How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Jane Lefler Your Own Question

Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 16815
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 16+ years
2361900
Type Your Dog Training Question Here...
Jane Lefler is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Older dog acting strange

Resolved Question:

My 9+ year old shepard mix is a very sweet and kind dog. "Kind" is always the work I use to describe him, he goes to work with my husband every day at his store, plays with children and greets everyone so he is social - and has a LOW energy level. Like a manatee. Never snaps or growls, except occasionaly at our 11 month puppy when he is getting on his nerves. This morning I was petting him and the puppy (usual) and he looked right at me and growled at me. I was shocked and got up - his tail started wagging and I gave him breakfast - which he ate immediately which he normally does not do. unually it takes some cajoling and always has. As I was leaving in the morning he seemed distant, not coming for his treat and when I was getting ready to leave he laid in the floor and barked up in the air non-stop. Not really an aggressive bark but a bark like when someone comes to the door or he hears a strange noise. My husband told me to just hurry and leave and he'd watch him, but Im really concerned. Can dogs at that age stop liking a family member? He just didnt want to have anything to do with me today. Am I doning something wrong.


 


My husband wanted me to add we let him on the bed for a while last night which we almost never do. I dont think that makes a difference but he said it was the only think out of the routine so I should mention it. He has also been on Dinovite for about 60 days. It has made him a little more active but not much.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Hi Jacustomer,

.

My name is Jane. I have worked with animals professionally for over 17 years dealing with both health and behavioral issues. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today. .

.

Some dogs are dominant dogs by nature. If you do not keep working with these dogs regularly, they can start thinking that they are the boss. This is frequently the case with many dogs that are allowed on the bed and furniture, so your husband is correct, letting him on the bed may be contributing to the situation.

.

However, older dogs can become hypothyroid which can lead to aggression. Also conditions like arthritis or hip dysplasia can cause pain which can also cause them to nip or growl if they think you are going to do something that might cause them pain. So these might also be the cause. I would have him checked over by your vet to see if these conditions are present and to get some pain relievers if they are causing him some discomfort.

.

Another condition that does occur in older dogs is Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome. Here is a wonderful site that explains it well and it has been seen in dogs younger than yours. Please see this site for more information.

http://www.swiftwaterfarms.com/swiftwater/p22CanineCognitiveDysfunction.htm

I would keep him on the floor for now and have that senior checkup done to ensure pain is not contributing to the situation. I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .

.

If you have questions in the future that you wish me to answer, you may click here and bookmark the page or make it a favorite. It is best to put my name "JANE" in the question as well. Please recommend me to your friends and family members if they have any problems with their dog as well. I would truly appreciate it.


Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 16815
Experience: Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 16+ years
Jane Lefler and 4 other Dog Training Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
< Last | Next >
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Pawsitivtrainr

    Dog Trainer

    Satisfied Customers:

    145
    35+ years Training Dogs
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PA/Pawsitivtrainr/2012-6-19_191152_DOROTHYANN500X509.64x64.jpg Pawsitivtrainr's Avatar

    Pawsitivtrainr

    Dog Trainer

    Satisfied Customers:

    145
    35+ years Training Dogs
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AG/agilityaddict/2012-6-6_18501_IMG4422.64x64.jpg agilityaddict's Avatar

    agilityaddict

    Pet Trainer

    Satisfied Customers:

    89
    20 years experience training dogs in obedience and agility, current 4-H agility superintendent
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetdeb/Debbie Headshot 500.64x64.jpg Dr. Deb's Avatar

    Dr. Deb

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    69
    I have been a breeder and owner of dogs for over 40 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DO/dogdoc4u/2012-6-18_0347_CanonPics2012082.64x64.jpg Dr. Altman's Avatar

    Dr. Altman

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    58
    Practicing small animal veterinarian for 15 years
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MS/MsAM/2012-6-9_16426_anna.64x64.jpeg Anna's Avatar

    Anna

    Pet Trainer

    Satisfied Customers:

    43
    40 yrs. training pet dogs and performance dogs in obedience, agility, herding, tracking, and therapy.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/1I/1ISUDVM/2011-3-1_22028_Honeymoon2005075294928803490646858.64x64.jpg Dr. Bruce's Avatar

    Dr. Bruce

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    34
    13 years experience as a veterinarian dealing with dogs.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/jadedangel57/2014-5-4_221755_janenewsm.64x64.jpg Jane Lefler's Avatar

    Jane Lefler

    Animal Behaviorist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1434
    Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 16+ years