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I have two dogs, one of them is 6 months old. He is a Bernese mountain dog x German Shepard. He is a big guy almost 80 pounds.
He started to do this thing where he starts yelping and limps. It’s short lived and he is generally back to normal. Running around.
I did take him to the vet and we have done some scans, and pain meds. The vet can’t see anything wrong with the legs though. He has cost a lot of money.
People in my family have pointed out that his limping tends to happen conveniently.
For example when getting caught doing something naughty, when the other dogs on his walk (they are too big to walk together), when I go to work, when I have food.
So my question is can he just be faking it? Is a dog capable of keeping that bs going?
 

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Hi.

When I first read the OP, I thought of all those little things that can cause sudden, transitory pain - leg cramps, shooting pains, a sprain or strain, an awkward landing or standing and I suspect that's what started the behaviour.

Do dogs lie? I'm not sure. Do they milk something for all it's worth? Oh yes! ;)

I suspect the dog had genuine leg pain -, certainly at first. It got a reaction - your attention, your sympathy. When it happened again, you reacted again.

What do you mean by "getting caught doing something naughty"? What normally happens when he's "caught"? A paw raised in this circumstance, for example, could be appeasement behaviour, designed to calm you down, and therefore wouldn't be an extension of his "lying".

Often what we call "naughty" is natural dog behaviour exhibited in an undesirable way. Chewing the skirting boards, for example. It's natural dog behaviour to chew, and a dog (certainly a pup), won't distinguish between a chew toy and the skirting boards. Same with biting - it's perfectly natural puppy play. Puppies don't know that humans don't play the way puppies do. It's up to the human to teach them. Same goes for toileting and barking. (Puppies don't know where the toilet is, and barking is communication).

When you go to work or the other dog goes for its walk could be anxiety. I don't think it would be a normal symptom of anxiety, but again, it gets your attention and perhaps delays - however slightly, your or your other dog's departure.

As for food - are you talking your food, or his, or treats? If it's food or treats for him, did you give him a treat the first time/s it happened? "To make him feel better". I wonder if he's learned to associate the limping/holding his paw up with treats.
 

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Oh yes they will milk it! At first my pup was so tiny and loved to zoom under your feet or stand way too close as your turning around etc. We had to learn quick to be super vigilant that he might be right next to your feet. Still sometimes I would run my foot into him on accident. I never got him very hard, as anytime my foot touches anything, I looked to see if it was him, but I naturally said an "ohh?" sound and my pup would spin over on his back for "poor baby's" and belly rubs. Now all we have to do is lightly touch his foot with ours, say "ohh?" and he flipping over haha. Then we say "OK hockey (or whatever he was doing) and he's right back up playing or whatever.
 

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It could be a 'learned behavior' but I would be careful about assuming the pup is 'playing' you, especially since he is so young.
Maybe consider keeping notes as to what he was doing prior to it happening - was in the process of sitting or laying down, getting up after a nap after exercise, while running, walking, jumping or turning on way or the other?
My border collie pup had developed an intermittent limp, but would be fine, acting and playing normally, most of the time, leading us to question whether we were seeing what we were seeing - turned out after multiple vet visits, x-rays, pain meds/anti-inflammatories, exercise restrictions and such, that he had a condition called Osteochondritis Dissecans and needed surgery on both shoulders and a hock.
Or he could be dealing with something like this: Panosteitis in Dogs | VCA Animal Hospital (vcahospitals.com)
 

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Very similar to learned behavior. Not so long ago I felt very sorry for the limping stray dog, and I treated her to what I had. So after she ate she went as if nothing had happened, absolutely not limping. I was so surprised then :oops:
 

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I firmly believe that they lie. I had two dogs at one time. A Brittany and a Jack Russell. They would lie about who did what and the Jack was a notorious tattle tale.
 

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I firmly believe that they lie. I had two dogs at one time. A Brittany and a Jack Russell. They would lie about who did what and the Jack was a notorious tattle tale.
I respectfully disagree, and firmly believe that dogs are not capable of lying. Of course, they can display behavior that people interpret as lying, but the interpretation is based on human behavior and not on dog language or behavior. Dogs will display all kinds of behavior when they are feeling threatened, such as looking away, looking at the other dog, putting their head down, smiling and so on when a person says "did you do that?" and people often misinterpret the behavior as guilt, shame, lying, and other things when the dog is simply trying to diffuse the situation by making appeasement gestures.

I find that it is more helpful to see things as best I can from the dog's perspective rather than attribute human emotions or behavior to the dog.
 
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