Is your dog in pain?
Signs that your dog may be in pain:
- Change in activity level
- Growling when touched
- Panting more than usual
- Moving away when you approach
- Acting out of character
- Even the way they look at you
- Avoiding interaction
- Limping or moving with obvious discomfort
You should know how your dog usually behaves. If, all of the sudden, they are sat away from you in the corner or under a table, you should investigate if it continues. Clumbers are a stoic breed and will hide pain from you. Try gently feeling over them to see if you can find a particular area of discomfort. If this is unusual for your dog you should take them to the vet for a check over.
You should be aware of 'Stereotypics' or 'Stereotypic behaviors'. These are normal behaviors performed in a repetitive and compulsive manner. It is unknown if dogs suffer with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) as humans can but they interfere with a normal and happy life for you and your dog.
These behaviours include:
- Shadow or light chasing
- Tail chasing/whirling
- Flank sucking
- Fly snapping
If you suspect your dog suffers from a repetitive behavior disorder, the first thing to do is rule out any other medical or behavioral problem. For example, some dogs that appear to be fly snapping for no apparent reason turn out to have eye lesions, and a dog behaving strangely might have had a seizure.
You should not interfere with your dog when he engages in the behavior, especially not if aggression is involved. If your dog is causing injury to himself with his behavior, avoid any stress factors or possible triggers and seek help from a vet as soon as possible.
If your vet diagnoses a repetitive/compulsive behavior pattern in your dog, the best way forward is to see a veterinary behavior specialist for treatment. Treatment involves minimizing stress, a behavior modification plan, and sometimes medication.