Do Dogs Suffer From “Reactive Attachment Disorder?”

Good morning. Hope you are doing great.   Theres a question that has been in my mind the last couple of weeks and you are the right person to ask about it:

Q: Does dogs/cats feel the same we do?  

A: They feel fear, anxiety, happiness, love, even hate. They do not seem to manifest the “seven deadly sins” that mankind does. They TEND not to engage any of the Holy Commandments either. They’re just not greedy, lustful, conniving, gluttonous, deceitful, etc. They’re pretty ‘straightup’ guys. 

Q: If an animal is born at a shelter, and goes through 3 different fosters before finding the forever home, is that animal emotionally affected by this? 

A: Yes they can be. Dogs and cats need consistency and they need a pack. It’s QUITE ALRIGHT if a consistent, sweet pack exists for the dog or cat throughout it’s youth –  from different people. 

So, a dog or cat would be “fine” if it went through three stable, consistent, non-chaotic foster homes. 

However that’s not how it happens. 

A dog or kitten that has been through several foster homes OFTEN did it this way: 

  1. Forever home
  2. Didn’t work out, back to kennel
  3. New foster home. 
  4. Couldn’t be fostered anymore went back to kennel 
  5. Another forever home
  6. Didn’t work out, went to another forever home. 

And the DIFFERENCE is that the dogs are taken from a “livingroom sofa home” and put in an aggregate location kennel and THEN put back in a “livingroom sofa home” again. Chaos. 

There is no stability and it’s punctuated by being put back into a crowded place with a bunch of other dogs between stops. 

So it doesn’t have to be the same, actual  people. But that’s NICE. 

But it does have to be about the same “structure and pace” and pack size. 

The dogs would experience a LOT less damage if they could go from a “home to home” instead of back into a structureless chaotic kennel / dog runs situation between accommodations. 


Dogs have “Reactive Attachment Disorder” from being neglected while young. So a dog or cat that doesn’t have human attention for the first 3-4 months of life –  MAY NOT NEED IT by they time they get it. And they might not know how to act. And they might even be sociopaths and willing to bite people because they’re not socialized, nor beholden. 

People aren’t a “thing” in the life of some neglected dogs. They’re fearful, heartless and non-dependent. 

Q: How is that different from being in different homes forever?  Wouldn't the animal assume that's how life is and not feel emotionally hurt? 

A: GREAT question. When a dog goes from MY HOME to YOUR HOME –  it’s not emotionally hurt. It doesn’t subjectify “Why didn’t my first owner want me?”  

It wonders where “that guy” went. And why it lives in a new home. But, because dogs are QUICKLY “in the moment” and eternally optimistic and positive: Well-adjusted dogs quickly settle in with the new, supportive and calm “pack” they’ve fallen in with. 

Normal dogs love people. Wherever they find them. 

Neurotic neglected dogs (especially practically all members of certain breeds like the Five German Attack Breeds) may never trust or “need” a human and could remain a “skittish liability” for their entire lives. 

Never should a person adopt a dog that’s “Just skittish” because you deserve a dog that loves you, accepts your support and kindness, and views people as trustworthy, worthwhile company.  Not seeing people as a source of terror. Let someone else with lots more time, patience and better insurance for dog bites rehabilitate a neurotic, neglected or inbred psychotic dog. 

“Get the dog at the FRONT of the cage. Not the back of the cage.” 

Author: admin