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Customer Stories: From Street Dog To Star Of The Show

Tine & ViolaWhether it’s on TV shows like The Dog Rescuers, or in real life, we’ve all seen stray dogs looking worse for wear and wished we could help. 

Usually a donation to the RSPCA is the best we can offer by way of help. 

But when Tine Gade, from Denmark, heard Portuguese Podengo Medio puppy Viola was living on the streets in Portugal, there was just no way she could walk away…

‘My friend told me about Viola and I decided to fly to Portugal to meet her,’ Tine told us. 

‘It was not love at first sight. To be honest, I thought she was ugly. She was also thin and completely unresponsive. 

‘But I spent the day with her and when I left the shelter that evening I knew she had to come and live with me.’

Viola spent her first year of life in her new home overcoming the fears that she’d learned from her time on the streets. 

Tine says: ‘Something awful must have happened in those first few months of her life because she’d get scared at the slightest noise. It took her a while to learn that I wasn’t going to hurt her. 

‘The next step was teaching her to play games. For this, I turned to The Clam for help. She absolutely loved it from the word go. It’s like three games in one – first run to get to it, then open it and then get the treat. It’s perfect.’

Tine had trained previous dogs in Heelwork to Music and decided to see if Viola liked it too. She took to it straight away and has come on leaps and bounds in the last two years.

The pair have already been selected to compete as part of the Danish National Heelwork in Music Team and were even chosen to take part in the European Championships. 

Tine added: ‘There have been lots of challenges, like getting Viola to focus on me and not get distracted by noises and objects around her, but we have made good progress. The key for us has been making training fun – and having the right dog training toys on hand from Tug-E-Nuff has been essential for that. 

‘Standing in the ring at the European Championships earlier this year was an incredible moment that I’ll never forget – it was worth every minute of hard work.’

What an inspirational story. We’re so glad Viola found such a fun forever home. 

If you’d like to tell us about your training journey with your dog, email us at

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