Big dogs with even bigger hearts – Celebrating our gentle giants this International Dog Day

RSPCA NSW is calling dog lovers to open their hearts and homes, and think big, this International Dog Day.

Each year, over 15,000 dogs of different personalities, shapes and sizes turn to RSPCA NSW for help. Sadly, larger breeds often remain in care for longer periods of time, compared to their smaller counterparts.

“Big dogs have huge hearts and are wonderful companions. They are loyal, affectionate, and extremely emotionally intuitive, making them a great addition for families with children,” says RSPCA NSW Sydney Adoption Centre Manager, Donna Hough.

There are close to 100 pooches ready for adoption, across the state. Most of these dogs are large breeds, eagerly waiting for their forever families. While the wait can be long, the team at RSPCA NSW prioritise giving these patient pups the best life possible, while they remain in care.   

“We have an incredibly kind-hearted and dedicated Animal Care team who give these dogs the love and attention they deserve. Abbie, our Foster Care Coordinator, has been organising ‘doggy day outs’, where dogs like Maggie, a one-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, enjoy a day at the park, or beach. These experiences are so important and special for our dogs, because it gives them the opportunity to experience what it is like living a normal life outside of a shelter,” says Donna.  

“Some of the dogs in our care have experienced great sadness. The simple joys of playing in the sand or splashing in the ocean will brighten up their whole world. This is especially important for larger breeds, so that they can enjoy freedom of movement outside the confides of their kennel.” 


Maggie on her doggy day out

In addition to days outside the shelter, the team at RSPCA NSW nurtures each pup by celebrating their Birthday, taking them on multiple daily walks and creating an enriching environment for them to thrive in.  

“We have recently planted fresh herbs outside the kennels at our new Sydney Adoption Centre, because we know how vital it is for dogs to be able to sniff different smells, to keep them stimulated and cultivate their development,” says Donna.    

If you are considering adopting from RSPCA NSW, don’t let the myth that big dogs are ‘more hard work’ compared to smaller breeds, stop you from choosing a larger family member.  

“Research tells us that larger dogs can be easy to train. They are known for being well-mannered, calm, and obedient,” Donna explains.  

“Big dogs can be very intelligent. One of the most magical things about adopting them is that they understand the magnitude of what you have gifted them, which is a second chance at life.” 

If you like long walks on the beach and have fallen for Maggie, or you are interested in seeing what other big, beautiful souls are ready to find homes, check out our website or visit one of our six shelters this weekend.  

While there are countless benefits to welcoming a gentle giant into your life, the most important is that they have a huge heart with endless love, hugs and smooches to give.