My New Shelter Dog’s Issues Are Insane-Can’t Deal-Take Him Back

Robert Hudson speaks with dog behaviorist and trainer Peggy Swager.

training your dog


Bringing a new dog from your shelter into your home can be stressful for both you and your dog, and if you do not know what to expect or what you may have to deal with, you are bound to have surprises and feel overwhelmed and perhaps even consider returning the dog to the shelter. This is why some dogs become institutionalized in the shelter system and the more they get passed around in the shelter life, the more their issues will become exacerbated.

According to Peggy, it starts from day one when you bring the dog home to meet the family.

  1. Research the breed or known history of the dog and if it will fit into your home environment.
  2. Introduce the dog to each family member while everyone is seated and calm, with little noise and distractions. Let the dog approach each person on their own. Do not rush the dog or reach out to grab or pet the dog.
  3. Identify issues: housebreaking, separation anxiety, basic obedience, nervousness, food guarding, excessive barking… research how to address these issues and choose a course of action to address them and then be CONSISTENT.


Socializing your dog to other people and dogs is important for your dog to be well balanced and adjusted to encountering the world without developing fear issues and be more confident.



The entire 30 minute discussion will be on Pet Radio within a couple weeks.

For more information on Peggy Swager’s training and her books and online classes, visit her web site.