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After welcoming an eight-month-old West Highland Terrier Cross puppy into their home, Harry’s elderly owners were struggling with his excitable behaviour.

A teenage rebel with four paws

They knew it wasn’t fair on Harry that they couldn’t exercise his mind and body. And this led to other ways of expressing himself, like jumping and snapping, which they couldn’t cope with either.

This became too much for his owners, and after careful consideration, they decided to find him a new home and reached out to Woodgreen for help. At eight months old, Harry was going through his teenage years and battling lots of tricky changes. When he arrived, our team could tell he was a mischievous boy. We had quite a soft spot for him though!

“When you know him, he’s a lot of fun, very sweet and very clever. But it does take him a lot of time to feel confident and warm up to you.” 

China, Harry's handler

Our team got to work on Harry’s behaviour

Harry was a lively boy with bags of energy. He hadn’t been walked enough in his previous home and had become bored with nothing to keep his mind busy. To keep himself entertained he made his own games which included grabbing clothes and jumping up at people’s faces. He needed lots of training to brush up on his manners and learn more appropriate ways to have fun.

When China took Harry out for walks, he would freeze on the spot and refuse to move. China and the team copied him until he moved. Eventually, Harry learnt that he wouldn’t get a treat every time he stopped and soon enough, he was able to continue to enjoy his walks. 

The next thing to tackle was his grabbing. Whenever he tried to nip ankles or grab clothing, China put him for a time out in the garden. Harry knew the game was over and he was given time alone to calm down. And once he had settled down, he was rewarded with praise or a tasty treat.

"We worked extremely hard on Harry's training and I'm so chuffed it all paid off."

China, Harry's handler

Fosterer Lizzie helped Harry on leaps and bounds with his confidence

Once we had Harry’s snapping under control, he went to stay with Lizzie, an experienced fosterer. This really helped him as she had an older dog who could be a role model. Lizzie was also able to continue his training in a calmer home environment. Her children loved playing with him and he was able to burn off some of his energy. Before long, Harry was ready to return to Woodgreen, relaxed and ready to meet his potential match! 

Our team had been looking for owners with an active lifestyle who had lots of time and patience to deal with his non-stop puppy energy. Harry also needed to continue his training with loving owners who were looking for a very playful dog. 


Had we found Harry’s new family?

Terry, Sarah and their two children were the first pick for our Matching team. They were looking for a small dog to join their family and make lots of happy memories with. Dad, Terry was sadly unwell and wanted his family to have a companion who could provide lots of love and comfort for them when he wasn’t around anymore.

Terry picked Woodgreen because he knew how hard the charity worked to find new homes for thousands of pets each year. Back in the mid-1990’s he had featured dogs at Woodgreen on his local radio station to support our rehoming efforts. 

Now he was back to help his family find a dog which would help them keep making happy memories when he passed on from his terminal cancer diagnosis. 


We're so proud of Harry - all those training sessions really paid off

After a nervous start to the meeting, Harry eventually warmed to the family and had a little tug of war with one of his toys. They fell in love with him and knew he was the dog for them.

Shortly after they took him home, Terry sadly passed away. We’re told Harry was very calm and gentle towards Terry in his final days and their canine companion is a huge source of comfort for the family

“Harry has changed our lives and we wouldn’t be without him, he’s so loving and very funny. Harry enjoys long walks, running around and playing catch in our garden, but most of all he loves a cuddle on the sofa! He is a joy to be around and just loves being in our company.”

Sarah, Harry's new owner
James family

Our thoughts are with Sarah and the rest of her family at this difficult time.

A huge thank you to Terry for his help finding our dogs new homes so many years ago. 


Meet our Dog House stars!

Go behind the scenes to learn their stories and why they came to Woodgreen. Learn about how we helped them and whether they found their match on the show.

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