Behaviour problems are a leading reason for dogs being relinquished to rescue centres across the world every year. The aim of this study was to investigate whether free behavioural advice would be accepted at the point of an owner requesting to relinquish their dog for behavioural reasons. The call records of 1131 relinquishment requests were reviewed and analysed to establish if the offer of free behaviour advice was accepted. The results showed that advice was accepted in 24.4% of relinquishment requests and behavioural problem was a significant predictor of whether advice was accepted (p 0.001). The odds of advice being accepted were 5.755 times (95% CI: 2.835–11.681; p 0.001) greater for a relinquishment request due to problems with general management behaviours compared to aggression between dogs in the home, representing 4.2% and 20.2% of overall relinquishment requests. These data suggest that owners are prepared to accept behaviour advice at the point of relinquishment request, so advice interventions could have potential to impact the levels of dog relinquishment to rescue centres. The impact of an intervention offering behaviour advice may be limited by overall levels of advice acceptance by owners and therefore complimentary proactive solutions to reduce behavioural relinquishments should also be considered.
- domestic dog
- rescue centre