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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24444
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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Why would my dog all of a sudden stare out window then pace

Customer Question

Why would my dog all of a sudden stare out window then pace the house back to stare at door back to window , like there is something outside but it's during the day and there is nothing out there. I take him out and he runs back inside to pace the house. This is almost constantly for past three days.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Buddy's hypervigilant state indicates that there is something out there. Remember, his nose is much more sensitive than yours and he can detect odors and pheromones (substances secreted by others in his species) from animals quite far from your home. He's conflicted about how to respond - he's vigilant but runs back inside because he's fearful of meeting whatever animal he has perceived. His behavior is going to abate when that animal is gone or Buddy becomes inured to its presence.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is there something I can do for him and would the neighbors dogs be acting the same
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I don't believe there's reason to do anything for him. Severely stressed dogs might be given a benzodiazepine such as diazepam or alprazolam but such therapy with psychotherapeutic drugs should be reserved for dogs in which their quality of life is suffering. Hypervigilance may or may not be shared with nearby dogs. Dogs, like people, have different personalities and behaviors -often breed-related - but there's also quite a bit of variability within a breed.