London - Bad dogs tend to die young, according to a British study that says aggression, excessive barking and disobedience are among behaviors that can doom canine pets to an early demise.
One in three deaths in UK dogs younger than three years old was from "undesirable" behaviors, a disproportionately high number, the study found. Euthanasia was the most common cause of those deaths - 75 percent overall. Traffic accidents involving disobedient dogs were another common cause.
The study involved data on 264 000 UK dogs, and the results underscore the importance of training dogs and educating owners, the researchers said. They said the large number of misbehaving dogs that are euthanized also highlights a need for improved behavioral education for veterinarians so they can better assist pet owners.
The study was published in the British publication Animal Welfare.
Making sure owners are aware of traits in breeds they select is important, as is socialization for young dogs, "to ensure that the lives of dogs and their owners are fulfilling for all parties involved," said study supervisor Dan O'Neill, a senior lecturer at the