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Do you need to rehome your Northern Breed Dog? (Husky, Malamute, Samoyed, etc.)?

First, is it a behavior issue?

Have you tried working with a trainer? You can find certified trainers at


Is it an issue with walking on leash?

Using a harness where the leash that attaches between the neck and front legs can address some of the issues with walking on leash – for example the “SENSE-ation” harness from Soft Touch (there are other brands, too) – as of this writing, Pet Food Express carries it, and can be order from the company’s website.


Contra Costa County has put together a great list of resources, many of which are available outside of the county. Go to to access this information. 

However, circumstances change in our lives and sometimes we are unable to care or keep our dogs. What you can do when this happens…

  • If you purchased your dog from a breeder, contact the breeder to see if you can return the dog to them.

  • If you adopted your dog from a rescue, contact the rescue to see if you can return your dog to them.

  • Contact local rescues (both breed specific and all-breed) to see if they can help, or have ideas. Keep in mind many may be full with dogs from the shelters.

  • Utilize local listings and social media such as Craig’s List, Facebook, Next Door, Twitter etc... The more places, the more likely you will find a new home for your dog:

    • Write a good biography positive but honest. Be sure to include things like: housetrained, crate trained, good at dog park, cat tolerant, good with kids… and a brief comment about things not so good: counter surfs, digs, not good with small dogs…

    • Take some good pictures of your dog, maybe a video too.

    • In California and Nevada post to It is a website just for rehoming huskies and other northern breeds, as long as they are spayed/neutered. Go to “Add-a-dog”, upload photos, biography, and contact information (phone or/or email).

    • Send the bio and photos to your email network. You never know who might be looking for a dog. When you post and place your dog, we recommend you ask the new adopter to pay a rehoming fee. Usually $75-100 is OK. People value something more if they pay for it.


Be honest with yourself: a dog with expensive medical needs, or that is older and not doing well, or has aggressive or overly shy issues with others is going to be harder to place. Given time, most dogs can be placed. However, the more time you have to place your dog, the more likely you are to be successful. If you have known for months you were moving and wait until the day before the move, you are not likely to find your dog a new home. has added direct community re-homing to its services. Go to and then the link “Rehome a Pet” and follow the directions.

Toolkit developed by the Humane Society to help people with dogs or other pets who may be facing eviction. Posted here as an FYI


You can take the dog to the local shelter. Many shelters are now asking you to make appointments to bring a dog in to relinquish, so you may want to contact the shelter before going. However, consider that while there are wonderful people working at shelters who care about the animals, almost all shelters in CA euthanize dogs. Dogs who are older, or dogs with medical and/or behavioral issues often have difficulty getting adopted, and may never even be made available to the public.

If you cannot find a new home and realize your dog is unlikely to get adopted from a shelter, you might need to consider euthanasia. Many people don’t want to hear this but this may be the answer for a dog that you have loved and has loved you. To take a dog to a shelter and assume that they will find a home is not fair to the dog, especially if the dog is not young and cute, or has issues. Your dog will be confused and lonely, thinking they did something wrong. It may be more difficult for you but kinder for your dog to take him or her to your vet or local shelter, and hold them and show your love to them while they are euthanized.


No matter what, abandoning your dog on the street or in a wooded area would be cruel. Your dog does not know how to survive on its own, and is likely to be hit by a car or at the mercy of other animals or the elements.

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