How to Convince Someone Not to Give up Their Dog

Is a close friend or family member being driven up the wall by an unruly dog? Do you have a special connection with the dog that you want to keep? Maybe these tips can persuade them to keep their pet, and solve the problems that are making dog ownership difficult.


  1. Image titled Convince Someone Not to Give up Their Dog Step 1
    Talk to the dog's owner. Ask questions to find out why exactly they might give up the pet. You'll need to understand the issues before you can offer solutions. Choose the steps below that best match the issues the owner brings up.
    • Do not accuse the owner of exaggerating, especially if you don't live in the same house as the dog. Take their complaints seriously.
    • Take a moment to consider the facts. If the owner is really unable to give the dog the attention and care it deserves, your priority should be finding a way to get the dog that care, even if it means moving the dog to another home.
  2. Image titled Convince Someone Not to Give up Their Dog Step 4
    Offer to take on some of the responsibility. If the owner lacks the time, energy, or money to take care of the dog, offer to look after it part of the time. If you are able to host the dog for a couple days at a time, or visit the dog to walk it every day, you can make dog ownership more manageable.
    • Look into nearby friends of the owner who might be willing to drop by and spend time with the dog now and then when the owner has a rough day.
  3. 3
    Look for volunteer dog walking organizations. If the owner doesn't have the money to hire someone, look for charity organizations that connect dogs with animal-loving volunteers.
    • The Cinnamon Trust is one example, a UK organization that provides free pet assistance for elderly owners.
  4. Image titled Convince Someone Not to Give up Their Dog Step 5
    Try to improve the dog's behavior. Put in your own time training the dog, or offer to hire a professional dog trainer.
    • If the dog has severe behavior issues that cannot be address with regular training, it is the dog owner's responsibility to take it to a specialist trainer, even if the eventual plan is to give the dog away. A dog with behavioral issues is unlikely to be adopted, and could even injure an unsuspecting new family.
  5. Image titled Convince Someone Not to Give up Their Dog Step 2
    Argue for the dog's well being. Some people treat dogs as interchangeable, or do not think it's a big deal for the dog to go to a shelter. Make sure the dog owner understands that abandonment and shelter life causes the dog stress and anxiety. Bringing a dog into the household is a long term responsibility, and if nothing major changed to make the situation more difficult, that's a responsibility the owner still has.
    • Use this tactic only if the owner fails to understand the situation, not if there are serious unsolved issues. Even if you guilt the owner into keeping, the dog will still be in an unhealthy situation.


  • If the owner is on the fence about it, even small improvements can help. For example, come up with a schedule for dog care to make all the commitments easy to manage.
  • If all else fails, helping the owner give their dog up in a safe and responsible way (no-kill shelters and the like).

Article Info

Categories: Working with Dogs