Help! My dog won’t be in the same room as me anymore. Total behavior flip!

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Help! My dog won’t be in the same room as me anymore. Total behavior flip!

This is a discussion on Help! My dog won’t be in the same room as me anymore. Total behavior flip! within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I dont know where else to turn! My 12 year old chihuahua mix (whiskey) used to love to sit and be petted, sleep with us, ...

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Old 01-25-2019, 04:38 PM
  #1
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I dont know where else to turn! My 12 year old chihuahua mix (whiskey) used to love to sit and be petted, sleep with us, just an all around lovable lap dog. But this has recently stopped and he has become uninterested and almost scared of us.

Some background: Whiskey went through a lot last year which we assumed he would need time to recover from but his behavior has not improved.

His first big hurdle last year happened in the summer, he went from living with my parents to living with me and my husband but adjusted after about a month and was very much himself.

In October we had some work done in our home and he was restricted from going to his usual spots for about a day or two. After this he started to act a little funny. Was hiding and acting scared but again like the move we assumed he would get passed it. Unfortunately the timing was not on our side because
In November he had surgery to remove an undescended testicle and some teeth extractions.

Three weeks later we had to go out of town for about 4 days and he stayed with my parents. When we got back he was of course upset we left him but again assumed he would be fine with some time. He has since recovered physically but no luck with his behavior changed. Now when we walk into the room where he is sleeping or resting, he leaves and goes to sleep somewhere else. We cant even get him to sit with us anymore. Weve tried treats and everything we can think of but its been going on for 3 months now. Does anyone have any idea on what we can do to get his lovable character back?

Last edited by Whiskey123; 01-25-2019 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 01-25-2019, 05:31 PM
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Wow! That sounds like so much continual stress for your little Whiskey! Poor little guy.

I know that for me, I have had some periods of time where it was one stressful event after another that were basically out of my control. It made me feel kind low energy and depressed and basically blah for a while. Kinda like, heck what else bad stuff is around the corner? Maybe your dog feels a bit like this?

Maybe your dog needs to do more fun things with you to get his spirits back up?

Anyway, just a thought. What can you do to restore your relationship with your beloved doggie?

Here's some of my suggestions that may help:

1) Feed your dog his meals right next to you. Sit with him or have him eat his dinner while you guys eat yours. Eating is a bonding thing in my opinion.

2) Take him on relaxing walks. Let him sniff anything he likes, let him take his time.
Reward him with treats when he "checks in" or looks at you.

3) Sit down outside your house (or at a shopping center or park) and watch the world go by together. Talk to him when you are out. Bring yummy treats!

4) Massage! I give my dogs lots and lots of relaxing massage. Not normal petting, but massage and scratchies. You can put on relaxing music, too. Or look up T-Touch. This will increase bonding with your dog. (And it will relax you too!!)

5)If the treats you are giving him aren't working, try UPPING THE VALUE. That means instead of giving dry Milkbones or biscuits, give him small steak bites or homemade chicken bites, or real cheese or small bits of hot dog or deli meat. See what he looooooves and use that for a while.

6)Try some food puzzle games. My dogs love these.

7) Do lots of fun trick training with your dog. Make it super exciting and fun and when he gets a trick right be super happy for him. Show him how proud you are of him. Dogs love this. And they love to learn and earn praise and treats.

8) Go for a car ride if he likes that. Mine love it!! Roll the windows down a bit and let your dog smell the fresh air.

9) Take him to a pet store to sniff around. Again, this is a lot of fun for my dogs. Dogs looove to sniff all the cool smells there. Bring treats and reward him for all good behavior.

10) If he sleeps in a crate in another room, maybe move his crate next to your bed so y'all can be closer.

Last edited by AthenaLove; 01-25-2019 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 01-25-2019, 05:50 PM
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I should have suggested that you may want to run Whiskey by your vet's office if you haven't already just to be sure there is nothing physically wrong with him now.

If he isn't feeling well or is in pain or discomfort that could make him not want to be around anyone. Or if he is experiencing hearing loss or eyesight that could make him a bit scared/confused/nervous/anxious/ unsure and so he is simply staying away. Have you checked his vision or hearing lately? Does he look at you when you call him or say his name?

Also if it were me, I would try petting or lightly touching him all over his body to see if he flinched or shows any discomfort when you touch him in certain spots.

And I always check my dogs' poop as I scoop just to make sure their tummies,etc are working properly. My shy cautious Gracie dog gets tummy/poop issues when she gets stressed.

I hope your Whiskey starts feeling more chipper soon! Keep us updated ok?
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