Dog Rehoming: When Is It the Right Decision?

There are a number of sad but legitimate reasons for giving a dog up. If it must be done, protect everyone involved by taking these steps.


Ask any animal shelter or rescue group, and they will tell you that people surrender their dogs for a myriad of reasons. More common ones include: Moving, can’t keep; landlord won’t allow; not enough time; and can’t afford.

Although those are the reasons commonly given, the underlying cause far more often in those cases is that something interfered with the development of the all-important bond between dog and human that ensures the dog a lifelong, loving home. Every day, thousands of dog lovers move and take their dogs with them, find a new place to live where dogs are allowed, rearrange busy schedules to make time for their dogs, and reprioritize budgets to cover their dog-care expenses.

Animal protection and rescue workers often become cynical about and unsympathetic toward those who give up their dogs. Many of us who love our dogs find it difficult to imagine any legitimate reason for rehoming a dog. While it’s true that many dogs are given up for seemingly frivolous reasons, there are times when it is the right thing to do, including the following.

What are valid reasons for rehoming a dog?

1. Two (or more) dogs in the family are seriously fighting.

Although it’s not uncommon for two dogs in a family to have occasional squabbles, there are also times when knock-down-drag-out battles – or even rough play – can put one or more canine family members at risk of serious injury or even death (not to mention the risk of injury to the humans who have to intervene in the dog fights). This can be especially life-threatening when a size differential almost guarantees that a smaller dog will be injured – or killed – by a larger dog who plays too roughly or has mayhem in mind. Plus there is the risk of predatory drift, where the larger dog sees a significantly smaller playmate dash across the yard and his brain kicks into “Squirrel!” mode. He perceives his smaller canine companion as “prey” instead of “playmate,” and tragedy strikes.

dogs fighting in the house
Many of us who love our dogs find it difficult to imagine any legitimate reason for rehoming a dog, but there are times when it is the right thing to do © Martina Osmy

Whether due to size difference or not, conflict and potential injury between canine family members calls for careful management protocols, implementation of a behavior modification program to reduce or remove tension when possible, and if necessary, rehoming of one dog to prevent tragedy. If modification isn’t successful and management isn’t realistic, it is only fair to give both dogs a chance at long and happy lives by rehoming one. (I usually recommend rehoming the easier of the two dogs rather than the more problematic one, because it’s much more difficult to rehome a dog with problematic behavior; you are probably that dog’s best option.)

2. The dog is a danger to someone in the household, or to the community.

This often entails aggressive behavior, but not always. Sometimes an aging dog-lover makes the mistake of replacing her beloved senior dog who recently passed away with a puppy of the same breed, forgetting that she was 15 years younger the last time she had a bouncing adolescent canine underfoot. If the human’s dexterity and balance is beginning to fail her, and/or if she is physically unable to meet the dog’s activity needs, rehoming may be the best option.

While daycare, pet walkers, and sympathetic family members and friends may be able to help with some of the exercise, the dog might still present too great a threat to the owner’s safety. If that’s the case, rehoming is the right choice.

A rowdy dog may also present some physical risk to small children in the home. Good management can often minimize the danger while the child grows and the dog matures and learns his good manners behaviors. Aggression, however, is another matter.

Aggression alone is not necessarily a reason to give up your dog. It is irresponsible parenting and dog-caretaking, however, to keep a dog who shows a willingness to bite kids in a home with children. Dogs who live in homes with small children must adore them, or the child’s safety is at significant risk. Anything less than “adore” means the dog should be rehomed, or at least sent off to stay with relatives until the child is old enough to no longer be at risk, and/or the dog has learned to love children. It’s a lot easier to rehome a dog before he bites a child.

should i rehome my dog?
There are valid reasons for rehoming a dog.

A dog with aggressive behaviors presents a risk to the community if the human is unwilling or unable to take necessary management steps to keep the community (and the dog) safe. While this can be due to a lack of concern on the human’s part, it can also be a result of denial and/or lack of education. When aggressive behaviors have been identified in a dog, it is critically important that the caretakers prevent the dog from having any opportunity to bite, and seek assistance from a qualified positive behavior professional for help in managing and modifying the behavior.

3. An unavoidable change in life circumstances precludes keeping the dog.

Stuff happens. You may have the strongest commitment in the world to your dog, and if life circumstances change and you can truly no longer care for him, then rehoming is the responsible decision. I’m not talking about simple priority choices (“We can’t afford the dog’s ACL surgery because we want to go to Europe this summer”); I’m talking about unavoidable life events such as heart attacks, strokes, foreclosure, moving to a long-term care facility, and other life-shattering occurrences. Sometimes, tragically, you really can’t care for your beloved canine any longer.

4. The dog has a health or behavior problem that is beyond the means of the owner to resolve.

Quality of life is an important consideration for dog and humans. If you really can’t afford the care your dog needs, you either provide it anyway, perhaps at the cost of your own health or diet, or you don’t provide it and your dog suffers. You can choose to make sacrifices in order to provide for your beloved dog, but there may come a legitimate time when the sacrifice is too great, or the challenge too difficult. Some medical procedures now available for dogs cost tens of thousands of dollars. Just because we can try to fix something and prolong life, doesn’t always mean we should. A loving caretaker may be completely willing to work with her difficult dog’s behaviors, but physically unable to do so. In those cases, rehoming a dog or even euthanasia may well be the best choice.

Aggression, severe separation anxiety,  and a variety of canine obsessive-compulsive disorders can be extremely difficult behavior challenges. While these sometimes respond to treatment, often with the help of behavior modification drugs, they don’t always, and quality of life can be greatly damaged for both dog and human.

For more information on how to treat separation anxiety, see “Surviving Severe Separation Anxiety.”

5. Wrong dog for the situation.

Sometimes, humans acquire a dog for a specific purpose – to be a service dog, do narcotics detection, or to fulfill some other working or competition goals. Sometimes the chosen dog turns out to be totally unsuited for the desired purpose, and the human doesn’t have the luxury of keeping the newly acquired dog while seeking another one who is more suited for the training goal. In such cases, it may be absolutely necessary, or at least fully justifiable, to return or rehome a dog in order to allow the person to seek and select a more appropriate candidate.

senior dog and senior man
Sometimes, rehoming a dog may be absolutely necessary, or at least fully justifiable.

Options for rehoming a dog

  1. Return her to the breeder, shelter, or rescue group you acquired her from. Responsible breeders and adoption organizations contractually require this, although some may allow you to rehome to someone you know that they pre-approve.

Caveats: If the place where you got your dog was less than reputable (for example, with overcrowded, poor conditions) you won’t want to return the dog there. If you got her from a pet store or puppy mill (oh dear), returning is not an option.

2.  Place her with a trusted friend or family member. Well-loved, well-behaved, healthy dogs usually have a circle of admirers who would jump at the chance to adopt.

Caveats: Even your best friend or favorite relative may decline to take on a dog with major health or behavior challenges. You must be honest about these challenges.

  1. Advertise for someone to adopt her. People sometimes have success with rehoming dogs by advertising on Craigslist or with fliers posted on the bulletin board at local pet supply stores or veterinary offices. Social media can be a huge help, too; put together some good pictures and complete description of your dog (and the reasons you have to rehome her) and ask your friends to share. You never know, a friend of a friend may have a perfect spot for the dog.

Caveats: Try to allow for plenty of time (weeks or even months) to network in search of a perfect new owner for your dog. It’s not easy to screen potential adopters – you risk placing your dog with someone who won’t provide the kind of loving care you want for her, despite their assurances (this goes triple if she has health or behavior issues). There have been recent Use Caution: There are numerous news stories about dogs placed in new homes free of charge by owners, shelters, and rescue groups, only to have to purported adopters “flip” (sell) the free dogs, or worse

  1. Take her to a good shelter or rescue. There are thousands of excellent dog adoption services around the country. Many provide medical treatment for at least some of the dogs in their care that the person surrendering the dog couldn’t afford. The best have behavior departments or working relationships with qualified professionals to modify difficult behaviors in order to make dogs more likely to succeed in their next, hopefully final, homes. Not everything is fixable, and responsible groups still have to make difficult euthanasia decisions, but your dog might be one they can help.

Caveats: Be sure you research these groups diligently. Visit the facility to see that it’s clean and well run. If you can’t visit, don’t leave your dog there. If they won’t give you straight answers about their willingness to treat medical issues or modify difficult behaviors, don’t leave your dog there. If your dog isn’t adopted, she may suffer in a cage at a “no-kill” shelter for the rest of her life, or worse, in the hands of a hoarder posing as a shelter or rescue. Again, you must be brutally honest about your dog’s health or behavior problems.

  1. Have her euthanized. As painful as this, it may be the kindest thing you can do if your dog has significant health and/or behavior issues. It may not be realistic to ask someone else to care for such a dog, and she could be abused or neglected in the process. Dying peacefully in the arms of someone who loves her is better than dying neglected in someone’s backyard, or after spending weeks, months, or years in the stressful environment of a shelter.

When I have a client considering this option because of difficult canine behaviors, I gently suggest that euthanasia is not an inappropriate choice for a loved dog if the client is unable to do the things necessary to restore her dog to physical health, or to manage and/or modify behaviors. I don’t tell her she should make that choice, but I let her know I’ll support her if she does.

Examples of responsible dog rehomes

Here are some examples from my world, of times when rehoming was necessary, responsible and appropriate. Names are changed to protect the privacy of my clients in all except the first example:

Caretaker health issues

More than a decade ago, my then-45-year-old brother had a series of major strokes from which he would never fully recover. He was placed in a long-term care facility where pets were allowed, but only if the resident could care for them, which my brother was unable to do. When my sisters and I visited Bill, he kept asking for his two well-loved Pomeranians. It broke my heart.

happy pomeranian


I tracked them down – they had been sent to a Pomeranian rescue group – and convinced the rescue (via a significant donation) to let me rehome the dogs with one of the staff at the facility. For many years she brought the dogs with her to work and Bill was able to keep them in his life. Although his dogs are gone now, other staff members continue to visit him with their dogs, knowing how much it means to him.

Wrong dog for the job

A good friend recently purchased an Australian Shepherd puppy from a breeder she thought she had carefully researched. Julie already had two adult dogs with behavioral issues that she had worked long and hard with, one adopted from a “no-kill” facility to save him from spending the rest of his life there. Although she’s been successful enough with her behavior modification work that she is able to compete with her two dogs in agility and rally obedience, she had her heart set on starting with a properly raised and socialized puppy who could grow up to be a really solid dog.

Imagine her dismay when the 10-week-old pup turned out to have significant fear behaviors – far greater than one should expect if he was simply going through a developmental fear period. After much soul-searching, she returned the pup to the breeder. Her decision to do so was sealed when, upon contacting the breeder to let her know of the pup’s behavior, the breeder advised her that she was trying to socialize him “too early.” This is a nonsensical excuse; it’s never too early for appropriate, carefully managed socializing (the critical socialization period is from 3 weeks to 14 weeks), and truly good breeders go to great lengths to provide this early socialization foundation.

Putting others at risk in the home

A client brought her just-adopted adolescent Border Collie-mix to see me because the young dog was acting very fearful of men. Linda had adopted Freddie (names changed) less than a month prior, and he already had seven biting incidents, including one bite that had broken skin. She has two small children in her home, but so far the dog had been relaxed and appropriate with kids. Freddie was a delightful dog with many good attributes, and Linda was committed to keeping him, if at all possible. We worked out a behavior modification program, and this exceptionally knowledgeable client went home, fully committed to working through her dog’s behavioral issues.

A week later during a stressful day in the home, Freddie bit one of the kids – twice. Although neither bite required medical attention, it was clear that he wasn’t safe in a home with children. Despite his bite history, the client was, fortunately, able to place Freddie in a dog-savvy home with no children.

Putting others at risk in society

A young couple adopted a dog a year ago from a “no-kill” group – a dog who, in my opinion, should not have been made available for adoption without first undergoing significant behavior modification. The couple, who were my clients, simply wanted a canine companion they could enjoy and share with friends and family. The Lab/Pit-mix they adopted was so defensively aggressive they were unable to have visitors at their home. If they tried to put him away in a “safe room” so they could enjoy their friends and family, the dog shrieked and became destructive – to his environment if he was left free in the room, and to himself if he was crated. After 10 months of dedicated behavior modification work, including medication for the dog, they sadly decided that neither they nor their dog was enjoying an acceptable quality of life, and chose to have him euthanized.

These rehomers are exceptional

Let me assure you that in my behavior practice these cases are the exception, not the rule. I am fortunate to be blessed with clients who are far above average in the commitment they make to their dogs. Their decisions to rehome are difficult, and invariably made only after much thought, discussion and angst. They are never made lightly by my clients, and never without considerable pain.

Rehoming a dog is a difficult decision

A client sent me an e-mail recently to tell me that she has been unable to implement our agreed-upon behavior modification program due to the full-time responsibility of caring for an elderly parent. Barb* said she is looking to rehome her dog. Bailey*, an otherwise delightful one-year-old Labrador Retriever, has mild-to-moderate dog-reactive behavior and separation distress, as well as the high energy level typical of an adolescent Lab. Barb has been bringing him to Peaceable Paws since puppy class. I was saddened to hear she was giving him up. It’s always sad for a dog, and the humans who know him, when the promise of a lifelong loving home falls through. (*Their names have been changed.)

Any one of these decisions can be irrevocable. Before giving  your dog up, be sure you’ve thought it through carefully and truly exhausted all your options for fulfilling the commitment you made to your dog when you adopted her. You don’t want this to be a decision you regret for the rest of your life – and hers.

I received another e-mail from Barb this morning. A family decision to place the parent in a long-term care facility has given Barb new resources, new energy, and a renewed commitment to work with Bailey. For now, he’s staying in his home. Cross your fingers.


Previous article(Holistic Remedies #2) Holistic Remedies – Using Herbs in the Kitchen
Next article(Aggression #1) Modifying Aggressive Dog Behavior
WDJ's Training Editor Pat Miller, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, grew up in a family that was blessed with lots of animal companions: dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, goats, and more, and has maintained that model ever since. She spent the first 20 years of her professional life working at the Marin Humane Society in Marin County, California, for most of that time as a humane officer and director of operations. She continually studied the art and science of dog training and behavior during that time, and in 1996, left MHS to start her own training and behavior business, Peaceable Paws. Pat has earned a number of titles from various training organizations, including Certified Behavior Consultant Canine-Knowledge Assessed (CBCC-KA) and Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA). She also founded Peaceable Paws Academies for teaching and credentialing dog training and behavior professionals, who can earn "Pat Miller Certified Trainer" certifications. She and her husband Paul and an ever-changing number of dogs, horses, and other animal companions live on their 80-acre farm in Fairplay, Maryland.


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  3. I have a Springer labodar which belonged to my mum but she sadly passed away unexpectedly. I have had him living with me for a week but can no longer have him living here with me as my landlord won’t have no pets but he has given me 2 weeks to find him a home. He is very gentle and loving and I would like him to go to a loving home.

  4. Hi I have a 9 month a husky his names shadow we have just moved into a new house and the owner has just decided to tell us there is a no pets rule he’s a grate dog grate with kids and other dogs he’s gets really excited when he sees other dogs and needs long walks he’s on raw food really gutted to have to do this kids are upset but we have no choice just need him to go to a good home someone who loves walks

  5. Hi i have a cairn terrier fab little boy great with kids as i have 3 i have just split with my partner and have to move house now and i cant take him with us. Also now am a single parent hes always left in hiuse as dont have time amd he loves going walks so would rather him go to someone who has time for him

  6. I have a dog I got him two years ago and now he’s four but I don’t know if I should keep him because he seems depressed. I’m a college student and I got him when I was in highschool. I feel like I’m too busy to give him what he needs. I don’t have a fenced yard for him to run ( he’s a jack russell) and honestly I may have gotten him on an impulse without doing research. What should I do?

  7. I have this beautiful pitbull Labrador dog that someone a bandit when they moved out they do not take her with them so I went to head and she was in got her fatter and I’m doing my best to try to find her a good home I already have two dogs and one cat and I live in a one bedroom apartment and there is no way I can keep her I am looking to see if some money if you wants her her name is diamond she’s very young I don’t know what to do with her I don’t want her to get a take her to a shelter and then the kill her I don’t want that I just want to rehome her he has that right she’s a beautiful dog she listens she’s just great .

  8. Juno 2 yr old pit bull, spayed, chipped and up to date in shots needs a new home. Our ex-daughter in law abandoned her with us. We work long hours and have an autistic grandson who visits every weekend. Our grandson is a “runner” and when he gets out so does Juno. Obviously we go for our grandson first but it is dangerous for Juno as well. She is sweet but nervous and does not go to everyone easily. Please help us rehome her rather than put her down. We have tried for a year and it is not working!

  9. Hi Maria, I’m so sorry you can’t keep your little dog. Can you send me a few pics and tell me about his personality. Thanks,

  10. Hi Maria, I’m so sorry you can’t keep your little dog. Can you send me a few pics and tell me about his personality. Thanks,

  11. Hi Ashliegh, If you still have your dog please send me a few pics & tell me about him.
    Thanks, Marion🦋

  12. Hi thanks for article I’d greatly appreciate some guidance. I had a home with a garden and was forced to downsize. Live in an apartment with a balcony now and there’s a dog toilet out there for the dog she uses it well as long as the door is open 24/7. Otherwise she goes where she pleases. She even pooped under the covers in my bed. She’s 10 month old min pin with no health issues. She has submissive peeing issues and is frightened of other dogs so the dog park is a no go. So is the beach because when she sees the other dogs she runs away and leaves me stranded. She was kicked out of puppy socialization class.

    My partner and I woke up in turn twice a night for four months while we were crate training her and she would still go inside the crate and push it out.

    She elects to soil the floor if it’s too chilly out for her to go outside (I live in Southern Cali/ it’s a hot desert)

    I bought her diapers so I could leave the door closed to have the ac on to dry the floors I just rug doctored and I came home and she had taken it off and both peed on the couch which took me 2 hours to clean and pooped on the floor.

    I made her sleep on balcony last night, don’t worry it’s warm and she has a super nice crate that’s fabric with a cozy bed and a lot of fleece blankets.

    I know this sounds awful but it has been such a nightmare owning this dog due to her behavior when I walk her/ bring her in the car/ stop looking at her for five minutes.

    I feel like I have postpartum depression and I no longer love my dog.

    Hope I don’t offend please be kind I’m trying my best but I screwed up when I got this breed.

  13. I have a little dog mixed breed Boston and wiener. We thought the dog would be good for our family but she doesn’t do great being alone and with young kids. She would do great with someone who is at home and can cuddle her.

  14. Our 7 year old border collie doesn’t like other dogs, or our daughter who is four. She growls at my daughter and moves away if my daughter gets too close. Because my daughter has only had this experience, she is not a big animal lover. We thought we would get her a puppy so she would have an animal that really loved her. We brought the puppy home six days ago and they fell in love. Our older dog was grumpy with the puppy but eventually came around and after a few days (yesterday morning) wanted to play with the puppy a little bit. We were sitting on the couch and they were no more than a foot away from us. Suddenly the puppy moved quickly and our older border collie grabbed her by the head and shook her violently, breaking her neck. I have never been so upset in my life. We are absolutely devastated and cannot calm down or find any solace. We only had our beautiful little puppy for five days. I’m utterly heartbroken.

    Now we are wondering if she can be trusted around our daughter. Any help or advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

  15. I have a 14.5 mini aussie that I adopted last April. I just recently heard the terms fear or pain biter in regards to dogs and I believe my mini has such a thing. When I first got her I could not get too close to her to be affectionate as she would try and nip at me. She was ok if it was on her terms, limited time and no confining her with a hug. I learned to keep my distant and hoped for her to eventually soften to me. Things went ok. I’d had her three months and she was licking herself in a few spots which were getting red and irritated but as soon as I wanted to look at them closely she gave me that warning growl and teeth. She’s not a relaxed sort of dog, I’d say she’s more anxious and nervous. To this day I cannot get close to any part of her body if it is sore. She’s a ball obsessed dog and I found that that is what she lives for, she is happiest when fetching or finding her balls. She recently is showing cognitive decline or that is was what I thought was going on. Her sight is poor her hearing not as sharp and even her smell isn’t what it was. But she was just diagnosed with glaucoma in her left eye and she wouldn’t let me put drops in her eye, I even tried a muzzle but she wriggled and growled so much it was a mute point, I still couldn’t get the drops in. I’m trying food treats but she’s too smart as once she knows I’m tricking her she doesn’t even want the treat. So now the vet is recommending removal of her eye. I’m wondering if both will need to be removed as she doesn’t see much out of her right eye either and I don’t want her to have to go through yet another surgery again later as she is an old dog. I’m concerned about a couple of things. Will the surgery enhance her quality of life? No more chasing balls. More anxious and nervous as she has no sight. Right now she tends to sleep most of the day and when she’s awake she almost always seems confused as she walks around the house. She gets up at least three to four times a night with a sudden jump up and walks out of the bedroom stops then walks back to bed. Sometimes it seems she’s better than other times. Will I be able to care for her after surgery if medication has to be administered? Will she truly be happy to lay around and sleep all day after surgery. Some friends are suggesting I have her euthanized, and I’m torn in both directions. If I knew she’d enjoy life after surgery I’d be all in, but it’s the doubts that keep me on the fence. She truly lived for her balls and throwing, and wasn’t or isn’t too much on dog walks, mainly too because she suffer from arthritis from all that ball fetching I’m sure. I’ve been crying so much this last week feeling sad for her and not knowing what to do and what she’d prefer, though I know if she could go chase that ball right now she would. Any thoughts to try and get me out of this sadness? Her surgery is scheduled for the first week of October and I just don’t know how I can even make it that long!

  16. 5. Have her euthanized. – PLEASE READ THIS PEOPLE! There are too many neglected, unloved animals sitting in shelters and rescue institutions (not to mention abused in dog pits). IF you truly loved your animals, and you KNOW your animal has issues others will also have a difficult time caring for or addressing, TAKE RESPONSIBILITY and provide your pet with a peaceful, loving end to his/her life. YES…it will HURT LIKE CRAZY…and you will wonder if you could have done more. You will cry and wish it didn’t come to that. You will wish your life circumstances could have provided what your beloved pet needed. BUT in time, you will also KNOW, that your stepping up, and taking responsibility for your pet’s quality of life, was the right thing. Quality of Life – fed enough, exercised daily, played with, cuddled, regular doctor visits, dental visits, AND a peaceful, loved filled end to life.

    When you love yourself MORE than you love your pet, you’ll take the easy way out and dump them at a shelter. BUT if you truly, truly, love your dog more than yourself, you will spare them situations they would not understand, and could potentially lead to Psychological and Personality problems down the road.

    Try to find them loving homes…but if you can’t, please be honest and responsible, and provide your pet the BEST next step for the PET.

    I’ve owned lots of dogs…raised litters of puppies, had dogs die naturally of old age, had to put a couple to sleep, and have had to find homes for dogs with issues that could be better addressed with more capable owners. So I say this with a clear understanding at what it will cost you all, emotionally and financially, when you have to weigh your options.

    Home Euthanasia ($300+ depending on city)- most expensive, easiest transition on the dog – super painful on the owners. You will come home and remember the painful experience everyday for a long time.

    Doctor’s Office Euthanasia – ($150 depending on city) – more stressful on owners and dogs – it’s a sad time, if you end up where the doctors are judgemental, the lack of peace will be sensed by your pet, robbing them of their peaceful ending. However, if you have a good doctor, who provides a room for quality time, it can be a peaceful, loving transition for both pet and owners.

    There is no easy solution when you have to part with a beloved pet. Please… don’t be tempted to “dissengage or numb” yourself to the responsibilty by dropping them off somewhere and making it someone else’s problem. We should all take resposibility for our choices and own the entire story…including the ending.

  17. I am so so sorry for your loss and for the anxiety witnessing this must have caused you. I have, unfortunately experienced this years ago, when my husband was in the military and we were stationed overseas. We kept our dog because he was our guard dog AND he instinctively protected our baby (he would sleep by his swing, and when people would try to come near the baby, without getting up, he’d growl…when the people would back away, he’d go back to sleep). But HAD he ever growled AT our baby, I would have put my dog to sleep. Dogs are pack animals…they vie for ranking within the pack. I would never allow any dog, that felt it could outrank and/or growl at a child, access to my children. I know dog lovers out there will argue that I should have found it a home, or parents that could train that out of him…but the bottom line is, if I can’t trust my dog with my loved ones, I surely won’t dump him on an unknowing family. I would bring him to a vet, and while telling him I love him and thank him for the wonderful memories, have him peacefully put to sleep.

  18. This happens all the time, to good people, with good intent when bringing a puppy home for the first time. It sounds like your dog is living “frightened” all the time. Bringing it to a shelter, will only make that worse…which means someone else in the future will be faced with the same issues you’re having. Please consider #5 above.

    My daughter rescued a dog at the shelter, the day it was to be euthanized. The dog loved her and she loved the dog. But her dog bit people when he got scared, including her boyfriend, her father multiple times, her grandmother and visitors. When she checked with the shelter, she leared he’d be sent back 3 times…for those same issues…loved the owner, hated everyone else.

    At some point, someone has to take responsibility and break the cycle…do the right thing. IF, someone like you, who was willing to try, is having a hard time making it work, what real hope do you see for it in the future? No one wants to buy a broken dog. That’s just the reality of life. Please consider #5 above.

  19. Hello my family recently adopted a dog, almost 3 months ago. She is very sweet and trusting of me and my daughter she is hesitant of my husband but is slowly warming up. She is not a super social dog she takes awhile to warm up to people but all adults we have had to the house she has warmed up to just fine. About a month ago she started lung nipping at my childs friends who came over, twice this occured. We now no longer let the dog out when children are over. She has been nothing but kind to my daughter. I have started work with a positive based behaviorist. Who is hoping that once she is more relaxed around the house ie my husband her bottled up stress won’t come out towards children in the home. We also plan on working on counter conditioning the dog with space and a muzzle with children in the house. All this said I just wonder if I would be smarter to sooner than later rehome her to a home without children coming and going. We in the family have become very attached to her but I want the best forever one. Your opinion?

  20. I can’t find a home for my dog. What should I do? She is a 4 yr old boxer and is becoming quite aggressive with other dogs. She attacked my chihuahua and almost killed her and started to attack my other dog and now we can’t trust her and we are not fine with her at home, but she does have her good side and loves to be around people. But we can’t keep her anymore, anyplace I can take her that won’t hurt her?

  21. I have a seven month old chihuahua/terrier mix that I need to find a loving home for. My husband has turned on the dog and I can’t stay with him all day and watch him. I plan on leaving the husband over this too because of how mean he’s being. But won’t have time to take care of Roscoe on my own because of my work schedule. He’s a very active dog and only partially house trained. I am in Tennessee.

  22. I have 4 dogs cane corso Italian mastiffs not able to keep them my landlord says they’re too many abs they can’t stay so I’m forced to rehome them. This is a very difficult time because they are all so lovely well behaved dogs that are all so very special in their own way. I know they all deserve good homes so please If anyone is looking please email me or text me 647-490-9280

  23. I dont understand why the commenters seem to believe this is a Craigs List for their dogs! The writer of this article has laid out many options and lots of information for anyone who needs it. But individual dog-owners need to be responsible for making these decisions themselves.
    And yeah – Shaun? Offended? No, but you do realize that animal abuse (threat of a bullet?) is a felony now, right?

  24. I have a 5 month old westie puppy with a severe submissive urination issue. I’ve been trying to work with her for the 3 mo that I’ve had her. I’ve gotten her a dog walker and training. She’s got diapers to help me manage it but it just isn’t working out. My other Westie is perfect. I raised him. I am calling her Breeder today to research options and I am so broken-hearted about it. I don’t know what else to do. I look at her and she goes.

  25. I really need some emotional encouragement or something. We adopted this dog almost a year ago from the pound. We know she came from Los Angeles from the aspca but that’s all we really know. She is a beautiful girl but she is so aggressive towards males. She’s bit my husband a few times and will growl at him non stop. We’ve met with the behaviorist at the humane society and have reached out to an independent one near us but they charge thousands of dollars which we can’t afford. She recently tried to bite my daughter(7) over absolutely nothing. My daughter was sitting on the couch watching tv the dog jumped on the couch and snapped at her. I work from home and take her out every two hours in the day and at night she goes out at 9:30 and then 6am and she’s constantly peeing in the house. When I take her out I stay with her until she relieves herself every time, I’m unsure why she isn’t getting it. She has never waited at the door or scratched to go out. She’s never left alone and goes for daily walks/ dog park trips until recently she began acting out towards men at the dog park so she no longer goes. She’s been to the vet and is spayed/up to date on all vaccines with a clean bill of health from a female vet only. She tried to attack the male vet. We are basically living In fear and guilt at this point because we resent her. Any thoughts appreciated, we really are trying everything we can, just feeling very beat.

  26. That last example.. they rehomed the elderly parent instead of the dog.

    I found this because I’m concerned about the border collie lab mix (according to the rescue org) we’ve had for seven weeks now. We got him, after I felt pressured and then talked myself into it, to specifically help my teen daughter who has depression/anxiety & ptsd. He,The dog, was known to be gentle but quite nervous (of dogs and new places) himself and I hoped they could help each other. He’s pretty much blossomed. He does seem happy and pretty well adjusted – he now loves doggie day care and the dog park – but usually whines when I’m not home, even if everyone else is. We’ve started training and need to work up to better leash behavior (he pulls and sniffs or marks every other plant) but he’s also gotten territorial when used to a place. He often barks a lot or growls when people come over, or barks we come in the door and he’s loose. He’s come with us to tutoring a few weeks and today he barked when the owner came in. This barking is causing my teen more anxiety and increasing her hyper-vigilance, the opposite desired result. Can we work on this? Or does this qualify as the “wrong dog for the situation”?

  27. To Lisa, very good advise. During this holiday season many people will get/ give pets but many will not work out. I am broken hearted as I made the choice to rehome my beloved dogs as I was in the hospital with a broken ankle and wouldn’t be able to care for them. I begged the EMT/Fire Dept. to look after them so they sent Animal Control to my hospital room and they did. They could feed them for 7 days but then they have to go to the shelter, where I’d gotten them, for 10 days. Then go up for adoption. Just then my hospital case worker came in and stopped me from signing them over. She has dogs and said she’d find homes for them for me as we didn’t want them going back to doggie jail. She fed them and looked out after them until she found them homes. She even brought them to the hospital so I could say goodbye to them as they didn’t know what happened to their Mommie. I’ll always be grateful to her for going out of her way to help me and my little guys but miss them so much, especially this time of year. To anyone going through a situation like mine, our pets safety has to come first no matter how much we love them. I just recently heard from the microchip company and know one of them now has a loving home. My other guy has to be rehomed again as he kept digging under the fence and getting out. He always was my explorer and trying to get out the door. I thank everyone who helped keep my little guys safe and sound while I was recovering. God bless you all.

  28. I am 77. I must move and can’t take my 13 year old Bichons with me. One is deaf and one has one eye. Other than that they are active, lovely, socialized guys. Yes it breaks my heart but I have run out of options. Can you help me.

  29. I am 77. I must move and can’t take my 13 year old Bichons with me. One is deaf and one has one eye. Other than that they are active, lovely, socialized guys. Yes it breaks my heart but I have run out of options. Can you help me. Linda

  30. I accept full responsibility for adopting a dog 2 weeks ago but cannot keep him because he is howling everytime I leave even for short time. My neighbors are complaining and I cannot lose my housing over him. He is neutered, sweet in every way and loves all people and other dogs. Refuse to take him to pound where he might be killed. He’s only 4 yo. A Puggle. Previous owner not responding to me.

  31. I’m Mrs. Dulce Beverly from the United States, I want to share a testimony of my life for each one. I was married to my husband Anderson, I love him so much that we have been married for seven years with two children. When he went on vacation to France, he referred to a woman named Peggy, he told me that he is no longer interested in our marriage. I was so confused and looking for help, I don’t know what to do until I met my friend Cassie, and I told her my problem. She told me not to worry about her having a similar problem before and introduce me to a man named Dr. IYAYA, who cast a spell on her ex boyfriend and brought it back to her after 3 days. Mary asks me to communicate with the Dr. IYAYA. I contacted him to help me bring my husband back and he asks me not to worry that the gods of his ancestors will fight for me. He told me that after three days he would join me and my husband together. After three days my husband called me and told me that he was looking for things with me again, he surprised me when I saw him and he started crying for forgiveness. Right now I am the happiest woman in the world for what this great spell caster and a great doctor has done for me and my husband

  32. Unfortunately, this is only temporary. And those gods are demons, so you should just come to jesus christ, asking for forgiveness about consulting a witch doc, and ask him for true reconciliation with your husband coming from his own will and not a spell. And also that GOD’s Will be done, because the time between you and your husband might is up as painful as that is, but people change and God doesn’t. And God has the best plans for you. He loves you so much and wants the best for you, if you would just come to him, he would be so happy and will give you the best love you could ever imagine. And things with your husband will fall into place where they are supposed to be. We have to look at the grandview, the big picture of our whole life, and how our choices on earth will affect our eternity. We can’t just look at what we want in the moment, what feels good, or what WE believe is right and good for us in this life. May the veil be torn off of your eyes and you see the truth behind the scenes of all the illusions. In the name of jesus christ who stands.

  33. Hi I have 3 maltipoos that my sister left behind and I can’t keep due to living in a very small place. They are loving and full of energy but it’s not fair for them to live in such a secluded space.

  34. My son has been in jail off and on this last year. I have had his dog since july 2019. His legal troubles are still not resolved. He asked this morning if he could have his dog back. I have 11acres i walk dog several times daily, i love him. My sons cat was also here and just dies last week of kidney failure. If my son takes dog back the dog will live in his room and only be let out sporadically daily. My son shows sign of bipolar depression and sometimes sleeps for days. The agreement was i kept the dog until my son was either in prison or free. Because of his mental health (he is a veteran) and the covid 19 court has been postponed. Should i let the dog go to a certain sedentary livestlye or should I keep him? The dog goes crazy when he sees him but he is mad at me and has not seen dog in over 40 days. Dog was use to running free living with my son before legal problems but then he became homeless and dog was shuffled around landing here 8months ago. Im an enabler at heart ….my gut says keep dog but I feel guilty as i know how much dog loves his real owner.

  35. I have a nearly 2 year old collie who I can no longer afford to look after he has very good temperament but is to lively for my small family home I have a new born and a five year old he is up to date with injections and is microchipped (You would have to change address) but he is also been neutered I just can’t cope with him tbh it’s cruel to keep him so would love him to go to somebody who can give him the time and love he deserves

  36. Hello Nidia. I am looking for a small dog to be our forever companion. Please give me a call if you’re interested in finding a loving and caring home for one of those cutie pies. 352. 272. 4723. Hope this finds you and yours well!

  37. Hi, it’s 4:17 am and I just finished cleaning up my dog’s vommit all over kitchen floor and living room rug.

    Let me back up a bit. 3 weeks ago we just paid $3000 to remove a toy squeaker that was found in his small intestines.

    Today alone, he stole my muffin when I answered front door. He wakes me up in middle of night for drink and potty. Side note: he was skunked night before, too. I let him out to bathroom and drink. Went to bed, heard huge crash. Got right back up and went downstairs to find he vomited so much took nearly 1 paper towel roll to clean. Then, I noticed he somehow jumped on counter to reach a ledge where we kept Easter eggs filled with candy out of his reach. Pulled that down and began eating. NO idea how he reached.

    Our dog is a Shepard mix and 2 years old. We adopted him when he was 9 weeks old. We’ve had nothing but problems and now my husband realizes he is highly allergic to him. Spent time/money on training. He constantly needs to be watched.

    I don’t know what else to do. I’m constantly worried about him. He eats how own poop, has escaped fences and run away several times, destroys things, steals food at all costs, blah blah, list goes on.

    I realize there are many issues at play here. At a loss, can’t think straight anymore.

    Please help. Advice?

  38. Continued…this is Kelly again, to add to the list of bad experiences and issues we have/had with our Shepard mix:

    He has jumped out of car window and ran into a moving car
    He has escaped kennels at 2 separate boarding facilities and roamed halls during nap time
    He escapes crate at home
    Continues to steal eat shoes
    Stands on patio table
    Has eaten shirt off stuffed animal and thrown up ate again before could grab (among other things)
    Ran and caught squirrel in yard
    Didn’t back down to raccoons in yard
    He engulfs things so quickly and frantically
    Jumps on people

    Have tried 3 different trainers
    Gets plenty of exercise (jogs/walks)
    Huge fenced in yard

    Has plenty of love and attention and 2 girls who are attached. However, I’ve been stressed since we got him.

  39. I just adopted a rescue dog. He seems to be a good dog, but I feel I am in way over my head. You see, I have four kids who are young (including a baby) and I am drowning in madness and stress. Caring for four kids plus trying to care for and train a dog (and stop the dog from chasing my cats who are terrified) has caused me to be in tears for days. I feel extreme guilt over not wanting him anymore and even more guilt over thinking such a thing. And on top of it all, my oldest (who is 7) has been asking for a dog for months and now we are considering taking him away from her. I feel absolutely devastated and still unsure as to what to do. My heart says stick it out and suck it up, while my brain says we are just too big and busy of a family for a dog like this.

  40. I rescued a puppy one month ago. I have her in puppy classes but she’s not doing well. Very hyper and no focus. I am exhausted from watching her all day long and doing the training. Additionally my 13 year old dog shakes all the time. She has had accidents in the house which is not like her. She’s very withdrawn. Not i am considering taking her back to the shelter i got her from. But i feel guilty and a failure. Help!

  41. I sent Betina, my most loved pup, to a new home. She two month old. I missed her so much that i ended up crying secretly in my room. Dad wanted the puppies to be adopted soon before they all grow here in the house because they might end up fighting each other or might bite some strangers and children. I was reluctant to send her away but i console myself that Betina is in the right family, healing the two young boys’ hearts after losing their dog Georgy. They take good care of their dogs too. Betina is not in used of leash so she cries not to have it in her neck. I hope she would get through it. I hope she is always happy, comfortable, and not hungry.

    I asked mom to convince me that my feelings towards the puppies are wrong that I should let them be adopted soon. But she replied” It so happen you love dogs so much.” I hope my feelings of longing to Betina’s presence will run free. I wish what I did is all right. I wish to conquer soon my longing.

  42. Hi, I have a miniture cockerpoo , her name is Noodle.. She is four years old, very loving and very well trained. She is very clever and her mother was pedigree. I have a sertificate for that… I can’t keep her anymore because I split up with my husband and I cannot find the house that accepts dogs. It is a really hard decision for me but I’ve tried everything.. if someone would like to adopt her please call me on 07572769569. Thank you.

  43. As I said last year on this blog – why do you think this is the place to “advertise” your dogs? Its an ARTICLE telling you & others HOW to research & decide the right course to re-home your dog!
    This is a really good article & it provides answers to your questions – it does NOT provide a new home!
    I am astonished at the number of people who have commented for exactly that purpose.
    Honestly, YOU yourself have to do the work & make a decision – its not up to anyone else.

  44. Im looking for a good home for my Logan he is 1 years old and he’s a pit. He’s white with a little brown spot he has gray eyes. He’s well-trained house dog love kids and outside. The reason why I have to give him away is because I had a stroke and I cannot take care of him no more if you like to see pictures please call me at718 7875648

  45. U know ur dog u just have to take a step back and look at it more calmly once you do that it will hit you what is best for her

  46. I have two dogs that I need to retome because it was discovered I have a serious medical condition. I had no symptoms. They are two large dogs 2 and 6. The six year old is very protective of me and the property. He is not a fan of strange dogs and mild arthritis in his back legs. I asked the vet if he can be euthanized because I’m afraid that once I pass he will be placed in a kill shelter. I would prefer he pass away at home comfortably with people who love him. I am torn because he is very sweet with the people he knows or gets to know.
    I have no family members or friends who can take him because of his size. I mention him mostly because the two year old dog resembles a tv dog and I see her being adopted much more easily and she’s pretty docile.

  47. Why not ask a family member to look after your dog I gave my dog up because I was bizzie all the time had not much time for him now got all the time in the world and miss him so much don’t give him up as you might regret it in time like I have In the future regards Wendy

  48. Nah, I’m returning the dog if it’s attacking the pets that are already here. How cruel to get rid of pets you’ve had for years to accommodate a violent dog. The newcomer can be the one living in a restricted area too. Snobby rescues here keep all the truly adoptable pets so shelters lie like crazy to get people to adopt dogs that frankly should have been euthanized. It’s not rescuing if you are taking only the good pets! The rescues should be forced to take the hopeless cases and let real families have good dogs. I’m never getting deceived again I will be purchasing my dogs as puppies and never “adopting” again.

  49. Crying my eyes out just thinking about rehoming my very anxious 5 yo dachshund. I love him as much as he loves me but have exhausted all my options as a single female in a small living space. No one around to pup sit, no doggy daycares will take him because of his fear of other dogs, & he’s racking up a bill with month prescriptions for fluoxutine. Any advice? My heart is broken, I’ve loved him this entire last treat after rescue. I feel like the biggest failure giving up on being his primary care giver. I adore him.

  50. Hi,
    I recently purchased a German shepherd puppy who is absolutely gorgeous. I really really love her.
    However, I am recently separated, and I have a three year old boy and 7 year old girl who I have week on and week off. Khaleesi (my puppy) has taken to bullying my three year old boy. Chasing him, jumping on him, nipping his hands and feet, and barking at him. She occassionally tries to do this with my Daughter too.
    I am considering sending her to my parents’ house where they can look after her for a couple of years through the puppy stage and see if she is better after this. I spoke to my vet and she thinks this is a good option. Although it is s hard option for me because I want to keep khaleesi and train her myself.
    The other thing though is that after my separation, I have been experiencing some significant mental health issues. Since getting khaleesi and seeing how full on she is, and seeing how she is with my kids etc, and just because of my mental state I’m finding that my mental health has gotten significantly worse, to the point of crying literally non stop, and thinking some bad thoughts about continuing living. While I don’t think it is khaleesi’s fault, I don’t think having her here has helped.
    I’m now thinking that while I thought a puppy might help with feelings of lonliness, depression, anxiety that actually it is only making them worse and I’m thinking that re-homing permanently is a better option, certainly until I’m in better mental health.
    I’m so upset about it. And I keep thinking people are going to think I’m a terrible person if I go down this path.

  51. i am here hoping that someone can give me advice or even share with me a simular experience..i have three..not two but three female dogs . reason i say that is because every article ive looked at has two female dogs or a female and male which is no help to me..i have a momma and daughter mix medium size and a smaller chihuahua and the have all grew up together since they were babies and now there from the oldest momma 2yrs almost 3 to 1yr in a half almost 2yrs and lately i cant have the momma and the smaller chihuahua in the same room together with out them fighter and im thinking the instigater was the daughter of my pups..anyways i am trying to look passed the rehoming because my pets are sooooo atached to me as i am with them..they have helped me in so many ways with anxiety and what not..but its my first time being a doggy mom and maybe someone can help me find solutions or even point me in the right direction because my home is a mess and so are my nervs since they havnt got along

  52. So I have an interesting story. I adopted a dog because he pulled on my heart strings at a shelter. When I asked the workers what breed he was no one could give me an answer. Upon bringing him home I started noticing behavior issues. He would tear all my stuff up and use the bathroom everywhere. This all cleared up within a week or so and we’ve been doing alright since. While all of this was happening it literally took a quick google search to realize what breed he was. He’s a Catahoula. Catahoulas are very distinct dogs and I know that the shelter lied to me about knowing his breed because they are definitely dogs with serious personalities. He’s a great dog after we worked out the issues however there is a problem I’m having. He’s starting to get aggressive when he’s forced to do things. For example at the moment he’s got a little skin infection so I have to put medication on it and put a cone on him and he shows his teeth and growls at me every time. He’s a 85lb dog and it’s intimidating behavior. I’m at a loss of what to do because showing aggression is never good. I’m also not really the best person to own a Catahoula because I have no yard. I’ve considered bringing him back to the shelter but I’m the third person that’s adopted him. Every family has brought him back and I would feel terrible. Any pointers?

  53. I have a 13.5 year old Aussie and he whines constantly about everything. It’s gotten to be like nails on a chalkboard. I’ve heard Aussies can live to be 15. He’d be a fine dog if only he could STFU for 5 minutes.

  54. The training group I work for has a unique situation. About 4 months ago, my boss found an approx 2 y/o pit mix unconscious near our building. Jim scooped him up and rushed him to the vet. He was treated and thru a chip discovered that his ‘family’ rehomed him to another family member who simply dumped him. It was obvious he’s had a rough go. He’s unpredictable around other dogs. As trainers, we are committed to working with him and finding him a proper home however, we are having no luck. He is so loving towards us and is learning to tolerate Jim’s dogs. He needs a home of his own. Any suggestions? Shelters in our area are overrun with pits and rescues are not interested in a pup who isn’t in danger. We’ve tried social media and our clients. Any suggestions appreciated!

  55. Wow. Just wow. I am blown away and dismayed by the content and tone of all these comments. Please, people, the only thing I can say is seek reliable professional help first, before you acquire a dog, especially if there are issues with a current dog, within the family, or with yourself or your environment. Acquiring a dog is a big deal, and the wrong dog can be a disaster for you or others. If someone dumps a dog on you, and you cannot keep it, bring it immediately to a reliable rescue group. Don’t hang on thinking the situation may resolve itself. It won’t, or at least not without considerable investment of time, effort, and probably money as well.