Oxana malaya - girl raised by dogs

Strange life of a girl raised By Dogs – Oxana Malaya

A chilling life story of a Ukrainian girl, Oxana Malaya whose parents left her & DOGS raised her, and as a result, she became like a real DOG child! An analysis of her life, rehabilitation & mental state.

Who is Oxana Malaya? What happened to her parents?

Oksana Oleksandrivna Malaya better known as Oxana Malaya was born in 1983 in the village of Nova Blagovishchenka in Ukraine. She was a normal child but due to the negligence of her alcoholic parents, slowly started mixing up with nearby jungle dogs. At that time, her age was just around 3 years. As nobody came to take care of her or even seemed to notice where she was, she stayed where there was love and food.

What did Oxana Malaya eat?

Now, her food was either raw meat or whatever the wild dogs were eating. It was her family now, no house nothing. Nobody searched for her & by & by the little child started forgetting what she was, human or a dog. She learned to survive as a member of the dog pack, learned to bark, and all the time remained surrounded by dogs.

Oxana Malaya during the early rehabilitation period
Oxana Malaya during the early rehabilitation period

When authorities found Malaya in 1991, she was seven and a half years old, but she could not talk. She physically behaved like a wild dog. Like running around on all fours, barking, sleeping on the floor, eating, and taking care of her hygiene like a dog. She shook her head and neck to free of droplets, exactly like a dog when she used to emerge from a swim.

What is Oxana Malaya doing now?

Oxana underwent years of specialized therapy and education to address her behavioral, social, and educational issues. Here she was taught to replace her dog-like behavior with a humanistic one and to speak fluently and intelligibly. Now she works at a farm milking cows but remains somewhat intellectually impaired. 

oxana malaya now
Oxana Malaya’s interview

In 2013, in an interview on Ukrainian national TV. Malaya talked about herself and answered questions. During the show, Malaya said that she wants to be treated like a normal human being, and is offended when others call her a “dog-girl”. She said that she wants her brothers to visit her more often and that her main dream is to find her biological mother. She also talked about her boyfriend, her life in the state foster home, and her work with animals on the farm. 

The love life of Oxana Malaya

Malaya’s past has affected her love life. She had a boyfriend earlier and, at some party, she decided to show him how she used to be earlier. She barked, ran with her tongue out, and growled like a dog. It was just a prank, but, her realistic dog behavior frightened him. He chose to end the relationship rather than accept Malaya’s unusual background.

Feral child Oxana Malaya’s cognitive development

Most people live their life, without thinking “why they are whatever they are today”? And, what would have happened, had they been born in some other family? or left without a family in childhood?

Have you ever thought that at what age one learns the basic skills & so-called manners to fit into human society? What will happen if somebody didn’t get that initial training like how to speak, write, sit, stand, and interact with others?

When we meet people of other cultures & communities, we sometimes get surprised or even shocked by their behavior or acts. This is because they do many acts which are totally different from our expectations of normal behavior. It happens because of different upbringings or very unusual/disturbing circumstances in their life.

Oxana Malaya’s Psychology and sociology

So, now imagine meeting somebody “who has been raised by Dogs”, yes real dogs! And THE PERSON STARTS GROWLING, BARKING, RUNNING ON ALL FOURS, TONGUE HANGING OUT, & JUMPING HERE & THERE LIKE A DOG!!

This was the case with Oxana Malaya. She was a normal child till age 3 & then remained with dogs for four-five years. So, learned some basic human language & human manners & then developed by dogs, till rescued. However, authorities told that dogs also tried to rescue her because dogs considered her as part of their pack now.

Authorities eventually transferred Malaya to the foster home for mentally-disabled children in Barabol. After years of specialized therapy and education, she was able to speak again. However, it was only because of basic speech learnings up to the age of 3 with humans. Otherwise, it would have been impossible for her to speak like humans again.

The experts say that after a certain age, it becomes nearly impossible to develop the speech part of the brain. However, still, her tone is said to be flat & emotionless.

Oxana Malaya language acquisition & Expert’s view

Those who’ve heard her bark say the noise does not sound like a human imitating an animal. It’s a furious outburst like an aggressive dog – as if a dog is barking, whenever she does it. However, it’s believed that she doesn’t do it anymore.

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Her language is odd. She speaks flatly as though it’s an order. There is no cadence or rhythm or music to her speech, no inflection or tone. But, strangely she has a sense of humor. She likes to be the center of attention, to make people laugh. Showing off is quite a surprising skill when you consider her background.

British child psychologist Lyn Fry

After a series of cognitive tests, Ms. Fry concluded that “Miss Malaya had the mental capacity of a six-year-old. She added that Malaya had a dangerously low boredom threshold. She can count but not add up. However, she cannot read or spell her name correctly.” 

However she has recovered a lot but perhaps it may not be possible to reverse the damage completely, let’s hope for the best.

  • Featured Image Credit: Oxana Malaya barking from emadion.it
  • Other Image credit – https://mysteriesrunsolved.com/ & Image credit – historydaily.org
  • Info help: wikipedia.org
  • Reference: https://timeless121.blogspot.com/ (My old blog)
  • Search tags: Weird things, stranger things.

1 thought on “Strange life of a girl raised By Dogs – Oxana Malaya”

  1. Wow. This is an incredible story and yet very shocking and sad as well. Just goes to show you we really are a product of our environment and it’s really hard to let go of what we’ve learned and experienced at such a young age. Thank you for sharing I hope she manages to find happiness in life after being abandoned at such a young age.

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