I won’t judge you if you rehome your dog. For some, that’s a controversial sentence. However, it really shouldn’t be. If you’re working with me, chances are your dog has some challenging problems. If you’re working with me, you’ve probably put a lot of effort into trying to address those problems.
Behaviour modification takes a lot of effort, in terms of time, certainly emotional toll and often financial expense. If you feel you are lacking in any of these to such a degree that you cannot support the dog in front of you then rehoming is okay.
It’s not a failure on your part. In fact I consider it a huge strength when an owner can put their hands up and say I can’t do this. No one gets a dog to struggle to walk them, to have them behave aggressively, to leave them at home to attend events where dogs bring joy. No that doesn’t mean dogs shouldn’t have problems and should automatically be expected to be a joy to walk and completely social with everyone and everything. A happy, well rounded dog takes time and effort to produce, no matter their background.
I had a few cases last year where owners who had been trying desperately hard with their dogs but came to the decision to rehome because of their life circumstances. When they told me, they expected judgement and a telling off. I was heartbroken to hear that, the decision to rehome a dog is no easy one and to be honest I considered rehoming Pumba when he was at his worst. I felt that I was too poorly educated on what he needed and that he would be better off in a home that knew what they were doing better. I was incredibly fortunate that I was in a place in life where I could learn what Pumba needed me to learn and put the time in. Not only did it mean I could keep my best friend but this business exists as a result of that learning.
Perhaps even more controversially, even if you have the resources to help the dog you’ve got, if you didn’t want a project dog, I still won’t judge you for rehoming them. If the dog you got turns out to be wildly different from what you expected I do not expect you to willingly change your mind and take on a project dog. (Again, normal dog behaviours are not included in this. Dogs aren’t born perfect companions.) I would rather see a dog rehomed than kept for fear of judgement from others and resented for restrictions it places on your life.
Even if you don’t work with me, if you choose to rehome your dog, you have my sympathy and respect. It is absolutely a valid decision and I wish you all the happiness for your future, future dogs and for the dog you took into your home and tried with.