How to Adopt a Failed Service Dog

I want to adopt a dog. Still, I know that my heart can’t handle seeing dogs in cages at the shelter. And I don’t want to buy from a breeder, as there are already so many dogs in need of homes. So what’s left? Adopting a failed service dog, which is really just an ordinary puppy that didn’t have the right temperament or training to become an assistance dog. Failed service dogs are no different than other sweet pups you might meet (except they’ve had extensive training), and they make great pets for people like me who live with anxiety but still want a canine companion.

Not all dogs will become successful service dogs.

There are many reasons why a dog might be unsuitable for service dog work, which we’ll discuss here. First, some puppies may not be old enough when they begin training and testing (this is often around their first birthday). Young dogs may not have reached the maturity level required to perform service tasks like guiding or retrieving items.

Second, some breeds may not be ideal because they don’t have the temperament needed for such demanding work (for example, very shy or anxious dogs might not fare well in this type of career).

Third, health conditions—such as epilepsy or joint problems—can disqualify any breed from becoming a good candidate for this kind of job. You wouldn’t want your client’s life put at risk by having their service animal collapse from exhaustion on the sidewalk!

What to Consider Before Adopting a Dog

Before you start considering adopting a dog, you should think about what kind of dog you want to adopt. Do you have the time and energy for training? How much can your lifestyle change in order to accommodate a new member of the family? Have you ever owned a dog before and are ready for round two (or three)?

Your answers will let you know whether it’s best for your family to get an already-trained service dog or adopt one from the pound. While there are many more resources available for people who have experience with dogs and want their next furry friend trained, this doesn’t mean that those looking at adopting will be left out in the cold. There are plenty of resources that can help even first-time pet owners train their new pup into just as good of an animal companion as any other type—and possibly better!

Why Are There So Many Failed Service Dogs?

There are a lot of reasons for this, but it all boils down to one thing: predicting which dogs will make good service dogs is very hard. Dogs can be trained to do many things, but not all dogs can be trained to do all things. A dog that is great at one task may not be as successful at another task. For example, a dog might make an excellent guide animal for someone who needs help getting around indoors, but if the same dog has no problem with crowds or loud noises, then it wouldn’t work well as a hearing ear dog for someone with hearing loss.

Where Can You Find Failed Service Dogs?

You can find failed service dogs through any of the following methods:

  • Local shelters. Just like how there are rescue groups that specialize in finding homes for retired sled dogs, there are also some that focus on helping out with failed service dogs.
  • Online searches. While you won’t always find a complete list of all the places that might have a retired service dog in need of a new home, you can still do a quick search to see if anyone has posted about needing to rehome one or if there are any organizations dedicated to rescuing them (which could be helpful later).

What Is a Failed Service Dog Like?

If you’re thinking about adopting a failed service dog, it’s important for you to understand what type of animal you are looking for. There are a few obvious traits that will help you determine whether or not your new pet will make a good fit in your family.

  • The first thing to look out for is the temperament of the dog. You want to make sure that they aren’t aggressive toward humans or other animals, especially children. This can sometimes be hard to tell if their owner hasn’t trained them yet, so don’t worry if there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong—just keep an eye on things as time goes on!
  • Another thing I would recommend looking out for is whether or not they have been properly house-trained by previous owners before coming over here with us at home today! Sometimes when people bring animals home with them from shelters like ours it takes some getting used

Finding a Rescue or Shelter That Matches Your Needs

Now that you’ve decided to adopt a failed service dog, the next step is finding a rescue or shelter that fits what you’re looking for. There are many reasons why dogs end up in these places, so it’s important to keep in mind what kind of dog you want and what their temperament might be like.

Here are some things to look out for:

  • Type of Dog: Do you prefer large dogs? Small ones? Medium-sized ones? You may have room constraints or need one because of your disability.
  • Age: Is this something that matters to you? Older dogs tend to be less energetic and playful than younger ones, but they also require less exercise and training time. Young puppies could grow up into excellent companions, but they’ll require lots of attention during those first months when they’re learning how to behave properly as well as potty training and basic household obedience skills—all before they turn four months old!


Finally, it’s important to remember that you and your new dog are a team. This means that you’ll want to do everything in your power to make sure that your expectations for the dog and his or her experience with you are compatible. Remember, these dogs may have had some tough breaks in life before they met you—make sure they know they’re safe now!