Battersea Dogs Home has a long history of caring for dogs which have been abandoned or whose owners were unable to cope. The Home cared for over 9,000 dogs from many different backgrounds in 2003 and this year is looking just as busy.

Unfortunately many dogs at Battersea arrived because their previous owners only considered what they wanted their dog to look like – not its background and behaviour patterns.

As a result Battersea has seen a rise in the number of pure breed dogs it receives as well as a rise in the number of dogs that need country homes.

The most popular dogs purchased by misinformed town dwellers are, incredibly, Border Collies. These dogs love mental and physical stimulation – they are literally bored silly in the city and need space and air and things to chase.

Other breeds unhappy with life in the city are Jack Russell Terriers (miniature whirlwinds), Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers (both have endless reserves of energy and stamina), Springer Spaniels (originally bred for retrieving they have energy and stamina reserves to rival the Labradors and Golden Retrievers) and Lurchers (a very strong chase instinct coupled with very bad recall means a three legged Lurcher in the city).

Battersea has also lately seen a rise in Japanese and American Akitas. These awe inspiring dogs were originally used as hunters in Japan, therefore they have a very low tolerance of other dogs and so need to move to an area with a low dog population.

These are examples of some of the breeds which are unhappy in the city, and over the next few months dogs like these will be looking for places to live where they are more at home, with loving owners who can give them the attention they need.

This month, the dogs needing immediate housing are Flo and Tessa.

Flo

Collie cross

One to two years old

Disc No. 06/01215

Flo may not look like a typical Collie, but she has a pure Collie brain, and has all the characteristics of the breed: she is high energy, very intelligent, loyal, loving and keen to chase other animals and moving objects! Flo is looking for experienced dog owners, preferably people who have previously owned a Collie or a similar energetic working breed.Being an intelligent girl Flo is trainable and could learn very quickly – she already knows some basic commands and would do anything for a tennis ball or treats! She cannot be left for long periods as she will get bored and find her own amusement.

This dog is no couch potato and really needs active outdoor loving owners prepared to give her daily stimulation – ideally the chance to participate in agility, flyball or similar doggy sports. Flo would excel in these types of activity and they would really keep her stimulated and happy, and give a good outlet for all her energy.

Due to her energy levels and chase drive Flo needs to live in a semi-rural or rural location with plenty of open spaces locally for good walks. Flo is social and playful with other dogs out and about on walks but she can be jealous of other dogs in her home, so we feel it is best she is the only dog in the house, and she is not compatible to live with cats.

She is a fun and loving livewire, who will be so much fun to have around when she finds the home she deserves.If you are interested in giving Flo a home then call Battersea Dogs & Cats Home at Old Windsor on 01784 494443 Tessa

German Shepherd

One year old

Disc No. 06/00671

Tessa is a lively and boisterous youngster looking for experienced German Shepherd Dog owners. She is typical of her breed: she is very loving and loyal but can be very vocal, especially on lead, and really likes to chase.Tessa is very friendly with all people she meets, but bonds best with a male handler one to one, and this bond will be very valuable in all her training.

Tessa can be overly boisterous with dogs and her version of play is quite rough, so her owners will need to work on gaining firm control and teaching her recall before allowing her to play off lead. Tessa will occasionally play with toys but this is not her main motivation – more than anything she just wants to please people.Tessa needs a home in a semi-rural/rural setting with a low dog population. She could live with a laid back, mature male but this would need to be a tolerant dog.

Tessa is not suitable to live with children as she will need very consistent training. Most of all Tessa needs someone who has had German Shepherd Dogs in the past who can understand her and be a leader for her to follow. In the right hands she will be a wonderfully loyal and faithful companion.If you are interested in learning more about Tessa then call Battersea Dogs & Cats Home on +44 (0)20 7627 9234.