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Sally G.
Sally G., Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 9691
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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My dog (Benny) does not seem to recognize my husband (). It

Customer Question

My dog (Benny) does not seem to recognize my husband (Thomas). It started after my husband was teaching him a new trick with the ball. Thomas did not raise his voice or even sound stern, but Benny seemed very upset that he couldn't understand. Benny ran to me and pushed himself under my legs. Benny is not a very animated dog except when he plays fetch or is getting treats. He usually loves playing ball and jumps around like a puppy (Benny is 8 1/2). my husband is also the alpha and Benny usually follows him around and lays at his feet most of the day. Thomas also has the flu so his routine has been different. Benny is behaving like he does when someone he barely knows tries to pet him or give him attention. Benny even seems nervous to take a treat out of Thomas's hand. It's really heart breaking for both of us. Benny was such a scared little dog when we adopted him and although he is still not affectionate around strangers he absolutely loved my husband.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I have been in the dog field for 25 years. I am a Therapy Dog & AKC Evaluator/trainer/ as well as an assistance/service dog trainer, specializing in behavior. It will be my pleasure to help you today.

When did this start, meaning date?

What size dog is Benny (small , med, large)?

Was he learning this trick on a carpet or on a wood /slippery floor?

Could he have hurt himself when doing the trick such as pinched nerve, a toenail catch on carpet, etc.?

Are you giving regular dog treats?

When did you adopt Benny?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It started on 2/14
Benny is a medium size dog
We adopted Benny when he was 1 1/2. He will be 9 in April.
We usually play fetch on the carpet so Benny doesnt slip. (We have a 8x10 rug and a runner) He doesn't always bring the ball to us and usually waits for us to brimg the ball on the carpet when mentioning playing ball. So, my husband was trying to get him to get the ball and bring it to the carpet to play. He was on the hard wood floor but Benny did not slip or hurt himself.
We usually give Benny a treat every time he brings the ball (or drops it on the carpet at least reasonably close). He is less enthusiastic without treats.
Benny acted close to normal the next day until my husband tried playing ball (on the carpet) and the same thing started up again.
Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for that information. From a behavior standpoint whenever there is such a sudden change from what a dog would normally love to be a part of it tells us to have the health checked. Given the fact that he will be 9 years old I would worry about disc issues that would cause pain when playing. What I would do is to give Benny complete rest , going out for potty reasons only, no ball playing or running, Keep him on the carpet and try a little aspirin. If it is a disc problem then the aspirin will help with inflammation and the rest will also help. If you do not see a difference in a couple of days I would consider taking him in for a hands on exam.

If you have any Rymadyl from a previous Vet visit for him use that rather than the aspirin because aspirin can only be used a couple days tops or stomach ulcers can occur. I will direct you to a link for dosing and side effects.

I do not believe this is a behavior problem without health being involved. Watch his walking, any arching of the back , slower more gingerly walking at times, not wanting to come to you is another symptom because being handled is painful.

Use regular aspirin not tylenol or ibuprofen and let your vet know that you have used aspirin as other pain meds may have to wait until the aspirin leaves the body.