As dog owners, we're often biased towards thinking our dog is the best dog. However, we know that all the different breeds of dog have a perfect home out there. During lockdown in the UK, a huge amount of people welcomed a new pup into their home. Sadly, however, The Dogs Trust have seen a massive increase of dogs being surrendered to them as owners return to work and realise they cannot cope with their new pet. That is why we want to help encourage would-be dog owners to take their time, do their research and find the pup that is perfect for them! In our 'Best Breeds' series of interviews, we will be talking to a whole host of different dog owners to get their take on what it is like to own some of the nation's favourite breeds. This week, we will be talking to Leona.
What is your dog's name, breed and how long have you had them?
My dog is called Rogue. She is a Labrador cross (we're not really sure what she's crossed with!) and she is about 13 years old now. We had her since she was a puppy so I have grown up along side her.
How would you describe your dog's personality?
Rogue is such a silly, playful girl! She's slowed down a little in her older age but she still loves chasing a tennis ball around the garden. She's a typical retriever and loves to bring you various toys when you first get home. She is also an incredibly sensitive dog and really does understand how you are feeling. She will always comfort you if you are feeling upset, even if that does mean getting your face licked to within an inch of your life! She loves to be close but isn't overly clingy, we call her the little shadow as she's always next to you. She's great with dogs, cats and children too as she's so patient and empathetic. During the time we have had her we have got another dog, a kitten and added a baby to the family! Every time there has been a new addition she has taken it in her stride and I think the rest of the pack sees her as a bit of a mother figure.
What are the 3 best things about your dog?
Her patience, which really does seem to know no bounds. She has been absolutely brilliant with my young nephew, even when he has pulled on her ears! She was also very patient with my cat, Oscar, when he was a kitten and let him play with her tail as much as he wanted. Her loyalty. Her playfulness always puts a smile on my face too, and often helps keep the other dogs entertained!
What is the no.1 challenging thing about owning your breed of dog?
Labradors can be very prone to arthritis and this is definitely something we have seen with Rogue, particularly as she has got older. We use turmeric paste to help ease her joints as well as medication from the vets. She still very much enjoys a walk - even a run occasionally - but she has definitely had to slow down. Sometimes stairs or steep hills can be a problem for her, but these are things that you learn to get used to and make changes accordingly. Her walks are probably about half the time they used to be when she was younger as this is what she is happiest with.
Who would you recommend your breed of dog to?
I really do think Rogue is the perfect dog for most families! She is relaxed and easy-going, enjoys walkies but also enjoys snuggles on the sofa. She is kind and patient and really great with children. She's always been very adaptable to new situations and is calm when meeting new people. She's also incredibly easy to walk on and off the lead as she always stays close to your side. This is great when my nephew wants to walk her as she never pulls so it is easy for him to hold her lead.
If you are thinking about adopting a dog, we highly recommend having a look at the resources available on The Dogs Trust website or even using services like Borrow My Doggy so that you can experience what it is like to have different dogs in your life. All dogs are different, so it is always important to do your own research and take each dogs past into consideration before adopting them. Your local animal shelter will be more than happy to talk you through what dog they think is perfect for you.