Why Would You Abandon Your Dog?

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I’ve noticed lately that dog abandonment issues have become more prevalent in the news. The increase in home foreclosures and people not able to pay their mortgages have led to people not only leaving their homes, but also leaving their dogs behind as well.

It’s true that dog abandonment has shown up in the news recently, but this has been a problem for quite some time as seen by the overcrowded animal shelters. Every day of the week people abandon their dogs at their foreclosed home, at the animal shelters, and on the side of the road.

Here’s a video I came across reading through one of the many blogs. I think it came from Johann the Agility dog’s blog, but couldn’t find it when I searched through his blog. I searched the YouTube archives and luckily found the video on their site.

Dog Abandonment

A sad tale of dog abandonment:

Why Would You Abandon Your Dog?

We already mentioned one reason why people abandon their dogs…home foreclosure/money issues. Here are a few others that I’ve heard of:

  • House Training Problems – It can sometime be difficult to house train your dog, but please take the time and be consistent and persistent. If you are having difficulties with house training please contact a local dog trainer or even leave me a comment and I’ll see what I can do to help.
  • Veterinary Costs – Veterinary bills can be high, but if you don’t have the means to take care of your dog or puppy then you should not take one into your home in the first place.  You might consider pet insurance if you’re having trouble keeping up with vet bills.  I’ve not used pet insurance in the past, so be sure to do your due diligence before signing up with any pet insurance company.
  • Barking – I used to have this issue with my dog Linus. We talked to our trainer and came up with possible solutions. He almost never barks when I’m home and I think he only barks when he hears sounds around my house when he’s home alone. Unfortunately, I can’t stay with Linus all the time and have to sometimes leave him alone. We use the Citronella Anti-Bark Dog Collar which works great in my dog barking situation.
  • Hyperactivity – Hyperactivity and destructive behavior can be a problem. This can be more a luck of the draw when you get a new dog or puppy. It’s a fact that some dogs are hyperactive. For instance, my parents dogs is in non-stop motion. If you’re having issues with a hyperactive dog you should consult a professional dog trainer. My suggestion is to make sure you give you dog ample exercise. This can often times bring down their activity level and curb destructive behavior.
  • Aggression – I sometimes have issues with Linus and his aggression towards other dogs. In general Linus is very easy going and gentle with people. However, he is a bit shy and timid. He’s often afraid of other dogs and shows this by being aggressive, lunging, and barking. We are right now working on changing this behavior by attending obedience class. Our goal is to expose Linus to other dogs that are well-behaved in hopes that he will be less fearful and less aggressive. Here’s the first article I wrote on Linus’s obedience training: Linus A Shy Timid Dog

Dog abandonment is an issue as can be seen by our overcrowded animal shelters. If you’re considering abandoning you dog because of one of the above behavior issues then please consult a professional dog trainer first. Most of these issues can be solved by simply working with your dog or puppy. More training and interaction with your dog will help you build a closer bond and maybe you will better understand your dogs needs and your dog will better understand yours.

What experiences have you had with dog abandonment?

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  1. My dog is a year old.But it still relieves itself at home at 5 or 6 in the morning.It is difficult to take it out at that hour.If it is tied outside it creates a lot of noise.I take it out for a walk every night ,but it still creates a mess in the morning.I am thinking of abandoning it,but i don’t want to.What can i do to change its behavior?

    1. Please do not abandon your dog. If you are considering giving him up then contact your local rescue or humane society. I’d recommend bringing in a professional dog trainer to work with you dog. We crate train all of our dogs and in general dogs will not potty in their crates. If you have not crate trained your dog then it might be something you can try. Here’s an article we wrote on crate training: https://puppyintraining.com/crate-training-puppies.

  2. We got a rescue puppy three and a half weeks ago, and i am at my wits end on housebreaking him. To the point where I am thinking of returning him. But I dont want to give up on him if someone could just help me. I have housetrained two other dogs in my past, and neither were too much trouble. (One had a uti, but after that picked up quickly) but this one has me completely frustrated. He absolutely knows what to do and will go on command immediately when i take him out. I take him out faithfully every 45 min to an hour at the most-sometimes every 30 mins if he has been involved in rigorous play with my other dog. But he will just go again inside. For example, i took him out this morning-he peed and pood immeditely, much praise and adoration given-came back in house and within 5 min he pooed again ont he floor. Th same thing happens with the pee-except he runs and plays and pees at the same time-he just kind of lets it dribble out. This is really tough because i cant always see it happening. I just notice this dribble line on the hardwood floors where he had just been running. I have had him to the vet and he is uti negative. He sleeps all night with no problems. Please help me! I dont want to be a bad dog owner but this is wearing me out! I have been monitoring him nonstop for almost 4 weeks-my life and kids are beginning to pay the price because i am so focused on trying to make this work!!

    1. @kelly you might try giving him a little bit more time outside when he’s going potty to get it all out. Some of my puppies have done the same thing and gone outside to potty then about 2 minutes after going outside they go again inside. In my experience every puppy has been different when it comes to potty training. Some puppies will dribble when they’re excited. Since you’ve already checked with a veterinarian I’d try bringing in a professional dog trainer to see exactly what’s going on with your puppy.

  3. I have a question..my neighbor abandoned there dog about 3months ago and I took it in and have been feeding it and taking better care of it then they ever did well I left to go to the store 2days ago and when I returned he was nowhere to be found we looked an looked worried sick something had happened to him..only to find out the next day the boy waited till we was gone then came in my yard and took the dog! he didnt even have the desency to let us that he had gotten the dog..Im wondering is there a law that if you leave a animal and someone else gets it can you just come take it back after havin it for that long?

  4. This is an anonymous letter. I am so ashamed of what I did, I can’t bear to put my name to it.

    I am guilty of animal abandonment. I was young, stupid. I took on one dog, because I am a sucker for animals (Believe me on this, I really do love them). The guardians were moving, and couldn’t/didn’t want to take him with them. So, I brought him home.

    He was the most loyal dog I have ever met. He never went further than 20 ft from me, on or off leash. When I slept, he slept right next to me. When I ran to the store, he came with me. I went swimming, so did he. What I ate, he ate.

    Then it happens. I was in the military. I was being ordered overseas, and the family could not travel with me. They were going to move back to our hometown, for support. We tried, and tried, but couldn’t find a place back home that allowed pets from across the country.

    So, heart breakingly, we decided, we needed to give him to someone else. I first spent a month looking for a friend to take him. No dice. Then I spent a month and a half, searching for a shelter with an open spot for a 100 mile radius. Nothing.

    I couldn’t take him to the on-post shelter. It was PCS season (It’s when everyone is in turmoil with moving). It was a certain death for him. In 5 days after getting there, he would be destroyed. And he wasn’t the cutest dog, or even the “coolest” dog; but man, was he a great dog.

    I thought I was doing the right thing. I took him to a rural area, with little traffic, and lots of little animals. And I had him get out of the car. He was confused. I didn’t have my hiking gear, or my rucksack in the car. Whenever we went out there, that’s what I had with me.

    I had him get out of the car. I gave him a big hug, cried. He knew I was sad, he starting giving me giant kisses. Even as I was abandoning him, he was still loyal as ever. I told him,”You stand the best chances out here”, and I think I was trying to convince myself more than anything.

    I got back in the car, and he jumped at the door. He was confused even more. “Why didn’t he open the door for me?” I could read in his eyes.

    While not trying to look back I drove off. Rural road, so I floored it. Once I got about 5 miles away, I stopped and cried. I know, everyone reading this is saying,”Stop trying to make us feel sorry for you!!! You are a cruel person!” I’m not trying to make anyone feel sorry for me, but for him.

    30 minutes later, I finished the drive home. I felt like I had cut off my arm. My wife could even tell how I felt, but I couldn’t really vent to her about it either. Why? She thought he was going to a shelter.

    I still don’t have the heart to tell her what I did. But I tried to do the right thing. I thought I did the right thing. I thought,”Well, a dog is about as close to a wolf as you get. They’ll remember their instincts,” and “At least he has a fighting chance out there.” That was 6 years ago. I’ve learned more about it. I know it was probably the worst thing to do. They don’t re-learn instincts. A better thing would have been the on-post shelter.

    I’ve gotten a bit wiser since then, and I cry every time I think about him. Once I came back from overseas, everyday I would drive around the area I dropped him off. Thinking I might find him and bring him home. But, I never found him. Hopefully, some nice person or family found him. But, I also know that he could have died in a vehicle accident, or became a bait dog. I betrayed the highest trust every bestowed to us by our creator: To be the guardian of our companion animals entrusted to us.

    Native American’s have a piece in their belief system, that when one dies, they are judged by the animals they’ve encountered. I hope that is true. I hope he finally gets a chance to judge me. I hope he gets to tell me if my reasoning was wrong, and tell me of the hardship and pain I caused him. But, I hope, he also looks at the new animals in my life, and my new respect for them.

    I own another dog now, who I adopted from a shelter. I hope that by saving her, I somehow made amends for what I did to him. Maybe she’ll be sitting next him, and pleading for me. How now, I take her to monthly vet visits. I brush her, and spoil her constantly. How stayed up late at night with her while she was recovering from leg surgery. How, I picked out the dog no one wanted at the shelter, saving her on her last day before she would go to the white room.

    I guess I am trying to make up what I did to him with her, even though I know it will never be. Hopefully, this will do some justice, and maybe help convince others who feel they only have “this one route” to go will consider this: Animals are the most loyal of all your friends. And, animals abandoned are not being given a “fighting chance.” You are almost guaranteeing them to suffering for the remainder of their days.

    Again, I can only hope.

    Your spouse might leave you. You kids might disown you. Your dog will do neither. You owe him or her at least that much.

    I guess I rambled on long enough. It doesn’t make me feel better, but maybe he will judge me a little less harshly when the time comes.


  5. @doggy potty training pro, I agree. Dog training can definitely solve the majority of puppy and dog behavioral problems. I’m constantly working on all three of my dogs training. None of them are perfect and they all have their own individual personalities, good behaviors, and bad behaviors.

    If you have any questions about dog training please let me know and I’ll do the best to help out.

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