Young offenders teach bad dogs so out of control they face being put down

Youths who have had their collars felt are taking the lead in a pet project to train dogs.

Well behaved teenage lags are learning new skills so they can teach bad dogs how to behave.

The young offenders get the troublesome mutts to control their impulses and walk on a loose lead.

The pooches also learn to come when called, settle on a bed, manners around food and calm greetings.

The pets on the Restart Dog Project are so badly behaved that they are in danger of being put down.

The dogs are being taught to come when called, settle on a bed and manners around food (Image: PHODOGRAPHY By Will)

But the inmates train them six hours a day for up to three months so they can be re-homed with a new family.

And far from being dismissed as barking, the successful scheme, which has so far re-housed five dogs, could be rolled out nationally.

A source said: “The people taking part have been locked up for all sorts – some of them are hard as nails. But looking after these dogs really brings out a different side to these young men.”

The scheme at Werrington Young Offender Institute in Staffordshire, which has inmates aged 15-18, has been praised by Chief Inspector of Prisons Peter Clarke.

He said: “The introduction of a dog training course created an innovative route into learning for some children who would otherwise be reluctant to participate.”

He said the sessions helped young cons “take responsibility for care and provide an insight into their own behaviour”.

Rachel Trafford, of organisers Moorlands Dog Rescue, said the inmates were carefully selected.

She said: “The project gives these rescue dogs a much deserved second chance at a future and the opportunity to start over, by increasing their ­home-ability through training and an understanding of canine behaviour.”


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