Real life Scooby Doo faces fears

VIDEO A REAL life Scooby Doo once terrified by his own shadow is today cured of his fears thanks to a starring role in a television programme.

A REAL life Scooby Doo once terrified by his own shadow is today cured of his fears thanks to a starring role in a television programme.

Benson the Great Dane, who was once too scared to leave the house without his elephant cuddly toy, can now stand tall - all 44ins of it - because he is no longer afraid.

Benson and his owners Bev and Bill Cherington, of Sandpiper Road, Ipswich, featured on BBC3 programme Dog Borstal, where troublesome dogs and their owners had a week of intensive correctional training on a disused air base.

The desperate couple sought the help of the dog experts because Benson was nothing but a great big chicken.

Mrs Cherington said: “He arrived with us at the age of five months old after being kept in kennels and he had never been introduced to normal everyday things.

“He was scared of everything from plastic bags, wheelie bins, stationary cars, people, high visibility jackets and even his own reflection.

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“We could only get him to walk a few steps from our front door while carrying a cuddly toy, then he would become scared and refuse to go forward, reversing himself to the safety of home.”

Benson, who is 20 months old and not yet fully grown, was kept in kennels after his intended owners rejected him because he did not have a diamond shaped white patch on his chest required in Great Danes for breeding.

Benson, more than 6ft in length from the tip of his nose to the end of his tail, resembled lovable children's cartoon character Scooby Doo who was often scared. But now he can go out without his cuddly elephant, Edward.

Mrs Cheringham said it has been a life changing experience for the whole family.

She said: “Thanks to Dog Borstal I have a confident, gentle giant, Great Dane.”

Dog Borstal is on BBC3 on Tuesdays at 8pm.

Have you starred in a television programme? What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail

N Great Danes are also known as German mastiffs.

N They are classified as working dogs and were used as war dogs and for hunting wild boar, stags, wolves and other large game. Today they are companion and guard dogs.

N A Great Dane puppy can cost up to £1,000.

N Lifespan is nine to 15 years.

N An average litter size is eight.

N Great Danes are muscular and strong. Their heads are rectangular and long. They have a short dense coat and give the appearance of being noble and dignified.

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