More than four out of ten dog owners “tired” of looking after their pet as a puppy – 17 percent thought it was more difficult than raising a BABY.
A study of 2,000 people with dogs found that 30 percent felt the first two years of owning a pooch were the most difficult – 23 percent admitted they “had no idea” how much work went into training a puppy would.
As a result, 21 percent were left with ruined carpets because of their disobedient pet – while one in four had to say goodbye to their chewed slippers.
Toilet training, not chewing on furniture and listening to demands like “SIT” were some of the hardest things to do in raising a new puppy.
And owners spend an average of 21 hours a month training after bringing a puppy home – 43 minutes a day.
But it takes an average of six months of training to sort out the basics.
The statistics come from a study by the animal health and insurance company Bought By Many that showed an 87 percent increase in pet behavior problems between 2019 and 2021.
The numbers also show that those with puppies under one year old are 62 percent more likely to report a behavior problem, compared with just 16 percent of owners who have dogs between one and two years old.
The damage volume continues to decrease significantly after the dog is three years old.
Sarah James, Vet Nurse at Bought By Many, said, “Puppy training has been known to be time consuming and requires a great deal of personal effort, but that doesn’t prepare owners for how overwhelming it can be.
“The first few nights with a puppy can be sleepless and chaotic, and the first year can feel like a struggle. But the good news is that the owners are not alone.
“Toilet accidents or chewing are part of the puppy process, and more difficult issues like separation anxiety can be handled with time and patience – and occasionally with professional assistance from veterinarians and qualified behavioral researchers.
“Lockdown has offered thousands of dog home owners a welcoming opportunity, but working from home can have its own problems, and dog behavior experts and trainers across the country will be adapting their training courses to help owners make the ‘new Normality “to help.”
The study also found that 78 percent of one in five owners who picked up their pups during lockdown were convinced they would have more time to exercise.
But seven in ten found that combining working from home with training a dog was much more difficult than they expected.
More than a fifth (22 percent) of all owners have even taken their dog to a veterinarian, trainer, or specialist behavioral therapist to have their pet checked.
It also found that the owners estimate their dog did £ 435 in damage to their homes and personal effects.
Typically, puppies are much more prone to accidents than adult dogs, with accident claims accounting for 22 percent of puppy claims at Bought By Many but only 10 percent of those in adult dogs.
The five most common breeds in 2021 ranged from cockerpoos and cocker spaniels to Labradors, border collies, and French bulldogs.
Three-quarters of owners firmly believe that some breeds are simply easier to train than others, according to OnePoll numbers.
Sarah James of Bought By Many added, “Some dogs are much more headstrong than others, or in need of more mental or physical stimulation.
“My number one recommendation is to do thorough research on which dog suits you best, not just from a training point of view, but in all areas of dog’s life and lifestyle.
“Will you be able to run it as long and as often as you need to? If you don’t have a yard, are you ready to stick to a toilet schedule to make sure your puppy gets out when he needs to go?
“If you work from home, can you devote the time away from your desk to training and interacting with your dog on a regular basis?
“Fortunately, many initial problems become easier as your puppy grows up and both of you get into the swing of things.
“There really is a breed of dog for everyone, as long as you are willing to do the job and give it the attention it deserves.”
Dog owner Nick Simmons, 38, who lives in Brighton with his nine month old Chihuahua Mabel, said: “Having a puppy feels a bit like a kid. Nobody mentions the rough bits.
“Besides, once you have it, you can no longer imagine life without it.
“I’ve never met someone who is so happy to see me in the morning or to greet me as if I’ve been gone for years, just taking out the trash.
“Unconditional love, endless pleasure, and loads of personality more than make up for the occasional accident or total destruction of a job report when you turn away.
“The training pays off, the patience is rewarded and you get so much more in return than I ever expected.”
THE TOP 20 DIFFICULT THINGS A DOG TO DO, BY PET PARENTS:
- How to walk on a leash without pulling
- Toilet training
- Greet people without jumping
- What to do when the doorbell rings
- Learning to chew toys, not furniture / shoes / slippers etc.
- Learning reminder
- To be comfortable meeting other dogs
- To be left home alone for a short time
- To hear commands
- To avoid biting
- Greet other dogs calmly or not approach them
- To be comfortable, to eat around others and not to steal food
- To be comfortable with strangers
- Sleep in her bed or her box
- Remain calm at the sight of the postman
- Travel by car or transportation
- Stop begging
- So as not to be aggressive
TOP 10 BREEDS PURCHASED IN 2021 HIGHEST REQUIREMENTS FROM MANY WHO HAVE BEHAVIORAL COMPLAINTS IN 2021:
- Cocker spaniel
- Labrador Retriever
- Border collie
- French bulldog
- German shepherd dog
- Staffordshire bull terrier