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 who was left by her parents & was raised by DOGS and as a result, she became like a real DOG child! An analysis of her life, rehabilitation & mental state.

Feral child Oxana Malaya

Oksana Oleksandrivna Malaya better known as Oxana Malaya was born in 1983 in the village of Nova Blagovishchenka of Ukrain. She was a normal child but because of being neglected by her alcoholic parents at around the age of 3 years she slowly started mixing up with nearby jungle dogs. As nobody came to take care of her or even seemed to notice where she was, she stayed where there was love and food – raw meat.

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 and started barking and running on all fours and all the time surrounded by dogs.

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

When Malaya was found by authorities in 1991, she was seven and a half years old, but she could not talk and physically behaved like a wild dog, 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.

Oxana Malaya’s job now

She underwent years of specialized therapy and education to address her behavioral, social, and educational issues, taught to subdue her dog-like behavior, 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, Malaya gave an interview on national Ukrainian TV, on the talk-show Govorit Ukraina, where she 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 the main dream in her life 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 – by barking, running with her tongue out, and growling like a dog. Her realistic dog behavior frightened the young man. He chose to end the relationship rather than accept Malaya’s unusual background.

Oxana Malaya’s cognitive development

Most people live their life, without giving a thought to why they are whatever they are today. Further, what would have happened, had they been born in some other family or left without a family in childhood!

Have you ever considered what is the age at which one learns the basic skills & so-called manners to fit into human society? What will happen if somebody couldn’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 because many acts done by them are totally different from our expectations of normal behavior. This all happens because of different upbringing or very unusual/disturbing circumstances in their life.

Oxana Malaya’s Psychology and sociology


This was the case with Oxana Malaya. She was a normal child till age 3 & then four-five years with dogs, 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.

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Malaya was eventually transferred 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 because after a certain age it becomes nearly impossible to develop that particular part of the brain, as experts say. 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 – truly sounds like a real dog, whenever she does it (however it’s believed that she doesn’t do it anymore). An expert on feral children says

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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 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 and a dangerously low boredom threshold. She can count but not add up. She cannot read or spell her name correctly.” 

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

BUY ME A COFFEE – These little contributions keep me motivated to write more such stories…after all in this world, things move with money!

  • 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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