Is Rolo the dachshund Britain's naughtiest dog?

Rolo has caused £1,000 of damage to his owner's home - and he is not alone

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Rolo the naughty dog

Rolo, a miniature dachshund from Leicester, has defied his size to be named the naughtiest dog in Britain. He was awarded the title after causing £1,000 worth of damage to his owner's home - destroying everything from doors to hair straighteners.

Rolo was named Britain's naughtiest by Terry's Fabrics - which launched a nationwide campaign to find naughty pets. He won £150, after his owner, Kelly Mobbs, sent photos of her dog - and the impressive levels of damage he causes.

Among the casualties of his destruction are several pillows, doors, and a pair of hair straighteners. However, given any piece of material or paper, he will usually do a swift demolition job on it. He apparently does the majority of the damage when his owner and her family are out.

Kelly said the £150 wouldn't cover the cost of the damage her little dog had caused, which she put at around £1,000. She told the Daily Mail: "I do tell him off but it doesn't make a difference. He just gives you a look and it makes you melt because he looks so cute." She said she would spend the cash on chew toys to keep him busy - at least for a while.

Is he the naughtiest?

Rolo didn't actually take the title of naughtiest pet overall - that went to a cat called Molly, owned by Paul Sharp, a 47-year-old from Choppington in Northumberland.

The cat's love of clawing furniture means she managed to rack up £2,000 of damage - including to a sofa, bed, stairs and carpet.

Other entrants showed impressive destruction abilities, including the dog that chewed through a door, the one that ripped up the kitchen lino (and then tore it into little bits), the cat that destroyed a sofa, the cat that shreds wallpaper, and the bulldog who has eaten most of an office chair.

How bad?

The company revealed that on average cats and dogs cause over £4 billion of damage to UK homes each year. Cats are apparently responsible for the lion's share - at £2.5 billion, which appears to be mainly through clawing the sofa and the carpet. Dogs, meanwhile, tend to do their damage through chewing - with shoes taking the brunt of the action, followed by cushions, carpets and the sofa.

Over their lifetime, it asked people how much damage their animal had done. Impressively, 5% of cats (and 1% of dogs) have done £1,000 worth of damage, while 26% of cats (and 8%) of dogs have done between £601 and £1000 worth of damage. Just 18% of cats and 50% of dogs have racked up £100 or less of damage in their lifetime.

Why?

Dog behaviouralists say there are a number of reasons why dogs destroy the house. The primary one is stress when their owners are out - because they have no way of knowing they will be back. Alternatively, they may be bored, and are just passing the time; they may be trying to get rid of excess energy because they aren't getting enough exercise; or they may be trying to get our attention, and know that chewing our favourite shoes should do the job.

Cats, meanwhile, are clawing partly to remove the dead outer layer of their claws, and partly to mark their territory with a visual sign - and a scent. They may also be using it to stretch their bodies and paws, and they might be doing it just for fun.

In both cases, supervision, entertainment, and plenty of toys can help control their natural urges to destroy things. Even then, however, there's no guarantee they will leave your sofa alone.

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