The dreaded “It’s not working out” phone call. It happens in rescue more than most people would believe. A good rescue, as well as a good breeder, will always take their dog back – but the ability to return a misbehaving dog, may just be the impetus of the problem.
Faced with the option of a high-kill rate shelter or “the rescue will just find her another home” many adopters opt for option 2 and dump the dog they’ve committed to for 15 plus years back on the rescue as someone else’s problem. The reality is, many of the behavior problems encountered are the fault of the owner and not the dog itself.
Take Sara, a very high-strung, busy, young German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP) being returned a third time to our rescue. A pure-bred GSP is typically bred for as a versatile hunter and all-purpose gun dog per the American Kennel Club. This type of dog, based solely on the intent of her breeding, will innately require a different living environment than perhaps a Great Dane who are known couch potatoes. As a sporting dog, Sara’s owners needed to realize that most require regular, invigorating exercise – without that regular exercise, a dog must find other outlets for their energy.
In Sara’s case, without the regular exercise, her outlet became digging up the backyard. For her owners, who were renting their home, they felt this was an unresolvable behavior that required her to be returned.
But what can you do when your dog is being destructive, or aggressive, or exhibiting other inappropriate behaviors that make you consider surrendering her to shelter? We’ve identified 7 solutions to help you identify and resolve those behavior problems before your consider the shelter option.
- Research your dog’s breed(s): Starting with a history of your dog’s breed purpose may just help you identify why your dog is misbehaving and how you can solve the problem. Sara is hunting dog and requires activity similar to her hunting background. Herding dogs’ pure instinct prompts many of these dogs to gently herd their owners, especially children. Dogs in the working group are bred for guarding property, pulling sleds and performing water rescues and while you may not need to stage a rescue effort – these dogs enjoying working. This information is invaluable in helping you understand why your dog is behaving the way it is and may help you identify means of channeling their behavior into a activity that is more instinctual and satisfying to your dog than the misbehavior they are currently exhibiting.
view full post »