There is a report in The Times today about dogs bought and adopted during the Covid pandemic lockdowns becoming fractious and difficult. They are showing signs of distress and they are starting to snap. We know that people have become fed up but is the same thing happening to companion dogs? Are they feeling the strain of the coronavirus restrictions?
French bulldogs are the craze….
These novice dog caretakers are turning to counsellors for help, apparently. Some pets are barking incessantly. They bark when they are separated for a short period of time from their owners because they are with their owners all the time during these lockdown sessions. They get used to it and then as soon as they are apart they become distressed. That is the argument. The secretary for the Animal Behaviour and Training Council, Jayne Williams, said that the group’s Facebook page received 5,552 likes last week against 1,200 in February in 2019.
She has said that their workload has gone up massively. A typical example would be that of Sally Reader, 48, from Bristol who said that whenever she went out walking her dog and they saw somebody she would bark, lunge or growl. She came across as aggressive but actually the dog was anxious.
An animal behaviourist said that the problem is that these adolescent dogs had been through a puppyhood which was abnormal. And I think she’s referring initially to the breeding of the dogs which has sometimes been to a poor standard which means that they are inadequately socialised during that critical moment of their lives in the early weeks.
Combine that potential/actual problem with the abnormality of living through the lockdowns which have become commonplace during this pandemic and you have young dogs who are psychologically less well-balanced than they should be.
Rosie Bescoby of the animal behaviour service Pet Sense said: “We are seeing problems with puppies that were bought when socialisation in their formative weeks and months was limited.”
This report is another example of what has gone wrong dog adoption and dog purchases during the pandemic. I have written on the subject before quite extensively and what I see is a lot of problems for various reasons one of which is inexperienced people jumping in on impulse when it would have been wiser to waited longer and gain some knowledge through research on dog ownership. Also it would have been better to adopt dogs outside of the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns because they would then avoid scammers and unscrupulous dog breeders taking advantage of them with inflated prices and poorly socialised animals.
P.S. The French bulldog is incredible popular where I live. Yesterday I saw 3 walk by be within 20 minutes. All were youngsters. There is a massive craze for small bulldogs.