German Shepherd Dogs In Scotland In Crisis

A German Shepherd Dog rescue charity in South Lanarkshire that has been struggling to cope with a combination of falling interest in the breed and increasing numbers of dogs needing its help, has been awarded a £6,000 grant from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust.

Once one of the most popular breeds in the UK, the German Shepherd Dog has seen numbers of puppies registered with the Kennel Club decline year on year, falling from almost 15,000 ten years ago, to just 8,500 last year. Despite this, German Shepherd Rescue Scotland, a Kennel Club Breed Rescue organisation, has continued to see high numbers of the breed needing its help.  

The £6,000 grant will go towards kennelling and veterinary fees at German Shepherd Rescue Scotland, funds that are desperately needed as the charity is inundated with dogs needing their help. Dogs such as long term residents Cleo and Georgie, who have been with the charity for over two and a half years between them, will benefit from the grant.

A typical German Shepherd Dog, Cleo is sweet natured and full of energy. She desperately needs a home where she can get the exercise and attention she deserves and requires. She has been looking for a home for over 20 months. Gillian Cowe from German Shepherd Rescue Scotland explains: "Cleo is a really loving girl with people and just wants affection. She has a great nose and would love to do some tracking, hill walking or even agility where she can use up her energy. One of our volunteers took Cleo for a trip to the beach - she loved playing in the sea and chasing and retrieving a plastic bottle from the water.

"Cleo is a brilliant character and simply needs an active owner who understands the importance of training and socialisation."

Georgie has been with the charity for thirteen months, after she was found by the police tied up on one of the busiest roundabouts in the area where she had been abused by passing local yobs and drunks. Gillian says: "Georgie still suffers the signs of abuse and is nervous when people come in to her kennel, but when she feels safe she is happy for snuggles and belly rubs. She craves attention."

The German Shepherd Dog is just one of a number of breeds that has fallen out of fashion in the UK. The Kennel Club recently announced figures that showed historically popular breeds are being pushed out in favour of foreign breeds such as the French Bulldog and Siberian Husky.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary says: "The German Shepherd is a wonderful breed, with a fantastic nature. They make great working dogs, which is why they are a popular choice for police and army dogs, but unfortunately this image has made the breed a little intimidating for some. Yet owners will tell you this couldn't be further from the truth.

"The German Shepherd is a very intelligent and energetic breed and they make loving pets."

German Shepherd Rescue Scotland has a number of dogs that need rehoming - if you would be interested in rehoming a German Shepherd, or would like to donate to the charity, please visit

The Kennel Club Charitable Trust has donated more than £8 million to help improve the lives of dogs since it was established in 1987. The Trust awards grants to welfare organisations which make a difference to dogs' lives, such as German Shepherd Rescue Scotland, and also provides financial support to canine scientific research and support charities.

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