Retiring & Rehoming
Successful rehoming involves consideration of behavior, health, and the environment. Breeders retire dogs for many reasons. They include genetic, physical or behavioral health, and age. Begin preparation for successful rehoming early. Socialize puppies in ways that expose them to experiences of the kennel and a pet home. Provide good behavioral and physical wellness care throughout a dog’s breeding career.
Whether a breeder keeps a retired dog in the kennel or rehomes them, they should ensure dog well-being. Identify clear physical and behavioral criteria to determine whether to rehome a dog. This should include interventions for dogs that may have developed minor or major problems. Identifying humane endpoints is also key in the protection of dog welfare. Neutering retired dogs removes the possibility of future breeding.
Make rehoming decisions with the best interests of the dog in mind. Ensure that a dog’s welfare needs are met throughout the process and in their new home. Share health and behavioral records with the dog’s new family. Prepare for families that might need to return a dog to the kennel. You can also help families find another appropriate home for one of your retired dogs if the need arises.
Socializing puppies to unfamiliar people, dogs, and objects decreases their fear of objects. This improves welfare in the kennel and in future homes (Pritchett et al., 2021).
Socialization decreases cortisol, a measure of stress, in dogs’ hair (Stella et al., 2019).
Pritchett,M.;Barnard,S.; Croney, C. Socialization in Commercial Breeding Kennels: The Use of Novel Stimuli to Measure Social and Non-Social Fear in Dogs. Animals 2021, 11, 890. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11030890.
Stella J., Shreyer T., Ha J., Croney C. (2019). Improving canine welfare in commercial breeding (CB) operations: Evaluating rehoming candidates. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 104861.
Decisions to get a dog are influenced by a dog’s appearance, the owner’s lifestyle, the cost, and the buyer’s previous experience.
Bir, C., Widmar, N. J. O., & Croney, C. C. (2017). Stated Preferences for Dog Characteristics and Sources of Acquisition. Animals, 7(8), 59.
Five minutes of education for new owners led to dogs who were fully house-trained one month after adoption.
Herron, M.E., Lord, L.K., Hill, L.N., Reisner, I.R. (2007). Effects of preadoption counseling for owners on house-training success among dogs acquired from shelters. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 231(4), 558-62. https://doi.org/10.2460/javma.231.4.558.PMID: 17696854
Retiring & Rehoming – ENvironmental Considerations Library
Bare bones – if you only have a few minutes for the basics
SNACKS – If you want to learn more
Kibble _ If you want to take a deep dive into the science
Improving Canine Welfare in Commercial Breeding (CB) Operations: Evaluating Rehoming Candidates - CRONEY RESEARCH GROUP
Management and Behavioral Factors Associated With Rehoming Outcomes of Dogs Retired from Commercial Breeding Kennels - CRONEY RESEARCH GROUP
Parasites and Vector-Borne Diseases Disseminated by Rehomed Dogs
Temperament Test for Re-Homed Dogs Validated Through Direct Behavioral Observation in Shelter and Home Environment
The First Rehoming of Laboratory Beagles in Finland: The Complete Process From Socialisation Training to Follow-Up
How do Rehomed Laboratory Beagles Behave in Everyday Situations? Results From an Observational Test and a Survey of New Owners
Additional Resources to Support Dogs in Other Environments
SHELTER & RESCUE
Dogs living in shelter or rescue kennels face challenges specific to their living environments. Practical applications for their management and care may also differ. Additional resources for their caretakers, including those caring for dogs in home-based foster systems or rescue networks, are provided to support efforts to improve, maintain, and protect their welfare.
Dogs living in homes as family pets face challenges specific to their living environments. Practical applications for their management and care may also differ. Additional resources for their caretakers, support the human-animal bond, keep pets in their homes, and improve, maintain, and protect their welfare.
Research & Teaching
Dogs living in research or teaching kennels face challenges specific to their living environments. Practical applications for their management and care may also differ. Additional resources for their caretakers are provided to support efforts to improve, maintain, and protect their welfare.
Applications for Research & Teaching
Comparison of Behavior and Genetic Structure in Populations of Family and Kenneled Beagles
Turcsán, B., Tátrai, K., Petró, E., Topál, J., Balogh, L., Egyed, B., and Kubinyi, E. (2020) Comparison of behavior and genetic structure in populations of family and kenneled beagles.
Behavior Of Laboratory Dogs Before And After Rehoming In Private Homes
Döring, D., Nick, O., Bauer, A., Küchenhoff, H. and Erhard, M.H. (2017). Behavior of laboratory dogs before and after rehoming in private homes. ALTEX - Alternatives to animal experimentation, 34(1), 133-147. doi: 10.14573/altex.1608171. retire
Applications for Pet Families
Applications for Shelter & Rescue
An Evaluation of A Behaviour Assessment to Determine the Suitability of Shelter Dogs for Rehoming
Poulsen, A.H., Lisle, A.T., and Phillips, C.J.C. (2010). An Evaluation of a Behaviour Assessment to Determine the Suitability of Shelter Dogs for Rehoming. retire rehome
Evaluation of the Predictive Validity of the Behavioural Assessment for Re-Homing K9’s (B.A.R.K.) Protocol and Owner Satisfaction With Adopted Dogs
Mornement, K.M., Coleman, G.J., Toukhsati, S.R., and Bennett, P.C. (2015). Evaluation of the predictive validity of the Behavioural Assessment for Re-homing K9’s (B.A.R.K.) protocol and owner satisfaction with adopted dogs. Retire Rehome
Characteristics and Adoption Success of Shelter Dogs Assessed as Resource Guarders
McGuire, B. (2019). Characteristics and Adoption Success of Shelter Dogs Assessed as Resource Guarders rehoming
Health and Behavior Problems in Dogs and Cats One Week and One Month After Adoption From Animal Shelters
Lord, L.K., Reider, L., Herron, M.E., and Graszak, K. (2008). Health and behavior problems in dogs and cats one week and one month after adoption from animal shelters retire rehome
Post-Adoption Problem Behaviours in Adolescent and Adult Dogs Rehomed Through a New Zealand Animal Shelter
Gates, M.C., Zito, S., Thomas, J., and Dale, A. (2018). Post-Adoption Problem Behaviours in Adolescent and Adult Dogs Rehomed through a New Zealand Animal Shelter. retire
Factors Affecting the Success of Rehoming Dogs in the UK During 2005