There are numerous dog rescues that are worthy of mention. Today we are showing our appreciation and spreading the word about Gentle Ben’s Giant Breed Rescue. I was able to catch up with the very busy Noreen from Gentle Ben’s and ask her a few questions. The more I learned about this program, the more enamored I became of it. I love the idea of rescuing big dogs and fostering them in the home.
Gentle Ben’s Giant Breed Rescue is a non-profit 501 C (3) large breed dog rescue located in west Pennsylvania. They take in unwanted large breed dogs that may end up in shelters or are abandoned through no fault of their own. The rescue also helps families who have lost jobs, lost homes or have medical conditions which make it impossible for them to keep their beloved pet. Dogs are welcomed into Gentle Ben’s home, provided with veterinary care and given lots of love and reassurance. The families in these situations are kept up to date with emails and photos of their pet. When a dog is taken in it becomes part of the family whether it comes from a loving home or has been abandoned. Either way, the goal is to nurture and love the dog to keep him happy and healthy.
This year’s winner at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show was a Scottish Deerhound named Hickory. The Scottish Deerhound is one of the giant dog breeds of the world. Most of us know about the St. Bernard and Newfoundland, but have you ever heard of the giant breed that originated from Romania, called the Mioritic Shepherd dog? Here are five giant dog breeds that most people are not familiar with.
The Mioritic Shepherd has its origins in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania. Standing 25-29 inches, males weigh 120-150 pounds and females 100-130 pounds. This is a fierce, brave and agile herding and guard dog that was bred to protect sheep against bear, wolf and lynx. Their coats are so white, predators mistake them for sheep which gives the dog the advantage by surprising a would-be attacker. Great with kids and extremely loyal to his family, the Mioritic Shepherd doesn’t accept strangers well and will keep a watchful eye on anyone they don’t know. They are well suited to cold weather with a long shaggy coat that gives them protection from hot weather as well. Medieval kings used these dogs in their armies because of their courage and strength.
There are benefits to having a small “pocket dog” you can carry around everywhere, and some people prefer smaller breeds. But for some of us, there’s just nothing like a big pushy lovable dog. Think of the Saint Bernard in the Beethoven movies. Sure, he was like a bull in a china shop and drooled a lot, but that sweet face and undying loyalty made him a scene stealer.
What actually qualifies a dog as a giant breed? There is no set weight or height requirement, however most people in the dog world consider a dog that weighs more than 100 pounds to be a giant breed. Simply put, giant breeds live up to the name. They are taller, longer, and heavier than most other dog breeds.
Because of their size you can imagine that a giant breed dog probably also needs a giant food dish! You are right; one of the hardest things about having a giant breed dog is realizing how much you will have to spend on dog food. Essentially, a single Great Dane may eat as much each day as two American bulldogs.
The expense of having a giant breed dog is one reason many owners have to give them up. Larger beds, larger collars and larger toys, as well as grooming and kennel fees are all more expensive than the same thing for a smaller breed of dog. The same goes for medications – because prescription dosages are based on the weight of the dog, you will have to give a giant breed dog a lot more of the medication than you would a smaller dog.
Giant breed dogs often have a shorter life span than other dogs, many times living as few as 6 years, with an older dog being 10 years old. They are also susceptible to more health problems with joints and bone diseases. While this may sound like a lot of issues to overcome just to raise a giant breed dog, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.
Giant breed dogs tend to be mellow and relaxed adult dogs, of course an extra large puppy means you will have to make sure he is trained well and allowed plenty of exercise and room to explore and grow. Once a giant breed dog is fully grown they actually require less exercise than smaller dogs and if trained well can be quite happy even in an apartment.
Surely you’ve heard of the fictional giant breed Clifford the Big Red Dog. Clifford is loyal and very protective of his human, Emily. He follows her about and keeps an eye on her. This is what you can expect from a real life giant breed dog – loyalty, love and unwavering attention.
Simply put, there are pros and cons to every breed of dog and every size of dog. If you are considering a giant breed dog, make sure you can afford the greater expense, and can spare the extra time to train and attend to your pet. Once you make the decision, use a reputable breeder or look for a giant breed rescue to obtain a wonderful, loving, and very large dog.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, firm, corporation or brand names, in this blog is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. All opinions in this blog are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company.