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Sally G.
Sally G., Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 9261
Experience:  Service /assistance dog trainer,Therapy dog evaluator and trainer, AKC evaluator, pet first aide and member of PAS Animal Response Team.
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Yesterday, my 8 yr old lab JoJo yelped apparent reason.

Customer Question

Yesterday, my 8 yr old lab JoJo yelped for no apparent reason. Then she acted fearful, back legs shaking, tail turned down. I took her on a walk to try to "reset" her mood. She got better, but the tail has been tucked down, upside down U shaped, ever since. Her eyes tell me she is fearful. I think her glands might have released, because her backend was messy. (The day before she wallowed in poop she found in the woods.)
JoJo is often weird. She gets "stuck" on an area rug, and doesn't want to step off. Sometimes I have to coax her. I've taken her on walks on leash inside the house to show her it is safe. She still repeats this behavior, but inconsistently. I live next door to my daughter and she acts afraid of certain spots in my daughter's house also. Rugs are her refuge from hardwood floors. I am not aware of her ever being hurt on hardwood floors.
Sometimes, I think her brain shorts out or that she sees things that aren't there. Her reputation in the family is meek, submissive, and squirrely.
I have her 13 yr old mother also. JoJo was born at my house in MO. We have lived in WA for 6 years. She has never been separated from her mother or me.
Any thoughts re: why JoJo is acting so fearful? It pains me to see her like this. She lets me cuddle her and enjoys it, I think. So I don't think she is afraid of me.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Dog Training
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Just wanted to add that JoJo's appetite seems normal.
Expert:  Sally G. replied 7 months ago.
hello and thank you for using this site to help you . If her anal glands are full or sore that would keep her tail down and it would have her yelp. I would want a Vet to check that and express them if needed. Another possibility for that is that she was bit or stung with the spring activity of bugs. Is her getting stuck on things new or has she always had a problem?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I will have the anal glands checked. I doubt she was stung, as she was indoors when the yelp happened. Could be, just less likely. She has not ALWAYS had the problem of getting stuck on things, which is mostly area rugs. But she has had it for a few months now. It is inconsistent. Sometimes she does it and other times, she walks around normally.
Expert:  Sally G. replied 7 months ago.
Thank you for that information.When older dogs get stuck like that the worry of canine cognative dysfunction comes into play if you know that nothing has happened in that area that would have injured the dog or frightened the dog. These signs come on slowly and is much like human dementia. I would have your doctor look at that possibility, Your best bet is to try to video tape what is happening and keep a log of any newer behavior changes and see if the puzzle fits.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
JoJo acts very youthful, still wants to play, very energetic on walks. It is hard for me to think this is dementia, but how does a doctor even tell if it is. I suppose it is hard for you to answer w/o observing her, but honestly, I don't think you've told me anything I have thought of myself. I was hoping for more insight, perhaps suggestions, something more than take her to the vet, which I will do.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
meant to say "haven't thought of myself."
Expert:  Sally G. replied 7 months ago.
Well dogs act in many ways normally , it does not deteriorate their body, but things in the mind start to deteriorate such as some memory. Some dogs forget what side of the door they go out and others sometimes stand looking in a corner. It is a gradual process and usually goes un noticed until the dog forgets that it usually goes potty outside and begins to have accidents in the home. When it comes to just plain old fear then you must work through that through training, try to put the dogs mind on something else you know it can do and move the mind forward that way. So if the dog is stuck on a rug then work it on a rug in its obedience until it forgets the fear then move it off the rug. Hold on let me see if I can find you a video of something to try
Expert:  Sally G. replied 7 months ago.
It basically takes time and patience to work the dog through it http://ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kl0oHpYMtLk Your Vet will ask you a series of questions if there is dementia suspected, that is the only way to figure it out. There is medication for this. You said your dog has always been a bit off, and dogs do go through imprints through adulthood , it is how the owner handles them that can make or break a behavior. Just like in human dementia, memories come back of old days and they envelop the mind. If when your dog went through fear imprints they were handled not in the best fashion then those are the memories that will effect the brain through a change
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I get a blank page when I click on the link. What topic should I search to try to find it?
Expert:  Sally G. replied 7 months ago.
google Kiko's kitchen nightmares on youtube. it should be right at the top
Expert:  Sally G. replied 7 months ago.
try this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BspeUQ0ja6I
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
ok will do that. I'm not what else to add. JoJo has had a lifelong disgusting habit of eating poop ... I can throw that one in ... there's probably videos on that too. Any suggestions?
Expert:  Sally G. replied 7 months ago.
Poop eating can be from a medical condtion, or behavior, Dogs that are not self confident will eat their poop.
Expert:  Sally G. replied 7 months ago.
here is more on coprophagia http://www.petplace.com/article/dogs/behavior-training/behavior-problems/coprophagia-in-dogs
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
By the way, I have a dog door, so my dogs let themselves in and out to relieve themselves. So solutions to poop eating that require me to catch her in the act don't work.
Expert:  Sally G. replied 7 months ago.
then the only thing you can do is use something like De ter or Dis taste. However that is not always successful so then it becomes a matter of letting them out at certain times and watching them so you can pick it up.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I've tried a few different food additives. Can't recall which ones. They didn't seem to work. I can try the ones you mentioned if you think they are a cut above the other alternatives. The idea of making poop taste bad is comical.
Expert:  Sally G. replied 7 months ago.
I agree, but dogs love their winter poopsicle sticks! I think at that time the majority of dogs turn into poop eaters:)Sometimes adding pure canned pumpkin to the food is also a deterrent.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Never heard of the pumpkin idea ... will try that. Sounds tastier than chemical stuff.
Expert:  Sally G. replied 7 months ago.
for a Lab you can try a tablespoon in the food nightly.
Expert:  Sally G. replied 7 months ago.
Hi Jan,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Sally G.

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