Stray dogs adopted from abroad risk behaviour problems


More people are thought to have adopted a stray dog from abroad during the pandemic, leading to a possible increase in behavioural problems according to an observational study.

A news release from the University of Utrecht says that half of all ‘patients’ in its behavioural clinics at the start of the year were imported strays.

‘Some of these dogs were immediately euthanised due to excessive angst, which is very distressing, and a number of owners have been worrying about their dogs for months, which is also very sad,’ said Claudia Vinke, behavioural biologist.

She said that dogs adopted from other countries can have the same kinds of problems in cultural adaptation as people, particularly if they lived on the streets but had poor contact with people.

‘A lot of the very anxious dogs that we see in the behavioural clinic were found as neglected puppies on the street abroad, often without a mother,’ she added.

‘The prognosis for these animals is often poor as you cannot catch up with the missed socialisation phase. The absence of a mother can also result in a whole set of behavioural problems such as poorer attachment or the inability to be alone.’

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