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Posted: 14th May 2024

Big dogs harder to rehome than smaller breeds, says RSPCA
Nina, a five-year-old mastiff, is one of the large dogs the charity is struggling to rehome.
It can take almost twice as long to find larger breeds a home.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has highlighted statistics revealing the difficulty with rehoming large dog breeds.

Figures shared by the animal welfare charity showed that large-sized dogs can take an average of 60 days to rehome after they arrive at the shelter. This compares with 39 days for medium-sized dogs, and 33 days for small dogs.

The most challenging breed for the RSPCA proved to be the Alaskan malamute, with this large breed averaging 257 days in the shelter. This was followed by the Saluki, averaging 115 days, and the medium-sized breed Tibetan terrier, averaging 107 days.

Due to the difficulty with rehoming large breeds, some of the RSPCA’s long-stay residents are big dogs.

One such dog is Big Moose, a five-year-old mastiff weighing more than 60kg. Big Moose was brought into the RSPCA shelter Stubbington Ark, in Hampshire, in July 2022 and has now been waiting for a home for 21 months.

Volunteers at the shelter describe him as a ‘gentle giant’ with a ‘sweet nature’.

However, Big Moose’s sensitive nature means he does require extra care. His nervous behaviour and love of chasing means that he needs owners who can handle his temperament, and control him on a lead in public.

Although the RSPCA encourages pet owners to consider all breed sizes when adopting a pet, it also urges potential owners to think carefully before adopting a large-size dog.

Esme Wheeler, an RSPCA dog welfare expert and clinical animal behaviourist, said: “At the RSPCA we love all creatures, great and small. And as a nation of dog lovers, we all adore our dog pals whether they’re as big as a horse or as small as a guinea pig!

“But there can be some differences between taking care of gentle giants and cheeky miniatures when it comes to their day-to-day needs - so it’s important to take time as a family to consider what type and size of dog might suit your lifestyle, and what costs will be associated with their care.”

Image © RSPCA/Vision Media

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