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Recent changes in behaviour(7 Posts)
Has anyone found their dogs displaying a change in behaviour during the lockdown? Our usually placid 7 year old Cocker has definitely displayed a more grumpy demeanour lately. I’m putting it down to him not getting his daily fix of alone time (when at work/school he is used to being left). He has taken to mooching around the house during the day and making a real fuss at bedtime. He seems his usual self on walks but seems lethargic and mardy at home. Has anyone else has noticed similar with us all being cooped up at the moment?
@Vinotinto78 YES and it's a nightmare! We have a 10 month old Cocker who last weekend suddenly started jumping and barking quite aggressively at me. Especially in the morning and evening. He has nipped me a few times when I've grabbed his collar to get him away from me, (not drawn blood). It can happen when he gets excited if he sees someone out of the window, or for no apparent reason, when we are watching tele. He suddenly looks up and me, glares then off he goes.
It's was very scary at first because I thought he was trying to hurt me, but we are seeing (zooming) a dog psychologist who asked us to video it. Playing it back it doesn't seem as intense as it feels when it's happening. Can also happen suddenly when I stroke him.
He is now having to sleep downstairs as we are not having him on the bed so husband is having to sleep down there too whilst we get him used to it.
He has always been attached to me, will only be with me if I'm in around so this is so unexpected.
When you say your dog is more grumpy and mardy, what do you mean?
Ours seems to have had a slightly better few days. We realised that we have gradually adopted a much later bedtime routine which may have something to do with it. He seemed really unsettled at bedtime and was barking and guarding whenever he heard noise from outside. I think it’s the culmination of having a constant houseful of people. I suppose it’s only natural for dogs to be feeling the effects too. Hope you get your pup settled soon @Heifer - they really are a lovely breed. Wouldn’t be without ours. You have so much fun to look forward to.
I think a lot of dogs are struggling and many are going to struggle a hell of a lot more when people start going back to work. Separation anxiety is a real problem and a lot of people whose dogs have never struggled are going to have a big shock coming their way, I think.
If your dog is used to having x amount of time alone each day, and for the last three months, he/she has never been left, they're bound to feel unsettled. Can you leave him home alone for a bit each day? Take him for his usual walk and then go out without him - now shops etc. are open it might be a bit easier to leave him for a bit. Or even just leave him in another room to sleep/rest while you get on with things.
I would try and get him used to his old routine sooner rather than later, otherwise by September, you may find he's adapted to you being home and you'll have a host of problems on your hand when he has to be left again.
That’s a good point about getting him back into his routine @vanillandhoney. Think I’ll start that from this week. I agree with you that so many pets will have become used to having closer company and are likely to find further changes unsettling. Our boy is 7 and so i guess it’s unrealistic to expect him not to be affected. Thankfully he seems to have been a little better the past few evenings.
"Lockdown dogs" is definitely a thing!
Adult dogs who have been used to meeting, greeting and socialising have had to avoid those situations or been taken away from them; puppies who have gone to their new homes have missed out on that important part of puppy life.
Dogs who have been used to being alone for a proportion of the day have suddenly had their families - who may well be showing signs of stress and worry dogs easily pick up - around all the time.
Some dogs may never have been alone and will have a sudden shock when their families go back to school and work.
Dogs may have missed veterinary treatment, will definitely have missed training classes. It's a whole new world.
Going back to basics, establishing a routine allowing for decent exercise but also 'down time' and reassurance without 'smothering' should help.