According to a report from the Daily Mail, there has been a significant rise in demand for large puppies; such as huskies and malamutes. However, this has correlated with greater numbers of these dogs being abandoned or given up to dog’s homes. The Mail believes that media influences which glamorise large dog breeds are to blame, as well as an instantaneous consumer culture.
The issues of large dog breeds becoming out of control due to a lack of discipline, lack of
exercise and possible neglect was brought to the fore last week when a six-day-old baby girl from Pontyberem in Wales was mauled to death by a pet dog. Eliza-Mae Mullane was killed by her parents’ pet Alaskan Malamute. The circumstances of the death are still being investigated; but the dog’s aggression could have been linked to boredom.
Large breeds of dog, such as Siberian Huskies, Malamutes and Sarloos, have become very popular in Britain, and it could be influenced by blockbuster movies like Twilight, the popular Game of Thrones series, and possibly even classic films like Beethoven (which features the eponymous St. Bernard). The rising demand for these dogs is correlating with increased abandonment, as owners realise the huge responsibility and cost these dog breeds demand. Britain’s largest dog rescue charity, The Dogs Trust, has reported a nearly 300% increase in “wolf” breed dogs being given up for re-homing. Last year, the trust took in 261 abandoned wolf-type dogs, a figure which has risen from 78 in 2010. Steve Goward, training and behavioural advisor at The Dogs Trust, expressed his concern that owners don’t understand the commitment needed to look after such a dog.
Another factor in dogs being given up is that the cost of living crisis and economic difficulties are forcing people to give up their pets. According to a recent study by ITV, 1 in 7 people in the West Midlands have considered giving up their dog because they cost too much. ITV’s research found it costs approximately £1000 a year to keep a dog.
In order for dogs to stay happy and healthy they require plenty of attention, exercise and a balanced diet. The amount of exercise a dog needs depends on several factors: the type of exercise you give the dog, its breed, age and health. Small dogs such as Chihuahuas, Pomeranians and Toy Poodles need short bursts of exercise; medium sized dogs such as terriers need around an hour of walking a day, and large working dogs such as retrievers, collies and huskies need up to three hours of running openly. For those who don’t have enough time to walk their dog every day due to other commitments, Dog School is here to help. We provide dog walking in Croyden, Sutton, Epsom and Surrey, so contact us for more information.