For some people, the sight of a big dog lolloping down the street can send them scarpering to the opposite side of the road. For others, there is nothing more appealing than having a big, teddy bear-like pooch to snuggle up with on the sofa. Unfortunately, both of these mind-sets play their part in the number of abandoned dogs picked up by rescues.

In 2012, 118,000 stray and abandoned dogs were picked up by local authorities alone – many of them large breeds. Some owners simply don’t know what they’re letting themselves in for when they choose a big lump of doggy love based on their looks. To make matters worse, few are willing to take larger breeds out of rescues, for fear of the commitment.

Great big dogs don’t have to be scary or boisterous though. Raised correctly, they can be great big softies. Just look at these guys!

big-softies-1-200x300

Annika the Akita

Look at that smile! Akitas are known as a strong, powerful breed, but with proper training they can also be polite, loving pets who are eager to please. And best of all, as we write this, Annika here is available for adoption through our friends at Dogs Blog, like the rest of the pooches featured here!

Macie-Mai the American Bulldog

If Macie-Mai could talk, we bet she’d be saying “Nope. Not moving. Too comfy.” This sweet American Bulldog might look like she could bowl you over with one overzealous leap, but she’s just a big softie who loves nothing more than a kip on the sofa and lots of attention from adults, children and other dogs alike.

social-trouble-2-300x225

big-softies-3-200x300

Floyd the Bull Mastiff

How can you resist those puppy dog eyes? Floyd is crying out for a cuddle, and is a sensitive soul who, despite his huge size, loves a bit of reassurance from his owners, not to mention lots of playtime. We just want to squeeze him!

Tara the Doberman cross

Just look at that beautiful face. Contrary to their reputation as fearsome guard dogs, Doberman breeds are affectionate, loving and incredibly loyal, not to mention complete cutie-pies! Lovely Tara is no exception.

big-softies-4-300x199

big-softies-5-292x300

Milo the German Shepherd cross Japanese Akita

Milo might look more like a polar bear than a dog, thanks to his strapping breed heritage, but that doesn’t make him any less of a big lug who can’t wait to greet his humans. Given that, in his previous home, he was left outside and forgotten about, his loving nature is all the more endearing.

Cara the Mastiff

Give her a good scratch and Cara will be yours in a heartbeat. This bag of beans loves playing and running around to work off her energy, and judging by that contented face, is most at home by her owner’s side. What a softie!

big-softies-6-207x300

big-softies-7-300x199

Regan the Rottweiler

Smiley Regan has one of the soppiest faces known to Rottweiler-kind – a far cry from his breed’s fearsome reputation. Rottweilers are actually big bundles of affection, with Regan in particular being very partial to long walks and even longer cuddles.

Paddy the Saint Bernard

Paddy-whack here is just as soppy as his gorgeous face makes out. Despite his size and less-than-happy past, he is a puppy at heart who loves adventures on the lead and a good grooming session, before some energetic playtime with his toys. We’d be more than happy to put up with a bit of drool if it meant cuddles with this beautiful boy!

big-softies-8-300x199

You see, big dogs are gentle giants who just want to be loved, but if you’re thinking about giving a larger breed a home, there are a few things to bear in mind:

  • Do you have the time to devote to a dog that needs a good deal more exercise than smaller breeds?
  • Can you afford the costs that can come with larger dog breeds, such as more food and, depending on the breed, more expensive pet insurance? Scrimping on pet insurance isn’t a good idea with any animal, but with many big dogs being susceptible to health issues, it’s particularly important to make sure your four legged friend is covered.
  • Is your home big enough for a gentle giant to live in? Big dogs take up a lot of room, and benefit from having some green space out the back to bound around in.
  • Do you have young children? Big dogs often don’t know their own strength, and could accidentally knock a child over in pursuit of attention.

With responsible ownership, owning any breed of dog (particularly a rescue) can be incredibly rewarding; your new best friend will repay you with years of loyal affection.