We sometimes get enquiries about the availability of older PWDs. Some people don't want a puppy or are happy to rehome an older dog. PWDs rarely come up for rehoming but occasionally (and for a variety of reasons) we have, or know of, a puppy or dog who requires a new for-ever rehome. Please contact us for current information.
This page is in two parts:
Advice if you are looking to adopt a dog in need of rehoming.
Advice if you need to rehome one of your dogs.
Advice if you want to rehome an older dog instead of a puppy.
While puppies are rare, with only 200 born and registered each year in the UK, the rehoming of older dogs is even rarer. They do come up but it is rare.
There are several reasons not least of which is good breeders will do everything they can to ensure that prospective owners are suitable for and can meet the demands of a PWD. Many good breeders will weed-out potential owners from the start and we use a questionnaire that soon identifies people who can not or should not have a dog. We get requests from people who live in a 7th floor flat, have no garden, work full time etc .
Good breeders will also insist that all owners visit the breeder and their dogs. This is a second way of ensuring people are both committed and can adequately meet the needs of a dog. Those we feel are unsuitable after a visit will not go on a list.
Wendy also sees the process as adoption and not the purchasing of a commodity. Too many people think that they can just go out and buy a dog. The fact that people have to wait around 1 year means that they are committed and it isn't an impulse or lockdown purchase. They have thought long and hard about having a dog, have met the breed and the breeder and have built up a relationship with the breeder. Building up this relationship means that a breeder is more able to match the character of the puppy with the experience and abilities of the owners. By doing this they ensure that any dominant dogs would not go to someone who was inexperienced or had young children. By matching the puppy and owner together it increases the likelihood that the partnership will be successful. We have only ever had to rehome one of our PWD because the owners didn't meet the needs of a high-energy, intelligent working breed into their busy life. The reality was that this dog was ruined by bad ownership and behaviours had become challenging.
As a result of all of this hard work by breeders, rehoming is greatly reduced and we will continue with this process and not change what we do just because demand increased during the 2020 COVID lockdown.
Having said all that rehoming of older dogs does occasionally happen and it is lovely to be able to offer a dog a second home. Some people think that this is an easier option than having a puppy because they are older, house trained and better behaved. However, such pets have been given up for a reason and they will often come with their own specific behaviour issues, needs and demands. These dogs often need careful rehoming with people who are experienced with dogs and if possible, experienced with PWD. The one we had to rehome went to experienced PWD owners. We vet all those who want to rehome an older dog in exactly the same way we do for puppies.
However, if you do rehome a dog just make sure that it is not a dog that is simply being cast-off by an owner or breeder. Some owners & breeders will want to get rid of dogs who are old, ill or infirm. Poor breeders get rid of bitches that are too old to breed (over 8 years old and you cant register the puppies with the Kennel Club.) Good breeders keep their pet dogs for life, other breeders sell or give them away when ill or at 8 when they are no longer making them money - just so they can get another younger healthy bitch to continue breeding for money. We all have to stop poor breeders who care more about the money from the puppies rather than the welfare of the bitch and puppies.
Advice if you want to rehome one of your dogs.
Like children, when we bring an animal into our lives, it should be for the rest of their life. The decisions we make should always include the animal as a part of the family and we adapt our work and lives to fit around the dog. This often includes us coming home at lunchtime, getting friends or neighbours to check on the dog or using professional dog walking services or doggy daycare. Owners usually undertake dog training and, in some cases, it might mean seeking expert help if you can’t cope with your dog’s behaviour. As breeders, we always offer support and advice to help our puppy owners to overcome any difficulties. In most cases, we adapt our lifestyle or train the dog to ensure a well adjusted and happy dog and owner. Often we seek advice, make changes and get past the rough times to get to a better place.
But sometimes life just throws you lemons. Sometimes the dog does not fit into your lifestyle; you weren’t prepared for a dog or have not been able to cope with the temperament of a PWD. Perhaps a particular family or personal situation such as bereavement, old aged, ill health, change of job, housing or relocation, means you have to give up your dog. You might have had an unexpected negative reaction to the allergens and it has affected your health. Giving up a much-loved pet is a heartbreaking thing to do and it’s important for your pet’s future that you get it right. We know it is a difficult decision but you are doing the right thing for the well-being of your pet. Above all, the welfare of your pet must come first.
If owners have come to the point of needing to rehome their pet it may be an option to hand the dog back to the original breeder. This is often considered to be a good option. Please be advised that the breeders are under no obligation to take back the dog but a good breeder will gladly want to help to ensure a happy dog and owner.
Breeders know the PWD breed and the challenges owners face. The pet will often be taken back into the breeder's family home and treated as a pet and not a dog amongst many in a rescue kennel. Like reputable charities, breeders often have inquiries for older dogs to rehome and like charities, there will be no financial exchange or payment to the current owner. The breeders will take the time to re-train and re-socialise the dog and will also take great care to find a suitable home for the dog. This can easily take up to 6 months or longer. Depending on the situation the current owner may continue to pay for the feeding of the dog or continue to insure the dog until they go to their next home. Please remember that the breeder may well be taking on ownership and all financial, legal and medical responsibility for a dog they had not planned for. Remember equivalent personalised care from doggy daycare or home boarding costs between £15 to £25 a day. It is important to note that breeders are under no obligation to take a dog back simply because they are no longer wanted, ill, terminally ill or injured and the current owners do not want to deal with their legal, financial or medical responsibility.
Owners do have the following alternatives but they come with their own issues:
Rehome your pet yourself. The difficulty here is that owners still have to live with a difficult family situation or the dog's bad behaviour until you can find a suitable new home. Owners often find they need to rehome the dog quickly and in haste make poor decisions about the next home, passing on the bad behaviour and issues to an unsuspecting new owner. This leads to reinforcing the poor behaviour, an unhappy dog, unhappy owner and further rehoming. We believe that this is not the right option.
Ask the breeder to find a new owner. Owners keep their dog until the breeder can find a new home for the dog. If the owner has the time and can cope with keeping the dog for a while this can work. However it has often got to the point where this is not a suitable option. Again owners will have to live with a difficult situation or behaviour until the breeder can find a new home. This can be a very challenging time where bad behaviours are often reinforced and made worse. There is no guarantee how long this will take. Both the dog and owner remain in a difficult situation and it often leads to an unhappy dog with increasingly challenging behaviours.
Hand it over to a reputable charity (RSPCA, Blue Cross, WoodGreen, Battersea, DogsTrust etc) who do an excellent job rehoming dogs. However, charities are often full to capacity and owners may have to wait before they can hand over their dog. This again has the same issues as the options above. It is worth remembering that despite the excellent job they do, in the unlikely event the dog cannot be rehomed some (but certainly not all) charities may well have to euthanize the dog.
We know that it is a difficult decision to ask a breeder to take back a dog but please be reassured that we are not here to make judgements. We ask people seeking to rehome their PWD to complete a questionnaire which will help us find a suitable new home for your PWD.