Dog welfare charity Dogs Trust surveyed over 6,000 dog owners, concluding 82% of dog owners noticed a behavioural change in their dogs during the pandemic.
The study found a 54% reported a rise in the number of times their dog had hidden or moved away when approached, alongside a 20% reporting their dogs frequently sought attention.
Tamsin Dursden, Dogs Trust Canine Behaviour Officer, stated: “There is no doubt that the lockdown will have affected the behaviour of our nation’s dogs.”
“Earlier in the year, Dogs Trust research found that more than a quarter of owners (26%) said their dog had developed at least one new problem behaviour during lockdown.”
Student Valeria Martin got her rescue puppy Rosca during lockdown after she was rescued in Roquetas de Mar, Spain. “She was found in a rubble field, it was a dangerous place.” Valeria described her dogs temperament as “shy” but has noticed changes in her behaviour as a result of lockdown.
“She’s gotten used to being with us constantly, when we aren’t putting all of our attention on her, she’s wondering why she isn’t getting any attention.” She shared when asked if lockdown had contributed to Rosca’s behavioural changes and abandonment issues.
As Valeria adopted her dog during lockdown, she believes this could’ve potentially resulted in the abandonment issues as “Because she hasn’t had the opportunity to stay alone without family, her attitude towards being left alone is much different than if she’d had the experience prior.”
Due to lockdown restrictions, household dynamics for dogs and owners have changed drastically, resulting in 41% of participants reporting an increase in reports of dogs being clingy or following people around the house.
Tamsin Dursden also shared “Anyone who needs help can access videos offering lockdown advice on how owners can help their new best friends to settle in and learn the basics. Just visit our website”