Dog overlooked for almost a year because he’s too big!

A rescue dog is nearing one year in kennels as potential adopters are being put off by his size.

Eight-year-old crossbreed Benson arrived in RSPCA care on 13 October 2020 when his owners were forced to give him up as they were struggling to cope. He came into RSPCA Millbrook Animal Centre, in Surrey, where staff have been working with him.

Behaviour welfare advisor Kate MacNeill said: “Benson spent more than six years with his former owner so, unsurprisingly, it was all very scary for him when he came into our care. Now at eight he’s an older lad but he certainly doesn’t act it!  He’s a friendly boy who loves fuss and attention. He’s super intelligent and well-socialised, and he loves to learn new things, especially if it means he gets something yummy!”

Benson – who weighs 42.7kg – is looking for an experienced adult-only home, ideally with owners who have had large bullbreeds before. He needs a calm home with owners who won’t get him too over-excited and understand that sometimes he can get boisterous when he’s playing.

Sometimes he can be strong and pull on the lead so he needs someone who can handle his size and strength. When he’s off the lead, he loves to run and play, jump in muddy puddles and shake his football.

“Poor Benson was attacked in his previous home and, understandably, this has left him unsure of some dogs,” Kate said. “He’s met lots of dogs while in our care and he’s played with lots of them so we’re really keen that his new owners continue this socialisation with friendly, calm dogs but will keep him away from situations that he finds stressful.”

Benson has good recall but staff recommend that he’s kept on the lead in public. He’d be best as the only dog in his new home. He needs someone who is initially based from home for most of the day and can teach him slowly that it’s okay to be left alone.

Kate added: “Benson is such a lovely boy and we really want to get him into a home as quickly as possible. He’s already spent far too long here and he’s not getting any younger. We’ve had a lot of enquiries about Benson but, sadly, potential adopters seem to be put off by him when they see his size. He’s a big boy but he also has a big heart and we know he’ll make a wonderful companion to a family who has space in their home, and hearts, for our lovely lad.”

Find out more about Benson on his online profile or contact the team at Millbrook by emailing millbrook@rspca.org.uk or calling 0300 123 0740.