By Mollie Mansfield
A giant dog duped the real life Scooby Doo has undergone £1500 worth of therapy training to overcome his fears.
Mary Riley, 46, adopted her 6 foot 2 inch Great Dane, Dez, when he was just 18-months-old and soon realised he was scared of everything.
Much like Scooby Doo, Dez would cower away and jump into his owner’s arms at the slightest noise such as rustling paper bag or the dishwasher.
But after struggling with his fears since he was born, Mary decided to take the 11-and-a-half stone hound to dog training classes twice a week.
Now, after over 200 sessions, Dez has almost overcome all his fears despite still being easily spooked when caught off guard.
Mary, from Alfreton, Derbyshire, said: “When we first got Dez he was petrified of everything – he was the real life Scooby Doo!
“He used to be scared of anything covered in faux fur, he’d flinch when I’d open a tin and cower in fear whenever we walked past a lamp post.
“So I knew that I had to do something to help him get over his fears, or he’d be too scared to live his life.
“That’s when I found a dog training course that would help him get over his worries, and we’ve been twice a week for over two years.
“But despite that, he is still scared by lawn mowers, tractors, motorbikes and the neighbour’s four pugs – but it’s definitely a start!”
Mary initially adopted Dez as a rescue puppy in Liverpool, where he appeared boisterous around other dogs.
However, as soon as he returned to her house, Dez immediately turned into the real life Scooby Doo.
She added: “When he was around the other dogs he was very confident, but then as soon as he got home his true side showed.
“He would run away when the dishwasher was on, and would tiptoe around any lamppost that he walked past.
“He was scared of practically everything in our house but the people – until he heard a knock on the door, then he was scared of whoever was there too.
“I knew something has to be done – such a big dog couldn’t be scared of such little things.
“So I decided to enroll him in training courses to help him toughen up and be able to face his fears.”
Mary has now spent over £1,500 on classes for Dez but, despite facing most of his fears, still runs for his life over certain things.
She said: “We are continuing to go to the training classes twice a week to see if he can overcome all of his fears, but he’s done amazing so far !
“He’s still scared of the four pugs next door – whenever they poke their heads through the hedge he runs far away.
“He doesn’t like tractors, big lorries or motorbikes, but aside from that most of his fears have been faced.
“All he needed was someone to take the time to train and reassure him, and he’s very patient, relaxed and lazy now.
“He’s definitely very brave now, and is finally acting his size, but he is still a Scooby Doo at times!”