27% of owners would give up their puppy for displaying these 'problematic' behaviours

© John Albert Photography - Shutterstock

Puppies will be puppies, right? Well, not everyone sees it that way, according to this surprising Zigzag study.

By Justine Seraphin

Published on the

Zigzag, the #1 puppy training app, recently carried out a study on 2,000 UK adults, and the results are nothing short of shocking.

The study found that 27% of dog owners would consider giving up their puppy if they displayed behaviours considered as problematic for their age.

Of this 27%, 10% would give their puppy up for adoption, 12% would take them back to the breeder, and 6% would give them to a friend. An alarming 2.5% would even consider euthanasia.

Owners asking too much out of their pups

The awful thing is - the behaviours seen as ‘problematic’ by dog owners are actually completely normal for puppies, which means that hundreds of people would be willing to give up their dog…for no good reason at all!

For example, 59% of dog owners thought that peeing on the floor was a problematic behaviour for puppies between 8 and 12 weeks old! 38% of owners also considered barking a behavioural problem for puppies between 3 to 6 months old!

As any experienced dog owner will know, these behaviours are perfectly normal for puppies, but can be avoided in the dog’s adulthood with proper training early on. 

Lorna Winter, Director of the UK Dog Behaviour and Training Charter and co-founder and head of training at Zigzag, said:

“This research is incredibly alarming. These behaviours are all completely normal and the stats highlight the misguided expectations we place on the dogs in our lives. Over 3 million* of us are considering getting a puppy, however many have idealised views of companionship and simply aren’t prepared to put in the work when it comes to training or researching what is normal.” 

A lot of this is because of the ‘perfect’ dogs people see on social media and in the movies, which creates a lot of unrealistic expectations. But you can't have a Lassie without lots of training happening behhind the scenes!

Zigzag app to the rescue

This research is truly disheartening. Anyone considering getting a puppy should know that it’s a huge responsibility and a lot of work - it’s not smooth sailing all the time! Training a puppy takes time and commitment, but it’s a journey worth taking. Through training, you can build an incredible lifelong bond with your dog!

Zigzag is now on a mission to prevent unnecessary abandonments. They've launched a new campaign, 'Is my puppy normal?' - to show owners that they're not alone when it comes to the challenges of puppyhood! And through their app, Zigzag will help people provide their puppies with the right training at the right time, teaching them valuable life skills along the way.

If you or someone you know is getting a puppy soon, make sure you let them know about the Zigzag app - it could be a real life-saver!
  • sad golden retriever puppy peed on carpet
    Copyright © Olimpik - Shutterstock

    Peeing on the floor

    For puppies aged eight weeks to three months old, 59% of UK dog owners identified ‘peeing on the floor’ as a behavioural issue.

  • french bulldog puppy biting owner's hand
    Copyright © Christine Bird - Shutterstock


    For puppies aged eight weeks to three months old, 45% of UK dog owners considered ‘nipping’ a behavioural issue.

  • rottweiler puppy chewing slipper
    Copyright © Rita_Kochmarjova - Shutterstock


    For puppies aged eight to three months old, 42% of UK dog owners considered ‘chewing furniture and possessions’ a behavioural issue.

  • puggle puppy barking
    Copyright © anetapics - Shutterstock


    For puppies aged 3 to 6 months, 38% of owners considered ‘barking’ a behavioural problem.

  • sad puppy lying down
    Copyright © John Albert Photography - Shutterstock

    Crying all night

    For puppies aged 3 to 6 months, 27% identified ‘crying all night’ as an issue.

  • weimeraner puppy jumping up at person
    Copyright © Christian Mueller - Shutterstock

    Jumping up at people

    For puppies aged 3 to 6 months, 37% identified ‘jumping up at strangers’ as a behavioural issue.

  • beagle puppy pulling on lead
    Copyright © Anna Molcharenko - Shutterstock

    Pulling on the lead

    For puppies aged 3 to 6 months, 42% considered pulling on the lead to be a behavioural issue.

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