Meet Gus and Gypsy the rescue Chocolate Labradoodle and Airedale and their owners Mark and Heather.

About the breed

Gus is a 3-year-old Chocolate Labradoodle (a NSW rescue dog). The chocolate Labradoodle is what you get when you mix a Labrador retriever with a standard Poodle and they make great working, service, and therapy dogs.

Gypsy is an 11-month-old Airedale (rescued from RSPCA Noosa). This breed of dog originated in the valley of the River Aire, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England and it’s traditionally called the “King of Terriers” because it is the largest of the terrier breeds.

Why did you decide to adopt?

We have always had retrievers both golden and lab, all have been over 15 when they have passed. We decided it was time to give some rescue dogs a new start in life. Gus came up about 2 years ago. We live on just under 4 acres in rural SA so after sending photos of our property and the safety of its yards etc we were allowed to adopt him, so we flew him from NSW. Such a beautiful boy. He was 6 months old when we got him. As for Gypsy the Airdale, Mark has always loved Airdale’s and when Gypsy was advertised through the RSPCA website, he applied and was soon offered the opportunity to purchase her and give her a home. It was like he had won the lottery! Gus was very sad after losing his mate Jazz our much-loved lab.

Gus and Gypsy have already become such great mates and the fact that they are both young and energetic makes them a great match.

We have just started travelling a little bit with both pooches, not to any holiday spots yet but just down to our families house about 4 hours away. We would love to start travelling with them both as Mark is looking to retire soon, and as l am recovering from and hopefully beating a breast cancer diagnosis from later last year – my whole outlook on life has changed. After many months of treatments and surgical procedures this year, l would love nothing more than to start appreciating and discovering what our country has to offer to both myself, Mark and our beautiful pooches.

What is their background story and any issues you have had to work on/overcome with them?

As far as l know both dogs were surrendered through a change in family circumstances. Both have the best temperaments and have been easy to work with. Gypsy is fairly excitable though and does like to jump. We are trying hard to work with that as she is big and if she was to jump up on either a small child or a frail person she could unintentionally knock them over and hurt them. Therefore, training is consistent with her, we try and ask anyone that is going out to pat her or when she comes in etc, that she must sit before they pat her. Sometimes we put her on a leash first so that we have control over her. Once she knows that she is not to jump, she just runs off and plays.

How are they now?

Gypsy is still work in progress as far as her jumping goes, but she is getting better.

Gus is not real keen on jumping into the car, loves to be in it, but not jump into it. We have tried ramps and unfortunately, that ended badly with a bad experience for him because l had not secured it properly before he went climbing it (it fell along with him). He was not hurt physically but psychologically scarred l think. Poor Gus! At least he will put his front paws up to help, but as he is no real featherweight, it would be far better if he would put his whole self in.

Any tips for someone considering adoption?

Please make sure that you have the time, space and patience to give them. Some adoption pets do come with some problems to work through, but all deserve a second chance of having a great life.

Giving an adult rescue dog a home gives one such incredible satisfaction. They deserve to have a great chance in life and unfortunately not all dogs are suited or are what people are looking for once they grow up past that cute puppy stage. What starts out to be cute, cuddly and relatively quiet as a young pup, soon starts to grow up into a large, or and sometimes very needy or destructive young dog, who needs a lot of stimulating playtime.

Sometimes yard sizes or a families busy schedule will not allow for these dogs and then sadly, they are then seen as naughty or aggressive and given up for adoption.

Any tricks, skills or community work?

Both Gus and Gypsy go to obedience training. It is great for us to work with the dogs, and even better for them to socialise with other dogs and people when out of their own surroundings.

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