Alarming Quarter of dog owners would give up pup for normal behaviour they think is bad

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Experts said the survey by puppy training app ZigZag highlights the knowledge gap among dog owners over what is normal behaviour and development. Some 10 percent would put their pup up for adoption for displaying behaviour mistakenly identified as problematic, the research found.

Twelve percent would return the puppy to the breeder, six percent would give them to a friend and 2.5 percent would even think about putting them to sleep.

The survey found 59 percent of dog owners believed weeing on the floor was a behavioural issue for pups aged eight weeks to three months.

Nipping and chewing possessions also ranked high on the list at 45 percent and 42 percent.

For puppies aged three to six months, 38 percent of owners considered barking a behavioural problem.

Some 42 percent said pulling on the lead was an issue for puppies aged six months to one year, while 37 percent said jumping up at strangers.

Lorna Winter, director of the UK Dog Behaviour and Training Charter and co-founder and head of training at Zigzag, described the research as “incredibly alarming”.

She said: “These behaviours are all completely normal and the stats highlight the misguided expectations we place on the dogs in our lives.

“Over 3 million of us are considering getting a puppy, however many have idealised views of companionship and simply aren’t prepared to put in the work when it comes to training or researching what is normal.”

Carolyn Menteith, accredited dog trainer and behaviourist with over 20 years experience, added: “One of the questions I get asked constantly is, ’Is my puppy normal?’.

“In most cases, the answer is yes, but people often doubt themselves because they only see the good bits on social media and in movies.

“People rarely share how hard it can actually be, so many people’s expectations are completely out of whack with the reality.

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“Owning a puppy is a journey, but if you are raising them properly from day one, the rewards are definitely worth it and it builds a strong relationship and a lifelong bond which can reduce the number of puppies being put up for adoption or rehomed.

“Not only that, but it prevents far more serious behaviour problems from developing further down the line.”

The poll of 2,000 UK adults was carried out online by 3Gem research from April 28 to May 3.

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