Dogs are getting too big for their families through no fault of their own
A rescue center has warned of a recent influx of larger dog breeds in need of new owners due to houses ‘growing’ when they reach their normal size.
Jayne Shenstone of the German Shepherd Dog Rescue explained that they could not have predicted the huge puppy boom during last year’s lockdown, but ‘street breeders’ took advantage of the unprecedented circumstances.
She said Team Dogs: ‘We know German Shepherd puppies have not been available for much under £ 2,500 and some are being advertised for much higher figures.
“When people realized how much the prices had gone up last year, they turned to the rescues.
“Of course we got very few of them when people realized they could sell them for thousands online. We were inundated with adoption forms, but over 90% of them would not have welcomed a hamster. “
The German Shepherd Dog Rescue is a charity dedicated to the rescue, short-term reception and long-term adoption of German Shepherds and sometimes other large breeds of dogs.
Founded in 2001, the rescue is run entirely by volunteers and welcomes dogs across the UK, including Greater Manchester.
After the rush for puppies subsided, Jayne said they had seen the trend reverse, with people reaching out to relocate their “unruly” dogs who have since grown too big for their homes.
“The problem we have now is that many puppies bought since March 2020 have not been socialized properly, so they are aggressive towards dogs and dislike strangers.
“We had a flood of placement forms for dogs purchased during the lockdown, with the main reasons for placement being either behavioral issues due to lack of socialization or because owners have returned to work.
“It’s also clear that a lot of these dogs were purchased by people who had never had a large breed before and that they didn’t do any research.”
Usually, rescue is not done in homes where dogs are left alone for more than five hours a day, or in places that do not have a secure garden where they can stretch their legs and let off steam.
They also won’t return to owners who expect to breed the dog or keep their new pet outside as a watchdog rather than house it indoors with the family.
A particular cause of concern for the rescue is the rehoming of the Caucasian Shepherd Dogs, one of the largest breeds in the world.
The breed, which can reach 75cm tall and weigh around 60kg, was originally bred as a mountain dog to guard sheep and is often just too large to live in the suburbs.
Jayne said: “This is not a breed for suburban households and very few people will be able to care for this breed.
“They are the cutest teddy bears when they are puppies but grow into adults between 60 and 70 kg. Many times owners state on their placement form – the dog has outgrown their house.
“We’re relocating those who will do well in a rural environment, but a lot of these dogs won’t make pets for your average household.
“The two sanctuaries that can help them are now overcapacity with waiting lists and we fear that many of these dogs – and German Shepherds too – are asleep simply because there is no rescue that needs to be done. room for problem dogs. “