Dogs Trust warns lack of training is leading to a rise in dog behaviour issues

Dogs Trust warns that a lack of training is leading to a rise in dog behaviour issues, as the charity receives 18,000 requests to take in pets so far in 2023

  • The charity says huge numbers of owners are considering putting their dogs up for adoption
  • Almost a third of owner-surrendered dogs are now due to ‘unwanted behaviours’, as lack of training and socialising starts to hit
  • Inaugural National Dog Survey – the world’s most comprehensive study of dogs and their owners – shows nearly a fifth admit they didn’t have time to train their puppies
  • Findings released as the charity launches second National Dog Survey, which harnessed the views of 350,000 respondents in 2021

 

Dogs Trust says it has already received over 18,000 handover requests so far in 2023, with almost a third of people contacting the charity saying that their dog is showing unwanted behaviour.

 

Data from the charity’s inaugural National Dog Survey – the world’s most comprehensive study of dogs and their owners – has revealed a lack of training and socialising experienced by puppies in their first years of life could be a factor in this.

 

This is especially true of “pandemic pups”, adopted or purchased during COVID lockdowns, when access to all important socialisation and training was very limited.

 

Data from the National Dog Survey – which harnessed the views of nearly 350,000 respondents in 2021 – shows a quarter of respondents were worried they didn’t have the patience to deal with their dog’s behaviour and almost a fifth (18%) admit they didn’t have time to train their new pup.

 

The new findings come as Dogs Trust launches its second National Dog Survey this month following the huge success of the inaugural study in 2021, which will help shape the Charity’s support services over the coming years.

 

The ongoing cost-of-living crisis is also impacting the welfare of our beloved four-legged friends as more than 1 in 10 (12%) owners said they hadn’t invested in training with experts because they couldn’t afford it.

 

Sadly, as dogs acquired during the on-again off-again lockdowns of 2020-2022 adjust to their once ever-present owners returning to office work – either full or part-time – the impact is now being felt at the charity’s helpline and website.

 

The inaugural Survey provided unprecedented insights which led to the creation of new services to support the nation’s dogs and their owners, including help with the cost-of-living crisis, Reactive Dog Classes, and the introduction of a new, free, Behavioural Support Line.

 

Staffed by specialist Behaviour Support Line Officers equipped with a range of behaviour qualifications and expertise – including animal behaviour degrees, dog behaviour accreditations, and hands-on experience – the support line has already helped thousands of owners and their previously problematic pups.

 

The second National Dog Survey is open now until 7th June, to help Dogs Trust continue to better understand the UK’s 12.5 million-strong pooch population and develop more of these much-needed tailored support programmes.

 

Dog owners across the country are being urged to spare 10 minutes to help make this year’s National Dog Survey bigger and better than before.

 

Owen Sharp, Chief Executive of Dogs Trust, says: “Too often we hear from families who feel they have no other option but to give up their dogs due to problems that could have been prevented early on with the right interventions.

 

“Last year, over 350,000 people responded to our first National Dog Survey, giving us a real insight into how people care for their dogs here in the UK.

 

“We’ve since used all that we learnt to launch new services providing tangible support to dogs and their owners, including our Behaviour Support Line, helping them to tackle behaviour-related issues before they turn into real problems.

 

“What owners tell us through the National Dog Survey this year will again shape the future services provided by Dogs Trust so we can continue to support the nation’s dogs and their owners.”


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