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Hi,

I am only new to the forums, I have a friend that referred me here as she felt that this is a great place to learn, so I hope to learn and help where I can.

But basically our amazing boy Eddie seems to be behaving even more strangely of late. To be honest, Eddie and my cat Soss are the two most important boys in my life, much to my partners heartache.. LOL.. (but my boyfriend knows his place in the scheme of things and that is all that matters.. LOL)

He is around 11 (we think - as he is a rescue dog, they did not know his age when we got him) and of no discernable breed.

He seems to have taken a real shine to staring at us, just sitting in one spot, panting and staring. It mainly happens when we are watching TV, or the really creepy times when we are asleep.. LOL..
He does not ever sleep on our bed, we have a bed in our room for him to sleep on, due to my anxiety about not knowing where he is at all times. But he is able to come and go from the room, if he ever needs to go to the toilet or go out, he does nudge us or bark softly, until we get up and let him out. But when he sits and stares, we get up to let him out and he wants no part of it, it can be quite unnerving.

Often he will also just start nudging us, or barking at us for no reason, most times our back door is always open for him to come and go at will.
(Except at night time because I believe that cats should be locked in to protect native animals, as well as ensuring Eddie doesn't bark and wake the neighbours)
So when he does this, we are really unsure as to what his problem is, so naturally we give him a treat, or a bit of dry food... (I am never sure if this is the right thing to do or not?)

He also seems very restless, he is never happy in one spot for long, he might lie in one spot for 10 mins, then get up and move to another spot, this again is a new behaviour. Could he be in pain or discomfort? He does lie on the floor and wants nothing to do with softer cushions, or special bedding we put out for him.

He also seems to pant harder at night time rather than the day, I am not sure if this sounds logical or not, but in this heat, we keep cold water inside for him to drink at anytime, he is also in air-conditioned comfort, but night time comes around and his panting is heavier and heavier.

I guess what was a small question has lead to an essay and I am sorry for that, but I honestly am so unsure about what to do and I am so worried that he isn't ok or that he is unhappy, so I come to you guys to find out what to do.

Thankyou so much for reading this novel and I appreciate any help at all.
 

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I truly think a trip to the vet is in order as many issues arise when our pets reach their senior years.
Let us know how things go.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Lynne and Shadow..
Thankyou so much for your thoughts.

I must admit I did not take him to the vet due to the fact our local vet is one of those that likes to instill fear into people and I am one of those that panics at anything when it comes to Eddie.

But I think your both right and it is time to take him.

The only other thing is when it is night and we have the front door open, then he is quite settled and happy to just lie in front of it, so I dunno..

I will take him in the next few days, (money is a major issue, I don't have a limit, but unfortunately the bank does!!).

Again, Thankyou so much, I appreciate you taking the time to read and help.

:)
 

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Sounds a lot like just plain ole boredom to me! What kind of exercise regimen does he have? If too hot to properly work him, how about mental training work? I do think you're teaching the dog that by bugging you, he gets a treat. Ramp up the exercise, both mental and physical, and see if he calms down. :)
 
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I'd agree that this could possibly be out of mental boredom and stress because of it. The panting is usually due to stress from something. And the waking you up seems to be out of stress or boredom as well. Does he have a daily mental and physical activity, a "job"? It couldn't hurt though, to rule out a medical condition, as they do cause behavioral issues much like this.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi Subado and Megs,
I am ashamed to admit that due to my own physical disabilities I am not able to walk him as much as I should. Having said that, my partner has walked him several times and one problem is he comes home in terrible pain in his back legs and he will often just stop dead and lie down.
He did have rear leg pain a long time ago and the vet did put him on anti-inflammatories which seemed to help heaps, but I was told that it can't be a long term solution.

Have you got some suggestions for mental stimulation? To be honest I am not really sure what to do to help him with that, because I will do it in a heartbeat.

I used to take him to the beach to swim, but the sand was too hard on his legs and the vet told me I was doing more damage than good and we don't have anywhere that is just a short walk across the sand to the water for him to swim more than walk.

But I will absolutley take on board what you have suggested, I would appreciate some ideas for mental stimulation and I think that just taking him for short walks up and down our street as many times a day as possible might be a good start for him.

Thankyou so much for responding, it is greatly apprecaited.
 

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Are you physically able to maybe teach him some new tricks to work his brain?? That can be very tiring, too. Can you also get him a food puzzle or something?

The panting is a sign of stress. Can you think of what would stress him? Could be physical pain or something else.
 

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Using treat dispenser toys instead of bowls for meal time is great entertainment/mental stimulation. You can take empty snack boxes, yogurt containers, or cheap tupperware, cut holes in them and voila - cheap and easy treat dispenser! My dog does the happy dance when she sees me making one :)

I also bought the cheapest, most flimsy plastic eggs and use those to hide treats around my house. I have my dog do a sit-stay in an area of the house where she can't watch me hide them and then release her with "okay - go find it!". She'll spend a good 10 - 15 minutes searching and then take a nap afterwards :)

But I'd still take your pup to the vet - just to be sure. In my (limited) experience, panting always indicated discomfort, not just boredom. Now, one dog was simply overheated even with the water available, so we shaved her down (she had a double coat) and that fixed the issue, so hopefully it's only something like that!
 

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I had played with one of our catahoulas a few times with a laser light...it took me months to figure out why she would sit in front of me and stare....and then look at the wall sometimes...duhhh me!

I agree with taking your dog to the vet. Let the vet know just how much money you have to spend for the visit so charges aren't added on if you can.
 

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To further off what idealistinfire said...I will take toilet paper and paper towel tubes and stick food inside (dry) and then fold the ends. He loves getting the goodies out. You can do that easily to give him some stimulation...errybody uses TP! ok, not ultra crunchy granola folks...but you get the idea.

I find if I don't take my dog for a walk (which on the weekends when my husband home is actually the worst time) then he starts to get very crazy and demanding of attention. This may be your dog's more subtle way of doing that. The vet is a good idea though.
 

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Here are some good puzzle toys, as well as a link to the Manners Minder, which is expensive, and although I don't own it yet, it's on my near-future wish-list. It is such an awesome tool for dogs like yours and anxious dogs like mine. Well, any dog actually. As well as for other specific obedience or trick training. I can't wait to get one!

You would probably want to use it for rewarding him for calm behavior, and for doing something you want as well. For example, you could train him to "place" or "go lay down" on his bed, and at night, have the remote next to your bed, and if/when he wakes you up, you could tell him one of those cues, and the Manners Minder, next to his bed, would dispense the treat, and you can go right back to sleep.

This can still obviously be achieved without the Manner Minder, by teaching him to go lay on his bed, and tossing him a chewy treat or something, but all the while making sure he is mentally and physically tired from the *very* light exercise during the day (even just a potty walk, as I understand fully the conditions, I walk an older Pug that just goes right around the corner and back, or else she limps.) and the puzzle toys/treat dispensers. :)

I have seen it cheaper on other sites, but just to get an idea:

Manners Minder Remote Dog Training System

Amazon.com: puzzle toys: Pet Supplies
 
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