How a new hobby helped Stuart the boisterous Dobermann from The Dogs Trust in Leeds find a new home

A Dobermann who was given up for adoption with too much energy and not enough confidence is set to go to a new home - with a new hobby.

By Emma Ryan
Monday, 20th December 2021, 4:45 am

Stuart, a two-year-old dog with boundless energy came to The Dogs Trust more than a year ago, in November 2020, after his owner’s new work commitments meant they no longer had the time for a dog.

Staff at the Leeds Rehoming Centre soon realised they had to find an outlet for Stuart’s strength and energetic antics, but he was hugely lacking in confidence, especially on walks, which manifested itself in lots of jumping about and staff said he "quite simply didn’t know what to do with himself when he was put on the lead".

However, two dog experts that work with the Dog's Trust thought he might benefit from Canicross training after having used it with their own dogs.

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Stuart the Dobermann out running with trainers from The Dogs Trust Leeds. Staff at Leeds Rehoming Centre realised they had to find an outlet for Stuart’s strength and energetic antics and introduced him to canicross.

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After being checked by a vet that he was fit enough to participate, a boisterous Stuart was put through his paces by Rehabilitation Trainer Amy Ross and Canine Carer Amy Carlin.

Amy Ross said: “After gradually introducing the idea to Stuart with a few trial runs in our enclosed field, he took to it like a duck to water or a dog to cross country running. We could immediately see how much fun he was having on the run but most importantly we saw that after a run he was far more engaged with his training work.

“We use all the correct kit, which is very important for safety. Amy Carlin wears a special harness that’s fitted around the hips and Stuart has a specially fitted harness too. They are connected by a Canicross bungee lead which absorbs any shock from the pull of the dog."

Amanda Sands, Rehoming Centre Manger added: “After a few weeks of regular running sessions Stuart has come on leaps and bounds with his training. He is now really focussed when we work on other behaviours and his confidence has really grown too, meaning that he now enjoys his walks as well as his runs. Depending on what lead is put on him, he knows if he is going for a walk or a run.

“In addition, he is also showing a much more affectionate side of his personality which is wonderful to see. Stuart is a changed dog who we are delighted to say is now reserved so all going well will be in his new forever home soon.”

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