????? The most ridiculous thing that actually happens? O: Don’t do this to pets! They’re living creatures, not toys.

I noticed this post had lots of reblogs with comments like “people who abandon their pets suck!” etc. etc.

So here are some helpful resources instead of negativity! c: If you’re thinking about giving up your dog because he’s “too big”, take a second and see if you really mean any of these.

1. “He’s too big” really means “He physically knocks me down in the house/pulls me down on leash.”

Your dog needs training! There are several ways to train your dog to have good manners, but most dogs will respond well to positive reinforcement training. You can get a clicker for $0.99 at Walmart, Target, and Petco. Here are a few Youtube videos about preventing jumping and leash manners.

Greeting Guests Calmly

Leash Manners

Silky Leash Method

If you don’t feel confident enough to train your dog by using instructional videos or books, do a Google search for “dog training club [your town or zip code]” Training clubs are made up of people who enjoy training and titling their dogs, and who choose to offer classes for a small fee (usually about $10/class for group classes, more for private lessons). Training clubs offer classes on weeknights and weekends, usually in 6 or 8 week sessions.

If all else fails, sign up for positive reinforcement classes at your local Petco or PetSmart. Big box pet store obedience classes are better than no obedience classes at all.

2. “He’s too big” really means “This dog has too much energy! I can’t keep up!”

You have lots of options! First, exercise. The fastest, easiest way to drain your dog of energy is to provide him with both physical and mental exercise!

Fetch is great physical exercise, but dogs aren’t born knowing how to play fetch. You’ll have to teach them! Here’s an instructional video.

Teaching Fetch

Taking your dog for a long walk, or multiple short walks, is another good source of physical exercise. You can even have your dog wear a backpack with a little weight on your walks (make them carry their own treats or water). This will tire them out more and give them a “job” to do. Be sure to have someone knowledgeable show you the proper fit and how to equally distribute weight if you choose to get your dog a backpack. It’s also a good idea to talk to your vet first, too. Here’s an example of a backpack on Amazon:

Outward Hound Backpack

Mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise. Do several short training session a day to help drain your dog’s excess energy. Here’s a book with 101 tricks to teach your dog. I don’t own it, but have flipped through it in Petco a few times, and it looks pretty great to me.

101 Dog Tricks

Your dog will also love toys made specifically for mental stimulation. Most involve your dog figuring out how to get a treat out of the toy. Two we like:



If you feel that you don’t have time to give your dog all the exercise he needs, consider doggie daycare a couple days a week. This is exactly what it sounds like. Your dog will go to a facility built especially for dogs, where he’ll have supervised free play with other dogs, nap time, one on one time with a human, lunch (if you feed lunch) and snack time. Your dog will come home exhausted. Be sure to find a doggie daycare that temperament tests all dogs before letting them sign up.

If doggie daycare isn’t right for you, try hiring a dog walker. There are professional dog walkers, but a dog-savvy family member or friend will do just fine, too. Be sure to properly introduce them to your dog before giving them a key. Some dogs may not like a stranger coming into their home uninvited.

Spay/neuter your dog. Sometimes, spaying and neutering can help take the edge off your dog’s exuberance if he’s too much to handle. If your finances are holding you back from spaying/neutering, several vets and rescue groups provide low cost or free spay/neuter clinics. Search with your zip code at the ASPCA website to find a spay/neuter clinic nearest you:

Spay/Neuter Clinic Finder

3. “He’s too big!” really means “This dog eats too much.” or “Toys are too expensive.” or “Vet bills are outrageous!”

If your dog is eating you out of house and home, reevaluate the kind of food you’re feeding him. Generally, dogs will need to eat more of a crappy food and less of a good quality food to feel satisfied. (Their poops will also be smaller/easier to clean up on a good quality food. Bonus!) When choosing a food for your dog, look at the ingredient list on the back of the bag and pick one with meat as the first ingredient. Here is a website that lists the ingredients in most dog foods, and gives them a rating based on how healthy they are for your pet. 

Dog Food Advisor

A food with a good solid source of protein and few fillers will make your dog healthier in the long run, and cut down on vet bills. Ask your vet to recommend a food better than the food you’re currently feeding, if you need guidance. (Be aware that some vets have an agenda and will aggressively push Hill’s Science Diet and that’s it. Find an honest vet you trust or contact a canine nutritionist.)

If you feel that you’re spending too much on dog toys, here’s a post with 33 dog toys you can make yourself, from stuff you probably have at your house already.

DIY Dog Toys

Some of these are no-nos at our house, like the rope toys, because our dog will eat rope. Supervise your dog and make sure he doesn’t eat parts of any toys. Ingesting things like plastic, string, and rubber can lead to vet visits.

If vet bills are depleting your bank account, you have a few options. First, ask your vet if they accept payment plans. Some will, some won’t, but it never hurts to ask! If your vet’s prices are too high, call around and price compare the services you use most often. Some vets charge less for annual vaccinations than others. Do your homework!

If you’re worried about future vet bills, pet insurance may be right for you. We don’t currently have pet insurance, but a simple Google search will bring up several options you can research to find a plan right for you and your pet.

4. “He’s too big” really means “I don’t want to put any more work into this dog. I’m done.”

This is okay. I won’t judge you, because I don’t know your situation. c: If your dog’s time with your family is done, consider these options before taking him to the pound or animal shelter.

First, contact your breeder. If you got your puppy from a reputable breeder, they may take your dog back. Most reputable breeders will take back one of their pups at any time, at any stage of their life, no-questions-asked. Our breeder’s exact words were “He’ll always have a home here.” Your breeder will solve any behavior problems your dog may have and find him a new home with someone they trust, or they may choose to keep him as their own. Our breeder keeps kennel space free “just in case”.

If your breeder won’t take your dog back, or if you got your dog from a backyard breeder, contact breed-specific rescue groups. Do your research and get some references before dropping your dog off to someone you don’t know. Here are two rescue groups that I think are pretty great, the first one in my area and the second one I follow for fun on Facebook.

Big Fluffy Dog Rescue


If you can’t get your dog in with a breed-specific rescue group, or if you can’t find one you trust, try your local all-breed rescue group. If your community has a pound or shelter, I guarantee they have a rescue group. These groups regularly pull adoptable dogs from the animal shelter, take owner-surrenders, and pick up strays they see wandering. They place them in their network of foster homes and look for “furever homes” for the animals in their care. If they don’t have space for your dog, they’ll be happy to help you network your dog and help find him a home while he continues to live with you. You’ll be invited to attend adoption days where people can meet your dog, post your dog on their Facebook page, and get on a wait list for a foster home to open up.

If all else fails, and you choose to surrender your dog at the animal shelter, be sure to find a NO-KILL shelter. Your dog stands a good chance of finding another home there.

Please do not list your dog as “free to a good home” in the newspaper, on Craigslist, or on Facebook. He may end up being taken for a bait dog in a dog fighting ring, sold for animal testing, or just taken home and abused.

Good notes and resources!