My dog and her strange behavior?


My dog is an indoor dog (English Setter – a bird dog), but is free to go in and out of her doggy door. For nearly the past 2 weeks she’s been going to the side of the house and sitting rather pitifully, instead of being inside with the family or laying on her bed. It’s just me, my husband and adult daughter. We put in a new yard back in November, and she has grass and concrete to wall upon. We also put in some bird feeders and a bird bath and have had a ton of birds come by and they can be very noisy. My husband has been throwing horseshoes the past few weeks as well. She hates squirrels, and we see no cats enter our yard.

Previously the dog loved to sit by me in the morning before I left for work. She would always get a morning treat. Now, she will come for the treat leaving the spot where she’s suddenly started to sit, but runs with the treat out the doggy door instead of eating it in the house as she used to do.

She is a fixed rescue dog, and we figure about 8-9 years old. She loves her long walks every night, and eats and drinks as usual. We have not changed her diet. She doesn’t cry in pain, and her body doesn’t act funny if I feel her back, legs and front paws. Why is she sitting in this spot, especially with all this crazy rain we have going on? Is it the birds, the squirrels, the horseshoe tossing on weekends, or what? I hope someone can help, because I don’t know any pet psychics :o(
Okay, I was just kidding about the pet psychic. I just wish I could read her mind. She does act a bit submissive like she’s done something wrong when she sits in this spot. We have no background on her to know if she hunted or not. She doesn’t get upset with fireworks, so I guess there’s a good chance she’s been around gunfire. She’s NOT in pain, believe me, I’ve pressed all over her to make sure nothing is tender. And this does seem psychological. Right now she is bouncing on the kitchen floor because my husband said the word *walk*. She loves her outings and her tail is wagging like crazy. Thanks for the advice thus far, keep the sane stuff coming!
Ooops, I forgot to add we’ve had her about 6 years.

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    6 Responses to “My dog and her strange behavior?”

    1. Rajinder says:

      Yes I think it is age related issues.

      You can try to give some salt and water for 2-3 days. Or simply sprinkle some salt over dog’s food.

      That should change the behaviour on the first day iteself.

    2. ZIGGY says:

      How long have you had your dog?
      Do you know anything about her past?
      It could be that she was in a situation where there were a lot of birds before and she was not allowed near the birds, or was illtreated because she did not train properly as a bird dog.
      The fact she is a bird dog and now there are a lot of birds in your yard and she is behaving differently, could be the key to it all.
      There is obviously some learned behaviour here.
      Is the side of the house a long narrow area like a dog pen?
      She obviously thinks she should be in that area for some reason.
      It would help if you knew wether she was originally kept in a dog pen and used as a bird dog or not.
      Maybe she thinks she is going to go out hunting if she waits patiently in the area that looks the most like the dog pen she was kept in?
      I would not waste money on a pet psychic.
      Your dog is reacting to learned behaviour.
      In her mind there is a rational reason for her to sit in that spot.
      If she is not cringing or tucking her tail under her legs or displaying any cowering as if she expect punishment, then she is doing this behaviour because she expects it to bring her some kind of reward.
      I suspect she is hoping to be taken out hunting again and is eagerly waiting for this to happen.
      The birds all coming into the yard probably triggered off the memory.
      If she is showing symptoms of being insecure and afraid, then the birds have triggered a memory of being hurt or punished.
      Check it out.

    3. grandma says:

      Well it’s like an old pair of shoes that you still want to wear.
      An ugly recliner that you don’t want to throw out.
      She’s found her spot in life to sit and enjoy it.

    4. UHave2BeKiddingMe says:

      Your Answer:
      ANY sudden change in behavior is cause for concern, and especially in an elderly dog-who is at least 8-9+ years.

      Often when a dog feels poorly they go off to be by themselves.

      You don’t need a pet psychic, you need to take her to the vet and start with a basic geriatric exam with a full blood panel.

    5. Kelle says:

      She’s at the age where things can change fast as far as health goes.

      See the doctor. Pain?

    6. gimpsmama says:

      Some change in her enviroment may have upset her. Any grumpy or antisocial behaviour in animals and kids has ALWAYS meant that they are/ or are soon to be poorly in my house.Is her tail down in a submissive way miserable, or is her tail up, in an interested, alert/ doing my job way?

      Do go to the vet, if nothings wrong, she has probably found something out there that facinates her, she may feel she is needed out there, to protect her space?some dogs can get very obssesive about a spot in the garden or an object, just watch her!

      I hope she is ok, good luck

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