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Adoption Requirements and Guidelines

a. Applicants must have never been convicted of any animal abuse laws.

b. All potential adopters must completely fill out and sign the adoption application and the information must be verified and approved by a BDHPI representative.

c. All applicants who live in a rental property must provide a signed letter of approval from their landlord giving permission to house a giant breed dog.

d. All adopting individuals must be at least 21 years of age.

e. Applicants with children under 5 will be reviewed by executive committee for any special exceptions. We will consider:

  • Giant breed experience
  • Fostering experience
  • Behavioral training experience

*Special Note: All Giant Breeds placed in homes with children under 5 will have a proven track record with children – no unknown history permitted.

f. Applicants must allow a BDHPI representative to bring a giant breed dog into your home to inspect the house and yard and to get to know all family members and other pets as well as educate all household members about giant breeds.

g. Applicants must be willing to keep their giant breed dog indoors unless supervised, especially in extreme hot or cold temperatures.

h. Applicants must be willing to feed a high quality food and provide proper nutrition to a giant breed dog.

i. All dogs placed by BDHPI will be spayed/neutered, gastropexied (when possible), vaccinated for distemper/parvo, rabies, and bordetella, and heartworm tested. New owners will receive copies of all available vet information and must agree to keep them current on all of the above.

j. All applicants must demonstrate their ability to properly exercise and keep a dog safe when going to the bathroom. All fences must be in good repair. If no fence at residence, applicants must be committed to:

  • i. Leashed walks to go potty
  • ii. Exercise Alternatives:
    • 1. Doggy Daycare
    • 2. 3-4 Walks Per Day
    • 3. Daily trips to local Dog Park

BDHPI does not permit the use of shock or electronic collars, including invisible fence prong collars. The reason for our policy is that invisible fences are not sufficient enough to contain or manage the behavior of giant breed dogs. Most of the breeds we adopt out are guard dogs and will run through a shock, regardless of pain or discomfort, in order to protect their territory. Shock collars can elicit and/or contribute to aggressive behaviors as well. An invisible fence is not 'tangible', and thus can make a guard dog more frustrated, reactive, protective, and even dangerous. Should you adopt from BDHPI, you would be required to leash walk your dog at all times if you do not have a fenced in yard. Once you have attended obedience classes and established a strong recall with distractions, it may be possible to let your dog off leash in the yard WHILE SUPERVISED, but only once you are able to establish yard boundaries and know, without a doubt, that your dog will come when called.

k. All adopting individuals must be willing to attend an obedience class with their new addition. No choke chain, prong, or shock collars will be permitted for training purposes.Approved alternatives include: Gentle Leader Head Collar, Gentle Leader Easy Walk Harness, Halte, or Regular Collar.

l. In the event an adoption does not work out, applicants must agree to return the dog to BDHPI rather than rehoming the dog themselves.

m. All adopting individuals must agree to pay a adoption fee at the time of the placement(we spend on average $575 per dog): $425 minimum for adult dogs, $550 purebred puppies under 6 months, $425 mixed puppies under 6 months, $50 spay/neuter deposit for puppies under 6 months, $250 seniors. The adoption fee is NOT tax deductible. We can't do what we do without your support!

n.  We typically do not adopt out giant breed puppies to families that are new to giant breeds. In order to be considered experienced you must have personally owned a purebred giant breed and been solely responsible financially and otherwise for the dog's care. The reason for our policy regarding giant breed puppies is because they can be a lot for someone inexperienced with extra large dogs to handle! You wouldn't believe the number of puppies we get turned into rescue for this very reason. They are capable of mass destruction (couches, tables and chairs vs. shoes and books) and can be quite challenging to establish alpha over if you don't know what you are doing. We have found that it works best for families new to owning giant breeds to consider a dog in the 2-3+ year old range who has outgrown the destructive puppy phase and adolescent attitude. At 3 years of age is when most giant breeds finish growing and start to mature and mellow out. It makes for a much more positive and less challenging experience for first time owners!