Dog Boarding

How to Board an Aggressive Dog



Aggressive dogs are tricky to board because not every dog boarding facility will accept them. When we had Chelsey, an aggressive Chesapeake Bay Retriever, we had to search high and low for a dog boarding facility that would agree to care for her while we went on vacation. Fortunately for you, we learned a lot through that experience and we can now share the knowledge of how to board an aggressive dog with you.

Know the Type of Dog Aggression

One of the first questions a boarding facility will ask you when inquiring about how to board an aggressive dog is what aggressive behavior your dog exhibits. The types of dog aggression include:

  • Food Aggression: Your dog guards food by growling, showing his/her teeth, and may even lunge at a person or another animal.
  • Destructive Aggression: This type of dog aggression leads to destroying beds, food bowls, furniture, etc. inside of a kennel or other setting.
  • Territorial Aggression: Dogs that use aggression to protect their territory are those that have territorial aggression.
  • Dog-on-Dog Aggression: This has to do with dogs attacking each other. Some dogs will attack other dogs as soon as they are together. It usually results from another type of aggression such as territorial aggression or fear aggression.

Boarding a Dog That Doesn’t Like Other Dogs

Dog-on-dog aggression is common, and it doesn’t mean you can’t board your dog. It’s just important to regard your dog as aggressive, so you can be sure proper care is provided throughout the stay.

The good news is that the same process in boarding an aggressive dog goes for boarding a dog that doesn’t like other dogs, so keep reading to find out what you should do when you’re looking for a boarding facility and getting ready to drop your dog off for the stay.

boarding aggressive dogs

What to Do When Boarding Your Aggressive Dog

The following will help make boarding your dog easier and a much happier experience for everyone involved.

Communicate Your Dog’s Needs

Once you have a firm grasp of the type of aggression or behavioral issues your dog has, you can then put together a list of your dog’s needs when boarding. This could include never being with other dogs or having items in the kennel while your dog is alone.

See also  Dog Aggressive After Boarding

A boarding kennel wants to know how they can take the best care of your pup, and that means knowing about special needs. Some boarding kennels don’t offer certain services, such as individual playtime. That’s how communicating your dog’s needs helps you identify the best option for your pup.

When It’s Time to Board Your Aggressive Dog

It can be nerve-wracking to board an aggressive dog but don’t worry. Dog boarding kennels that accept aggressive dogs have staff with extensive experience and special training on how to handle aggressive behavior. Many of them have even provided dog training sometime in their career, which is why they now work with aggressive dogs.

Dog owners should know that their dog is just as nervous as they are, and that means they need help with their anxiety. This is especially true if the dog suffers from separation anxiety.

Consider including the following items in your dog’s bag for boarding:

All of the items you pack for your pup will help him/her feel less fearful, especially if it’s a new pet boarding facility.

dropping dog off at boarding

What to Do When Dropping Your Aggressive Dog Off at the Pet Boarding Facility

Do not make the drop off of your furry friend a big production. Remain calm and when you say goodbye – do it with a smile and a quick pat on the head or hug. The bigger of a deal you make, the bigger of a deal your furry friend will think it is and that could lead to more anxiety.

The drop-off should be quick and uneventful for you and your dog. If you have to complete paperwork, do it after someone has taken your pup to the kennels. This will make it easier on your pup because the anticipation of what is about to happen is always worse than actually doing it.

How to Find the Best Boarding Facility for Your Aggressive Dog

The best way to find a pet boarding facility for difficult dogs is to start online. You can do a search on Google or another search engine for boarding facilities. There’s no need to include “aggressive dogs” or “reactive dogs” in your search query as most won’t add that to their description. It’s not until you call the pet boarding facility that they will tell you if they accept difficult dogs.

See also  Do Dog Boarding Kennels Have Overnight Staff?

As you start calling different places, there are some questions you should ask.

  • Do you accept aggressive dogs?
  • Are there any prior requirements?
  • What are the boarding rates?
  • Can you accommodate my dog’s special needs?
  • Are there indoor and outdoor runs?
  • How much time do you get to spend outside each day?
  • Are there activities besides being let out to use the potty?

If you’re having a hard time finding a pet boarding facility, you may want to start asking the surrounding area. Visiting dog parks and asking dog owners there if they know of any places is a good idea. You can also ask area vets and dog daycare centers.

Don’t push away pet resorts, as some of them will be more than happy to take care of dogs with behavioral problems. They have more services for dogs that need special attention than other dog boarding facilities.

Dog training facilities are another place to reach out to for information on boarding kennel facilities. They often work with dogs that require behavior modification, so they are familiar with other businesses in the surrounding area that can handle dogs with aggression problems.

Veterinarians are another source for a training program or dog boarding facility that takes pets with behavioral problems. Since they work with dogs that have behavioral problems almost every day, they usually know about resources in the community to help their patients.

Dog Training Programs for Aggression Problems

Since it can be hard to find boarding kennel facilities for aggressive dogs, it may be worthwhile to consider dog training for your dog’s aggression issues. A dog’s behavior can be changed through behavior modification. It just takes the right dog training and the right dog trainer with a whole lot of patience.

Pet owners who are thinking of getting an additional dog when they already have 1 or 2 dogs who are aggressive should seriously consider a training program. Not only will it help with the behavior problems that their current dogs have, but it will help new furry family members from acting similarly. Dogs mimic behavior, which is why when a family has one aggressive dog, they often end up with more of them.

In addition to dog training, you may want to consider using CBD for dogs to help reduce your dog’s aggressive tendencies. You can learn more about that here: Best CBD for Dog Aggression and Does CBD Help with Dog Aggression?

dog sitter

Alternatives to Boarding an Aggressive Dog

There are other options available when it comes to temporarily care for your pup. Below are just a couple of them so you can choose the best option for you and your furry friend.

See also  Dog Behavior After Returning From Vacation: Understanding the Changes

Pet Sitting

A pet sitter will stay in your home while you are away to take care of your dog. This person can be a family member but is usually someone who has experience caring for dogs.

The benefit of hiring a pet sitter vs. using a boarding facility is that your dog gets individual attention. This can make the time you’re gone much easier for your dog. It also may help with aggression issues, as your pup may feel much more at ease being home.

If you have 2 dogs or more, pet sitting may be the most cost-effective option as well. Dog boarding facilities charge you per dog while pet sitters will charge per night and maybe a small additional fee per dog. In any case, it may be less expensive.

Just be sure that when you decide to hire a pet sitter you don’t know that he/she has extensive experience in caring for dogs with aggression issues. A dog’s behavior can be unpredictable and you want someone who knows what to do.

The best way to find someone is to ask people you know who have used a pet sitter before. You can also ask local veterinarians, dog daycares, and dog owners at dog parks, and use apps like Wag! and Rover.

Dog Walker

A dog walker may be an option IF you’re not going to be away for a long time. A dog walker will come to your home to take your dog out to use the bathroom and engage in individual playtime. Some dog walkers will take a dog to the dog park if there is one in the surrounding area.

Using a dog walker is a good idea for people who may not be able to physically care for their dog but remains home. For example, someone who has recently had surgery. That person may be home all day, but can’t physically take their dog outside. Usually, a dog boarding facility would be the best option, but a dog walker could work, too.

How to Board an Aggressive Dog

When you need to board your beloved pet, be sure the place you choose has extensive experience caring for dogs that can be aggressive. Aggressive dogs need tender loving care just as much as other dogs. They may need more individual attention because they are scared and anxious. Patient staff at a dog boarding facility can make all the difference in your dog’s experience while you’re away. Your dog could even have a good time!

Difficult dogs are not bad dogs. They just don’t know how to appropriately behave when they are feeling fear or anxiety. Be sure your beloved pet gets the care needed while you’re away by researching the wide range of boarding facilities available to find the one that will provide the best care.

Related Article: Can You Board a Dog with Heartworm?



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8 thoughts on “How to Board an Aggressive Dog”

  1. This article on dog aggression is helpful. I have a yellow lab/American bull mix and he has dog to dog aggression. He has gotten into a couple of fights. I was afraid to board him. After reading this article it has helped me understand there are more dogs like or worse than him.

    • Hi Marsha! Oh yes, don’t worry. Boarding facilities know what to do about aggressive dogs. They will treat your pup well and keep him from getting into situations in which could cause him or another person or dog harm. Just be upfront about it, and everything will be good. Good luck!

  2. How on earth can you hire an (in-home) pet sitter or dog walker if your dog is aggressive?? Very strange advice.

    • Hi Jennifer,

      Many pet sitters and dog walkers have experience working with aggressive dogs. They know how to approach aggressive dogs and how to handle situations in which the dog is engaging in aggressive behavior. They also know how to build a rapport with a dog that has aggressive tendencies.

      Also, it’s important to identify what makes your dog aggressive. For example, some dogs are only aggressive with other dogs, so it’s better to have a pet sitter or dog walker to care for a dog when the owner is away instead of having the dog in a boarding facility with many dogs around. It’s also helpful to have a pet sitter or dog walker if a dog becomes aggressive at a boarding facility because of high-stress levels. Being at home may be less stressful, which helps keep aggressive behavior at a minimum or away completely.

      Of course, having a pet sitter or dog walker for an aggressive dog isn’t always the best choice. It is an option for many, though.

      Thank you so much for your comment! 🙂

    • I pet sit dogs that have bitten people and other dogs within the home. However as a dog trainer I understand dog behavior, can approach properly, and read their body language to mitigate the chances of a bite. I also meet the dog prior to taking the job to make sure, in my professional opinion, the dog is within my skill set.
      I believe there is a handler capable of handling every dog…it is just a matter of finding the right person.
      I also charge the clients more to pet sit these types of dogs, and I also release them of any risk associated with my job and my choices. I own my business and do this because I love dogs and believe that even owners with difficult dogs should be able to go somewhere in peace.

  3. I currently work at a vet and there is a black lab that freaks me out so much first he wasn’t scary then he tried to attack me and the this weekend I have to board him by myself and I’m afraid he will again. I don’t feel safe and I think aggressive dogs should be boarded if they try to attack strangers. Because actually most people don’t know or have the resources for aggressive dogs.

    • Hi Haylee! I am so sorry you’re having to deal with this anxiety. I totally understand how you feel. Have you spoken to your supervisor about this? Have they provided any training on handling aggressive dogs? If not, you may want to bring it up because not only is this scary for you but it’s a liability for them if something were to happen to you. Definitely voice your concern so they at least know the dog has aggressive tendencies. If your vet’s office where you work doesn’t have the resources for aggressive dogs, this should be disclosed to dog owners wanting to board their aggressive dogs. Also, dog owners should be transparent about their dog’s potential for aggression. Please talk to your supervisor or boss about this and don’t do anything that you’re not comfortable with, it’s not worth your safety.

  4. Dealing with an aggressive dog requires a nuanced approach, understanding, and patience. Aggression in dogs can stem from fear, territorial instincts, or past experiences. It’s essential to prioritize safety and seek professional help when necessary. While aggression is a behavior that needs addressing, it’s crucial not to vilify the dog outright.



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