Thousands of new pet owners are planning to give up dogs they bought in lockdown because they have struggled to train them.
Britain now has 12m homes with a dog, up from 9m before the start of the pandemic, after families took advantage of spending more time at home to buy a pet.
But one in four new owners are considering getting rid of their dogs because of problems controlling them, and rescue centres are reporting record numbers of admissions.
As lockdown eases, pet owners are concerned about their dog’s behaviour as they meet new people and other animals for the first time.
More than a third of new owners fear their dogs will bite a stranger after months of stay-at-home living.
Gill White from The Border Collie Spot, a rescue shelter in Berkshire said she expects the number of dogs being returned to increase over the next few months.
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She said: "The number of dogs being returned are at unprecedented levels and when the final lockdown restrictions are lifted on the 21st of June, we expect to see the floodgates open as dog owners rush to return their dogs."
To help support new dog owners and reduce the number of dogs being given away, Burns Pet Nutrition have launched the Burns Dog School.
"The online resource gives dog owners practical advice and training tips to help."
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John Burns, veterinary surgeon and Founder of Burns Pet Nutrition, said: "It can seem so hard to train a dog, especially if you’ve never done it before. But the rewards you get from a well-behaved faithful companion are well worth the effort.
"I’ve yet to come across a dog that can’t be trained. And there are simple tips that can help, even if you’re a first-time owner."
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