Science

Vets reveal the subtle signs that your dog might be stressed

Dr Roger Mugford, pictured at his home in Surrey, an animal psychologist used by the royal family, said that owners need to start preparing their pets for the return to a normal routine to avoid any issues

The Queen’s corgi trainer has claimed dogs will experience ‘severe separation anxiety’ when the lockdown is lifted after pampered pooches have become used to having their owners at home.

Dr Roger Mugford, an animal psychologist used by the royal family, said that owners need to start preparing their pets for the return to a normal routine to avoid any issues.

Speaking to The Times, the specialist from Chertsey, Surrey explained that while people are working from home, dogs can build up a ‘huge reservoir’ of over-dependency’ which could see them suffer at a later date.

‘When left alone, dogs can chew the house, annoy the neighbours by constantly barking, urinate and defecate inside, sometimes even self harm. 

‘Put a webcam on your dog and you’ll see howling and pacing and other distress signs,’ he said.

He advises owners to have 30 minutes breaks away from their pets several times a day in order to ease them into being alone when the lockdown ends.

Anxiety in humans has risen during the coronavirus pandemic, which has taken more than 16,000 lives in the UK and infected more than 125,000 people.

Many have relied on their pets for emotional support, Dr Mugford explained.    

He said pets will see a ‘huge shock’ when the lockdown is lifted, and they need short structured training sessions in the meantime. 

The trainer has been a helping hand to the royal family for years, and in 2002 helped to train Princess Anne’s dog Dotty after it bit two children in Windsor Great Park.

He has also visited Windsor Castle to help the Queen control her corgis and dorgis, which are Daschund-corgi crosses.    

Dr Mugford, who also trains the dogs of celebrities and rockstars, was called in to help when the monarch had eight or nine dogs, and ‘quite dangerous’ fights were breaking out between them. 

The trainer helped to solve that particular issue, but said the Queen is an ‘amazing dog owner and trainer’, adding that she could have easily done his job in her younger days.

‘She’s quite methodical and uses rule-based procedures,’ he said. 

 

 

 


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