12 answers

Thinking About Giving Away Our Family Dog. What to Tell the Kids?

Hello moms,

Our dog is driving me nuts! Without pleaing my case, I've decided that giving away our dog is the best thing for the family.

My issue is how do I break this to our children? My son really loves the dog. Will they hate me or resent me when they get older? I don't feel comfortable lying to my kids but a think I may need to make something up to make it easier on them and ME.

Has anyone out there been through this or have any suggestions on how to make this transition as smooth as possible?

Thanks in advance!

What can I do next?

More Answers

I actually did this about a year and a half ago. The dog was making me crazy... so what I did was told my daughter that the dog had to go back to where we got him for a check-up. After a week or so, I told her that I couldn't get in touch with them. She only asked once every two or three days at that point. Finally, she pretty much forgot all about it. I eventually told her that the previous owners (we had gotten the dog at a shelter) had claimed him and that they missed him terribly. She accepted that and now only remembers him once every few months. It was so incredibly hard for me to do. But in the end, it was the right thing to do. We just couldn't have a dog... we are not able to care for it as it needed. Good luck to you.

1 mom found this helpful

At the risk of sounding harsh...unless it is a health or safety issue I think that it teaches your children a terrible lesson to give a dog away because they are "annoying". Our dog annoys me on a daily basis with some habits he has developed. I think when you buy a dog you know full well that the dog may not be perfect.

1 mom found this helpful

Has the dog gone to obedience class? If they are attached to the dog....yes...they will remember that "mom hated our dog when I was 6 years old!" If you have given this your best shot at trying to have the dog as a member of your family and it is not working, especially if the dog is nipping or biting, then find a home that can care for it. But, please make sure that you have given this your best ditch effort. Yes, I'm over it, now, but....I can tell you about a turtle that I had at 8 years that had to go away.......my parents were very compassionate but it did have to go away. You have to make the transition well! Good luck!

(EDIT) Please....however you do make the transition - please don't lie to your child. Soften the blow but don't lie. (i.e Dog needs more room to run, dog is having a hard time adjusting to kids....etc....) It truly did help me to know exactly where my pet went. I was very sad but we did it as a family.

1 mom found this helpful

What are you teaching your children? When you have a tough time, you just send it away? My greatest fear for you, especially if the kids love the dog, you will be setting up a problem that will cause them resentment, and many other emotional problems.

Since you appear to be the primary care giver of the dog, I'd call a family meeting. Tell them that something needs to be different. YOU are going to take the dog to obedience school. ( there are so many out there, call your vet they know the ones that come to your home or the places to take them) They need to supportive. and do what you tell them when it comes to dog management. YOu will need to do some homework in between classes. The kids can also learn the commands

The problem is NOT the dog. He is just doing what comes naturally. He just doesn't know what he is suppose to do.
The training will also be beneficial for your children. When they are in a different situation, they will know that they can do and how to be the "alpha" dog over anyone they meet. Dogs want discipline. We need to know how they understand it.

Think long and hard about this decicison because the long term effect could make a very strong impact on EVERYONE, including the dog. IF he knew what proper behavior was, I'm sure he'd do it.

Sorry, if you didn't like my answer, You asked. I'm just so tired of people bailing and giving up. Finding solutions to the problem will be a learning experience for the children as well, they will respect animals and they will have fond memories in later years of the family dog.

1 mom found this helpful

What you should do is take your dog to an obedience class. An untrained dog sometimes is difficult to handle. However, I am appalled with the idea of giving a dog away just because he is a nuisance...it's probably your fault that he isn't behaving properly Have you thought about the fact that the dog will have to give up his forever (he thought) home. It's hard on animals to be given away. Pets are not disposable. I'm sure your children will be very upset with you, since they love the dog. Please, if you are going to go ahead and give him away, please make sure you give him to a rescue group for whatever breed he is and if he is a mixed breed, check out rescue groups that will be good to him. Poor dog

1 mom found this helpful

What exactly is your dog doing that it is driving you nuts? If it is something you can suck up and deal with then figure out a way to do so and keep it. However, if he is peeing everywhere, tearing up the furniture, then that is a good reason to get rid of him if you have exhausted all other things to try that the pet catalogs offer. I have never gotten rid of a dog, but we did have to put one to sleep. It was very hard on the whole family, and trying to explain to my 5 year old was the hardest. She still asks and it has been 8 months. Whatever you decide to do - be honest to your children. Don't fabricate a story to make yourself look good. It will come back to bite you.

C. T.

1 mom found this helpful

I had to give up our dog too a few days ago. My kids are about the same age as yours (almost 6, 3 1/2, and almost 6 months). I simply told them that she was going to a house that had a fence so she could run and someone could pet her, walk her, brush her and give her more than mommy and daddy can give her right now. I explained that she is going to be much happier at her new home. We are keeping in contact with the people that have her and they will send pics. I was very suprised that my almost 6 year old said okay, can I get fish now? I felt guilty at first, but she was soooo..much work for me that she was taking away time from my kids. I had to do what was best for our family and the dog. They will probably be sad and ask about your dog for a bit but if you stay strong and just simply tell them that she is at a better home with lots of fun dog things to do and how much happier she is, with time, they should be fine. We rehomed her on Monday and they have moved on to wanting a fish. Good luck if you need anything please email me.

1 mom found this helpful

My parents had to do this when I was child, too. The dog was too rough with my little sister, and every time she tried to walk (she was just learning), he would run up to her while barking, and if she didn't fall from fright, she would fall when he bumped her while walking past her. He also shed like crazy, and it was too hard for my mom to keep up with all the fur on the floors.
My parents didn't tell us anything until the day that the new family was coming to pick up Max, probably two or three hours notice. I think more notice would actually have been harder. We had plenty of time to love on the dog and say our goodbyes. I think explaining the truth is important, but in a way that doesn't leave room for promises and begging. My parents just told us that Max was going to live with a family on a farm, who had a bigger house, and alot bigger yard to play in. We already knew that the dog's barking frightened our friends and our little sister. Mom didn't say anything about the shedding being too much to keep up with. That's an example of explaining too much, leaving room for the kids to promise to clean the floors if you can keep him. You don't want them to feel like they could or should have done something to keep the dog. Your kids and your family are your primary concern, and by placing the dog where it can be happy, you are doing the best thing for the dog, too. We love our pets, but if not having one allows us to better love and care for our family, then we shouldn't have one.

1 mom found this helpful

No matter what or how you tell them, it will either hurt you, for the guilty conscience of lying to them, or them for losing their dog. I know that isn't very good advise, but may I ask what king of a dog. I'm looking for one.
Barb R.

what kind of dog is it -- how big is it? do you have a home yet. we were thinking about getting a dog.... what sort of isssues are you having with it?

My kids have to give their dog away, he's aggresive, large & needs a large place to run. They have been unable to find him a home, so the other option is the pound. My oldest Grandson (11)said he would quit football, all his video games. He's begging and I'm trying to find a way to let him know it's the best for the dog. We are all broken hearted..been crying all day. Don't know when the event will take place, but any help is appreciated.

Hi S.:

That dog must be awful if you've made your mind up to take your children's pet away. Such a sad situation. I wish you peace.


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