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  1. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Is something wrong with my dog? (Odd behavior)

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Link the Writer, May 7, 2017.

    Hey, so lately I've noticed that my dog has been very clingy lately -- always following me around or hiding under/behind furnitures.

    Here's an example:

    image.jpg
    Now usually my pets don't do this unless there was a loud thunderstorm, but it's clearly a beautiful day outside and she's usually not the one to be timid during thunderstorms. Her companion, another dog, is the timid one.

    Is it just old age? She's gotten more affectionate/clingy (which I'm totally cool with)? Is there something loud going on that I just can't hear but she can? Or is it something else? Is it normal for dogs to act this way for days even when there's no obvious reason?

    I'm sure it's not related, but this started a little after our cat died. Would a loss of another animal in the house have an affect on a pet's behavior like this?

    Thoughts?
     
  2. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I say this based on reading, not experience or expertise: Dogs are pack animals, and the pack members don't have to just be dogs. I could definitely see the loss of the cat, who was almost certainly a member of the pack, being traumatizing.

    I Googled "dogs mourning dogs" and saw some web pages that I suspect would be relevant for a dog mourning another household animal.

    (I don't suppose there's any chance that the cat was higher-ranked in the pack than the mourning dog, so that the dog is now clinging to the pack member above the cat--that is, you?)
     
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  3. Iain Sparrow

    Iain Sparrow Banned Contributor

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    No, it would not.

    Your dog is not mourning the loss of her cat acquaintance. It is not in a dog's nature to get misty-eyed over a cat.
    However, your dog would be devastated if she was to lose her master. Dogs are like that. It's in my experienced opinion, that your dog senses the presence of the Grim Reaper, his close proximity to her owner-- his imminent arrival. The sands in your hourglass are running low. But my friend, you can forestall the inevitable, make a deal. I have cheated him once, nay! I have cheated him many times. The Reaper will not cross the threshold of a house that contains a cat of special means, one that has the last remaining life of its nine.
    You must find a stray cat, take her into your home and love her. A home without a cat is open to all manner of supernatural threats.
     
  4. Gold Bearer

    Gold Bearer Member

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    That's an adorable looking doggy. :) Yes, I think dogs can definitely mourn the loss of any pack member including a cat.
     
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  5. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Contributor Contributor

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    My two little dogs act kinda the same way, and they haven't lost part of the 'pack'.
    They are just silly little kids. Sometimes they want to hangout with me, and other
    times they hangout under a big chair or in the other room. So it is pretty normal
    for your dogs to just kinda do their own thing. When they stop showing any signs
    that they want to be around you altogether, then it might be a problem.
     
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  6. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    She never wanted to irritate the cat like her other doggy companion did -- she would sometimes sniff the cat and mostly accept her presence. I could see how that would be upsetting. One minute the cat's in the same area as her, within close proximity and the next, the cat is nowhere to be found, her scent missing.

    Thing is, it was February when the cat died. I know I'm probably gonna sound insensitive -- can dogs really mourn for that long if a member of their pack died?

    She doesn't look to be in any discomfort, she's still eating etc. She just hasn't been "hide behind a chair close to you" clingy until recently. :p
     
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  7. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    It's also possible that something happened when you weren't around that scared your dog. As long as she's physically okay, just give her lots of reassurance and attention.

    My friend's dog went through a period like this because, while my friend was gone for a few hours, the dog managed to get trapped in one of the bedrooms and couldn't get back out until my friend returned home. The dog went around all traumatised and trembly for several weeks afterwards. She's okay now.

    It certainly is possible for dogs to get upset when one of the household—a cat—suddenly goes missing. Some people think that if an animal dies, that the other animals in the house should be shown the body and allowed to come to terms with it. If the animal just goes 'missing' instead, it can be quite traumatic for them, apparently. Death doesn't apparently traumatise them the way a sudden, unexplained absence does.
     
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  8. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Come to think of it, we already had the cat and the other dog when she came into our lives. It's all she's ever known. The cat's sudden disappearance' is no doubt making her feel uneasy, even two months later. It's a new life she has to adjust to.
     
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  9. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Maybe you could get another cat? Sometimes that can help. A kitten that would adjust to the dogs might be fun.
     
  10. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    My bachelor's degree was in animal behaviour, for what that's worth...

    Have you taken her to see a vet(erinarian)? The majority of behavioural changes have a medical cause, not a psychological one. With any unexplained behaviour change, the first thing to do is get a check up.

    It's entirely possible that she's unsettled at her kitty friend suddenly being gone. If that's the case, she'll be back to her old self before long.

    I'd be careful not to give her too much fussing and attention - that's going to reinforce that something is different and make her more unsettled. That's why we should act normally during thunderstorms and fireworks and other scary events.
     
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  11. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I've heard about that, and I believe it's true. Dogs work differently than human children; they want a pack leader who's got their shit together. A pack leader who acts normal sends the message, "Huh, OK, that's scary but maybe not too much since my leader's not freaking out". A pack leader fussing over them is going to make them mentally freak out because suddenly no one got their shit together.

    It's only during quiet times she wants to snuggle up, so I'm thinking that's all there is: she just wants to snuggle up with people which is absolutely cool (and cute.)
     
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  12. rincewind31

    rincewind31 Active Member

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    Take your dog for a check up.
     
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  13. ELeFloch

    ELeFloch Member

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    I say this with some experience, we had a 15 month old German Shepherd we just had to put to sleep last month, but he started acting differently and got very clingy and that's what clued me in to something was wrong. Mind you, his example is on the very rare side of the spectrum. Not in any way saying this is what is happening with your dog, but you should definitely take them and have them checked over just to make sure they are feeling 100%. Dogs are creatures that love to be with their humans, but dogs have ways of telling us that they are not feeling well we just have to watch closely. Is your pup eating and drinking normally?

    Also, another thing that I have seen is that when I wasn't feeling well, my dog would be at my side 24/7 if at all possible. If you haven't been feeling well or just feel off somehow, they will pick up on it and want to comfort you in their own way. So you may want to get yourself check out as well just in case.

    You dog is adorable, by the way.
     
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  14. Rosacrvx

    Rosacrvx Contributor Contributor

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    Yes, do. Some symptoms are psychological, some aren't. It could be the loss, yes, but usually animals act strangely or change their behaviour when they're sick (it's one of the warning signs, actually). At least you'll know for sure that's not the case.
    Best wishes to you both.
     
  15. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The game sour like a pickle be.... Contributor

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    I got a dog question: My puppy/adolescent Yorkshire Terrier, "Big Papi," is 8 months old. We got him in November, so this is the first time he's seen the world without snow. He's naturally trying to eat every piece of plant life he comes across. Most of them are harmless, but every once in awhile he gets a hold of something that makes him vomit within about 10 to 15 minutes. I'm not terribly worried about this. We live near a national forest under nearly 100% canopy cover, so if any of the common things were poisonous there wouldn't be a dog alive within fifty miles of our house. I mean, this crap is everywhere. We don't have grass or underbrush or anything except giant trees dropping leafy things all over the place. I've had dogs before but not in this environment. What I'm wondering is if he's likely to learn which leafy things make him sick and which don't? Otherwise there's going to be a lot of Big Papi puke to clean up.
     
  16. ELeFloch

    ELeFloch Member

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    Some dogs will others won't. My dog didn't like certain plants or grass because they hurt his belly and he stayed away from them. My friends dog ate everything and still does even though he throws it up or get diarrhea. Each dog is different.
     
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  17. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    My guess is that the dog is sad. Dogs have the intellectual ability to understand death and the emotions to mourn. They're also very receptive of human emotions so if YOU are sad, the dog may want to comfort you.
     
  18. Elven Candy

    Elven Candy Pay no attention to the foot in my mouth Contributor

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    I'd take her to the vet to make sure there's nothing physically wrong. My cat got clingy in her last year of life, and in her final months she was always hiding in or behind something. I thought it was just old age, but she had brain cancer. I'd get her checked, just to be on the safe side.

    ETA: Our other cats went nuts in her last month of life, and calmed down about a month after her departure. It really didn't take them long to adjust, so I doubt your dog's mourning the loss of the cat. If she is, she's probably just reacting to you mourning the kitty.
    Here's a belated :friend:.
     
  19. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    Not sure why people keep referring to the dog as a pup - she's clearly in, or approaching, old age. And therein may be the problem.

    As others have said, though, it's very likely she's feeling unwell. She can't tell you her symptoms, but if she is ill then her behaviour seems perfectly natural to me.

    Get her checked.
     

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