THINK BEFORE YOU BUY A DOG
WE VALUE EVERYONE'S OPINION - SO COME ON, WE WILL PUT YOUR OPINIONS ON THIS PAGE IF YOU SEND THEM IN TO US WHETHER WE AGREE OR NOT!
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON ANYTHING ON OUR WEBSITE PLEASE EMAIL US AT firstname.lastname@example.org. PLEASE NOTE WE WILL NOT RESPOND TO EMAILS REGARDING DOGS NEEDING HOMES, OR APPLICATIONS FOR DOGS. YOU NEED TO CONTACT US BY TELEPHONE FOR THOSE MATTERS.
Hello, I really admire all of the work that you do, keep it up! Rottweilers are victims of the image that the media and irresponsible owners have given them. I have the privilege of being best friends with my very own Rottweiler and he has brought nothing to my life except for unconditional love and affection. He is a furry clown who makes me laugh everyday. I didn't save my Rottweiler, he has saved me and I aspire in the future to raise awareness of the true nature of Rottweilers. When I walk my dog in the park grown men and women have frozen or literally run away screaming in fear. It brings me immense pride when people realise how gentle and loving my baby is and I think that every Rottweiler has the potential to display the same characteristics, just like any other dog. Perhaps I should add that I have looked after my dog single handedly from the age of 19 despite people thinking I was insane for owning a Rottweiler and being told many times by ignorant people that I would have to give him away, we have stuck together. If you want to keep your dog enough, you will do anything for it and find a way to keep it. :)
This is a message to anyone who is thinking about having a rottweiler join their family.
We have had the pleasure of our rotty Hugo for 8 years now, in that time he has been an extension of our human family. Hugo comes virtually everywhere we go, he loves going for walks and thinks everyone who we meet on the walk is only there to see him. Over the years we have met many people who were not sure about him, some terrified but within 5 minutes of meeting him they became just another Hugo fan. He loves BBQ's/ parties especially balloons, he loves cuddles especially off of small children and they get him to dance by scratching his back which he loves. His life long companion has been a feisty jack russell called Tilly (boss) and two aged cats which sadly we have no longer. We recently acquired a mastiff x rottweiler x german shepherd male puppy called Henry in need of a home which Hugo is showing the ropes and they are playing lovely together, Hugo has also been with us constantly at the stables and has attended lots of horse events where he happily sits and watches the days event.
He really has been one in a million - everyone loves him, and he is one of the only dogs that pulls you into the vets room when they call him, everyone at our vets love him including the other patients.
Our advice to anyone seeking a rotty would be basic training, common sense, lots of praise and love and plenty of socialization and just being with you, in return you will have a loving addition to your family.
Diane and Hannah
Hi, thought I'd put my opinion on this page....as a rescue I think we are taking the stick for a lot of breeders who have bred litters, take the money and then either run or hope for the best. I'm sick of hearing "oh, the breeder is not in it for the money and can't take the dog back". Most people who contact us have not even spoken to the breeder of the dog. We are taking their dogs for them. I feel that there are a lot of breeders out there who sell litters of puppies (and I am talking about even the so called responsible breeders) who profess to love this breed but see rescue dogs as second class dogs, something to be pitied, but nothing to do with them. Many of these breeders ask their puppy buyers to sign an agreement - but they still do not take the dogs back. A case in point is Duchess, almost blind and needing a huge amount of money spent on her so that she can see again. Not one single breeder has put a penny in the pot. I rest my case.
RE PETE'S PAGE
I have just read about Mabel on your page. As you know, I have a rescue Rottie of my own (Bob from RWA) We have done your sponsored walk for the past 2 years, & whatever money we raise for you, I match it with a donation to RWA. I was LIVID to see that this poor little lady had been left behind with the garbage in that house! Surely someone must know who lived there? It seriously boils my blood to think that people get away with it!!! How on earth you guys manage to keep your temper is AMAZING!!! I would love to get my hands on these people, & publicly humiliate them in the STOCKS!!! That said - (PHEW!) She hopefully now has the opportunity to have some love, kindness, and hope of a new home. I will ALWAYS support your rescue in any way that I can, you are truly wonderful people xx
Love from Jan Terry & Bob Kipling.
You two must feel utterly sick as to how Mabel has been treated. After seeing her yesterday I keep thinking about her, it was so sad. It makes me realise just how hard it is for you both emotionally. After seeing those pictures it makes me feel so mad to think that some human being can treat such a wonderful dog with such disrespect. Lets hope they cant sleep at night and get their comeuppance. God bless you both.
Flamin' hell, poor Mabel!!
It's a good job you don't know her real name, she doesn't need anything to remind her of her past and My goodness it is in the past now that she has found her way to you! She will be very glad indeed to move on from what she must have endured, she doesn't know it at the moment but she is now a very lucky girl because from now on her sad little life is about to change for the better - from Rags to Riches, whilst we are on a royal theme with all your 'lodgers' at the moment can't we think of a more regal sounding name than Mabel??, NOT speaking in defence of her previous owner but they must have been mentally ill to live like that?
By the way, as we speak the husband is scouring the loft for things to sell on e-bay for Duchess, already on is an old wristwatch, old camera to follow - all proceeds to you wonderful people
Just wait til I'm working part time later this year - I will be after one of your rescue rotties!!!
With love as always
Christine Henstock XX
Just some of the comments posted on Kaiser Therot's facebook page....
Hi Shelley and Peter
Just read your update on Duchess and had to comment. Although her current situation is to most people is terrifying (me included) it is however something she has lived with all of her life, and is apparently coping with it as well as she can. If having the operation cannot guarantee her sight to be restored and would run the risk of her losing what little sight she does have then personally I don't think it should be done. She has adapted to it and is by all accounts a fantastic dog who would be a pleasure to have as part of a loving family. I feel that sometimes it doesn't matter how much money there is, it's not always the right decision to go ahead. Saying that I do feel gutted for Duchess and everybody who is working with her, I wish with all my heart that her sight could have been saved but hopefully the drops will improve her vision and her life without her having to go through what i imagine would be a very painful operation and recovery.
Good luck in your final decision and as always it will be the right one for Duchess.
Diane, Dozer, Lulu and Grace Rogerson xxxx
Hi Shelley, Lorraine asked on Rottley Manor for our opinion on whether to raise the money for Duchess’ surgery, she asked me to email you my reply. As I said to Lorraine, I hope it doesn’t sounds harsh or uncaring, if it was a life or death situation or a painful condition then I would definitely say go ahead, I would do anything to help a rott in need and will do what I can to raise the money if you decide to go ahead with surgery.
Being blind doesn't mean that she can't live a happy life. My Wilson was blind for the last 18 months of his life and he adjusted really well and was perfectly happy. I'm on an email chat group for people with diabetic pets and many of them have got dogs with cataracts that haven't had surgery and they are very happy dogs.
Is she not happy at the moment? I can understand that being taken out of her familiar surrounding will confuse her for a while but once she's in a home where everything is kept in the same place she will build a 'map' in her head and be able to get around the house and garden without bumping into things. There are a number of things you can do in the home to help like put mats at the top and bottom of steps/stairs (so they can feel the different texture under their feet and anticipate the steps) putting a bell on other dogs in the house so they can hear where they are and follow them.
There is a book called 'Living With Blind Dogs' by Caroline Levin which helped me with Wil, unfortunately I've already given my copy away to another blind dog owner or I would have passed it on to you.
Firstly all is well with Jess, he still being a pain sometimes but a lovable one!!!
More importantly, have just had a look on your site and the update on Duchess, such a shame. Will be donating some money, not going to be alot Im afraid as things aint what they used to be in this household!!! Is it Asda or Tesco that says "every little helps" !
Love to you and Pete.
Annette x x
Hi - Just read your sad story re Duchess and her cataracts. I immediately went on to the internet to check out the prices of the operation, as I was mortified at the expense. However, I do appreciate that you are probably in a position to get discount from the vets doing the amount of work you do so I must stress, I am not questioning you I was just shocked and saddened. Anyway, excuse my babbling, I stumbled on a few sites raving about 'Bright Eyes' drops that dissolve cataracts (widely used in both humans and dogs). Now, I too think this may be too good to be true or, you may have already read or looked into this product but I thought maybe, if it has not been brought to your attention it may be something you could look into for Duchess. It has been featured in Dog's World magazine along with the top news papers and also been on TV the Richard and Judy show. Anyway, hope this info might be of some use. Will keep looking back, hope and pray some good luck comes her way. I will donate if there is no other option. Kind regards and long may your fabulous work continue. - A Rotty Lover and once owner of a fabulous girl - Sincerely yours Deborah
We cannot get a discount from the referral centre - our own vet does give us a discount, but he cannot do this particular operation. We will look into Bright Eyes and let everyone know the outcome - but it does sound rather too good to be true.
I have had a look at Bright eyes eye drops, but from the quick look I have had it would appear that they are not used in cases where the dog has had cataracts from birth and are very severe, but I will phone the company in the next couple of days to check out the details of the treatment and chances of success.
10.02.11Hi Peter and Shelley,
Well in response to the request for opinions on Duke and Duchess, here goes. Firstly, I could have cried for those 2 beautiful dogs. I'm guessing they will need to be rehomed together, no mean feat! Nick can sympathise with Duchess as he had cataracts removed from both eyes this time last year. He says the difference after the ops is amazing!
I've been trying to think of ways to help raise money as I do hope that somehow funds can be found so that Duchess can have the cataracts removed. Have you ever thought of running a lottery? If you think this an idea it is something that could be done every year. People buy ticket/s that are entered into so many draws in, say a year, and there are 3 prizes each time. It depends how many people are in regular contact with RRT as to whether it would be successful although it could be advertised on the RRT website and hopefully encourage anyone to support this.
I hope this might be 'food for thought'.
Dear Shelley and Peter,
I have no idea how I stumbled across your site but I would just like to say what a wonderful job you are doing to give these dogs a second chance at life. I like how you encourage people to adopt older dogs to give them their last few years of happiness. We have a 9 year old girl called Tamzin (Tammie) and we sadly lost our gorgeous Zues 2 years ago aged 10. We had both dogs since they were puppies. We also adopted an alsation/lab called Sly who sadly passed away last year (he must have been about 19!) Rottweilers are the most beautiful, friendly animals you'll ever meet and I'm saddened to hear why some of these dogs have ended up in your care. I would love to give one a good home one day.
May 15 2010
Dear Shelley and Peter,
February 2010Hi Shelley and Peter
I'm not one for sending emails to people I don't know but I felt I had to put my tuppence worth in.
I have been looking at your website for the past couple of weeks and have felt nothing but admiration for the remarkable work you all do.
This morning I read your reasons for rehoming section and was horrified when I read the story about the lady who was looking to rehome her dogs due to having to move. I'm glad she reconsidered but I will NEVER understand people who even think about giving their dogs away because their circumstance change. I realise there are genuine, unavoidable reasons for some but I cannot get to grips why people take any dog on and don't realise that they come with an unconditional commitment.
That's why I am so impressed that you rehome your rotties according to what's best for them and not the designer requirements of the potential owner. I lost my boy on the 7th of October last year after six amazing years together. Buster was a rescue rottie but not a conventional one. I rescued him (and him, me) following a phone call from a friend of mine pleading his case after finding him abandoned. I very naively said "I'll take him and find him a good home" I had no notion of getting another dog after I lost my beloved Jade. We both worked full time and I had just bought a cream carpet for the living room! I arrived at her house and she showed me through to the conservatory where I found this HUGE frightened rottie who could do nothing but snarl at me. I immediately had second thoughts but I knew he needed help so I managed to coax him into my car and I took him home.
The year that followed included lots of jumping three feet off the ground (Buster and I both) everytime a cup was put down on the table, running past doors, weeing on EVERYTHING! (tv's, dvd players, stereos', sofas and basically anything else that didn't move, and several credit cards being maxed out to pay for his endless trips to the vets for the numerous surgeries, proceedures and medication he needed. Insurance not an option as everything poor Buster had was pre-existing.
I know I'm ranting on but the point I'm trying to make is having a dog whatever the breed is the same as having children. They are for life and yes they will try your patience at times and they will demolish your bank balance but they are your responsibility and you wouldn't consider giving your children up when times are tough so why do it with your dog? They're part of the family and have to be included in any life changing decisions.
I don't consider Buster to be lucky to find me rather I was lucky to find him. He loved me unconditionally and I him, and I was honoured to be his mum. As it turned out Buster and I were a match made in heaven but I am well aware that it could have gone so horribly wrong.
Please keep up the tremendous work you do with this wonderful, loving breed.
I'm hoping to at some time in the future to be considered a suitable mum to adopt one of your orphans once my broken heart is mended.
ps like any doting mum I have attached photos of my boy so you can see how incredibly handsome he was.
Some regular readers may remember Kai, whom we placed in a working home as he had nipped someone for no apparent reason. He has now been in his home for a year, and is very obviously happy and settled. Our thanks to Shaun and Jane for giving him a home that really understands him.
We have noticed a change in the dogs we are being offered in the last few months. We are now being offered many more dogs with behaviour problems than ever before, ranging from dogs who do not tolerate other dogs, to dogs that have bitten - often quite severely. I do not feel we can take these dogs. For every dog with a behaviour problem that we take, another dog is unable to come into rescue and be rehomed - often resulting in the euthanaesia of that dog. We have very long discussions between ourselves, and the people who help us with walking and training, and we are all very uneasy about taking only "perfect" dogs, but with kenneling costing £8 per day per dog, we know we would be commiting the rescue to funding a dog for possibly a year or more. I get very upset when I have to answer these calls, many from people who should not ever have bought a dog in the first place. We also get calls from people who have rescued a dog from someone but do not want to keep it themselves. They are often really upset and surprised when we say we cannot help. We can only do so much.
WHAT DO YOU THINK WE SHOULD DO?
On 12.12.08 an article was published on an on line dog magazine in which we were criticised for our actions. These are the responses we have received so far.
Hi all two and four leggeds
I was very upset just before Christmas to read the article sent to the dog magazine regarding the poor bitch Lady.In the spirit of Christmas wouldn’t it have been wonderful for the letter to have been a thank you for the hard work and devotion shown by Peter and Shelley that goes on 24 hours a day,seven days a week, 52 weeks a year..I have had the privilege to know and work alongside them with the charity I help for many years and would count them as one of the totally trustworthy charities operating in the country.
As to the details of poor Lady - then what else could have been done other than to step up to the mark, take the bitch into care immediately, take her to the vets and on their professional advice do the right thing and have her speyed.Regarding the comments about the abortion issue,any responsible rescue does the same thing,why if possible allow a dog to have puppies if we can avoid it?.In the real world most of the pregnant bitches are already mentally traumatised and often totally malnourished .Therefore if we can save them further trauma by not having to have the puppies and not be in a fit state to rear them, is that the wrong thing to do?.If we can help them to regain mental and physical strength sooner then surely that’s we are all here for.
Perhaps it would be a better place if we all worked together, got facts correct and tried to help all the dogs in need.I feel very deeply for Peter and Shelley to have had this said to them and I know the pain it causes.This email was to let them know how may people really do appreciate all they do for people and dogs and what they are really like. Long live Rottweiler rescue
I just want to say, we totally stand behind everything you guys do, I had already seen Lady's story as I keep up to date with all the dogs on the site, and I for one
totally agreed with the decision you took on her health and welfare and if she had been in whelp, then it would have been the right decision, there are far too many unwanted pups and dogs out there already looking for a home, if you can prevent another unwanted litter, then these hard decisions must be taken, especially in this current economic climate, pounds and rescues are full to bursting already, without adding further to the burden.
I know some won’t agree and prefer to live in denial, but, we live in the real world and somebody has to stand up and voice this emotive subject.
This so called article would never affect our feelings or support on how the rescue is run, we admire greatly what you guys do and that involves harsh decisions each day I’m sure, you all humble us in your dedication to this wonderful breed, we know we couldn’t do it.
I hope there is no fall out from this for the rescue and that people take it for what it is.
You guys will always have our support, I admire your ethics Shelley and your not afraid to voice your beliefs, rather than hide behind bull*** your not afraid to take on the harder decisions, for that I applaud you.
Andrea & Simon.
Hi Shelley and Peter,
I truly don't understand why Mr Swinhoe has come out with such a statement when he is supposed to be a rottie rescuer himself, he should understand how hard the decision was you had to make and to bring more unwanted rotties into the world was a bad idea, all I can say is he really does not know what he's saying let alone have the nerve to slate your good selves off! There are too many unwanted rotties out there and its people like yourselves that make a big difference, you do it out of love for the breed and not for profit like many others. I stand by your decision it was the right one if Lady had been in whelp but she was not and now she can get back to a normal life of a dog instead of going through all that stress and not being a mum at the end of it all, I hope she is recovering well and finds a good home soon, I also hope you get your apology from the people that have printed the lies, you would have thought they would have got in touch with you first! well lets hope this will be the end of this for you both, i wish you both and your great team a wonderful christmas and a great successful new year in homing all the rotties that come your way.
Love and best wishes
I was given the link to your website by a good friend of mine, and would like to thank you for all the hard work you do on behalf of this wonderful breed.
I have had rottweiler's for a considerable number of years now and am currently the proud owner of a wonderful 2 year old bitch (spayed) who was adopted from the RSPCA. Although we only took my partners daughter down as she wanted to volunteer for the society, we saw Kieva and instantly fell for her playful charm. On the whole we have been lucky as she only needed minor training on lead and reassurance over traffic, however I have been unable to get her over her fear of water including puddles.(All advice welcome)
I have read some of the stories on your website and feel compelled to air my views. I am in total agreement with you over the decision to have lady's pregnancy terminated and understand how hard this must have been, there are enough homeless rotties about without adding 8 or so more pups to the number. I read the reasons for people disposing of their dogs with a heavy heart, sadly people are far too fickle with their animals and I wish I was in a position to adopt another rottie.
I live in Liverpool so sadly I would be unable to attend any fundraisers, I would be grateful if you could put me in touch with any rottweiler rescue centres in the North West. It is about time I give something back to this amazing breed.
Thanks once again and I hope 2009 is a less busy year for your society(with exception of re-homing successfully).
"I do not understand why Mr John Swinhoe chose to submit his article
after being informed of the facts. I have
known Peter, Shelley and Lorraine for some considerable time (I even
have a 5 year old Rott, which I rehomed at the age of 4 from Rottweiler
Rescue Trust). and can state that I have had nothing but admiration for
the help and follow-up that they do on all their homed dogs. Rottweiler
Rescue Trust does a magnificent job and doesn't need these ridiculous
allegations from another rescue. Surely all the rescues should be pulling
together to help this wonderful breed ! Unless there is, of course
another underlying reason ! "
We have recieved this e mail from someone wanting to rehome their dogs
We have the most wonderful brother and sister pair of three year old rottweilers. Very sadly they need rehoming. We bred them and they are of German lineage and they come with papers.
X is lively and loving, attentive, athletic and full of energy and fun.X has also come through the adolescent/dominant stage of her upbringing. She is very smart and well trained and obedient, with dazzling pretty good looks and bright colouring. She loves to sit with her chin on your knee and give lots of love.
Y is the Scooby Doo of the rottie world.He really does not care whether he moves or just sleeps, he just wants love,kisses and adoration.He is the biggest, softest most handsome dope you could ever wish to meet.
She is an Alpha female,ideally suited to life with an Alpha male or on her own. Ideally we want to keep her and her brother together as they are lifelong friends, buddies and companions. Their dynamic is perfect.She loves lots of exercise and especially football! She would love to live somewhere with wide open safe spaces.She is not suited to a life with small children or small cats and dogs.
We have made the very sad decision to rehome as we have found ourselves with not enough space now that our six month old son will shortly be toddling. We only have a modestly sized garden, which he will need to have the run of. We would rather rehome them during the mild Autumn than the harsh winter, as this gives everyone the chance to enjoy getting to know each other in the warmer weather.The correct home is of paramount importance to us.We are asking for a donation to be made to a suitable charity as a gesture of commitment, and we will also need to inspect their new home as part of our responsibility to them. Knowledge of the breed and experience with larger dogs is also essential. We have made this decision because we love them, and not because we dont, and it has been very hard.
I was deeply saddened to read the email which the Rottweiler Rescue Trust received on circulation from a couple wishing to “rehome” their dogs
What is very clear is that they cannot have read the “Reasons for Rescue” pages on the website, or how could such a flippant email have been forwarded to any Rescue?
These three year olds have been supposedly family members from birth. The description of their characters, and the love and affection which the animals apparently display, imply that they have been well cared for – until now.
So what happens - a new addition to the family, which happens to have two legs rather than four. He will apparently need the dogs’ space, so time for them to move on! I fear for the poor toddler when the next sibling arrives – where will he be shipped?
To dispose of family pets, dogs who should spend their life time with that family is bad enough, but then to read a sales pitch makes my stomach turn.
The description of X & Y is I suspect not unusual. Love and affection together with appropriate house rules and discipline bring out the natural characters of humans and animals alike. What is unnatural is to dispose of that loving creature because the next “chapter” has come along.
I am sure X & Y could find loving homes elsewhere, and they may well be better off than at present, but not in this way. Yes it is fine to talk of a home check, and a donation to a suitable charity, to salve the previous owners’ consciences. However, if they are so inexperienced as to write in one paragraph that the dogs live with a 6 month old toddler, and in another that they should not live with children under 10 – I fear they have not done their homework.
This email will have wasted many peoples’ time, and I doubt that the “donors” would make a correct decision in any event. They think they are kind in offering dogs in the Autumn rather than the cold Winter. It can take months to home a dog to the correct environment – not a few hours. The prettiness or the cuteness of the dog does not matter. Rehoming is a serious exercise, to be carefully undertaken; a wrong and impetuous decision may hurt the breed, individuals, but most importantly those poor dogs who do not know what they have done wrong, but merely suffer from the selfishness of the humans who are supposed to care for them.
Why - oh - why could they not even have read the opening messages on the website. Rehoming or seeking to home a dog is a big step. Peter and Shelley spend hours on the telephone advising people on the best way forward. They give their time freely and with true commitment.
The Rottweiler Rescue Trust deserves donations for raising awareness alone, never mind the hard work which goes on behind the scenes. There are hundreds of dogs out there needing homes for so-called good reasons. “Passed sell by date” or “ We need their space” are not.
Please look at our Dogs In Our Care page, and give us your opinions on the future of Kai.
Two weeks ago, we wrote another letter to Our Dogs, which they were kind enough to publish. These are the responses we have had so far. You do not need to be a breeder to give your opinions - all views are welcome. We need to work together to try and help this breed which is in such a terrible state. The article and the responses follow........
In February Our Dogs kindly printed our views on the problems within the Rottweiler breed.
We asked for breeders or owners to get in touch with us if they had any views, good or bad, on what we had written. It was disappointing but unsurprising that we did not get a single response.
From our perspective, our breed is in deep trouble. Last year we were offered 287 dogs. From the 1st of January 2008 to date we have been offered 412 dogs already, most of them under two years old. We were offered 10 dogs in one day.
We have been offered 6 litters or part litters this year - the breeders being unable to sell them. Most of these breeders were not "top quality" show breeders, but one litter had a very well known stud dog owner who regularly shows with some success. We did not manage to take all these litters of pups, but did manage to take 3 litters.
The last litter was taken into our care 7 weeks ago - 6 x 10 week old pups 4 males, 2 females. We still have one dog and one bitch in our care.We could have homed them all in the first week if we had not been choosy about finding the right homes for them.
We feel that to take in these pups is not really our job, as the breeders should either not be breeding or should stand by their pups and keep them until the right home comes along.
The reasons for giving dogs up into rescue are getting more and more flimsy.Many owners want the perfect dog without putting any time or effort into the dog.
One owner asked us to rehome her dog as her neighbours cross the street when she is out walking the dog - hasn't this happened to many rottweiler owners?
A small rottweiler breeder was telling us that at a show a couple of weeks ago the rottweiler puppy class was very small, and she was bemoaning the docking laws which have made many breeders think twice about breeding. We are very pleased if this is the case, as in our opinion, there are about 10 times as many rottweilers being bred each year than there are good homes for them.
Anyone who has ever bred a litter is partly responsible for the mess we are in now.
So far this year we have rehomed 42 dogs, but have been offered over 400.
It is quite possible that legislation may be the only way to tackle this problem, as it seems to us that there are quite simply too many dogs being bred and sold to people with no understanding of the long term commitment needed to own a dog, and far less understanding of the needs of a large, powerful, intelligent animal such as a rottweiler.
We would still like to print on our website a list of breeders prepared to take their stock back, but so far no breeder has let us know that they are willing to take their dogs back.
Please let us get on with helping dogs whose owners really are in trouble - not just pick up the pieces of irresponsible rehoming and over breeding
If you have any comments please e mail us on
May I say that it is a great job that you and your foster carers do for our great breed, just wish we could do more ourselves.
In response to the letter for Our Dogs, although we don't breed all that much ourselves, we always take the dogs we have bred back...it is also stated in the contract that the new owners sign "THEY MUST COME BACK TO US". I also think that the stud dog owners should also take some responsibility for rehoming as they also are in one way responsible for producing the puppies. We actually got a good hiding for taking a six month old puppy back as they had been abusing her. By all means you can add us to your website as breeders who will take back the dogs they have bred - no matter what age they are .... after all, they did not ask to be born, and we as breeders are responsible for them until the dreaded day comes when they cross the bridge.
We know what these big so called show kennels are like, we got our Nic back from one at 13 months old..... this so called lover of the breed had five different puppies out of her dog and rehomed the lot as she thought they weren't good enough for the show ring, the dogs are part of our family, being able to show them is a bonus. Anyway, if we can help in any way, please just give us a shout
LYNN AND LIZ
I have great sympathy with your plight of trying to find homes for the numerous rottweilers in your care, and offered to your organisation. Please find attached a letter that I will email to Our Dogs with the hope of publication. Keep up all your good work and I welcome any comments you may have
MR MARK HARDY
FOUNDER - LABRADOR REHOMING CO-ORDINATION SERVICE
Please may I respond to the letter from P Beach and S Worth in the 1st August issue of Our Dogs.
I run a small Scottish Labrador rehoming organisation and sympathise with their Rottweiler rehoming crisis. I do not get offered the numbers of dogs that Peter and Shelley are offered, however, I agree wholeheartedly with their comment "The reasons for giving dogs up are getting more and more flimsy".
So many people just do not bother to stop and think about the responsibility and commitment of dog ownership. Mnay people have the casual, ignorant attitude that they want a cute puppy now, and never doubt if they will have the time, patience, energy and commitment needed, or indeed do not even consider these important factors.
From reading the dog press it seems to me that whichever breed (and general) rehoming organisations you read about, there are increasing numbers of dogs in need. The latest RSPCA cruelty figures report an increase of 34%.
How do readers suggest that the dog rescue and rehoming situation be tackled? Should breeders, breed clubs, individual owners and the U.K's Kennel Clubs do more, and what?
In my opinion, and that of many others, educating potential and current dog owners is key. How? In today's society, like it or not, the collective media is arguably the most effective method to reach the masses by means of television, Internet, newspapers and radio.
The Kennel Clubs of the U.K., along with the RSPCA and other larger dog rescue and rehoming charities need to pool funds and launch a hard hitting media campaign of education. This campaign of course will be ongoing, however, at least we could go some way to justify the phrase "the U.K. - a nation of animal lovers".
Many breed clubs and breeders support their local breed rescue and rehoming organisations, however, can more be done? The Kennel Club operates the successful KC Charitable Trust and the KC Educational Trust, can more be done?
Perhaps more can be done specifically towards rescue and rehoming. If the KC donated just £1 from each and every dog registration fee, a large pool of funds would accumulate, which could be held in an independant trust and distributed accordingly. Any funds raised with the intention of being donated to the KC Charitable Trust for rescue and rehoming, could be placed in this specific trust.
Once a breeder has sold a litter of puppies, perhaps each breeder can donate £1 for each pup sold, to this specific trust.
More priority and funding of the KC Education Trust may tackle the problem at the opposite end of the situation.
Our main hobby is showing our dogs, we only breed when we want to keep a puppy ourselves. We have only bred two litters in nine years and have in our contract that "If you are unable to look after your puppy or dog we insist that he or she must be returned to us his/her breeders". We do not want htem to end up into any rescue centre. They are our responsibility. We are in the process of rehoming a bitch that has copme back to us at 20 months old. Hopefully we have found her the ideal home this weekend but if not she will stay with us until we do. I know many other breeders who have the same values as we do. I feel the problem starts with the back street breeders that couldn't give a damn who they sell to or what happens to the puppies. We are a hobby kennel that takes our dogs back. L feel really sorry for all the rottweilers that you have rescued or have been offered.
Although we are in Scotland we do have a few dogs down south and would like our names added to your list of breeders who take their dogs back even though we do have contracts there are cases of them not coming back to the owner
Just a bit about ourselves and our ethics.
We only breed from health tested parents with good temperaments. No back to back mating. Bitches are not bred over the age of 7 or under 3 years old. We only breed when we want to keep a puppy ourselves. All puppies have endorsement on their pedigree and sold with contracts. All puppies are reared indoors, fully wormed, microchipped and vet checked before leaving us. We rehome very carefully and always do a follow up home visit (wherever they are in the U.K.). We keep in touch with our puppy people, and so far have been very lucky, we have never had the need to take a puppy or dog back but would do so at any time and would never want one of ours to go to any rescue?welfare group. Also we are very careful who we allow to use our stud dogs and have turned many unsuitable people down.
I can understand your reservations with breeders as so often its you and other rescues picking up the pieces. I wish something could be done to get rid of the back street breeders who don't care. I did hope the docking ban would stop some if sales dropped but seems to no avail at present.
As a supporter of the Rottweiler Rescue Trust, I was very interested and, at first, pleased to see the letter to "Our Dogs" had prompted the requested responses. By the time I had reached the end I was angry, upset and disbelieving of some of the comments which had been written by so called caring breeders.
I am not so naive as to think that breeders should be banned; otherwise we should lose this lovely breed to extinction rather than the terrible pressures which have been put on us by irresponsible media coverage, and sensationalism.
Backstreet breeders are blamed for much, but any potential breeder should consider their responsibility in producing a litter , whether or not they have a potential waiting list - this is life we are talking about - not a ticket for a football match! May I suggest to anyone in this position that they stop and think, not once, but many more times before mating a bitch at the present time.
It concerns me greatly that there are people who have been conditioned into thinking that producing a litter of pups - of any breed - will be a wonderful experience for the bitch and for the family. There are also those who see it as a means of earning a nice lump of tax free income every few months, provided there are not any health problems and they are not left with a part litter, by which time they are prepared to sell to anybody - suitable or unsuitable - through the "Friday Ads" or whatever. The only motive becomes to move on a liability, which failed to produce an injection of income.
I was absolutely appalled by the flippant remark about a bitch having only ten boobies, therefore culling is acceptable. Culling is to be abhorred, who has the right to choose which little animal (provided that it's life is not viable for true health reasons) should live or die. Will it be the runt of the litter, the one with the poorest markings, the one with the longest tail, the one that takes most looking after? - the list goes on. I fear it would be all too easy for the decision to be influenced by potential profit, not care for the breed at all.
With the current economic squeeze, I would counsel any person thinking of breeding because "people have expressed an interest" to ask them again. Many people say "Oh, I would love to have a puppy", but when it comes to it, it is not really quite the right time. Also they must be made very aware of the very hard work which goes into producing a happy and well rounded animal.
Further, why breed when rescues such as Shelley and Peter's are being pressured to take litters which are not selling - does that not give a message about the current climate? Why not send potential caring owners to them? Of the 400 plus dogs which they have been asked to take this year, I wonder how many could have been rehomed, if irresponsible people were not breeding too many of these lovely intelligent creatures, who really ask so little, but give so much in return.
Please, if anyone reading this is thinking of buying a puppy, do consider a rescue dog. If you are in any doubt visit the Rottweiler Rescue Trust website once a week or so, and look at Dogs in Our Care, then go to the Happily Rehomed section. This may bring tears to your eyes, but the happy endings may bring tears of joy. This is the tip of the iceberg, there are so many more sad stories which could be told.
We believe ourselves fortunate to have had two "preloved" Rottweilers, our first was a gentle giant of 7 when he stole our hearts; we now have a beautiful girl who was two when she joined us last Christmas.
Peter and Shelley and their team do a fantastic job in matching the dogs to the right people and surroundings; for this reason it may not be a speedy process. Nothing is certain in this life, but with their support the dogs nearly always go to their dream homes. If it does not work out for any reason, or an owner becomes unwell or unable to cope, they - unlike so many unscrupulous people out there - will always take the animal back; in fact it is a condition of the rescue.
No one should underestimate the personal input and hard work which Peter, Shelley and Lorraine give to the Rottweiler Rescue Trust. Please support them in any way that you can.
SUPPORTER IN WEST SUSSEX.
I so much agree with everything you wrote about over- breeding. I am a newcomer onto the serious dog scene and was saddened to see that you had written about it in February and had no response. I fear that the problem is not confined to Rottweilers. Just look on the Battersea website : there are hundreds of Staffordshire Bull Terriers, German Shepherds - well, just about all breeds really. I have become increasingly aware that all is not right in the world of dog breeding and showing and have written a letter - or it may turn out to be an article to Our Dogs to say so.
Observations on the State of Dogdom
I have owned dogs for most of my life but it was not until I retired fairly recently that I have begun to be active as more than just a pet owner. I have watched the world of dogs from the sidelines for years; the increasingly exotic animals on the ends of leads; the annual Crufts triumphs; the press hysteria about 'dangerous' dogs. Now that I have ventured in deeper however, I find myself unable to avoid the suspicion that something is rotten in the state of Dogdom.
My suspicion is based upon these observations. When I went along to my local obedience club I found that a large proportion of the dogs attending were rescued dogs. Being on the lookout for another dog I investigated further, and was horrified to discover the sheer numbers of dogs in rescue kennels, from Battersea to the many smaller kennels and breed-specific organisations, unwanted dogs are to be numbered in thousands. Secondly I became aware through conversations at my obedience club that dogs seemed to be suffering from various ailments that, in my innocence, i had thought to be peculiar to humans; cancer, diabetes, arthritis, allergies etc, and a whole lot more dog diseases that I had never heard of. Thirdly, when I began to look at photos of show winners and indeed an occasional visit to my vet's surgery, I saw heavy promotion of proprietary dog foods and supplements. Then, when I began to ake the Dog Papers I discovered that this promotion extended to sponsorship of just about every aspect of the world of breeding and showing, even to the letters column. What is more, I discovered that the issue of dog disease and of over-breeding, are causing great concern - but only in some quarters and that many in the dog world deny these problems - or deny that they are personally concerned in any way.
Now I am a simple human, but I am neither blind nor stupid. Unfortunately my conclusions strike to the heart of the way of life of hundreds of owners and breeders. It will be hard, verging on the impossible for many, when they have built their lives on achieving 'perfection' as they see it, for their particular breed and on winning coveted awards for having done so; when their social lives are constructed around the world of dogs and showing, to acknowledge that this perfect animal is not perfection in the eyes of Mother Nature and is riddled with disease or so grossly formed as to be unable to move, breathe or give birth with ease.
Further, the reliance on proprietary dog foods which, thanks to the laws on labelling, we can all see are usually heavily based on foods that are totally foreign to the digestive system of the dog. But these foods are either comparatively cheap, or certainly more convenient than what nature intended. I see photos of show winners where the sack of dog food is in equal prominence to the dog and in some cases more prominent. I see food supplements promising to fix, or help with, the various ailments that result from all of the above.
Worst of all, I see people who seem to be eminent in the world of dogs perpetrating the kind of nonsense that only serves to perpetuate this rotten state of affairs. Archie Bryden (August 1st, Our Dogs) would breed from a known carrier of a genetic defect if the dog were sufficiently 'good enough to breed from'. He might endorse the puppies but dogs don't read endorsements and nature, and selfish owners, will have their way. To say that '[with any going as pets there are likely to be no problems' is self delusion. The offspring may not be show-able and may not have papers, but they will be out there - populating the dog pounds or breaking the hearts of their owners when they become ill. I see another such expert Trevor Turner (August 1st, Our Dogs) declaring that the way to deal with these dread diseases is to feed a 'high fibre diet combined with low fat'. I do not claim to be an expert, but I do have a certain level of awareness and I know that the short alimentary canal of the dog is un-adapted to a high fibre diet. The natural diet of dogs is in the carcasses of their prey and all therein. Many dog diseases, including those which have been proliferated by bad breeding, may be alleviated or may not even manifest themselves if dogs were fed more naturally.
Then I see the highly responsible and to be encouraged efforts of Peter Beach and Shelley Worth in the world of rottweilers. They are painfully aware of the issue of over breeding, and have tried to pick up the pieces as far as they can, but, as they point out, the soolution, in the absence of more responsible behaviour from breeders, will be legislation. It is very sad that their plea has so far fallen on deaf ears. Breeders need to take serious responsibility not only for the kind of homes their puppies go to, but to assuming the role of educating the new owners about responsible dog ownership and they need to guarantee to take their dogs back should the need arise. Anything else is to shamlessly benefit at the expense of their dogs. So, as historyt teaches us, the rotten state will eventually totter. That may yet be averted in the stae of Dogdom but it is already late. To totter may be a necessary precursor to a healthier kingdom of dogs.