DIESEL the Staffie was anxious to show off his new-found skills for the camera, the public or indeed anyone who would pause long enough at the island’s MSPCA rescue centre recently.
Having graduated with flying colours from a week of training for both animals and staff, he proved himself something of a star pupil - at least in return for slices of sausage.
Visiting trainers Gill and Matt Devereux from the Margaret Green animal rescue centre at Wareham in Dorset spent a week putting both staff and animals through their paces.
Mr Devereux concentrated on customer care ideas with staff: ‘We tend to share ideas through the Association of Dogs’ and Cats’ Homes,’ he said.
‘Gill has been training the staff on dog training techniques because a dog with basic good manners will settle much better in a new home.’
Mrs Devereux added: ‘The basics are things like sitting, giving a paw, going to bed and walking well without pulling on the lead. Common problems include jumping up at people and pulling on the lead is frequent in breeds like Staffies because they are strong. Diesel is one of our notable successes,’ she said, as Diesel obligingly sat on command and offered a paw.
Mr Devereux said he had been emphasising the importance of giving the visiting public a positive experience.
‘They already do a very, very good job here and the past five days have been phenomenal,’ he said.
MSPCA staff Matt Archer and Mike Thompson said the sessions had been positive and informative, even including tips on reading an animal’s body language.
The training concentrated on 12 of the centre’s dogs, the idea being a well-behaved dog is more likely to be successfully rehomed. ‘The memory I will take away from this is that the staff here were the most amazing happy bunch of people so enthusiastic and interested in what we were doing,’ said Mrs Devereux.
The centre is currently in the process of having a new animal training room built, which they hope will be complete by the summer - weather permitting.
Margaret Mansfield from the centre said they were constantly under pressure to accommodate and find new homes for dogs, cats and other animals and also welcomed support and donations. Volunteer dog walkers and kind families who can foster animals are also in demand. Diesel is still seeking a home. Prospective adopters can find out more by calling 851672