Your data on MRCVSonline
The nature of the services provided by Vision Media means that we might obtain certain information about you.
Please read our Data Protection and Privacy Policy for details.

In addition, (with your consent) some parts of our website may store a 'cookie' in your browser for the purposes of
functionality or performance monitoring.
Click here to manage your settings.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
 
 
Send Cancel

Study links behaviour issues with early death in dogs
Aggression was the most common undesirable behaviour leading to death (54 per cent).

A third of dog deaths under three down to undesirable behaviour 

Dogs with undesirable behaviours such as aggression or barking are more likely to die at a young age, according to new research by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC).

Using data from a quarter of a million UK dogs, researchers identified over 1,500 that had died under the age of three. Of these, 33 per cent, or 21,000, died as a result of undesirable behaviours.

The most common behaviours leading to death were aggression (54 per cent) and road traffic accidents (39 per cent), which may have behavioural aspects such as straying and poor recall.

Worryingly, over three quarters of dogs (76.2 per cent) that died from undesirable behaviours were euthanised.

Researchers said the findings highlight the importance of breeders providing good puppy socialisation, owners choosing the right breed, and careful dog training once a new pet has been acquired.

Other risk factors for earlier deaths were found to be the size, sex and breed of the dog. Crossbreeds were 1.4 times more likely to die from an undesirable behaviour than purebred dogs, while dogs under 10 kg were more than twice as likely compared to dogs weighing over 40kg.

The breeds with the highest risk of death from undesirable behaviours, compared to Labrador retrievers, were: cocker spaniel (eight times the risk), West Highland white terriers (5.7 times), Staffordshire bull terriers (4.5 times) and Jack Russells (2.7 times).

Meanwhile, male dogs were 1.4 times more likely than females to die from undesirable behaviours.

Senior lecturer and study supervisor Dr Dan O’Neill commented: “Dogs with behaviours that their owners find unacceptable are at risk of compromised welfare, either because of their own underlying emotional motivations for the behaviour (e.g. anxiety or fear) or because of how their owners might seek to resolve the problem (e.g. the use of punishment such as beating or electric shock collars).

“Greater awareness of the scale of this issue can be the first step towards reducing the problems and making the lives of thousands of our young dogs happier.”

Image courtesy of the RVC

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

VET Festival returns for 2022

News Story 1
 VET Festival, the unique CPD opportunity, is returning for 2022, running from 20 to 21 May.

The outdoor event, held at Loseley Park in Guildford, will feature 17 education streams, with a dedicated stream covering veterinary wellness, leadership and management topics. The festival will feature veterinary speakers from around the world, with the opportunity to collect 14 hours of CPD across the two-day event.

Alongside veterinary education, VET Festival will also offer wellbeing activities such as yoga and mindfulness activities, with the popular VETFest Live Party Night making a return for 2022.

Tickets available here.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Free webinar on rearing better heifers

A free webinar is being held by Volac to help dairy farmers rear better heifers. Marking the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board's (AHDB) 'Great British Calf Week', the webinar is scheduled to take place at 12.15pm - 1.45pm on Thursday 3 February 2022.

Focusing on the management input needed to produce better heifers, the webinar will explore practical tips for better calf rearing, sustainable growth through effective calf nutrition, and the importance of sustainable ingredients in calf milk formulas.

Anyone interested in attending can register here.