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Behavior Support for Adopted Rescue Dogs

“It feels so good to know if our adopters who have adopted fear-reactive or aggressive dogs run into problems with their dog’s behavior, we will be there to offer support—for LIFE.”

One of the biggest challenges in dog rescue is adopting out fear-aggressive dogs who have the potential to hurt their owners. These types of dogs can be difficult to adopt out, are frequently returned, and are the most likely to be euthanized. To make it easier for potential adopters to handle their fear-aggressive dogs, we have developed a new policy to address the biggest challenges they face.


One common situation in which dogs can be aggressive is when they are being groomed. While we know many dogs can get fidgety and stressed during a grooming session, we're talking about the small minority of dogs who can cause serious injury when groomed. If WE can't handle a potentially aggressive dog's grooming needs, how do we expect a new dog owner to handle them?


Some dogs come to us displaying fear-aggressive behaviors in response to certain triggers shaped by their early environments. These behaviors range from snappy and/or growly behavior to biting that breaks the skin. Their owners need behavioral training and support to identify the triggers that set off this behavior and prevent or manage future fear-aggressive behavior.


To that end, we have established a new policy to help adopters of fear-reactive or aggressive dogs. For these special dogs, CHR retains part ownership of the dog, specifically related to their grooming and behavioral training needs. By agreeing to this, the adopter can receive the benefit of rescue discounts on sedated shaves and non-sedated grooming and can participate in our behavior support program.  We have added an addendum to our adoption contract that reflects the new policy.

What's included in this new policy:

Medicated Baths: FREE

A majority of dogs we rescue come in with neglected skin and coats. While our experienced fosters provide medicated baths for their foster dogs, many new dog owners are just not comfortable enough to give their snappy dogs frequent medicated baths. We offer new owners free dog washes for their newly adopted dog with behavior issues.

Full Shave Down: 

For dogs that will bite, CHR has experienced dog groomers who can safely groom a reactive dog. Having this service available to the adopter eases the burden and stress on our adopters of finding someone willing to groom their dog.

Sedated Shave Down:

Sedated shave downs at a veterinary clinic can run anywhere from $150-$375. To help dramatically reduce the cost to the new dog owner, a CHR groomer will provide the grooming services for free while the adopted dog is under anesthesia at a designated vet.

Behavioral Support: 

For dogs that repeatedly show signs of concerning and potentially dangerous behavior, CHR will provide behavioral training and support free of charge to the adopter via, phone, email, and in-home visits for the entirety of their adopted dog's life.  The support is provided by positive dog trainers with extensive experience handling fear-aggressive dogs.

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