Things to Consider Before Surrendering Your Aggressive Dog to a Shelter

You may be uncomfortable with the idea of “surrendering” an aggressive dog to a shelter, but it is important to remember that for many dogs aggression is not a normal behavior and they can be rehabilitated.

Before you surrender your dog, there are some things you should be aware of.

What Happens When You Surrender You Dog?

The dog will be evaluated by staff at the shelter or rescue group who will determine if he/she should stay there or get transferred. If the dog stays, it will undergo training and therapy from Dog behaviour experts who will hopefully help curb aggressive behaviour.

Is My Dog a Danger to Others?

If you have a dog who is aggressive, it’s important to know how to identify the signs of aggression. These are some of the common warning signs that indicate your dog may have a tendency towards aggressive behaviour:

-Your dog snarls at people on walks

-You catch your dog growling when he sees other dogs or animals in his territory

-Your pup snaps at people who get too close for comfort while they’re eating or walking around the house

The importance of understanding aggression in dogs

Understanding aggression in dogs is an important topic for any dog owner. Dogs show aggression either as a defensive response or an offensive attack. Some dogs are naturally more aggressive than others, but the reasons behind this behavior can be influenced by their environment and socialization. Understanding the different types of canine aggression will help you to better understand your own dog’s behavior and find ways to manage it effectively. 

There are six main types of canine aggression:

  • fear-based, 
  • territorial, 
  • possessive/resource guarding, 
  • dominance (status), 
  • pain-induced, and 
  • frustration-induced. 

Knowing which category your dog falls into will help you identify what triggers his aggressive behaviors so that you can work with him on managing them appropriately. 

What Are Your Options If Your Dog Displays Aggression?

Dogs have a natural instinct to protect their human owners from danger, which is why it’s important that you know what to do if your dog displays aggressive behavior. 

Different types of training methods that may work depending on the cause for the behavior. Some people say that positive reinforcement-based training methods are more effective than punishment based techniques when dealing with aggressive dogs because those approaches rely heavily on building trust. 

If you have tried the above and it has not worked, your only option may be to surrender it.

Where to surrender aggressive dogs

If you have an aggressive dog, it can be difficult to find a shelter or rescue that will take him in. The best option is to call local shelters and rescues first and ask which ones are accepting new dogs before surrendering yours. 

There are also some great resources online for finding information on where you can surrender your dog:


As a dog owner considering the surrender of your dog, you may be feeling concerned and even guilty about it. Hopefully the information in this article has helped clarify the process and help you make a decision that is best for you and your dog.

An image showing Shonoff, a once fearful and aggressive rescued dog, now radiating happiness

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