Foreign pooches on the rise, says dogs' home

Wandsworth Guardian: Capital's multiculturalism evident in foreign pooch increase, says dogs' home Capital's multiculturalism evident in foreign pooch increase, says dogs' home

They say London is a multicultural city but it appears its dogs are too.

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home says it has also seen an increase in continental canines coming through its doors.

Not only are these worldly woofers finding refuge at the charity, they are learning a new language there too.

A Polish Husky, Chinese Poodle, French Bichon Frise, Spanish Mongrel and a Lithuanian Shar-Pei are just some of the many multicultural mutts that Battersea has cared for this year.

Often these dogs have no understanding of English commands such as ‘SIT’, ‘STAY’ and ‘DOWN’ so staff at the world famous animal charity are having to teach them English in a bid to help find them find a new home.

Ali Taylor, Head of Canine Welfare Training says: "We’re seeing more and more dogs with owners who originate from around the world and often they will have great training but no grasp of English commands.

"Every dog at Battersea receives on-going training to prepare it for a new home, but with our continental canines it’s even more important they learn to understand the basic commands their new owners will be using."

Niu Niu is just one of the many multi-cultural dogs that Battersea has taken in this year.

The three year old St Bernard was brought in to the Home by his Chinese owners as they were moving abroad.

When Niu Niu arrived at the Home he didn’t understand a word of English so staff had to start from scratch with his training.

Ali added: "When training dogs like Niu Niu it’s really important to go back to basics by teaching them universal hand signals first then putting the spoken command with it. It can take some time but eventually they get there."

Niu Niu featured in ITV1’s Christmas Special of Paul O’Grady which was broadcast on Christmas Day.

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