David Gandy's pet dog Dora helped "prepare" him for fatherhood.

David Gandy

David Gandy

The 39-year-old model welcomed his first child, a daughter named Matilda, into the world with his girlfriend Stephanie Mendoros in late November, and has said his Yorkshire terrier pup Dora - who is a rescue dog - was a "good starter" to help get him ready to become a dad for the first time.

He said: "I'm never going to compare a dog to a child, but a dog is a good starter because of the responsibility. You have to be there for them, feed them, look after them; you can't stay out all night. There is a responsibility in that and when we had Dora our lifestyle changed, so a baby was the next step. Obviously parenthood is a bit of a shock to everyone, but we were prepared for it - and Matilda is a great baby."

David is an ambassador for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and often fosters dogs who require a few weeks in a family home to adjust before they can be adopted.

Originally, Dora was one of his foster pups, but David and Stephanie found it impossible to let her go once it was time to take her back to Battersea.

He said: "When we got Dora we didn't know exactly what breed or how old she was, but she had a lovely temperament. She was just frightened of a lot of things. [She was supposed to go back to Battersea] but my girlfriend Steph couldn't bear it and said, 'No, we're keeping her, she's family now.'"

And the supermodel encourages all future dog owners to adopt rescue pooches, as he slammed the "myth" that dogs end up in adoption centres because they're "aggressive".

Speaking to You magazine, he said: "It's a myth that rescue dogs are aggressive. Some of them belonged to lonely people who died."

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