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are dogs victims of stockholm syndrome

are dogs victims of stockholm syndrome

We’ve all heard of Stockholm Syndrome, but have you ever heard of Dog Stockholm Syndrome? This phenomenon occurs when a dog becomes overly attached to their human owner, to the point where they no longer want to leave their side. In some cases, the dog may even become aggressive towards other humans or animals. While it’s not entirely clear why this happens, some experts believe it’s the result of the dog feeling like they need to protect their owner. So next time you see a dog


It is a common misconception that dogs are victims of “stockholm syndrome.” This syndrome occurs when a hostage or victim begins to feel sympathy and even affection for their captor or abuser. While it is true that some dogs may develop a bond with their owner or caretaker, this does not mean that they are suffering from stockholm syndrome. In fact, most dogs simply form close bonds with their owners because of the close relationship that they share.

What is Stockholm Syndrome?

The term “Stockholm Syndrome” is used to describe the psychological phenomenon in which hostages or abuse victims develop positive feelings or sympathy toward their captors or abusers.

It is believed that these feelings are a result of the captives’ need to survive and their desire to believe that their captors will not hurt them. Stockholm Syndrome is named after a bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden in which the hostages became emotionally attached to their captors and even defended them after they were released.

Stockholm Syndrome can be observed in other relationships besides hostage situations. It has been studied in cases of domestic abuse, kidnapping, cults, and even abusive relationships between children and caregivers.

What Causes Stockholm Syndrome?

Stockholm syndrome can be caused by a variety of different things, but typically it is the result of a traumatic event. For example, if someone is taken hostage or kidnapped, they may develop Stockholm syndrome as a way to cope with the situation. Often, the person who develops Stockholm syndrome will have a strong relationship with their captor, which can make it even harder to leave the situation.

How Does Stockholm Syndrome Affect Dogs?

Like humans, dogs can develop Stockholm Syndrome after being held captive or experiencing abuse. This condition can cause them to become attached to their captors or abusers and may prevent them from wanting to be rescued. In some cases, dogs may even become aggressive when rescuers try to approach them.

How to Help a Dog with Stockholm Syndrome

Dogs who suffer from Stockholm Syndrome have come to trust and even love their captors, despite the fact that they are being treated poorly. This condition is named after a famous bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden, where the hostages came to trust and feel sympathy for their captors. While this condition is most commonly seen in abused children and prisoners of war, it can also occur in dogs who are being neglected or treated cruelly. If you suspect that your dog may be suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, there are some things you can do to help.

The first step is to make sure that your dog is getting the basic necessities of life, such as food, water, shelter, and exercise. A dog who is feeling secure in these areas is less likely to develop Stockholm Syndrome. If your dog is not getting enough attention from you, consider taking him to a dog park or hiring a dog walker.

It is also important to provide your dog with plenty of opportunities to socialize with other dogs and people. A dog who feels isolated and alone is more likely to develop Stockholm Syndrome. Attend doggy playdates, take your dog on walks around the neighborhood, and sign up for a obedience class together.

If you suspect that your dog has already developed Stockholm Syndrome, there are some things you can do to help him break free from his captor’s hold. First, continue providing all of the basic necessities of life that he needs. Next, begin working on building up his confidence by teaching him new tricks and exposing him to new experiences. Finally, show him lots of love and affection so that he knows he is valued and loved unconditionally.


As with most things in life, prevention is always better than cure. If you are thinking about getting a dog, do your research first and make sure you are prepared to commit to taking care of your pet for the rest of its life.

If you already have a dog, there are several things you can do to prevent Stockholm Syndrome from developing:

  • ensure that your dog has a good quality of life, with plenty of exercise, mental stimulation and social interaction
  • be consistent in your training and handling, so that your dog knows what to expect from you and feels secure in its environment
  • be aware of the signs of stress in your dog and take steps to reduce its anxiety levels if necessary
    It is impossible to know exactly what goes on inside the mind of a canine when living in an abusive or neglectful home, but some experts believe that they may exhibit symptoms similar to those seen in humans who suffer from Stockholm Syndrome. By developing a attachment to their abuser, dogs may believe that they are showing loyalty and love, when in reality they are fearful of the mistreatment they have endured. If you suspect that your dog may be a victim of Stockholm Syndrome, it is important to seek help from a qualified professional who can assess the situation and provide guidance on how to move forward.


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