With dog attacks on postmen and women again in the spotlight, vet charity PDSA believes better dog socialisation*, training and exercise could help combat this startling level of canine aggression.
a well socialised dog is a happy dog
This week, Royal Mail has revealed that eight postal workers are attacked by dogs every day in the UK. It reinforces shock findings from the latest PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report, which found that on a weekly basis nearly 250,000 dogs are acting aggressively towards people, and over 600,000** dogs are showing aggression towards other pets.
PDSA vet Vicki Larkham said: “The incidence of aggressive or inappropriate behaviour is a huge concern, and can be caused by a lack of socialisation, training and exercise.
“Our research shows that millions of dogs **aren’t getting off-the-lead exercise outside their home or garden for ten minutes or more, on a daily basis. In fact close to a quarter of a million never go for walks on their lead for ten minutes or more at all **. Boredom and inactivity often contribute to anxiety and destructive behaviour.
“A properly trained and socialised puppy is less likely to act aggressively as it grows up. It’s up to every owner to make sure this happens, but unfortunately, many miss out on this vital part of their dog’s development.”
PDSA’s PAW Report is the largest ever annual assessment of pet wellbeing (having surveyed 21,000 pet owners, veterinary professionals and children in the past four years). Produced in conjunction with YouGov, the latest report exposes a grave lack of understanding about how owners can provide their pets’ essential needs, according to Vicki Larkham:
“We are undoubtedly a nation of animal lovers, with four out of five pet owners stating that owning a pet makes them feel physically or mentally healthier. But anti-social behaviour in dogs continues to create problems, fuelled by a worrying lack of training, socialisation and exercise.”