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Old Dog Behavior Changes

Updated on July 05, 2015
brain aging in dogs, senior dog personality changes, dog behavior change
brain aging in dogs, senior dog personality changes, dog behavior change | Source

Senior Dogs Get Alzheimers too!

Owners of geriatric dogs often call their veterinarian office concerned about their old dog's recent odd behavior changes. They may report that their dog may wake up in the middle of the night and start howling. Others may report their very well house-trained dog gets up and has accidents around the house or wakes up to drink and then shortly after urinates on the carpet. I know about these instances as I have personally often taken these phone calls when working for the veterinary hospital.

I recall particularly, an owner one day calling concerned about her dog because he started wandering around the home at night bumping into furniture and hardly recognizing her. He would then sleep for most of the day undisturbed. The owner was unable to sleep properly and was very concerned by this recent worrisome behavior. Afterward, the dog also changed behavior, from an outgoing dog he became quite passive and hardly listened to her commands.

While all the above instances required a careful evaluation by the vet via a thorough physical and geriatric blood-work sent to a lab, most instances turned out to be simply signs of good old aging.Just as it may happen in humans, dogs tend to approach their golden years by losing parts of their cognitive function. Some may lose some, some may lose more. Many refer to these cases affectionately as "doggy Alzheimer's" while medically, this condition is abbreviated as CDS standing for Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome.

Symptoms Suggesting Senior Dog Behavior Changes

CDS has become pretty common as we hear more and more about it. If we think about it, after all, dogs are living always longer lives and therefore, they are more prone to all the diseases and conditions that seniority seems to bring along. There are some typical key CDS symptoms that may help dog owners understand better the condition and prompt them to have the vet perform a thorough check up. Below are some symptoms that may suggest, but not yet confirm CDS:

Old Dogs Learn New Tricks, But Forget Commands

Senior dogs may forget some simple commands they have known all their lives. If your geriatric dog refuses to sit when asked to, do not scold him or think he is just acting out. Just as a person affected by Alzheimer's may forget a family member's name, a dog may forget a command and perceive it as something completely new you are requesting. However, it's also a good idea to check his joints checked out, as reluctance or refusal to sit or lie down may be also associated with degenerative joint disease.

A Blank Stare of Seeing Imaginary Things

Dogs affected by CDS may stare for no apparent reason a wall or any other object. Some may even chase imaginary objects or bark while nothing is there. A routine check up is recommended as there are some neurological disorders and seizures that may cause this type of symptomatology.

Familiar Rooms Turn into a Big Maze

Some dogs will get up in the middle of the night and wander around bumping into furniture as they look for their way out. Some may get easily distressed and panic as they try to find the way back to bed. Some dogs will howl or get stuck in a corner without finding their way out.

From Normal Sleeper to Night Owl

Some times the dog may have difficulty recognizing the difference between night and day and forget all about the routines. These are the dogs that will wake up at night and start having accidents around the house or start drinking or eating in the middle of the night. Afterward, they will sleep during the day and have no more accidents.

Debating on Being Indoor or Outdoor

Some dogs may even forget why they are sent outside. While before they would go out and do their business right away, now they will sniff around and ask back in wondering why they were out in the first place. Just as some dogs forget about going outside some dogs forget as well their name or that they already ate.

Memory Loss and Difficulty Recognizing You

Some dogs may even forget who their owner is and may growl or act unusually timid. At other times they may have moments of seeming to remember. This may be very heartbreaking for the owner even because the pet may appear not interested anymore in playing or being pet.

Just as Alzheimer's disease does not have a cure, CDS care is mostly supportive. If your dog has just been diagnosed with CDS, consider that there are some drugs that may help preserve some cognitive functioning a little bit longer. Perhaps, ask your vet about the human drug Anipryl. There are also some things you can do at home to help your dog lead a better life and cope better with old dog behavior changes.

  • Take your dog out more often
  • Pet your dog and show affection more often
  • Do not move furniture around to prevent confusion
  • Keep up with a daily routine and stick with it
  • Have your dog wear doggie diapers during the night
  • Place baby gates to seclude dangerous areas such as stairs
  • Supervise your pet when outdoors

Often some dogs that appear to have typical CDS symptoms such as bumping into objects or wandering around may have become suddenly blind or dogs not responding to their name or commands may have become suddenly deaf. Some cases of inappropriate urination have been linked to urinary tract infections or diabetes. So if your pet has sudden behavior changes, have him/her carefully evaluated by the vet since CDS is mostly a condition that is diagnosed by excluding other possible physical issues.

Alexadry© all rights reserved, do not copy.

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      Danny B 7 years ago

      I am having a problem with my 12 1/2 year old Lab mix. He gets up at night and wanders around. He is pretty weak in his hind legs. Frequently he will fall and not be able to get back up. When this happens he barks. he wakes us -- and our neighbors. We are at our wits end trying to figure out how to get a night's sleep. We get him to exercise as mush as he is capable of in this condition which is an afternoon walk at a large dog park and a night time walk. Does anyone know how we can help him sleep through the night?

    • profile image

      Sheryl 7 years ago

      We have a 17 1/2 year old German Short-haired Pointer and we are having the exact same issues with him wandering at night and falling down because he too is weak in his hind legs. We are at the point of exhaustion and don't know what to do. Someone mentioned to me about giving him melatonin (sp?) But, I want to check with the vet first. Most of our friends and family members think we should have him put down, but we just can't bring ourselves to do that. We had him checked by the vet - he's just old - and she said she saw nothing that is causing him pain. He just can't do the things he used to and needs assistance with things just like an old person. Maybe ask your vet about melatonin - that my next step I am taking.

    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 7 years ago from USA

      Melatonin may help reset the dog's awake/sleep cycles so it may be helpful for your dog's wandering around at night. It is wise to talk to your vet about using this.You can read more about melatonin here;

      http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/melatonin-mel...

      Anipryl is another medication prescribed for cognitive disfunction. About the weakness of his legs, could he have arthritis? There are several pain relief meds for that as well.

      A canine friend of 17 years is proof of how well you have taken care of your dog. I think it is great that you are attempting to make him as comfortable as possible. My sincerest best wishes.

    • ciidoctor profile image

      ciidoctor 7 years ago

      i checked some of ur hubs u r really proffessional hubber

    • Laura in Denver profile image

      Laura Deibel 7 years ago from Aurora

      Great advise about the doggy diapers! I suggested this to a friend who maintained that this was cruel in some way. But I think the dog in question dislikes going outside in the cold for one thing, and has cataracts which makes dealing with the stairs difficult, too. Cheers!

    • profile image

      baileyandwoof 7 years ago

      Supplements that have been beneficial for joint pain and movement difficulty, with no side effects, are glucosamine, chondrotin, msm, yucca, etc. Some prescription drugs can cause problems with liver, intestinal and pancreas problems, particularly with older dogs. I have found that my dogs become more "needy" (wanting to be near me) as they age. Perhaps a barricade to keep your dog in the same room as you at night would alleviate some anxiety.

    • theherbivorehippi profile image

      theherbivorehippi 7 years ago from Holly, MI

      Very good Hub! Such helpful and informative information.

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      kopecney 6 years ago

      i have a 15 year old terrieor who her whole life would have never taken food off the table now she not only takes what she wants but climbs up on the kitchen chairs and climbs onto the table and will eat anything left on the table... she also has begun tearing into the trash something she never ever did . is this normal behavoir for an older dog and what do i do she cannot hear well at all so scolding seems mute.

    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 6 years ago from USA

      With a new behavior like this coming out of no where in a senior dog I would highly recommend a vet visit. This sudden increase of appetite may suggest the presence of intestinal parasites, the onset of diabetes, cushing's disease (Hyperadrenocorticism)and sometimes kidney or liver disease. Due to your dog's age I highly recommend some blood work. Instead of scolding try to place bulky items on tables and chairs to prevent climbing and invest in garbage cans that have lids. Best wishes!

    • Juliette Morgan profile image

      Juliette Morgan 6 years ago

      My dog is getting on but fortunately ok at the moment. Glad I read this though, as I didn't consider this could happen to dogs. Excellent info, thanks, Juliette.

    • profile image

      Alice 6 years ago

      I have 4 old dogs, two of whom have dementia.

      One is just a big, blundering old lad, who is quite happy in his confusion.

      The other is an old girl who had Vestibular Syndrome a couple of years ago, which altered her personality. She became more affectionate for a while, and still is with me, but does a lot of standing and staring. When the big lad blunders into her, she gets very aggressive, she's nearly taken his head off tonight.

      They're both on vivitonin.

      I can't bear the thought of putting her down just because she has dementia but, although she's not in pain that I can see, she is baffled by her world and anxious.

      Is there anything else I can do, or is it Time?

      Thanks.

    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 6 years ago from USA

      This is hard to say, you should try your best to determine if your dog has more bad days than good. Here is a helpful hub to help you assess quality of life, best wishes

      https://pethelpful.com/dogs/How-to-Determine-a-Dog...

    • profile image

      Nadyne - english bulldog owner 6 years ago

      That is the reason why we need to train dogs while they are young. Just like in humans, it's hard to absorb complicated things when you are too old.

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      Zachary 5 years ago

      My 13 1/2 heeler with weak hips wears Grip Trex dog shoes on his back feet so he can get the traction needed to get up without help......so worth the money for him to still feel independent !!!!

    • profile image

      julia 5 years ago

      Hi our familu dog is a 13 year old Parson Jack Russel Terrier. He is living with my father in Germany and both are extremly attached to each other (especially after my mothers death 2 years ago.

      Since I am living in The States, I just phone my dad every day, hence get daily updates on our dogs behaviour. My dad is a bit worried because our dog (he is a little scared about noises etc, all his life) seems to get extremly nmervous when he has to go outside. My father treats him like a human, cooks for him, takes him on walk 4 times a day (my dad is 80) and the dog means everything to him. Beside Eddie getting more timid, he no has a different odd behaviour. He'll make up and runs panic stricken through the house, seemingly scared to death. My dad tries to calm him down and after this situation just clings to my dad, not wanting to get off his lap. I feel so helpless, since I'm so far away and was wondering if anybody else has similar experiances, so I can tell my dad its all normal "older" behaviour. Eddie also seems to have a breed related nerve problem. His teeth bite rogether so fast for about 10 seconds, sounding like a machine gun. I hope we will still be able to have Eddie around for years to come. Any help is appreciated. Thanks so much.

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      Chris 5 years ago

      So I thought my dog had to use the bathroom because it's 2:30am and he is just wandering in and out of all the rooms...I walked him, and he did his business, but when we returned the wandering continued. My mother freaked (3:00 now) and made him go to bed...he actually listened... 11.5 year old lab mix... Is it old age really?

    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 5 years ago from USA

      It could be, ask your vet about canine cognitive dysfunction. There is a medication that can slow down the process if your vet diagnoses him with this. Here is an article about it:

      https://hubpages.com/animals/Signs-of-Dementia-in-...

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      Sooze 5 years ago

      My 14 and half border collie dog went to the vet for arthritic pain relief and came out with a diagnosis of renal failure (after blood tests). He has been given vivitonin and has taken it for 10 days. He seems worse now than before and today started with rhythmic trembling although he seems ok in himself. Vivitonin seems an odd choice and most pharmacy sites don't recommend it for renal failure. Any thoughts please?

    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 5 years ago from USA

      Vivitonin sounds like a good choice for treating a stiff gait and other conditions related to old age. However, a website claims "It can improve quality of life in senior but if kidney or heart disease has been diagnosed then that should receive specific treatment."I am not familiar with the drug, but I think it would be a good idea to get a second opinion. Can it be he was prescribed something else and they forgot to give it to you? Renal failure is usually treated with diuretics such as Furosemide.

    • profile image

      Sooze 5 years ago

      Thank you for your response. The only other drug given was omeprazole to combat the ammonia the vet said would build up in his stomach. She did not prescribe anything else, she gave us a months supply of vivitonin and said come back if anything changes. A website I looked at said it shouldn't be given for renal problems! Today his breathing is quite laboured although he went willingly for his walk without issue but is refusing food.

    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 5 years ago from USA

      I looked around and also saw that now, it said to give it with caution to dogs with renal problems. It looked like it said to not give it for too long and at small dosages. I would get a second opinion

    • profile image

      Sooze 5 years ago

      Had my lad put to sleep this morning. His walking had become very unstable so we let him go.

    • profile image

      phoenix rose 4 years ago

      I have an 11 year old Bichon cross. Recently he has stated acting very odd. He suddenly has episodes of extreme fear. He jumps onto my lap and shakes violently as though something has frightened him. he seems to be paranoid and jumps at any noise, even noises he has heard all his life. It's like he has taken some sort of drug, obviously he hasn't, but he wont sleep and follows me everywhere, scratching and whining at the door, and sitting as close to me as possible. This is a dog that has never been scared of thunder or fireworks. He is a brave little dog so this is totally out of character.

      Please don't suggest that someone has hit him or treated him badly as I know he is the most loved and pampered dog you could meet and no one would ever hurt him.

      He has days where he is fine and then suddenly he changes and becomes this scared shaking mess.

    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 4 years ago from USA

      Being hit did not even cross my mind simply because this sounds like a part of aging or a health problem. If your dog is extra clingy, I would recommend a vet visit, it could be she has become deaf, or it could be a sign of canine cognitive disfunction.https://hubpages.com/animals/Why-is-My-Elderly-Dog...

    • profile image

      phoenix rose 4 years ago

      The reason I mentioned the hitting thing was because I have seen lots of people on the net asking similar questions and being told they must be beating their dog.

      Anyway, thank you for your reply. I don't think Teddy is deaf as he seems to react to noises around the house. Or maybe I should say over react. We have 3 parrots which we had before we got Teddy and he seems to be over reacting when they are making their general noises. He has had 2 episodes of shaking since I posted the first comment. The only other time before this that he has physically shook with fear is when he visits the vet. He hates the vets and for this reason I am trying to hold off taking him. I worry that if he is already anxious, a trip to the vets could cause him heart failure.

      He has a yearly check and is always fit. He has no health problems at all. The only thing he has ever had done was grass seeds removed from one ear.

    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 4 years ago from USA

      You are welcome, if you are worryied about a vet visit, try looking for a mobile vet, more and more vets come to your home. You can try a DAP diffuser if your dog is unable to relax. iF THE PARROT NOISES are bothering him try to give a treat immediately after the noise several times until your dog looks forward to the noise for a treat. best wishes

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Vicki L Hodges 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I never thought about this, but it makes total sense. Interesting that a dog can get an Alzheimer's like condition. Do you know about cats? Many votes on this one!

    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 4 years ago from USA

      Yes, cats get it too. It;s called feline cognitive disorder. Thanks for the votes up!

    • T4an profile image

      T4an 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      This is a great hub. My dog will be 12 in October. He is 115 pounds and has been having a lot of problems with his hind legs. We took him to an animal chiropractor who helped tremendously. He could barely walk back in September. I wrote a hub on it. They saved his life. He was diagnosed with myelopathy but it was a pinched nerve. https://hubpages.com/animals/Dog-diagnosed-with-My... Now Mickey is really showing his age even though he can walk better. He has accidents in the house. Will go fo a walk and stop after four house and freeze. He panics and turns around to rushes home. We used to walk for 30 minutes. I feel so sorry for him.

    • T4an profile image

      T4an 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      Voted up!

    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 4 years ago from USA

      I am sorry to hear about the problems Mickey is experiencing. Getting old is not pleasant. Thanks for sharing story and it may be helpful for others and thanks for the vote up! Best wishes!

    • T4an profile image

      T4an 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      Thank you alexdry. I knew these days would come the moment I adopted him. As sad as it is watching him get older, adopting him was the best decision I have ever made.

    • profile image

      Janer 4 years ago

      My Lucy is a 13 year old Westie, her behaviour now is changing very quickly. She has started to soil indoors whether I am with her or not, she just urinates in the same room as me. When she stands still she starts to tremble with her tail between her legs and her head down, this will go on until she sits down, her eyes are glazed and she looks so sad its heartbreaking. She wanders around the house pacing up and down and bumps into things, she jumps when I appear beside her and no longer greets me when I come home. I know she must be deaf as she is on longer afraid of fireworks or load noises.

    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 4 years ago from USA

      janer, it's just sad to see this happen, but many times there are many things you can do to help these senior dogs feel better, please start with a vet visit, here is one of my more recent hubs on this:

      https://hubpages.com/animals/Dog-Health-Causes-of-...

    • profile image

      janer 4 years ago

      Thank you for your reply, it certainly helps to get some advice. I have taken Lucy to the vets today, she did find Lucy to have some weight loss, she took a blood test and ruled out diabetes. She found her tummy to be very hard and tense so couldn't feel anything properly although she did say there were no lumps to be worried about. She injected Lucy with pain killer and antibiotics. I have another appointment on Monday for more blood test for her kidneys and liver in the mean time I have to monitor her water intake and try and get a urine sample.

    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 4 years ago from USA

      What was she diagnosed with? I hope the pain killers/antibiotics help her get some relief. Keep my posted on how she does on her next visit. Best wishes and kind regards!

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      janer 4 years ago

      Well I have the results of Lucy's blood test and its not good - she has kidney failure and is anaemic. I have been given some medication for one week to see if they make her more comfy and I have to change her diet, apart from that the vets can't do much more. They have told me to consider the inevitable if she gets any worse. As you can imagine this is very upsetting, but when you see a dog who is unhappy and in some sort of pain you try to think of the best way forward.

    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 4 years ago from USA

      So sorry to hear that, I hope the diet changes and the meds do their magic. Sending best wishes your way.

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      Pet Artist 3 years ago

      It's so sad when they get to this age.

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      cincin 3 years ago

      I have a 8 year old Shih Tzu, he started acting a little confused but mainly afraid of outside noises, and it doesn't mantter what the noise is. He hides or wants on my lap, this is now the 2nd day he has done it, what could it be

    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 3 years ago from USA

      Good to see a vet when there are sudden behavior changes, especially if this is unusual. Get his hearing checked out, and explain what is happening. Once health issues are ruled out, you can then focus on the behavioral aspect. Try to recognize what noises scare him, and try tossing a high-value treat every time that noises presents over and over again, until he realizes that the noise becomes a cue that a treat is coming.

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      ,hristy 3 years ago

      My fog is about 11 years old chihuahua she suddenly started have diarrhea on and off vomited yesterday but only once but suddenly seems depressed. She is a mamas girl. Fallows me every where bathroom every where sleeps in bed with me. Suddenly today she dont want to be around me. She wont come when i call i go to pet her she lets me for a min. Then gets up walks away. She still goes im bed but goes under blanket. I tried to talk and pet her she licks my hand thens gets up and goes some where else. Her one eye is scwinting a lot

    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 3 years ago from USA

      Poor girl sounds sick. I would take her to the vet, sounds like something is bothering her. I hope she feels better soon!

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      caroline1176 3 years ago

      Hi I have a 13 yr old jack russel who in past couple of days has started coughing its like shes got hair in her throat she is also very cold n shivers a lot, I am doing all I can to keep her warm. She seems ok in herself shes still eating n drinking n has wet nose. Could this just be a sign of old age. Has anyone else had similar experience x

    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 3 years ago from USA

      It could be a sign of many things.Coughing can be kennel cough, but in older dogs it can be a sign of heart problems. I would have her see the vet just to be safe, best wishes!

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      Peggy 2 years ago

      Hello. I have 3 seniors, the eldest of which is a nineteen year old Chihuahua. My youngest seems to be the issue, though. She is an eight year old Shar-pei, and she's got me completely baffled and at my witts end. I recently quit work to become a full-time student and so I could be at home as my two eldest pups approached the end of their time with me, and since she has always had separation anxiety I felt she would be thrilled that I wouldn't be leaving her daily as well but I have noticed she has since become increasingly neurotic, shadowing my every move and seemingly nervous about any small change in routine or even noise level in the house. She will stand for hours next to wherever I am sitting and if I shift even slightly she jumps up as if trying to anticipate my next move. Noises, such as a bang outside or if I drop a fork will cause her to pace and whine for twenty minutes. I know she is miserable and I feel like a prisoner in my own home so there is negative tension building, but she simply doesn't respond to any attempt to comfort her nor does ignoring her behavior help. It just gets worse as time goes on. It's just me and the three pups, so I know no one is hurting her. What in the world could be going on?

    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 2 years ago from USA

      Have her checked by a vet. At times, older dogs become more clingy and nervous as their senses start not working well as before. Hear loss or vision loss may create anxiety and a desire to stay closer, but some can other medical problems and cognitive dysfunction. After the vet has excluded medical issues, you can try to desensitize her to noises by using the "hear that" method explained in my hub http://alexadry.hubpages.com/hub/Dog-Noise-Sensiti... Keep a treat pouch attached to your pants so you can toss a kibble each time she hears a noise. You want to change the emotional response to noises.

      You can also desensitize towards your moving to getting up by repeatedly slightly moving as if getting up but without getting up, she should tire at some point to respond since the fact you don't get up doesn't reinforce it. If you then have to really get up and she gets up, return to your spot and then when you get up and she no longer responds to you, toss her a treat or give her a stuffed kong for rewarding her to stay in her spot. You may also want to train the stay command, no dog is too old to learn. Other helpful reads . https://hubpages.com/animals/Why-is-My-Elderly-Dog... and https://pethelpful.com/dogs/How-to-Stop-a-Dog-From...

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      Bonita 2 years ago

      My 15 year old Chow mix has started pacing and walking all the time. Even in the pouring rain and cold, he continues to walk from one side of the house to the other all night. We have a door open that allows him to go into the garage but he walks in and comes right back out. He has never enjoyed being indoors, so that's not an option as he will bark constantly until we let him out. Is this dementia?

    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 2 years ago from USA

      Could be, please see your vet as if you catch it early there are medications that can help slow down progression. Even if it's not, this behavior change warrants a vet visit to see other causes of such restlessness.

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      Dee 2 years ago

      My almost 16 year old dog will sleep all day long and be wide awake at night . Pacing and going in circles . Sometimes bumps into things only at night . Even though she's bkind she knows her way around the house pretty good during the day when she is up . She started having accidents in the house so we lock her in the kitchen at night and pick up hrt water . Is there any way I can get her to sleep through the night and stay awake during the day .

    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 2 years ago from USA

      Ask your vet about Anipryl, prescription drug for canine cognitive dysfunction. Also, look into a holistic vet and ask about melatonin for better sleep/wake cycles.

    • renee21 profile image

      renee21 20 months ago

      My dog is starting to get older. He's about 12. He is starting to display some of these signs. He sleeps a lot during the day. Great hub!

    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 20 months ago from USA

      Thanks, my Rotties are turning 8 and I have also noticed some cognitive changes already. Time just flies with no pity.

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      Karen 20 months ago

      What an interesting and useful Hub. My nine-year-old dog suddenly started urinating in the house. I thought he was becoming incontinent.

      However, I later found it was because the vet had described steroids for a dry skin condition and these made him drink more, So he just couldn't hold it in for as long.

      When he was taken off the steroids, this behavior stopped.

    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 20 months ago from USA

      Yes, steroids are well known for causing increased drinking and increased urination. Thanks for sharing your dog's story.

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      Maggie 17 months ago

      My 15 1/2 year old chow/lab mix Sheba died 3 months ago (July 8, 2015) from old age she had arthritis, little bit over weight (72lb). The past year I had to carry her down the stairs and help her up. She was my everything, my rock as I was attached to her she was to me. She died on her own at home with me there. I miss her so much. I love her with all my heart. She is my furry angel. I know what you are going thru and it is hard. God Bless All.

    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 17 months ago from USA

      So Sorry to hear about your loss Maggie, dogs seem to age so quickly. They are our babies and they die too young!

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      Issac Estrada 10 months ago

      I have two dogs. Pidro (chihuaua) whom is 15 years old, and Shelby (border collie/heeler) whom is 16 years old. Both are acting very strange. Shelby seems to want nothing to do with Pidro. She goes out of her way to get away from him. Pidro recently started peeing on the couches again even though he has been potty trained. We can take him outside and he will deliberately go pee on the couch or floor after you turn your back. So we now have to kennel him overnight cause we just can't trust leaving him out free to roam the house. Now he screams bloody murder out of no where at any given moment and limps around like he is severely injured. Then literally 3 minutes later he is walking around fine and normal. Im almost sure he is faking for attention, but just now he didn't want to go outside so my wife went to pick him up and he bit at her hand. He has never done that in 15 years. He has done that numerous time with me but not with her. He has always adoreD her and followed her around. That is now what makes me think there is something more to this. Have you dealt with this before? Any advice? Just as a precaution I'm going to set an appointment with a vet. But all advice would help and be greatly appreciated.

      Thank you

    • alexadry profile image
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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 10 months ago from USA

      Yes, vet appointment, sounds like pain, mention the behavior changes as well.

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      ELEANOR 8 months ago

      Jacks is 15 years old and a staffie.lately showing signs of dementia and hind legs very weak bless.my small problem is he is whining through the day all day , he is not in amy pain as I am aware.we go to bed early as he goes straight to sleep and does not make a sound apart from his snoring bless.he goes for small walks numerous times throughout the day. X

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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 8 months ago from USA

      Whining can be a sign of dementia, have you asked your vet for medication for this? There is a medication that can slow down its progression. Would check with the vet to make sure he's in no pain and ask about the medication for doggy Alzheimer's

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      Wanda 8 months ago

      This is the best article I have read on old dog problems, pity I didn't see it when my last senior died. I am sadly at the point I have to make that hart wrenching decision for my remaining senior dog. This article makes me understand my 14yr old so much more.

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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 8 months ago from USA

      Wanda happy my article on old dog behavior changes has helped you.

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      rGibson888 7 months ago

      My 14 plus year old Dachshund Scooter has CCD. He has been taking Anipryl along with Rimidyl (for pain) for about 5 months. He is stiff in his back and rear end (common for Dachshund of his age) also gets melatonin to help with his Sundowners. His aggression has subsided and he is sleeping more at night after about 30 days on the meds. He doesn't respond to his name or any commands any longer, and has to be guided or carried back in the house after relieving himself because he doesn't seem to know which way to go, no more excited tail wagging or sniffing around either. He woke me up last night around 3am with whimpering due to being stuck under the table. He doesn't seem to know he has reverse! I give him a little tap on the rear and he turns around and is then unstuck. Shortly later he will be stuck again.. The vet recently gave me sedatives to give him for the bad nights. I gave him another one at 3:00 and he finally settled down and hour and a half later. Woke me up again at 7am. He gets stuck in the house constantly, behind the toilet, under bar stools, under footstool, behind doors, under table, and basically any right angle (seems to be getting worse daily) He has had bloodwork 3 months age and nothing came up. He also eats relatively normal (once he finds his food bowl. My wife thinks it's time to put him down but I'm having difficulty... Any advice here? Thanks.

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      John negrete 7 months ago

      I put my dog down as soon as cds began to get worse.

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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 7 months ago from USA

      Maybe you can clear all obstacles? Like close bathroom door, place tables away or if this isn't feasible keep him in a room that is as clear as possible? It sounds like he has disrupted sleep so he spends the night pacing and when he does he gets stuck.

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      rGibson888 7 months ago

      We've tried to put round baskets in several corners to eliminate the 90 degree angles but can eleminate them all. Yes, we try to keep the doors closed but he still finds a way to get stuck somewhere...any corner... It takes very little for him to get stuck. Approximately 20 times an hour more or less. And when he does get stuck, he eventually whimpers, howls, or barks until some comes to the rescue. He's been my alarm clock for the past 7 or 8 months. As difficult as it will be, I'm thinking of putting him down this week. I'm not seeing much joy in his life. Thanks for the comments.

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      sandy 6 months ago

      We have a almost 15 year old shis tzu . She is a female and her name is Teddibear.She is wonderful in every way, loves to eat, goes potty good, loves her morning walks. But, for the last week, she wanders into a few rooms and just stays there, sometimes sleeps or just sits.She will stay there for hours, we will pick her up and bring here in the room where we are, which she loves to be with her papa in his big chair or her soft bed but she jumps down and goes right back to the room where we picked her up. She comes out when she knows it is getting close for her to eat, then potty and then right back to the room. thank you

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      Geeky girl 3 months ago

      My dog is 14 and has none of these symptoms

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      Alexa 3 months ago

      Geeky girl, good to hear that your dog doesn't have any signs of doggy Alzheimer's! Not all dogs get it.

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      cindy 3 months ago

      I have a mix dog who was left on our doorstep as a pup. She is now 16 years old.

      she has a big pen with a dog house that she stays in at night or sometimes she sleeps in our shop if it is really cold out. Lately though she has this glassy-eyed look and she won't go in her pen or the shop at night. Like she is afraid or something. My husband checked to see if there was anything there that would be bothering her , and couldn't find anything. Last night it was 20 out and she slept in my flower bed. and i know she had to be cold. Can anyone help? She also gets to roam free all day but she usually stays in the yard.

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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 3 months ago from USA

      Cindy, see your vet, there may be chances there is something health related going on.

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      Jackie B 2 months ago

      My 12yr 10month male staffie won't sleep through the night unless one of us stays downstairs with him. This started about 4months ago, we go to bed then between 1 and 2 o'clock he starts crying , once someone is with him he's fine but it's every night, we now take it in turns getting up to be with him, please help

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      sommer 2 months ago

      I have a 10 year old cockerspaniel. And just the last 3 days for no reason start yelping here and there if you walk by her.wont sit near me anymore stays to her self .stares like she is some where else. And she is normally a loving clingy out going dog.one min she is ok mostly morning and after that goes in her shell.she is my baby to me and I'm concerned. I miss my old laila.

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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 2 months ago from USA

      Jackies discuss this behavior with your vet, perhaps melatonin may be helpful.

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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 2 months ago from USA

      Sommer, if could your dog is in pain, please see vet and discuss the behavior changes you are seeing.

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      Donna M 3 weeks ago

      I have a 13 year old yorkie that has not been sleeping at night for about 6 months now every two hours he gets up and cry at the foot of the bed so I bring him down thinking he has to go out but all he does is go out and turn around ,right away so back up stairs again we can do this all night then he eats at 6:00 a.m because he starts to shake so bad that when I carry he downstairs he is crying and shaking, now it's almost day light out and he can sleep all day, but his day is bumping into walls going in circles and trying to fine me so I clap my hands so he can hear the sound to fine me and he is just walking around like he is lost. We try to take him with us when we can or we just don't go out. Life with a dog like this is hard but not going to put him down yet he is still eating and drinking a little not as much as he use to but he is drinking. I miss my boy who played all the time but when he is sleeping he is right next to me I guess to feel safe , but he also has a hard time when I call him by name or anything. I miss my boy and need some sleep.

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      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 2 weeks ago from USA

      Hello Donna, has your dog seen the vet? Sometimes medical problems like vision loss can cause the symptoms you see.

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