Animal Matters

It is indeed true that we occasionally admit dogs into our centre that have been physically abused or willfully neglected. Way more common by far, however, are the dogs that arrive with more subtle, yet equally damaging, psychological and behavioural issues.

Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 4:18 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 4:25 pm
Dogs that are regularly left alone for long periods can become unpredictable and unhappy.

We believe most of these are caused not by design but often through a worrying lack of understanding of a dog’s most basic needs and the damage caused if these are not met.

Separation anxiety, poor socialisation, lack of basic training, and poor fitness are the most common issues we see on a daily basis to varying degrees; with many dogs, far too often, exhibiting all four at once! Today we will cover the first two with the final ones next week.

Separation anxiety, caused mainly by being regularly left alone for long periods, can lead to an extremely stressed, depressed, unpredictable and unhappy dog. When Borders Pet Rescue look for potential new homes for a dog we look for households where the maximum time left alone would be around four hours. Indeed, for dogs with existing separation anxiety we would look for the dog to be very rarely left alone at all (certainly for a good while).

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So if, as a household, your new dog would be left alone for say five hours or more on a regular basis please seriously consider the potential damage you could be doing to it.

Lack of socialisation, caused mainly by a dog’s lack of involvement, stimuli and experience of the real world, is seen in dogs that are either not sufficiently exercised or not exposed to a healthy variety of locations or situations.