One of the main reasons why people are afraid to adopt an adult pet, is they worry it will turn out to be a bad match and they will regret the decision. There are unfortunately some people who fall in love with a dog while it is young and adorable, but then lose interest when they grow up and require training. While it is always a tragedy when someone decides to return a pet, there are instances wherein there may be no other way forward. Here are some helpful tips about what to do when you when you are your adopted pet aren’t meshing the way you’d hoped.
Questions to Ask
For whatever reason, you and your dog just don’t seem to gel. This might be for a variety of reasons, so be sure to carefully consider if you have done all you can to rectify the situation before you head to the dog shelter.
Why isn’t this working? Ask yourself if it is because of unexpected external factors, such as a lack of sufficient time to devote to dog care, or late hours at work.
- Is it because you just don’t like his personality?
- Is it because this ended up being more challenging a responsibility than you expected?
- Does your spouse, roommates, or other animals not get along well with him?
- Does the dog have behavioral issues that make him incorrigible?)
Have you done everything you can to solve the issue? If the dog isn’t fitting in well, are there measure you can take to fix the problem?
- Have you hired a trainer to work on the behavioral issues? (NOTE: Some breeds are more inclined towards negative and even dangerous traits more than others, such as Pit Bulls. Be aware of the risk you are taking when you adopt an aggressive pet.)
- Have you enrolled in a group course, such as a master-and-dog obedience training class to help him learn to respect and respond to you?
- Are you actively trying to invest in the dog’s wellness, happiness and lifestyle, or are you merely using him as a prop or accessory, available only whenever you need it?
If you are concerned about your dog’s behavior, hire a pet trainer or behaviorist to observe the dog in action with you. They will be able to gauge how much work it will take to correct to the issues, as well as what signs there may be of further trouble down the road. If anything, professional advice will aid the decision making process when you are determining what to do with your dog.
Finding A New Home
If you are certain that adopting the dog was a mistake, there is a right way and a wrong way to find the dog a new home. Sadly, thousands of dogs are abandoned every year, left for dead, or simply dropped off in the wild to fend for themselves. This is cruel and irresponsible, and as full as the dog rescue homes and shelters near your area might be, they would always rather a dog be brought to safety, rather than abandoned. Taking a dog to the pound is a fate equally as terrible, since many states systematically euthanize hundreds of unwanted pets every day.
To help your dog secure a safe and loving home, call surrounding shelter homes and “no-kill” animal-rescue organizations. These kinds of places will often help match animals with foster families while they look for a “forever home.” Alternatively, see if any friends, family members or coworkers would be interested in taking in your pet. If you do have to bring your pup to a dog shelter, be sure you inform them of the reasons why the relationship did not work, such as, if the pet was menacing or threatening in any way, so that they may help correct the behavior before rehoming the dog!