Dog adoption

Choosing a dog

Mixed-breed shelter dogs

We think shelter dogs are amazing because each and every one is unique. They have an individual story, personality and a look all of their own that bonds them in a very special way to their new adopter. Adopters know that life’s better together, and there is the extra reward of giving a deserving shelter dog a second chance at a happy home.

Being mixed-breed can have additional health benefits for dogs, as they are more genetically robust than their pure-breed counterparts. All in all, we think mix-breed shelter dogs make wonderful companions so why not consider them first?

Sporting dogs

Dog breeds: pointers, retrievers, setters and spaniels.

Appearance: Sporting dogs are lean and muscular with short to medium coats. Coats can be straight, curly or wiry, protecting them from the weather with regular grooming and brushing needed.

Lifestyle considerations: This is an active group of dogs with stamina so they require daily exercise and plenty of toys to stay physically and mentally stimulated. They will need a medium sized backyard with high, secure fencing and lots of enrichment. Sporting dogs are an intelligent breed and enjoy training. Due to their active natures, sporting dogs are big eaters, needing regular feeding and a balanced, nutritious diet.

They are generally not suited to homes with small animals such as rabbits, mice and guinea pigs. With their intelligence and gentle, even tempers they make great family pets.


Dog breeds: Staffordshire bull terrier, Airedale terrier, Jack Russell terrier and Australian terrier.

Appearance: Terriers range in size from small to tall depending on the breed. They have short, wirehaired coats requiring minimal maintenance. Owners will still need to regularly groom and brush their terrier.

Lifestyle considerations: Terriers are smart and active dogs needing physical and mental stimulation to keep boredom at bay. Without stimulation, terriers can become destructive. These dogs can cope with smaller backyards but being active animals, new owners will need to exercise them every day. Regular training and socialisation are also important.

They enjoy training and the company of their human companions. This group benefits from learning appropriate social skills around other dogs from an early age. With patience and commitment, terrier owners will be rewarded with a loyal and affectionate dog.

With excitable natures, terriers may be better suited to homes with older children and due to their origins, terriers are generally not suited to homes with small animals such as rabbits, mice and guinea pigs.

Scent hounds

Dog breeds: Beagle, dachshund, basset hound and blood hound.

Appearance: Scent hounds are typically recognised by the loose skin around the mouth and long floppy ears, which are used to channel scents toward their nose. They have short, smooth coats which can be groomed through semi-regular brushing.

Lifestyle considerations: Full of energy and stamina, scent hounds are best suited to homes with average sized yards. They need regular exercise and mental stimulation in the form of toys to keep them from becoming bored.

Breeds such as dachshunds and basset hounds will need their weight monitored, as these dogs can be prone to leg and spinal problems if overweight but with a balanced diet these dogs will be happy and healthy.

Gentle and loyal, scent hounds make good companion dogs and are generally good with other dogs and children. Scent hounds can be tricky to train because they have a tendency to follow their noses. It is important for owners to develop foundation skills and dedicate themselves to regular, consistent training. In return you will be rewarded with a gentle family pet.

Sight hounds

Dog breeds: whippet, greyhound and Irish wolfhound.

Appearance: Generally lean and tall, sight hounds have an aerodynamic build, making them fast runners. They have superior eyesight, which is supported by their frontal eye placement, long jaws and necks. Sight hounds typically have short, smooth coats which require semi-regular brushing.

Lifestyle considerations: Despite their size, sighthounds are quiet and reserved making them great pets for those living in apartments or small houses. Sight hounds can struggle to maintain their weight, so good nutrition is vital. Due to their build and low body fat content, sight hounds can feel the elements more than other breeds and will need to be kept indoors or provided with a jacket or heating in the winter months.

Intelligent dogs, sight hounds have a habit of resting peacefully for most of the day, making them ideal pets for homes needing a quiet dog. They are good with children, dogs and other pets, with the exception of the greyhound, which has a tendency to chase cats and small animals.

Despite their reputation for running, a walk each day is all a sight hound needs to stay fit and happy.

Working dogs

Dog breeds: Blue heeler, Australian kelpie, border collie and German Shepherd.

Appearance: Working dogs are strong and of average stature. Depending on the breed their level of grooming will vary. Short coat breeds, such as heelers, only require semi-regular brushing. Those with longer coats, such as border collies, require regular grooming, especially when shedding.

Lifestyle considerations: Working dogs love to run; they are not suited to indoor living and need a home with a large backyard. This group of dogs can be prone to certain medical conditions such as hip dysplasia but this can be managed in consultation with a vet. Being active dogs, regular exercise, training and enrichment activities are essential to keep them physically and mentally active.

Working dogs have very active minds – sometimes you can see the cogs turning in their heads. They love to learn and are highly motivated to work with their owners. They must have ongoing training and enrichment at home. This group make ideal companions for active families, especially those looking for an exercise buddy. Excitable and full of energy, for the right owner working dogs can be fiercely loyal and fun companions.

Toy dogs

Breeds: Maltese terrier, pugs, Chihuahua, Pomeranian and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Appearance: Small in stature, but big in personality, toy dogs come from a wide verity of backgrounds.

Coat types vary in this group so research is important before choosing a breed. Chihuahuas for instance require minimal grooming; whereas a Maltese will require regular attention to keep its coat looking it’s finest.

These dogs can be prone to certain ailments such as chronic breathing problems and ear infections and will require regular vet check-ups.

Lifestyle considerations: Toy dogs enjoy indoor living. They also benefit from regular exercise and enjoy spending time in an average sized yard.

Owners of toy dogs will need to be wary of the effects of cold weather on their pet. Breeds such as pugs cannot withstand hot or cold weather and should be kept inside at a comfortable temperature.

Toy dogs are exuberant, friendly and love attention, but their temperaments can vary depending on the dog’s origins. These dogs love spending time curled up with their families; and while they an intelligent breed that enjoy training, they also enjoy affection and attention from their owners.


Dog breeds: Great Dane, bull terrier, Rottweiler and bull mastiff

Appearance: Mastiffs are large, heavy-set dogs with big heads and muscular builds. They have short coats which shed year round and will benefit from weekly bushing to keep flyaway hair under control.

Lifestyle considerations: Mastiffs require a great deal of space and a large amount of food in order to thrive in their new homes. Prone to suffering osteoarthritis and musculoskeletal problems in later life, they’ll benefit from a healthy, balanced diet to minimise the risk of these conditions developing in their senior years.

Mastiffs need regular, daily exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated.

Mastiffs are loyal, reliable dogs. Patient, nurturing and protective these breeds are excellent with children and attach themselves deeply to the people they love. Owners will need to look out for younger children as these boisterous dogs can sometimes forget their size when playing.

Mastiffs can be wary around new people, so socialisation and training in a positive and controlled environment are a must. Mastiffs bond very closely with their families and are eager to please. They’ll thrive on regular training with the whole family.

Nordic dogs

Dog breeds: Alaskan malamute, akita, Siberian husky and Samoyed.
Appearance: Nordic dogs have a dense, insulated, water resistant coat. Their tails are curled up over their backs, and they have small pricked ears. Their thick coats need daily brushing as they do shed regularly and regular grooming is recommended.

Lifestyle considerations: Nordic dogs are full of energy and need a reasonable sized backyard with high fences. In warmer months these breeds will need to stay in cool spots or inside in air-conditioning. Nordic dogs need a great deal of exercise and mental stimulation to stop them from becoming bored. Being active dogs, these breeds suit owners who are committed to their ongoing training for their whole lives.

Occasionally Nordic dogs will vocalise and howl, but they rarely bark.

Nordic dogs have good temperaments and enjoy human company. They require a committed owner who is able to give them ongoing training and plenty of enrichment.