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FAQs

Why do so many Giant Breeds come into rescue?

How do I adopt a Giant Breed dog?

Can I pick any dog I want? How much does it cost to adopt a Giant Breed?

Can I get a dog for free?

Can I get an intact dog for breeding?

How long does it take to adopt a Giant Breed?

Can I adopt a puppy?

What states do you adopt in? If the adoption isn't working out, can I give the dog back?

Do I need a fenced yard to adopt a Giant Breed dog?

Why do some of the dogs say “Giant Breed Experienced Homes Only”?

Can I adopt a dog if I don’t own a home?

Do you adopt to families with young children?

Do Giant Breed Dogs make good family pets?

Would a Giant Breed get along with my other dogs?

How much exercise does a Giant Breed Dog need?

I’m interested in adopting a Giant Breed dog but don’t want it to sleep in the house at night, can I still adopt from BDHPI?

Q: Why do so many Giant Breeds come into rescue?

A: There are a wide variety of reasons dogs come into BDHPI. This includes:

  • It's too big
  • Too expensive for its previous owners
  • Taken away during a divorce
  • Unable to move with its family because of size or finances
  • The family is having a baby and can't care for it properly anymore.
  • It lacks training.
  • It was found after a natural disaster.
  • It was picked up as a stray.
  • It has a major medical problem the previous owner couldn't afford.
  • Its owner is deployed overseas.
  • Its owner or a family member passes away.
  • Their owner's home is foreclosed.
  • Their previous owner was unemployed.  

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Q: How do I adopt a Giant Breed dog?

A: The first step is to fill out the application. Once you have done that, one of our volunteers will contact you for a phone interview, check your references, and if all looks good we will schedule a home visit. One of our volunteers will bring a giant breed dog along for the homecheck so the family can get a feel for what it is like to have such a large dog in their home and personal space. We will take a look around the house and yard to make sure it is a safe and healthy environment, get to know all members of the household, evaluate existing pets, and educate the applicant(s) about giant breeds (health risks, feeding, exercise, temperament, training, vet care, etc).

Once the homecheck is completed, our leadership team will work closely with adopting families to determine which dog would fit into the pack the best based on what we know about the dogs in our program and what we have learned about the applicant/s throughout the adoption process.   

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Q: Can I pick any dog I want? How much does it cost to adopt a Giant Breed?

A: We try hard to accommodate requests for specific dogs; however, our top priority is to match the right Giant Breed dog with the proper forever home. This is one of the reasons our adoption application is lengthy, and we encourage adopters not to apply for one specific dog upfront. Like people, all Giant Breeds have different personalities and special needs -- we want to make sure both the dog and the forever home are compatible to ensure long-term success.   

We do not have a set adoption fee; however most families on average donate between $425 to $650. We spend on average $575 per dog. We are a non-profit organization, and we survive solely on donations from adoptions and other sponsors. All of the Giant Breed dogs in our program are spayed/neutered, gastropexied (when possible), vaccinated, heartworm tested, fecal tested, microchipped, and we treat any pre-existing medical conditions that they might come in with. We also often get in dogs requiring major medical procedures such as knee surgery, emergency bloat surgery, hip replacements and more. All the money that the rescue receives goes straight to helping cover the dogs’ medical, food and any other expenses they may incur.   

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Q: Can I get a dog for free?

A: No, a donation must be made and the minimum donation is $425. All of the dogs that come into our program cost us money, and without your contributions we couldn’t exist. Even if a dog comes into rescue perfectly healthy we still need to feed them, make sure they are spayed/neutered, gastropexied (when possible), vaccinated, and heartworm tested.   

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Q: Can I get an intact dog for breeding?

A: No, all of the dogs in our program are spayed/neutered. Nearly 4 million dogs and cats are put to sleep each year in the United States -- many of those are giant breeds. We want to be a part of the solution, not part of the cause.   

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Q: How long does it take to adopt a Giant Breed?

A: We try and move through the process as quickly as possible, but we also want to make sure the dog is the right fit for you and vice versa. It is usually a two to four week process after we receive your application.   

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Q: Can I adopt a puppy?

A: Occasionally puppies are available in rescue. No puppy will be placed prior to 8 weeks of age, and we do have a minimum donation of $550 for purebreds and $425 for mixes. Only adopters with giant breed experience will be eligible to adopt purebred puppies. In order to be considered experienced all members of the family must have lived with and been solely financially responsible for a purebred giant breed dog. Please note that childhood pets and giant breed mixes do not qualify. We do offer some other mixes (non-giant breed mixed with giant breed) to families new to giant breeds if you are only interested in a puppy, FYI.  

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Q: What states do you adopt in? If the adoption isn't working out, can I give the dog back?

A: We are currently adopting Giant Breeds dogs out regionally in Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. If you live outside of our normal region and have experience with owning a giant breed, please contact us today to see about an exception!

Please note: You must be willing to drive to our region to pick up your dog if you are approved for adoption.   

Not only CAN you return the dog, our contract (which you sign at the time of the adoption) states that if for ANY reason you EVER are unable to keep the dog, the dog MUST be returned to our rescue. We work very hard to make the perfect match but sometimes, even with the best intentions, things happen in life that are unforeseen. NO MATTER WHAT ELSE HAPPENS, A DOG ADOPTED FROM OUR RESCUE MUST BE RETURNED TO US IF YOU EVER FIND YOURSELF UNABLE TO KEEP OR PROPERLY CARE FOR THEM. Our rescue dogs are like our own dogs, and if they are ever in need of a home, we are here for them for the rest of their lives - that is our promise to them.   

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Q: Do I need a fenced yard to adopt a Giant Breed dog?

A: Our preference is always that the dog has a fenced yard; however, we do make exceptions if the forever family can demonstrate how they will adequately exercise the dog in a safe environment. Also some of the Giant Breeds are more suited to not having a fenced yard, so it depends on which breed you are interested in as well as their age and general temperament.   

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Q: Why do some of the dogs say “Giant Breed Experienced Homes Only”?

A: There are a few reasons we add this to a dog's profile. If the dog is a young adolescent or a puppy, due to their size, they tend to be more challenging to handle than a small or normal-sized dog. It’s not uncommon for a Giant Breed puppy to weigh well over 100lbs before they are even one year old. Without the proper experience and understanding, these dogs can easily become too much for many people to handle, and our goal is long-term success. When a Giant Breed puppy chews on things, it’s not like a smaller dog that chews up your shoes or other small items. Because of their size, they can easily destroy your couch, dining room table, chairs, and even eat or break through walls.

In addition, adolescents can often be very difficult behaviorally to train, and we have found that certain dogs are not the best candidates for first-time giant breed dog owners. Our goal is to match you with the best dog possible so that both you and the dog are happy and successful.   

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Q: Can I adopt a dog if I don’t own a home?

A: We require written approval from your landlord stating that you are allowed to have a Giant Breed dog on your property. Some places have weight and breed restrictions so it is important that it specifies any restrictions. Please be sure to turn this in with your application -- we cannot begin the application process without it. 

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Q: Do you adopt to families with young children?

A: This is done purely on a case-by-case basis, due to the size of the breeds in our program. We want to ensure the safety and best possible environment for everyone involved. Many of the Giant Breeds in our program can top 225lbs. It is not uncommon for these gentle giants to knock over toddlers accidentally, so precaution needs to be taken in order to successfully place such large dogs and ensure long-term success.   

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Q: Do Giant Breed Dogs make good family pets?

A: Absolutely! As long as everyone in the family knows how to handle a Giant Breed dog and how to treat the dog with respect. Giant Breeds are very loyal, loving and patient to their families and like nothing more than to sit on the couch with you and spend time with their humans. Almost all of the breeds in our program are very docile and loving creatures.   

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Q: Would a Giant Breed get along with my other dogs?

A: Most of the time yes. Of course, not EVERY Giant Breed dog is going to get along with every other dog. We know which dogs don't get along with other dogs in general, and we make that information available on each dog’s bio. Evaluating each unique dog’s temperament and those of existing pets in potential homes is what the adoption process is all about. We spend a tremendous amount of energy to make sure the dog and the forever homes are compatible.

That is part of the reason we bring a Giant Breed Dog with us when we do a home check. Not all dogs will "hit it off" wonderfully right away, but with a little time, patience, and training most dogs will adjust and adapt to the other animals in the home.   

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Q: How much exercise does a Giant Breed Dog need?

A: This really depends on the breed and the specific dog. Some of them have a great deal of energy, while others are couch potatoes and need only minimal exercise. One good walk a day and some playtime are usually enough for most of them, but they can do more than that if you'd like. Some Giant Breeds are more suited to apartment living than others, but they do need exercise regardless. Please check our breed information section for a more detailed description of each breed habits and characteristics.  

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Q: I’m interested in adopting a Giant Breed dog but don’t want it to sleep in the house at night, can I still adopt from BDHPI?

A: No, Giant Breeds need constant human interaction and we are looking for families that will provide the best possible environment to ensure long-term success. There is a reason for the expression “you are in the dog house”. We want all of the dogs in our program to have a long happy and balanced life, and being in the dog house isn’t a part of that.

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