So it's been a while since anything major has come up concerning Dodger. Now something really has come up that's extremely concerning. Dodger has stopped eating his food. The vet has found nothing wrong with him, he gets a decent amount of exercise, he gets a good serving size of food, and he gets lots of love and attention from both my husband and myself. We don't know if he's doing this because he wants us to switch up his food or if it's because of the stress of preparing to move that has caused him to stop eating. Any ideas of what could cause him to stop eating like this?
If he checked out OK at the Vet, he may simply be reacting to stress he feels in YOU regarding the move, or to actual physical changes in the house in preparation for moving. I would simply reduce his food by 1/3 and take up his food if he doe not eat ( don't coax him! ) and not offer it again until the next meal. If he starts to eat at every meal regularly for a week or so, then return to normal amount in one of his meals, for a week, then up the second meal as well. He should eat eagerly! Praise him when he finishes all the food in the bowl. Do away with treats until he's eating his meals completely. That would be my strategy. Good luck with the move.
I've had Corgis quit eating for things other than being stubborn. Bella quit due to some stomach problems and after much medical intervention she again started eating when I put 1/2 cup of warm water in her food at every meal...I would try this just to see what he does. Good Luck! I know how frustrating this can be!
Is this the little dog that witnessed a break-in and was thrown upside-down into the bath tub? I've been thinking of him a lot. I can only imagine the stress he is in just watching you pack, which cannot be avoided of course. I wonder if a short-term mild anti-anxiety medication, or maybe a gentle dog sitter or daycare anytime you cannot be with him might help in the interim so he never has to be alone while things are becoming unfamiliar and confusing to him with things being moved about, similar to what happened during the break-in. Since you had him checked out by the vet I am guessing the PTSD you mentioned in a previous post (if my memory is accurate) is being exacerbated by what probably feels like a major upheaval to him so soon after the break-in. There must be someone who specializes in canine PTSD that may be able to offer some suggestions, since you and your spouse are both in the service, if this is the same story I am thinking of. There are plenty of military dogs living with severe trauma I believe, but I wish it were not so. Keep us posted on how Dodger and all of you are doing. So sorry everyone has to go through this, but it sounds like better times are coming!
Did you get him as a rescue? If so, he might have been abandoned at the rescue because his humans had to move and couldn't take him, in which case he would associate packing up with bad things. That could put him off his feed.
Just noticed Holly's question: is this the dog that was attacked by the burglars? If so, she's right that he's probably still unnerved.
If the vet thinks he's OK, he could just be reacting to stress. Can you give him some more scrumptious food? For example, if you feed him kibble, could you add a spoonful of canned food to give it a little zing? Or even some (onion-free, garlic-free, raisin-free, grape-free, chocolate-free) human food? An egg scrambled in a little butter and cooled to room temperature won't hurt him, and it may be enough to jump-start his appetite. Or a hard-boiled egg.
Hello everyone! Thank you all for helping out. To answer some questions, here's some basics about Dodger.
He is not a rescue, we got him from a breeder and he's never had any issues before. He has been with us for both moves we have done so far and has done fine. He and our cat have always been put first when it comes to moving and being taken care of.
Yes, this is our corgi that was attacked by the burglars. For who know the story, you already know what he's going through. However, those who aren't aware...someone had broken into our apartment and taken his crate and thrown him into the bathroom. I found him upside down in his crate scared out of his wits. He has gotten better, but he still dislikes it when people knock on the door, when people are in the hall, etc... He only get aggressive towards certain people which I have a feeling he can tell that they can't be trusted.
We have tried having a petsitter before, multiple times actually, needless to say that it didn't work out and I will never ever be so trusting to anyone outside of our family and friends to be around our dog.
We have taken him to a vet and had a doggy therapist check him out and both have found nothing wrong with him. Which I find a bit odd.
He gets very attached to us and misses us horribly for when we're gone for long periods of time. My husband is in the service so when he leaves Dodger gets very distraught and misses him. Even though I'm home all the time since I work from home as a writer, he could be playing with the cat and just miss my horribly a curl up at my feet and whimper. And he absolutely hates it when he can't be around people. He constantly wants to be the center of everyone's attention during game night.
We switched his food to Kibbles and Bits. He has picked up eating once again and seems to prefer this than the Predigree and Purina. We have reduced him from three feeding times to only two. He gets feed in the morning, a treat in the afternoon for good behavior, and then he gets fed around 4:30-5:00 P.M. This seems to have helped some, but I have noticed that sometimes he'll leave his food completely untouched. He doesn't get fed a ton of treats either.
He gets daily exercise. He loves running around outside and racing all over the place. We also jog up and down the stairs when we go outside and come back in. He also gets two-three hours dedicated to playtime.
We are at a total loss. We think he might have a doggy split personality or doggy bipolar. Some days he goes from this energetic fluff-nut to other days where he's just depressed, hardly drinks or eats and barely plays with anyone or anything. It's definitely not PTSD otherwise he'd be acting how he was after the breaking in and all the trauma happened to him.
Anybody have any thoughts?
I can't imagine why you were still feeding him three times a day, I see he was born June 2013. Normally pups are switched to twicw a day somewhere between 4 and 6 months of age. Going to twice a day feedings was overdue. People get very emotional over their dogs not eating, we live in such a food driven Society, but if the dog has checked out well at the Vet, the answer is simple, feed him less until you find the amount he eats eagerly. Some dogs will occasionally skip a meal, this is normal for them. Whatever is not eagerly eaten gets picked up and (at my house) presented at the next meal.
As for the other issues, he may have some separation anxiety. Learning to stay alone is an acquired skill as dogs are naturally pack animals. The cat can be part of his pack though. Work on a routine when you leave him, gradually increasing the time and try to fuss over him less, choosing when and when not to give attention. For anxiety, some dogs do well with the Thundershirt when left alone.
Correct any and all aggressiveness to people unless YOU are in a situation that YOU feel threatening. Keep up the socialization to different places and people, he is still young and will benefit from it and become more confident.
As for pet sitters, you may find someone reliable who pet sits in their own home. Many dogs do well in that situation that would act differently in their own home. That would also avoid the separation anxiety and being alone a lot when you are gone. I agree with you on not having petsitters come to your home as this may trigger a bad association unless you have one willing to come several times when you are there, so he gets to know that person well. It would cost you some extra initial visits, but that may work. Best wishes.
I'm with Anna in the food department. In fact, I've read that if fed three meals a day, a puppy will reach a point where it unilaterally decides two are enough (or maybe even one) and cut back on its own.
The separation anxiety is probably a lingering after-effect of the trauma. One possible strategy is to examine your own behavior when you come and go -- even coming and going from a room. Be careful that you're not making any kind of fuss or trying to be "reassuring" by loving him up when you move from place to place, or by expressing great joy and excitement when you come back into the house or into a room. Your comings and goings should appear, in the doggy mind, to be a normal, routine part of life.
Are you still using the crate? If so, it might be good to try an X-pen, which he wouldn't connect with the traumatic event.
Aggression with strangers? I've not noticed this with corgis (probably because I don't take them to the same places), but the last German shepherd, who was normally very benign, could be triggered by certain people who, for reasons incomprehensible to humans, would throw her into a rage. I used to take her to the sidewalk coffee bar of a local fancy grocery store. That store had a regular customer who came and went frequently. She could see that guy coming from way across the parking lot, and she would make it clear to me that she intended to kill him if he came anywhere near us. He was just an ordinary-looking guy, some office worker from one of the nearby high-rises.
The only solution I ever found was to keep the dog at heel and under control, making an effort not to raise my voice or in any way seem perturbed. She never let go of her craving to kill this gent, but at least she didn't act on it.
Some people may remind him of the burglar. Dogs recognize humans in ways that humans do not use overtly or at all. For example, there may be some odor about the person, or the color pattern in someone's clothing may look like the burglar's.
Once a very stupid meter reader entered our backyard when our aged, gentle, and totally benign German shepherd was out there. The moron sprayed her with mace, for absolutely no reason (this was not an attack dog by any stretch of the imagination). After that she HATED any man who had a light-colored shirt and darker slacks in the same general shade -- the APS uniform was a light blue shirt and dark blue pants. Took us a long time to figure that out. The point being, ya never know...
Try warm water on the food??? It works for mine. Add about 1/2 cup. I don't know if it brings out the flavor or what but mine also don't drink enough.
Run your hand along his side...if you can feel the ribs really well, he is too skinny--then I'd worry. Until then, put food down for 10 minutes in the morning, and 10 minutes at night. If he doesn't eat it, pick it up. He may go 2-3 days before he gets the message, but trust me- he won't let himself starve. Some dogs just don't eat a lot of food. My Seanna only gets 1/4 cup twice a day, while my other corgi gets a cup twice a day. Give lots of love when he's depressed...sometimes just taking him for a walk with just the two of you will be enough to reassure him he is still yours. :-)
I have to do things alone with my Seanna every day or she gets like that. We go to the barn to feed the horses and donkeys twice a day- just us alone. Since I've started doing that, I've noticed that she is much happier....I praise her for keeping the birds out of the barn, she thinks it's her "job"...when we go back to the house she's nothing but a big grin ear to ear...
The whole issue with the food thing is he'll act like he's being under fed and will go completely wipe out the cat's food dish of any food and he'll constantly scout the kitchen for scraps and crumbs. So we have been constantly switching up the cat's eating place and was giving him three meals a day. One full scoop in the morning, half a cup in the afternoon, and a full scoop in the late evening. We were doing that for a while and it seemed to have solved the issues, but then he just stopped eating completely for a while. He would take a very small mouthful of food, spit it out on the floor, and then eat it and that would be that. We took the food away, we would leave it sit there and it didn't even catch his attention. He wouldn't even go after the cat food like he would normally do if he felt "starved." After we switched the food, he was back to eating regularly on two meals a day, sometimes three meals in case he would be acting as if he were a starving pup. As for the issue with weight, you can feel his ribs, but he's not overweight either. Size wise he's big than your average corgi because he was one of the more bigger pups from the litter. He's not skinny, but he's not chubby or over the weight limit for a corgi, he's somewhere in the middle and has held the weight since 8 or 9 months of age, I believe. So we're not too concerned with his weight as of yet. We did notice he doesn't drink enough though and that has been a concern as well.
You're probably right on the separation anxiety. And if that's the case then I know how to I should approach the situation. I handled a few dogs and my last cat had horrible separation anxiety. So that shouldn't be a problem. We'll just take things slow and work with him on it a little bit every day. We do reassure him every day that we love him and our kitty, making sure they know they won't be left behind and that they'll be coming with us. We always make sure they're absolutely comfortable and we talk to them whenever we take them on road trips or move. Him and our cat Kisa are very close. They give each other baths, sleep together, play together, etc... So they could be part on one another's pack. He doesn't get distressed when he's separated from her. We've come home to her sleeping outside of his crate and both of them having a nap time.
We do still use a crate. We put him in the crate whenever we're gone for long periods of time. He knows exactly when his bedtime is and will tug on our pants legs to let us know that it's his bedtime which is 9:00 P.M., but if he's been in the crate all day then he knows that he goes to bed between 10:30 and 11:00 P.M.
Covering his aggression... We socialize him extremely often, take him to new places, take him to dog parts, road trips, etc... With most people he's fine, absolutely fine and will be the sweetest dog ever. But there's like five people who live in the apartment complex that he just gets aggressive and protective. It might be the fact that he thinks he needs to protect me as he has been with me on a few occasions where strangers have tried to assault me and do harm to me. And he's witnessed one of my friends give me a concussion in our own home. So he might be acting out because of that. It could also because he remembers the person who broke into the apartment, it's hard to tell. He has very selective aggression, but for the majority of the time he's sweet and lovable. Dog wise he's usually fine. Most of the dogs that live in the apartment complex are mostly dog aggressive dogs and he's the only one who is actually dog friendly and thinks everyone wants to be his friend. Its very rare when he'll actually get aggressive towards another dog. So it's very hard to tell what sets him off, even under control if it gets too close will stand up and plop himself down in front of me.
Sitters are a different story. I have been learning that the people we have been choosing are just no good with pet. I have come home to finding glasses shattered and they would try to blame the dog, but when I'd inspect Dodger there would be chunks of glass in his fur or he'd be very quiet and cautious about even trying to come near me. So we have been trying to find friends and family that would be willing to watch him if they're available. But as for having someone come back into our home and pet sit, not going to happen. There's too many people looking to make a quick buck and they don't care how they treat the animals as long as they get their money.
All in all, here's hoping the move will help resolve some of the current issues that are happening.
Yipes. Herding dogs can be very protective -- that's why the German shepherd and a number of other herding dogs, such as the Belgian malinois, have been cultivated as police and "protection" dogs. If Dodger has seen you be approached aggressively or actually attacked, then it's possible this could heighten his protective instinct.
Chunks of glass in his fur? What kind of folks are you hiring? LOL! It sounds like you need to move away not only from the apartment but from some of the lively folks who hang out around you. :-D
One of my friends had a VERY bizarre experience with a lady who hired out to pet-sit her doberman pinscher when she and her husband went out of town for a few days of vacation time. It seems that some people who bill themselves as pet-sitters are...well...strange. I don't know how on earth you'd ever find out, unless you can get on Angie's List in your area, or check them out on Yelp. These days, I don't go anyplace where I can't take my dogs. In a real emergency, I'd board them with the vet -- but of course, that means they'd come home with whatever bug they'd pick up there. $$$ for boarding and more $$$ for treating the bug!
My most recent GerShep's dislike of certain humans was also very selective, but it didn't seem to have anything to do with any previous acquaintance. A previous GerShep, the single smartest dog I've ever known, was able to discern which people were actually liable to pose a threat -- it was really pretty amazing. Your dog may be making those kinds of canine judgment calls, too...he may not always be right, but he may be instinctively assessing a kind of "threat level" by cues that you don't notice, you being a mere human.
If you have still have the friend who gave you a concussion, consider replacing him with a German shepherd: a much better pal, all around, for you and Dodger. There's nothing like a GerShep to keep the "friends" and the burglars at arm's length.