In the Dog Zone

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Dogs in shelters

Why are dogs in a dog shelter?

Dogs in sheltersWhere do dogs in a dog shelter come from? There are many reasons why dogs are in shelters. Maybe their owner is very sick and not able to care for their dog or a family member develops an allergy to your dog.

Many of the dogs that are in a dog shelter have been trained and socialized well and some are not. Most shelters will work with the dogs that are not received training to teach them basic commands before they are put up for adoption. Dogs will learn quickly and they love to please their owners.

Lack of Training

Behavioral issues may be caused by a lack of training and socialization. Dogs and puppies must receive training and their owners must be the pack leader so take the time to teach your dog commands.

Puppies will need to be housebroken and you will teach a puppy to go outside to relieve themselves. Behavioral issues can be prevented through training your dog or puppy and it will take time and patience.

Socialization is very important because dogs and puppies can learn from other dogs. Visit a dog park and allow your dog to socialize with other dogs and their owners. A dog who is around many people are less likely to bark at people when they see them.

Lifestyle Changes

When people lose jobs they might not be able to afford their dog. The same thing can happen in a divorce. Dogs can be expensive, especially if they have health issues.

People can develop health problems or they might have been in an accident and may not be physically or mentally able to take care of their dog.

Some dogs end up in shelters because their owner passed away and there is not a family member or friend who can take the dog. Most of these dogs are already have training and are housebroken.

Not enough time

It takes time to properly care for a dog. Sometimes people have to work many hours and they don’t have the time to care for their dog. If this happens to you, consider getting a dog walker or sending your dog to daycare, instead of surrendering them to a shelter.

Dogs with lots of energy will require more time than a low energy dog. Exercise is very important for your dog’s health and for avoiding bad behaviors. A dog that receives enough exercise is less likely to develop bad behaviors.


a dog shelterWill getting a dog fit within your budget? A dog will need veterinarian care, food, toys, crate, bed, etc and some dogs will need regular grooming.

Do you need a dog walker or do you need to take your dog to a doggie daycare? You need to consider all of these expenses before your get a dog.

Health Problems

Dogs can develop health issues or receive injuries in an accident. When this happens, your dog will require more of your time and may need to have expensive treatments.

Their owners may not have the money or time to care for the dog properly. A dog that is sick or has injuries sometimes require around the clock care.


Sometimes people may develop an allergy to a dog or a child may be born with or develop an allergy to a dog. People can marry a spouse with an allergy to a dog or allergies can develop during your life.

Strays and Rescues

Stray dogs may be roaming the streets alone before someone takes them to a shelter. They are rescued and placed in a dog shelter where they will be checked out by a veterinarian and cared for by the shelter staff.

There are dog and puppies that are rescued from bad situations where abuse or neglect has occurred or both. Most dogs can be rehabilitated into a normal life with proper training. These dogs can be some of the most devoted and loyal dogs that are grateful for being saved.

Think Before You Get a Dog

Getting a dog is a serious decision. You need to be responsible for the dog for the rest of it’s lifetime. Dogs and puppies can be very cute, but you must think about training and caring for a dog. Read more here about adopting a dog in a dog shelter.

If you find yourself in a situation where you must surrender your dog, please try to find your dog a good home before taking them to a shelter. Ask friends and family to help your find a good loving home for your dog.

Feel free to leave a comment below or share a story. The information on this website is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian, dog trainer, or dog behavioral specialist.

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  1. Hi Alice

    Excellent post! Very informative, all the causes here are all reason why dog end in the dog shelter and these are all proven. So, before getting a pet must think all the responsibility you need to give to the pet. Also very important to treat them as one of the family. Well done! Thanks for sharing!


    • Alice

      July 28, 2016 at 4:45 pm

      People need to make a responsible decision before getting a dog. They deserve and need your time and attention, just like people do. Thank you for your comment!

  2. GREAT article! I rescued a dog from a shelter, and he did not have any training and was very nervous and hard to deal with. BUT all he needed was some love and attention, and now he is the sweetest dog ever. Everyone that comes into contact with him, loves him. It’s a shame that people get dogs and then just let them go to shelters. They take time, and want time just like anybody else in the family!

    • Alice

      July 28, 2016 at 4:39 pm

      It’s great to hear from people who have rescued a dog! Glad to hear that he is a happy dog now due to the time, attention, and love you gave him. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I am a huge dog lover! But I know my schedule doesn’t allow me to have one. I travel a lot and when I am home I am always running my children back and forth somewhere. It wouldn’t be fair to the dog to be left alone all the time. There are wonderful shelters out there. When I did have a dog I got him from the local shelter. He was still a puppy so I had to do all the training which I didn’t mind. The good thing about adopting a dog from a shelter is that they usually come spayed or neutered taking the burden off of you. You are absolutely correct. Having a dog is a huge responsibility. Truly think about it before adopting one.

    Best wishes.


    • Alice

      July 29, 2016 at 1:44 pm

      Thank you for your comment, Eloah! I agree with you, a dog is a huge responsibility. Shelters ask many, many questions before they allow a dog to be adopted. They are trying to make sure the dog will have a loving home with responsible owners that will give the dog the time and attention they deserve and need. Maybe one day when you don’t travel so much and your kids are older, you will be able to have a dog again.

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