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Old 08-24-2008, 03:03 AM   #1
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Unusual behavior

We have a small (30 lb.) mixed breed dog who is an absolute delight. He seems very intelligent and is very loving. A couple of months ago, he suddenly acted very nervous - as though something had scared him. He is kept indoors except for walking, etc. He would look into another room and then turn tail and lie down. He has also been looking at something that we cannot see. He will look up toward the wall or ceiling as though he has seen a bug and then move his eyes as though following it. We can see nothing. Sometimes he will look toward the wall or floor the same way. It is as though he can see something that we cannot. He has had a couple more of the same nervous spells that I mentioned first and we cannot figure out what is causing this. Otherwise, he seems to be healthy and is very playful. Should we take him to the vet? I wonder if he is having mental problems. He is only 2-1/2 years old and is very special to us. Thanks for any input.
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Old 08-24-2008, 03:15 AM   #2
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I think what I would do first is take him to the vet to rule out alot of things. It is possible something has frightened him and he still remembers it. I remember when I had Gizmo, in my old house a mouse died in the wall, well all of these flies came out and I hate flies, I used a magazine and kept swatting and swatting, it of course scared him. I got a friend of mine to take him for the night so I could get rid of all the flies. Well up untill the day he passed anytime he saw a fly he would run and hide behind a chair. It is possible he has a bad memory of something. Hope you get some good advise from our K9 family and again welcome to K9. Susan
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Old 08-24-2008, 12:54 PM   #3
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A trip to the vet is always good, sometimes they have ideas that you didn't think about before. Maybe he is catching shadows or light. It could be something that he associated as scary.
If he does this behavior again quickly divert his attention to you by calling his name, clapping, squeaking a toy or something. Then you walk out of the room and praise him if he gets up and follows you. When in the other room have him sit and give him a toy to play with.
I saw this on It's me or the dog (the show on animal planet) the dog was fixated with lights and shadows on the walls and everywhere. The dog picked up the habit as a way of attention seeking. The more he did it the more the owner would pay attention to him, ( it was negative attention) and the more he would do it again.
Sometimes if we focus on our dogs (what we consider) bad behavior we are inadvertantly rewarding the bizzare behavior, so therefore the dog does it again.
So try to focus his behavior to some sort of obedience cue in a completely different room than the one he had the "episode" in.
Eventually after enough consistant training like this, when he see's (what ever he sees) the "bad" thing he will automatically come to the other room to find you and his toy or treats.
Hope this helps. Good Luck!
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Old 08-24-2008, 03:30 PM   #4
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Believe it or not, but your dog could be seeing/sensing something paranormal in your home. If you have spirits in your home your dog (or cat) will be able to sense/see them while you will not.
You could have reinforced this behavior after it was done the first time and now your dog does it just to get the extra attention from you.

If it's the former, then there is nothing you can do. If it's the latter, and you don't like it, stop paying attention to the dog when he starts doing this strange behavior and he'll stop.
Tony, Kim, Gunner & Tira.
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:25 AM   #5
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I used to take Tech to the barn. He would chase flies and such. When we would get home he would go in the bed room and stare at a picture of horses above the bed. It was like ok there are horses theres got to be flies somewhere.

However he would sometimes look in the closet and bark. Then wag his tail and leave the room. Sassy is doing it now, but what ever is going on scares Snickers. Usually when they do this there is a strong smell of cigerette smoke. No one smokes in the house and we have lived here over 20 years.
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:28 AM   #6
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That's creepy but true
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