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Helping Rescue Dogs Transition to New Homes

Adopting Pet Dogs

Many dogs get dropped off at shelters more than once, often because the behaviors that were behind the first relinquishment continue in the new home.

Common reasons for the initial abandonment most often revolve around the owner’s inability or unwillingness to give the animal an appropriate level of care, and include:

  • Lack of obedience training
  • Lack of adequate veterinary care, including spaying or neutering
  • The owner did not anticipate the time and attention a dog requires each day
  • Housebreaking issues

Specific behavior problems described by owners who returned their adopted pets to shelters include:

  • Fearfulness
  • Once stray dogs that persist in straying activities
  • Puppies with more and bigger behavioral problems than older dogs
  • Excessive barking
  • Aggression toward other dogs 

+ Sources and References
  • Clinician's Brief December 15, 2010, Debra F. Horwitz, DVM, Diplomate ACVB, Veterinary Behavior Consultations, St. Louis, Missouri