So, Dodger has been acting strange for about three months now. At first I had just thought he was just adjusting to the move when we had move to our new home back in December 2013, but now I'm starting to think he's depressed. No matter how much time I spend with him, give him love, cuddle him, reassure him I love him, talk him on long walks, etc... He just never snaps out of this slump unless he sees another dog or if friends come over. Then he becomes the same energetic little pup that we know him to be. I don't know if he's acting this way because of my husband's deployment and he just misses him or if he just misses being around other dogs (most dog in our neighborhood run on different schedules than us and we don't always see them and some aren't other dog friendly as well) and the cat doesn't exactly want to play with him that much (she plays but only up to a certain extent). I'm kinda at a loss on what I should do. I've been debating on getting another dog so he has someone who'll keep him company and be his friend, but I want opinions on what some other's think. Is he depressed or is this something else that I should be concerned about? What are some opinions on this?

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Hi Autumn, my comments assume Dodger is healthy.  I looked up your profile ans see he's around 10 months old. If you've not done a stool check in the last 6 months, I recommend dropping off a fresh sample at your Vet.  Worms are common in young dogs and can make them sluggish even when they are otherwise healthy.  It's cheap and easy to do, so it's a good maintenance type thing.

Regarding depression, it is unlikely, especially in a dog his age, however here are some thingsthat could be going on:

1) He may be missing your husband and the move may have done away with some of the familiar scent associated with him that would be telling him " this is my place and I'll be back here soon".  

2) He may be reacting to you, how you feel about the move and how you feel about it in relation to your husband's deployment.

3) He may be calmer because of some maturing, compared to his age prior to the move.

4) He may be reacting to your concerns about him, so you have a feedback loop going on.  Instead of becoming more self confident, you may be making him overly dependent.

It may be any of these, a combination of some or all of the above.  So what to do?  Don't get another dog for him, instead, do the stool check and then chill out about him.  The more you see him as depressed, the more likely it is he'll be responding in ways that prove you right....  Concentrate on feeling good yourself, doing fun things, having happy music on, and whatever works FOR YOU  and you may just find it carries over to him as well.  Give it 30 days.  I'll look for an update :-)

I do agree with Anna's points but will add a different perspective.

Several years ago, when Jack was an only dog, my husband briefly worked 2nd shift. That meant he was not home in the evenings. Jack sulked. He didn't want to play. He stopped enjoying his walks. This is a dog who is happy to walk with me alone if I, say, have a vacation day BUT to this day, if myself or my husband skips the evening walk and the other takes the dogs alone, both dogs tend to plant feet and look back at the house and say "Hey, we forgot someone."

All dogs are creatures of habit. But many Corgis seem insanely so. Change their routine and they are not happy. I was not depressed about my husband's shift change, nor was I anxious. I was not thrilled but I was ok with it. The dog was not picking up on my cues. He did not like the quiet house and he let me know it.

Jack, more so than Maddie, loves other dogs and loves activity. As he matured, we realized he would never be happy being an only dog. He was starting to get anxious about not letting us out of sight. He was always bored and wanted to play non-stop. When we were out, he would (and still does, though not to such a degree) seek out every dog he saw. He hates leaving a group and wants to stay where the party is.

In short, he is a dog that does best in a multi-dog home. We were planning on getting a second dog anyway, and decided not to wait. As soon as my husband's job situation became more stable, we brought in another dog. And Jack is such a happier dog for it.

If Dodger is 10 months old, I'd wait another six months or so. But if he really loves being around other dogs and your feel like you want a multi-dog household, you may find it makes Dodger a happier dog.

Dogs are social animals, and Corgis are especially busy dogs. A one-person home is not always enough activity for them. He may miss your husband (he probably does), but more than that it may be that he does not like the calm quiet house that you probably now have if it's just you and the dog.

I like what Anna and Beth said and would also suggest that you look for a class near yo for you and Dodger. Taking his mind off things and getting him to focus on learning new things may just perk him up. Many corgis just like a sense of "order" and he knows something is missing. Training will help him focus on something else.

I guess I have to clarify why I said "don't get another dog for him".  In my book, you never get another dog for the dog.  You get another dog only when the person responsible for doing the work associated with having a dog is willing to take on the 10-12 yr. commitment of time, money, energy, space etc. that go into having a dog.  If that's the case with you, then your dog may be all the happier for it.

The operant part of Beth's suggestion is "We were planning on getting a second dog anyway, and decided not to wait. As soon as my husband's job situation became more stable, we brought in another dog."  That works.

I have seen too many dogs who were bought for children, partners, other dog in household etc. become a casualty of such situations when the person doing the work was no longer wanting or able  to do it (usually for very good reasons).  You really should want to have an animal pretty bad to take on the needed long term commitment.

Agreed completely.   I enjoy having two but there are lots of added issues, from conflict resolution to the simple problem of walking two at once.   If someone is considering adding a second, they need to be sure that is what they want.  Problems small (like what to do with one dog who loves toys and a second who is the Destroyer Of All Things) and large (How to handle one being sick or injured and needing extra care while the other is healthy and fit and still needs lots of exercise) arise.   And the expenses can get a little crazy-- double the vet visits, double the heartworm meds, double the flea and tick treatments, etc.

And IMO no one should add a second dog without considering what they would do if they find themselves in a position where the two dogs don't like each other at all.


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