norfolk, adopted Major in August 2019 from RSPCA Norfolk & Mid Suffolk branch.
Major been left traumatised by his previous life experiences and staff at the branch knew he’d need a committed owner to help him learn that the world wasn’t such a scary place.
Lorraine said: “As soon as we put him in the car on the way home, he was worried.
“When we walked in the house he went straight to the water bowl and drank until it was all gone. He found a bed, curled up in a tight ball and watched.
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“The toys in the toy box didn’t get a second look. He hated being left alone and would eat the skirting boards, doors and furniture.
“Going out for a walk on the lead was almost impossible; he would lunge, bark and react at everything. He was always on high alert, unable to relax. He’s the most nervous and complicated dog we’d ever had so we contacted a behaviourist for help.”
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The family slowly started to introduce Major to the world, slowly adding new experiences and using lots of treats and positive reinforcement.
“Anything new would leave him shaking, pawing and whining,” Lorraine added.
“I joined an online group where we taught the dogs different concepts using games and Major loved it."
Lorraine then started taking Major along to a local training group.
“With support and patience, Major’s confidence started to grow again and we were all so incredibly proud of him," she said.
“We’ve been through so much together and now have such a lovely bond. I hope we’ve helped him to come out of his shell and find a happier life."
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care, please visit our website or call our donation line on 0300 123 8181.
To help RSPCA Norfolk & Mid Suffolk branch continue helping dogs like Major, please visit www.rspcanorwich.org.uk/donate to donate.