Retired Breeding Dogs

Many dogs come to RAGOM from commercial breeding facilities—businesses focused on the production and sale of puppies. These dogs have experienced life very differently from other dogs.

Most dogs from these facilities have endured psychological stress throughout their lives and have never been socialized or exposed to the normal things a family dog experiences every day.

Retired Breeding Dogs
Two goldens sleeping

Keys to Success in Rehabilitating a Former Commercial Breeding Dog

  • Another social, confident medium- to large-sized dog in the household. A confident household dog who is social with humans and other dogs to help the former breeding dog navigate and become accustomed to their new world.
  • A home with children 10 years of age or older. Younger children can be noisy and unpredictable, which is stressful for a fearful dog. This RAGOM requirement is enforced not only in the best interest for the dog, but for safety reasons as well.
  • Provide a “safe spot” for the dog, such as a crate or enclosed area where he can retreat if overwhelmed. Placing the safe spot where the family is often present lets him observe family life without feeling stressed.
  • Keep the dog on a leash at all times initially; allowing free roam of your entire home is overwhelming. He has not yet learned that humans can be safe and friendly, so he will most likely run if approached and will not come when called. Loud unexpected noises can startle and cause him to flee.
  • Set a routine. Despite coming from a less than ideal environment, it is the only life he knows. So although you know he is safe now, he is confused and terrified of this new way of life. Knowing what to expect will help your dog feel safe. Feed at the same time every day, schedule potty breaks and walks, and be consistent about household rules.
  • Be patient and proceed slowly. Do not force your dog to accept your touch. Let him come to you when he is ready. Slowly introduce only a few new experiences at a time.

For evidence-based research that supports this RAGOM requirements, read Some Rescued Dogs Need a Role Model to Thrive.

More Retired Breeding Dog Resources

Getting Help with a Dog from a Puppy Mill

From Puppy Mill to Pet

Life Outside the Cage: Helping Puppy Mill Dogs Adjust

About Our Dogs