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Puppy farm dogs 'more fearful'

Thursday May 26th 2016

Puppy farm-bred dogs scare more easily than other pooches, according to a new scientific study.

They also experience greater levels of anxiety and aggression, Newcastle University has found.

Animal behaviour specialists studied and compared Jack Russells, pugs and Chihuahuas across puppy farms and well-respected breeders.

They discovered that puppy farm-bred dogs are more likely to suffer temperamental issues in adulthood as a result of experiences in their opening few weeks.

Animal science expert Catherine Douglas says little research has been conducted into how puppy farm life impacts canine behaviour in later life.

Dr Douglas says the team has found that puppy farm dogs are scared of loud noises and new things, and suffer separation-related anxiety issues.

The study backs up RSPCA advice not to purchase farm-bred puppies just because they evoke pity. That is because they will only be replaced by a like-for-like substitute so the problem will not go away.

The research is due to be presented at the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare's Recent Advances in Animal Welfare Science event in York during June.

Copyright Press Association 2016