Ex Breeding Dogs Guidance

Dogs are pack animals, they can adapt really easily to living with people as they will think of themselves as one of the people pack (the family). However, many ex-breeding dogs only know their own kind. They will need time and patience to learn that humans can, and will, interact with them and love them. They only know the surroundings they are familiar with as many have never been inside a home, gone for walks or travelled in a car.

We ask that ex breeding dogs are not to be left for long periods of time even if they are homed with another dog. This is because these dogs know nothing of our world and need you there to help them understand what is expected of them. These special dogs need truly special people who have time, love and plenty of common sense. House training may take time as they can be scared to go in the garden and mark unfamiliar territory. It can go quickly or take months before you see a happy settled dog.


If you are adopting an ex breeding dog or frightened pound dog, the following could apply

• Many of these dogs are not house-trained.

• Many do not know how to walk on a lead.

• Some have not been socialised.

• They do not know how to accept love and affection from people and will often run away or hide when you try to give a cuddle or even stroke them.

• Many have never been away from the area they were kept in and often every day things we take for granted will scare them.

• They often do best in a new home where there is already another dog or dogs to take direction from.

• They need to go to a steady home environment that can give them the time they need to adjust and come out of their shell.

• They are generally afraid of loud noises and lots of activity. Unfortunately this usually includes young children.

• New situations, places and strangers may easily scare them.

If you have read the above and still feel you want to adopt an ex breeding or frightened dog the following may help you.

• Make sure your dog has a “safe” place to go. We usually advise a crate and if your dog is particularly scared you can cover the back of it with a blanket so it has a little den where it feels secure. NEVER drag the dog out of this. You can encourage it but the best thing is to ignore it and your dog(s) will help your new arrival to overcome its fears.

• An ex-breeding dog is rarely house-trained and is generally frightened of the outside world. Be prepared to go into the garden with them in all weathers’ on a trailing lead if necessary. Be prepared for accidents and ignore them but praise and offer a treat when your dog does go to the toilet outside.

• Before coming into rescue your dog may never have eaten from a bowl. When really frightened no matter how hungry or thirsty it is it may be too frightened to leave its bed to eat or drink. Sometimes a little hand-feeding from their bowl will help.

• All noises can be frightening, a hoover, washing machine, even an electric kettle. Although televisions can really hold their attention!

• They may cower when you go approach and sometimes will avoid passing you at all costs.

• If your dog has lived in a foster home, it may revert back to its scared ways when you take it home. This should only last a few days and with gentle encouragement and kindness your dog should soon relaxed and begin to trust you. If unsure your dog’s fosterer will be happy to advise so please ask.

• Ex-breeding dogs often walk better on a harness and some people do use extending leads. However, if you drop these the noise of the lead retracting can frighten them and if they run with the lead clattering behind them this causes them to panic further. Please think carefully before you use these and its best just to get your dog used to being walked on a normal lead for a while.

• They do not know how to play and have never seen a toy.

Adopting an ex-breeding dog takes a great deal of patience and understanding, but the rewards are tenfold. Are you ready to give up time and a lot of love for sometimes very slow progress? Are all your family members willing and happy to help? This is a long term commitment. Be ready – your dog may be traumatized with all the changes in its life. What you put in is what you get back. Be prepared for the worse and you will be pleasantly surprised! You will end up with the most loyal, loving and faithful friend you could ever wish for.