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Dog Trainers,  Industry News

Concerns as ‘pandemic puppies’ reach difficult age

People who bought puppies during coronavirus lockdowns are being warned to watch out for potentially dangerous behaviour changes.

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, which is considering the post-pandemic health and welfare concerns of companion animals, has heard that many ‘pandemic puppies’ were imported from outside the UK and had not been bred or reared in an appropriate way.

In addition, growing up in lockdown meant they were not socialised properly, according to Royal Veterinary College research on the early lives of puppies purchased in 2020.

As a result, some have not developed into well-balanced adult dogs and have suffered separation anxiety at the end of lockdown, resulting in destructive behaviour.

Dr Samantha Gaines, Head of Companion Animals at RSPCA, told the committee: “Based on the research we probably shouldn’t think that we have actually seen the worst of it,” adding that dog behaviour often changed “between 2.5 and 3.7 years of age”.

“And bearing in mind that the pandemic only happened in 2020 we probably still have some dogs who are developing and are yet to present those behaviour problems,” Gaines added.

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