Vet’s column on issues with lockdown puppies

In the past few months, people have become increasingly aware of the behavior problems we see in so-called “lockdown pups”.

These are puppies that owners purchased during lockdown, and because of the unique lifestyle patterns during lockdown, their first year of “life experiences” was not the same as that of a normal puppy.

It’s nobody’s fault – just a product of those strange times. There is now plenty of advice online that will help with some of these problems. As always, the quality of advice online can vary so I would always recommend using trusted sources like the Dogs Trust and RSPCA.

One simple piece of advice I’ve given to a first-time puppy friend is to make sure you slowly get your puppy used to being left alone from an early age.

With people working from home (or maybe just on school holidays), many of these pups get used to always having someone close by.

When life returns to normal and people go out for extended periods of time, we see these kittens showing strong separation anxiety. So get your puppy used to being left alone – once they have been trained, fed and watered they can be safely left alone in a safe environment – initially for short and then for longer periods of time.

When leaving a puppy don’t make a big fuss about the process, make sure he has everything he needs and then calmly leave it to him. likewise when you come back don’t make a big song and dance about it.

Being happy as a puppy, left alone means they will be much better at this process as an adult.

Alice Moore is a veterinarian at Castle Veterinary Clinic, Dorchester and Weymouth. Tel. 01305 267083

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