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Old February 5th, 2008, 10:46 AM
Becca Becca is offline
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Dog Suddenly Clingy

I have a 5 year-old Lab Mix rescue pup who has always been quite independent and hard-headed. I used to be kind-of sad that he wasn't one of those "loyal" dogs who followed their owner around and seemed partial to me over other people. But I got over it.

Anyway, in the past couple of months, he has gotten more and more clingy. I noticed it but didn't think much of it. He has started following me from room to room and always sitting at my feet. But last night, he actually slept under my bed - something he has never done before. It made me start to wonder if he is frightened by something and if that's the reason for this new behavior. Then again, maybe it's just a normal thing and nothing to worry about.

Any ideas about this? Thanks so much.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 12:19 PM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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Have you had Buddy in for a checkup recently, Becca? My Ridge always gets clingy when she's not feeling well--and she's normally rather aloof and hardheaded. It's one of the first indications we have that she's not feeling well.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 12:45 PM
Becca Becca is offline
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Just last week

He had his annual exam last week - and all was well.

He is eating normally, has a normal energy level, everything. It's just that instead of hanging around in another room and sleeping or whatever, he seems to want to hang out right under my feet.

I think I may give him a chew treat today and see if he takes that to another room to chew on it - as he normally does. He likes to chew half and then hide the other half so he really doesn't like to do it around anyone - then we might know his hiding spot.

And don't get me wrong - I don't mind his being near me - as long as nothing is wrong with him.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 12:51 PM
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CearaQC CearaQC is offline
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Has anything changed in your personal life?

Sometimes dogs really get a feel for their human family and any time something occurs, they act differently.

So if he's not ill, maybe he's reacting to something else.

Some dogs react when women get pregnant or go through emotional turmoil, or if there's an illness within the family.



Dogs have keen senses and some will alert family members of diabetic problems or seizures (sometimes without any training whatsoever!) and therefore are good service dogs.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 01:22 PM
Becca Becca is offline
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You know, I hadn't even thought about that. I live alone with him but my boyfriend has been coming into town a lot more often lately...he lives in the next state for his job. But he's been here every weekend plus some for the last couple of months (with the holidays and stuff) so that could be it.

The boyfriend actually picks on him about being jealous but I didn't think much of it. He just jokes around and says to Buddy "you don't have to be around her all the time, you know." But I just took that as the boyfriend being jealous of the dog...didn't think that it might be the other way around. They really like each other though so no problem there, I don't suppose.

And I guess my mood has been a little different lately - been studying more, etc.

You know, I was so worried that something might be wrong with him that I didn't think about my behavior or circumstances changing. And we just went on our usual mile walk and he was fine...and I was actually nervous that today would be intimidating for him since so many people are walking the streets for Mardi Gras. But he was his usual self with that. I'll give him the chew treat after he rests and see how that works out.

Thanks to both of you for giving me some ideas and getting me thinking. It seems like all of my common sense goes out the window when it comes to problem-solving for my own dog....I guess my emotions get in the way.

I'm still wondering if it just may be a maturing/getting older thing?
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Old February 5th, 2008, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
I'm still wondering if it just may be a maturing/getting older thing?
That could very well be. Labs often do suddenly slow down and turn into adults at age 5 or 6.

We have setters--they do it a little earlier, around age 3. I can't tell you how many times we've had our suddenly lethargic dogs into the vet only to find they've just entered their 'couch potato' phase of life. We've even coined a term for it: SSMS or Sudden Setter Maturity Syndrome.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 01:52 PM
Becca Becca is offline
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That's cute

And it's funny that you mentioned labs maturing at 5-6. Until recently, people didn't believe he was that old because he looked and acted so much like a puppy. In the last year, he's gotten a little gray around his mouth and just acts more mature.

And I gave him the chew that he usually takes to another room and, sure enough, he has it right by me. So strange. But I wouldn't describe him as otherwise lethargic...that's what's so strange to me.

I know what you mean about rushing them to the vet, only to find out nothing's wrong. I was terrible about that early on because he had parvo virus when I adopted him and I became super-anxious about his health. That's why I'm so happy to have found this forum...it helps to have cheaper opinions before rushing off to the vet for no reason.

Woops...just as I'm typing this, he picked up his treat and walked to the other room. I guess that solves that. He obviously doesn't want it right now though because he's looking for a hiding spot for the whole thing. He's so funny. He walks around and actually whines when he can't find a new hiding spot. And he simply ends up putting it in a shadow of another object, thinking that I can't see it there. He's so funny.

Thanks again for the input. I'll just keep an eye on him.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 02:01 PM
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Wow! Not everyone would have the patience or diligence to get a new dog through parvo! You did a good job, Becca!
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Old February 5th, 2008, 02:22 PM
Becca Becca is offline
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Thanks!

It was tough and I coudn't bring myself to give him a name until I knew he would make it...and the vets told me he likely wouldn't. But a couple of weeks and over $500 later, he pulled through. And he is so worth it!

Such a great dog for me!!
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