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Dogs are victims of ‘Perfect Dog Syndrome’

DOG OWNERS are placing such unrealistic expectations on their dogs that they are causing them to become victims of 'Perfect Dog Syndrome', warns Britain's pet charity The Blue Cross.

The pet charity is concerned that an apparent lack of understanding about the importance of training and socialising could mean that dogs are not considered 'perfect' and are brought to rehoming centres, such as those run by The Blue Cross.

A massive 87 per cent of dog owners recently surveyed by the charity who said that their perfect dog would be able to be socialised in a month also wanted that dog to be good with people and kids. Worryingly, of those surveyed who could only dedicate 30 minutes a day to their dog, 75 per cent also expected it to be a family dog.

Julie Bedford, head of animal behaviour at The Blue Cross, said: "People may feel that their dogs have to be perfect - the need to attain perfection in all other walks of life means that we see our pet's behaviour as another thing to conquer."

Dogs that only see their owners for 30 minutes a day are more likely to be given up for rehoming for excessive barking. This confirms dogs who are left alone for long periods of time are expected not to bark which is unrealistic.

Women are most likely to have PDS. Over a third of women said that the destruction of household items would be the thing most likely to make them give their dog up, and they find wetting or messing in the house the most annoying behaviour of a dog.

However, women are also more likely to leave their dogs alone all day, which could lead to these behaviours being exhibited. People aged over 55 are least likely to have PDS as 73 per cent say their dog is with them or someone else all day, and 70 per cent are willing to train their dog five times a day to help it become well behaved.

Julie Bedford continued: "It can be impossible to attain perfection, but with time, effort and the correct approach it is certainly possible to avoid the problems that may lead to disappointment and the dog ending up in a rescue centre." www.bluecross.org.uk