Dog who only understood German learns English in bid to find new home

An abandoned dog who only understood German commands has learnt English and is now looking to find a new home.

Hector the one-year-old American bulldog was found covered in cigarette burns all over his body when he was abandoned outside a RSPCA centre in East Ardsley, West Yorkshire, on August 1.

Lucynda Hodgson, animal care manager at the centre, said they found him with a hefty muzzle on and tied up with a heavy chain lead that was so short he could barely lie down.

They finally managed to free him and get him to kennels but realised he wasn't responding to English commands.

Lucynda said: "We decided to try some different languages and it emerged he was actually quite well trained and knew several commands – in German!

"We started to introduce him to English words and used hand signals alongside verbal commands so he started to pick it up really quickly. He’s a very intelligent dog and is very loving."

Footage shows Hector being able to respond to basic English commands such as sit and lie down and each time when he completes the command, he gets a small reward.

"He’s a big baby really; he loves to gallop around the paddock and play with his giant tennis balls," the manager adds. "He’s so lovable and is such a gentle giant."

Staff believe Hector has had little exposure to the outside world as he initially seemed rather shocked by everyday things such as traffic and strangers but he’s slowly learning more and more.

The brown and white pooch weighs 40kg and is a big, strong dog so staff would ideally like him to go to a home experienced with large breeds.

However, he must go to a non-smoking, adult-only family.

“Hector can get a little upset being left alone so we’d ask his new owners to teach him gradually that being home alone isn’t scary,"Lucynda added.

"He would also benefit from further socialisation with other dogs so would be best as an only pet with owners who can slowly introduce him to new dogs.

"He’d love a rural home with a large, secure garden to gallop around and explore. He loves nothing more than a good game of ball and then a relaxing cuddle and tummy scratch in his kennel or a delicious chew to gnaw on.

"He’s a very clever lad who absolutely loves treats so is very easy to train – especially now he’s picked up English! He’d love to learn more commands, tricks and skills."

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