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Hi! I'm new to the forum - but thought it might be worth it to post and ask a question about my 5 year old corgi/blue heeler mix.

She is overall a good dog - and doesn't misbehave or have any classically neurotic tendencies. Over the past year, however, she prefers to lay by herself - preferably in a dark room under a bed (or in a dark corner).

Her lifestyle used to be more active - we lived in a small farm community where I was training horses and she got the run of the farm/barn. I feel guilty I can't give her that kind of stimulation anymore; she still gets two walks a day and has a dog door to the yard, but doesn't get to run around all day. It's strange though, even when I'm home... she prefers to lay under a bed rather than hang out with the family. When I take her for a walk she's excited and energetic (I jog her 4-5 times a week so she's pretty fit), but the moment we get home she goes right back under the bed.

I've tried to discourage the behavior by taking all of her toys/bones out from under the bed and I finally blocked the area off, but now she wants to lay in the closet. She has no abnormal health symptoms, is a good weight, and seems to be in good spirits anytime she's going out for an activity. Socially she likes people and other dogs - when we have company she's excited, doesn't get nervous, etc. As far as I know she's never had a particularly traumatic experience.

My question is - should I be doing more to discourage this behavior? If I'm say - working in the living room and call her - she'll come and lay down next to me for 5 minutes or so. But then when I try to get her to stay, she'll lay next to me and sigh dramatically until I let her go lay by herself again. :( It's kind of bumming me out. I give her bones and she likes to chew them in the same room as me - but the moment she's done she'll retreat again.

Thanks for any help. Realistically I can't walk her more than twice a day (both are off-leash), and she does go on runs/trail rides several times a week. She's almost never alone for more than 4 hours/day. I've thought about getting another dog, but don't know if this would really solve the problem? Is she just under stimulated and depressed? Should I be really alarmed by this behavior? Any thoughts are much appreciated!

Again, thank you for any help?

(P.S. - She's pretty well trained, so I don't know how to mentally stimulate her anymore. She'll come, stay, sit, down, roll-over, and knows basic commands for herding livestock.)
 

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She's been to a vet and they looked at her specifically for this issue? If not, she should.

How was she trained?

Is it possible she's getting too much exercise? She is a little older now, she may just have less energy than she did.
 

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How old is the dog?

She just might be older and less explosive energy-wise.

My Lab is going to be 5 in a couple of months and over the last year a similar thing has happened.

He's still very energetic when we go out hiking and biking and he will run ALL day when outside, but on days when we don't get as much excercise, we'll come home from a 3-mile walk and he'll lay down near the door or someone in the room. Before, when he was younger, he'd still be up and about, constantly wanting to play, etc. Now, he's healthy, eats well, looks great, gets compliments from the vet and is always ready to go for more, he's just much calmer and more content to lay around when at the house rather than constantly wanting to play.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
She's been to a vet and they looked at her specifically for this issue? If not, she should.

How was she trained?

Is it possible she's getting too much exercise? She is a little older now, she may just have less energy than she did.
I've taken her to a vet and explained the issue - they ran a blood panel but everything was normal so I didn't explore medical concerns any further.

I'm not sure what you mean about the training... I got her as a puppy and had her with me 90% of the day until she was about 3. She was kennel trained as a youngster, but I stopped using the kennel at about 6 months. Otherwise, I've just used all the same commands/etc. I've used for all of my farm dogs.

Thanks for the thoughts! I don't think she's getting too much exercise... though I guess it's possible?

Thanks again for the thoughts!
 

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What method of training did you use? I'm thinking that maybe if you used punishment based techniques, she may just not be that into being around you for fear of being punished. It happens.
 

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Have you considered that she might be depressed? It sounds like you are trying to be as encouraging as possible but from what you are saying she went from being a free bird always able to be at your side to being inside and spending a lot of time alone.
 

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Have you considered that she might be depressed? It sounds like you are trying to be as encouraging as possible but from what you are saying she went from being a free bird always able to be at your side to being inside and spending a lot of time alone.
Hi!
I think you've hit the nail on the head - but I guess the issue is, I don't know what to do about it?

I wouldn't say that she spends a lot of time alone (I mean she chooses to spend time alone... but she's not technically alone in the house for more than a few hours a day). She's always been an independent dog - when I worked training horses she would roam around the barn/property - sometimes for hours at a time. That having been said - she was never out of earshot and was always happy to come back.

I guess my question is - what to do about the depression? I can't give her free rein anymore... and I can't walk her more than twice a day off leash (she really hates on leash walks...) Could getting another dog help?
 

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I wouldn't worry too much about her wanting to have her own space, apart from you. Dogs are as unique as people. Give her access to her spot again.

I'd recommend some daily training in addition to the walks. She may view you as more interesting if she learns that training means fun times together. Trick training is usually fun for dogs and owners. She may be missing the mental stimulation she got from the farm setting. She was able to hunt, smell new stuff and generally do things dogs enjoy. Give her something to occupy her brain in the form of training.

Nosework might be something she'd enjoy.
 

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.I guess my question is - what to do about the depression? I can't give her free rein anymore... and I can't walk her more than twice a day off leash (she really hates on leash walks...) Could getting another dog help?

-Talk with your/a vet in regards to ways to address the symptoms
-Another dog will be a distraction, when she probably needs as much of your undivided attention just now.
-Perhaps a training class, or even a couple days a week of doggy daycare
 

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Hi! I'm new to the forum - but thought it might be worth it to post and ask a question about my 5 year old corgi/blue heeler mix.

She is overall a good dog - and doesn't misbehave or have any classically neurotic tendencies. Over the past year, however, she prefers to lay by herself - preferably in a dark room under a bed (or in a dark corner).

Her lifestyle used to be more active - we lived in a small farm community where I was training horses and she got the run of the farm/barn. I feel guilty I can't give her that kind of stimulation anymore; she still gets two walks a day and has a dog door to the yard, but doesn't get to run around all day. It's strange though, even when I'm home... she prefers to lay under a bed rather than hang out with the family. When I take her for a walk she's excited and energetic (I jog her 4-5 times a week so she's pretty fit), but the moment we get home she goes right back under the bed.

I've tried to discourage the behavior by taking all of her toys/bones out from under the bed and I finally blocked the area off, but now she wants to lay in the closet. She has no abnormal health symptoms, is a good weight, and seems to be in good spirits anytime she's going out for an activity. Socially she likes people and other dogs - when we have company she's excited, doesn't get nervous, etc. As far as I know she's never had a particularly traumatic experience.

My question is - should I be doing more to discourage this behavior? If I'm say - working in the living room and call her - she'll come and lay down next to me for 5 minutes or so. But then when I try to get her to stay, she'll lay next to me and sigh dramatically until I let her go lay by herself again. :( It's kind of bumming me out. I give her bones and she likes to chew them in the same room as me - but the moment she's done she'll retreat again.

Thanks for any help. Realistically I can't walk her more than twice a day (both are off-leash), and she does go on runs/trail rides several times a week. She's almost never alone for more than 4 hours/day. I've thought about getting another dog, but don't know if this would really solve the problem? Is she just under stimulated and depressed? Should I be really alarmed by this behavior? Any thoughts are much appreciated!

Again, thank you for any help?

(P.S. - She's pretty well trained, so I don't know how to mentally stimulate her anymore. She'll come, stay, sit, down, roll-over, and knows basic commands for herding livestock.)
Your dog is misbehaving, there may be many reasons, some of them are given
  1. lack of training.
  2. lack of exercise.
  3. lack of nutrition.
  4. Boredom. (not having a partner dog or lonely for a long time in a day)
  5. canine anxiety.
  6. lack of sleep(rare)
These are the basic reasons why your dog misbehaves with you or your family members, friends & neighbors. A few years ago i also had this problem, my dog (named jimmy) used to bark at my neighbors and some of my friends. my dog was physically inactive. then I went to the nearest vet but the problem was not resolved, I also hired a pet trainer who charged me $70/day but nothing works. there was a time that I regret about having a dog at all. And then an old friend of mine discovered a course for dogs which I think it may work, but it was better than my expectation! my dog not only became well behaved he begin to follow my all commands like (“sit”,” run”,” come here jimmy”, etc). after months we together went for hiking and jimmy cooperated with me very well, it was an amazing trip. he became so well behaved, interactive & obedient that I never expected. I’m glad that I got jimmy now we are best friends.
If you can relate from this story and your dog isn’t well behaved then you should try this course (here is the link- http://bit.ly/2YMzFt9 ) I can assure you won’t regret
just copy and paste this link on your browser if it’s not working.
Have a nice evening with your fellow met.:)
 

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Dogs go through phases, not unlike children. Ours will want to be alone, and will find a dark corner, under a chair or similar, then a day or two later, she is inseparable from us, will only lay down on a lap, or right up against one of us. Unless she is displaying some other form of distress, not eating, not drinking, not eliminating normally, or is in pain, I wouldn't worry too much. Since she has been checked by your Vet, and her blood work is good, your are probably ok with her.
 
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