As children across the UK go back to school, Dogs Trust has identified a trend which sees some families hand their dogs into rescue centres as soon as their children go back to school.
Last year, on September 5th, the start of the new school year, we recorded one of the highest number of calls on any one day of the year. We were asked to take in 220 dogs; double the number of calls we usually receive from struggling dog owners on an average day.
With some owners giving up their dogs due to the return to the working routine and juggling the school run after the summer holidays, Dogs Trust is encouraging owners to bring their dogs to training classes, such as Dogs Trust Dog School to help overcome any issues.
Sadly, the welfare charity is also seeing instances of dogs being given up because they have been bought to entertain the children over the summer and are no longer needed when the new school year begins .
Maria Wickes, Head of Dogs Trust Dog School, explains: “Sadly it does seem to be a recurring trend that we see more dogs handed into us as soon as children go back to school. In many cases dogs are not equipped to deal with this change in routine and may start displaying undesirable behaviour.
“We hope that anyone struggling to control their dog’s behaviour after the summer holidays will consider giving them up a last resort and instead send them ‘Bark to School’ and sign up for training classes.”
Maria adds: “In extreme cases we are finding people even buy dogs simply to keep their children occupied during the holidays. Gus, a nine-month-old Cockapoo, was handed into us because his owners bought him to entertain the children during the summer holidays and then passed him to us for rehoming when the kids weren’t around during the day anymore.
“Whilst the majority of dog owners regard their dogs as valued family members, it appears some may be using dogs as four-legged nannies over the holidays and disregarding them come September. We hope people will remember that a dog is for life and carefully consider this lifetime commitment before purchasing a dog.”