Ontario SPCA Provincial Dog Rehabilitation Centre helps Jagger find a loving home

by | Interesting |

Jagger is a big guy, with even bigger fears. Adopted as a puppy, but then rehomed to the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society just over a year later, Jagger needed help to find his happily ever after. 

Being in an animal centre setting was stressful for Jagger. He became reactive whenever he was unsure, worried, or fearful. It was soon clear Jagger would benefit from the additional resources at the Ontario SPCA Provincial Dog Rehabilitation Centre in Peterborough. 

“Basically, he just had really big feelings and he didn’t know where to put them,” says Kassie Dickson, Animal Behaviour Coordinator, Provincial Dog Rehabilitation Centre. 

Kassie says Jagger’s behaviour was mostly based around fear and frustration, so they began doing desensitization and counterconditioning training with him.  

“He essentially was re-learning how to learn without fear of a consistent reprimand or an aversive being introduced if he got it wrong,” says Kassie. 

Over time, Jagger learned to wear a harness, and was given space to decompress where he could explore an environment with reduced triggers.  

“What we started to see was a much more confident and comfortable dog that was willing to try more things, do more things,” says Kassie. “He really came out of his shell.” 

The team knew the importance of finding the right family for Jagger. Jagger had been in our care for four months when Sarah, who is a retired Registered Veterinary Technician, and her partner, Anton, came along. They seemed to be a perfect fit and brought him home on a two-week trial. 

“In the end we fell in love with him. I mean, I was sold day one,” says Sarah. 

Sarah and Anton were encouraged to treat Jagger as if he were a puppy and everything was new to him. They also needed to help him continue decompressing by providing opportunities to explore safely.  

“It was like his brain was going 100 miles an hour and everyone else was going 10 miles an hour, and he couldn’t figure out why everyone else was behind,” says Sarah. 

In time, they began a five-week foundations class to teach Jagger the basics, and then started an agility course. Sarah says they’ve seen Jagger grow in confidence and become less reactive.  

“Honestly, he’s just amazing,” says Sarah. “We could not love him more.” 

Want to help dogs just like Jagger find their loving home? You can donate to the Ontario SPCA Provincial Dog Rehabilitation Centre and support this life-changing work. 


We have supported the OSPCA since 1951

We have supported OSPCA since our arrival in Canada in 1951.  Keep up the greatest  T.L.C. for animals.

-Paul & Des