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  • Writer's pictureLiz MacHaffie

Deciding Whether to Keep Your Dog

There are so many reasons we bring dogs into our lives. Our hope is always that it's a joy for both our dogs and ourselves. Sometimes, whether due to our dog's behavior, our own limits, or a combination of both, we begin to question whether keeping our dog is safe or sustainable. Because there is no wrong or right answer, this can be really difficult for us as loving dog guardians.

Here are some things to consider when you're exploring what is best for your family and situation.

Your Dog's Behavior

  • What changes would I need to see in my dog's behavior in order to feel it was safe and sustainable to keep them?

  • How likely are those changes?

  • What is my dog's own physical and emotional welfare right now? Could it improve with longer or different behavior plan steps?

  • Could my dog hurt somebody else, human or dog? How likely is it? Am I okay with that liability?

Your Human Family's Welfare & Life

  • How is my dog's behavior affecting my life and the life of any other family members? Is that likely to change? Is that change enough that things may be sustainable?

  • How much time, energy, and emotional space do I have available to help my dog?

  • Is my dog's behavior putting our physical or psychological wellbeing at risk? Am I okay with the risk involved?

  • What parts of my behavior or health contribute to the behavior concerns or risks to my dogs or others? Can those things be changed or improved? Am I okay with that?

Risks Involved

  • What level of risk am I comfortable living with?

  • What risks are involved in keeping my dog?

  • Are there ways to minimize those risks? Are they practical and doable for me?

We stand behind our clients and are here to support you as you explore this for yourselves and your dog. Please email your consultant if you have questions or just need to hear from us that considering this is a loving and justified path.

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