Duke's info:

  • Sex: Male
  • Age: Approx. 4 years
  • Size: Medium (Collie size)
  • Breed: Mixed


Duke arrived with us in April 2021 and was incredibly timid. He did not want to be anywhere near people and would shake or poop at the sight of them…

Dogs like Duke have been under socialised with people, and the only interactions they will have had with people prior to arriving at the rescue centre will have been negative – consisting of abuse, beatings, dragged on a catchpole and scruffing, if not more.

Since that day we have worked with Duke with food – he is incredibly food motivated which will make bonding with an owner that bit easier. We have given Duke lots of space and time, we have not pushed him or done anything to make him uncomfortable and since then he has started to progress with us.

Duke now becomes excited for mealtimes and is the first out of the field for his breakfast or dinner! He also will come very close to people to take treats from them or will stand and wait for us to throw them in the air for him to catch! Duke has allowed a staff member to give him a tickle once or twice, but he has not done this for a while as he clearly pushed himself that little bit too far. We are happy with his progress at the moment though, and we are willing to allow him to choose whether or not he wants further interaction from people. His adopter will need to have the same mindset and level of patience.

Duke will be a project dog; he will take a good amount of time to settle into a home. He needs someone that is willing to allow him to take as long as he needs to get there. Dogs like Duke usually do not progress past a certain point in rescue, and most progress will be seen once he has fully settled into the home environment – we know this because we have rehomed lots of dogs that were just as timid as Duke that have gone on to really bond with their owners, learn to walk on lead and live fantastic lives.

As Duke is still timid, he will need an adult only home (over 16s). He will want to hide at first so will just need a crate to retreat to if he wants to, meals putting down at mealtimes and short treat sessions with his owner to work on building a bond. He will not want much more than this for a while and will become more curious as he settles.

We are reassessing Duke with dogs. He has two friends at the rescue – Casper and Vera, but he can be very shy meeting new dogs and take a long time to get to know them. He displays a lot of anxious body language and has very little confidence around new dogs so until we see any improvement he will need to live as an only dog. He may be able to meet and befriend friend or family dogs in future. He is not lead trained, and this will come in time when he is confident.

Duke cannot live with cats.

He will need a 6ft fence to keep him safe.

We understand that dogs like Duke are not for everyone, we have had applicants admit that they have not experienced dogs as timid as ours before despite having years of dog experience - yet, we have had many first-time dog owners adopt and succeed with very timid dogs – all it takes is patience and taking on board advice from staff.

Many rescues would over-look dogs like Duke, but we believe that he has lots of potential in a home and deserves a chance at happiness. Adopting Duke will be an incredibly rewarding journey, seeing him enter the home as a timid dog and working with him to become a loving, trusting and valued member of the family is one of the best journeys you could ever embark on.

Is Duke your perfect match?

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