Dozens of adopted pandemic pups returned due to behavioural problems

The pandemic seemed like the perfect time for many to bring home a furry friend, but fast forward one year later, and shelters report a surge in pandemic pup returns.

Precious Paws says many of the surrendered dogs have behavioural problems. "Dogs who have severe separation anxiety, dogs who have aggression issues - they aren't socialized properly with other animals, other people, so we've definitely seen an increase in that," explains the rescue's founder, Cassandra Hauck.

So far this year, Hauck says they have taken in roughly 50 dogs.

She says lockdown measures and restrictions throughout the pandemic posed problems for anyone adopting a new pet.

"People are getting puppies. They are getting young dogs. They are not able to socialize the same way, and they are not able to get out to training classes," she adds.

Innisfil's 'dog nanny' and certified dog trainer, Marcia Murray-Stoof, says her phone has been ringing non-stop since she reopened in March.

She says the limited access to training and social isolation is a huge part of the problem, and some of the onus falls on lack of research by the owners.

"I always say there is no such thing as a bad dog. It's an uneducated owner. If you understand how dogs communicate, you can communicate better with them. So, really realizing what was your breed bred to do," she says.

Murray-Stoof says preparing your pets for your return to work is key and to seek help if necessary now that training classes are back in session.