Rehoming is Sometimes Necessary

When you adopt or get a dog from a breeder, it is pretty much common knowledge that that dog is going to be part of your life for the dog’s whole life. It is a commitment that lasts for at least 10 to 15 years.

Posts on social media continually warn people thinking about getting a pet of that necessary commitment, especially around the holidays. The idea is to prevent people from making rash decisions about getting a pet quickly or for a present and not taking the commitment seriously.

Comments on social media posts also often berate the person or people who are trying to re-home a dog, no matter what is happening in the situation. I guess it is a form of public shaming trying to change the minds of the people re-homing.

Unfortunately, sometimes a pet is not thriving. Not because of any abuse, but because of the situation, such as other pets, work issues, time spent with the animal or many other possible reasons.

In certain situations, it might be better for a dog if another home is found. Not every situation can be anticipated when bringing a pet into your home. If something comes up, then sometimes rehoming can be the best option. When these situations happen, it’s important for people outside of the issue to NOT make quick judgments about what is happening.

It may look like people are “abandoning” a pet but it might not be so. Yes, there are definitely times when this does happen. But re-homing is not really dumping a pet. Every situation is different.

The reason I am talking about this now is that we are thinking of moving our dog Emmett to live with my aunt, an experienced dog person. There are a couple of reasons for this.

  • Emmett is not very happy with our two oldest dogs, Finn and McCoy (both 14 and 1/2). He constantly growls are them if they even look like they are thinking about walking towards him. I do not feel they are in danger, but he is not relaxed around them and they are not relaxed around him. This just came up in the last year.
  • He also gets quite excited when the doorbell rings, and sometimes when it doesn’t ring, but he thinks someone is there. At these times, he will actually redirect his excitement onto Tommy and they will  scuff with biting at the neck.


Emmett is a perfect candidate for re-homing. He is highly trained. He fits in great in a home with no other dogs as he doesn’t really get along with other male dogs. He LOVES attention and tries to push other dogs out of the way to get it.

Ernie and I have discussed this in depth with each other and with my aunt.  This December, we are going to try having Emmett stay with her for a few weeks. We are not doing this lightly, and I already feel sad that he won’t be here. But in this case it is likely that it is the best thing to do. Besides, she only lives a block away!

So when hearing about a dog that is possibly being re-homed, don’t jump to conclusions about it. Negative comments only make it more difficult for the person considering it and it might be the best thing for the dog. It is not always bad for either the dog OR the human.

2 thoughts on “Rehoming is Sometimes Necessary

  1. Sometimes re-homing can be avoided by consulting a dog behaviorist for an evaluation of the issue(s). There are occasions (we’re living with one) where anti-social (e.g.) behavior is simply an expression of another issue. Identify the issue, and training could well correct the presenting problem. I totally agree that there are a number of quite legitimate reasons why re-homing can be necessary, but I also know that all too often it is a convenient “fix” to an inconvenience. I hope that the people who fall into the latter category people never have children. They are more difficult to re-home.


  2. Yes that is true. However, as a dog behaviour consultant myself, I find that often, people are not willing to do that work – to find and pay for a training instructor and most especially do the work. Learning to train your own dog because of a behaviour issue can be extremely intimidating for many people and for some impossble. It is a good solution, but is the thing that is least likely done, and what I have found in my 15 year career, unfortunately. Therefore, it is better to simply not judge.


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