Rescue Rewards Group of the Week - June 4, 2012

Big Dogs Huge Paws Helps Giant Breeds

This week’s featured Rescue Rewards partner believes in doing things in a “big” way.  It is Big Dogs Huge Paws, a “giant breed” rescue based in Colorado and also covering Kansas, Nebraska and Texas. The group helps Mastiffs, Great Danes, Great Pyrenees, Newfoundland, St. Bernard’s, Irish Wolfhounds and Scottish Deerhounds. 

Big Dogs Huge Paws Rescue is non-profit organization comprised of volunteers dedicated to rescuing, re-homing and rehabilitating unwanted giant breed dogs that have been mistreated, neglected, abused and/or abandoned. Giant breeds are loyal and loving, yet can be very expensive and sometimes overwhelming due to their massive size and need for constant human attention.

Many families do not do proper research when getting a giant breed, and the result is an alarming number of dogs in need of assistance.

The group writes: “Our purpose is to provide a loving foster home and quality food, medical attention and behavioral training while they are in our care in order to properly evaluate and attend to each dog's special needs. Our ultimate goal is to place each foster dog in a forever home with a family who has demonstrated their ability to provide the necessary love, attention and care that every gentle giant deserves. We strive to educate owners and potential owners about each unique giant breed's lifestyle, temperament, nutrition, health and behavioral needs in order to support the breeds and find the perfect match for each rescue dog in our program.”

All dogs are thoroughly evaluated medically and behaviorally while in the group’s care. Dogs are microchipped, spayed/neutered, gastropexied (when possible), vaccinated for rabies, distemper/parvo, and bordetella, heartworm tested, and treated for any pre-existing medical conditions that they may come in with. All of the foster families also work with dogs on basic obedience as well as any advanced behavioral issues they may suffer from.

“The goal is to rehabilitate dogs so that they will ultimately be successful when they are adopted, and our success rate is extremely high,” the group states. “Big Dogs Huge Paws will keep foster dogs within the program for as long as it takes to work with them and find them the perfect forever home once they are ready to be placed.”

The group’s website – – includes helpful information about health issues relating to giant breeds, as well as specific nutrition information.  There is a section on training as well.

“Most dogs respond best to positive reinforcement training methods only,” the website states.  “Gentle giants are extremely sensitive creatures and it is very easy to break their spirit through the use of negative correction or improper training tools such as choke, prong, or shock collars. Big Dogs Huge Paws supports use of treats, praise, and redirection of unwanted behaviors in order to aid in teaching your giant breed dog to become a good canine citizen.”