DENVER (KDVR) — The Denver Dumb Friends League said big dogs typically aren’t chosen for adoption as much as small dogs.

So for the next month, the nonprofit is encouraging people to open their hearts to a big dog.

Big dogs stay in shelters longer, some come with behavior challenges, and they can be a little intimidating, DDFL said.

The DDFL said right now the majority of the dogs it has are over 40 pounds.

Tiffany Gunter, an adoption associate, said a lot of people choose to not adopt a large dog because they don’t want them to live in an apartment or live without a backyard. She said that is something to consider but it doesn’t mean one good dog won’t be a good fit.

Why larger dogs get passed up

Big dogs are sometimes known to have behavioral problems, but the thing is, DDFL said a majority of that is because they have more energy and need ways to channel it.

“Bigger dogs are gonna have a lot more energy that they need to get out and if they don’t, they can become high energy and high arousal,” Gunter said. “So [they need] lots of mental stimulation, physical stimulation that creates a lot of extra time and energy you have to put into them and some people don’t have that and that’s totally ok. But it’s definitely something that makes it a little bit harder for us to get them [adopted] out especially being high energy and jumpy.”

The DDFL does have behavior resources on a scale from one to three depending on the need for behavior training your new friends might require. It has a behavior team who will come and meet with you to discuss potential challenges before you adopt. There is also a behavior helpline to walk you through hurdles after the dog is in your home.

Dogs with a few extra pounds just need some more love and might require a few additional resources as well. They need more room, more food and more exercise.

Those resources are sometimes a drawback for potential adopters but can also be a strain on shelter resources as well.

“In our movement department and populations, they decide who goes where and which dogs go where, and where who can fit where. A lot of our kennels they have a 40-pound maximum,” Gunter said. “We have kennels here that can kind of split down the middle and you can bring up the little ‘guillotine’ as we call it. It’ll make it into a full-size kennel or extra large kennel for big dogs and usually the more big dogs we have, that makes the two kennels that we did have now one kennel. So it just cuts down on the room and so we start to hit capacity sooner.”

Denver Dumb Friends League goal, discount

The DDFL is trying to reach a goal of a literal ton of dogs being adopted. So if each dog weighs 40 pounds and 50 dogs at that weight are adopted, it will hit the goal.

Right now the organization is offering 40% off dogs over 40 pounds in order to help get those big dogs adopted.

If you’d like to support in another way the DDFL just scheduled its Furry Scurry Fundraiser for this spring. The event is Saturday, May 6 at Washington Park.