Dogs Trust, the UK’s leading dog welfare charity, has released new data highlighting some of the most prevalent behavioural issues faced by dog owners across the country.

According to data from Dogs Trust’s Behaviour Support Line, separation anxiety and reactivity towards people and other dogs are among the top behavioural issues reported by owners seeking support. Additionally, barking and guarding behaviours rank in the top five concerns.

The data also sheds light on the most frequently mentioned breeds in calls to the Behaviour Support Line. While crossbreeds, including designer crossbreeds like Cockapoos and Labradoodles, dominate the calls, breeds such as Cocker Spaniels, Border Collies, and French Bulldogs also feature prominently.

Addressing Behavioural Concerns

Launched in 2022 in response to findings from the National Dog Survey, which indicated that approximately 83% of dogs exhibit at least one undesirable behaviour, the Behaviour Support Line aims to provide assistance to owners dealing with behavioural challenges in their pets.

To further enhance its services, Dogs Trust is urging dog lovers to participate in the National Dog Survey, the country’s largest dog census. The survey, running until June 14th, invites owners to share insights into common canine behaviour traits, daily routines, and the owner-pet relationship.

Misguided Behavioural Practices

Alarmingly, previous editions of the National Dog Survey have revealed concerning techniques employed by some owners to manage their dogs’ behaviour. These methods, often stemming from outdated dominance theories, include physically intimidating tactics such as pinning dogs to the floor, imitating bites by squeezing ears, and rolling dogs onto their backs.

Dogs Trust strongly advises against these approaches and encourages owners to seek professional guidance if struggling with their dogs’ behaviour. Katy Errock, Behaviour Support Line Manager at Dogs Trust, emphasised the importance of seeking expert advice early to ensure the well-being of both dogs and owners.

Errock stated, “It’s vital that owners seek expert advice as early as possible if they are struggling with any element of their dog’s behaviour. We want to hear from dog owners from across the UK so we can continue to provide the services that they need. The insights gained from this year’s National Dog Survey will ensure Dogs Trust can continue to adapt the way we support dogs and their owners, helping them to live the best lives possible together.”