Here is a surprising statistic: approximately 30% of the dogs coming into Homeward Bound’s program for the past two years have been under the age of one (puppies are excluded). Surprising because we welcome Goldens and Golden mixes regardless of their age or health which means that many of the dogs we have historically served are middle-aged and seniors.

For the most part, these youngsters are healthy. And everyone wants a young, healthy dog, right? Almost. Everyone wants a young, healthy, well-behaved dog. And there’s the rub. These tend to be dogs left in shelters or surrendered because that adorable little puppy grew into an unruly big dog—typically, through no fault of their own.

It takes time, patience and consistency to raise a puppy into a well-mannered dog. The process does not end at four, five or even six months; it can continue for two-to-three years.

The good news is that these situations can generally be turned around quickly when placed in the right home. Dogs that don’t make it to us or another rescue, however, may be at risk of euthanasia at a shelter or they may pick up other shelter behaviors before being adopted and returned countless times by families that are not equipped to put them back on the right path.

We hope to reduce the number of abandoned and surrendered dogs through education. To that end, we are undertaking a year-long effort we call the Home4Ever Puppy Project. For those with their hearts set on a puppy experience, we will focus on choosing the right dog for your family; understanding the commitment required; resources for help; and how to select a responsible breeder. Our goal is to ensure that every purchased or adopted puppy gets off to the right start.

We hope you will help us get the word out and expand our reach by sharing the series with friends and family.

Let’s make sure they are all…Home4Ever!