My dog is depressed, what can I do?
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Thread: My dog is depressed, what can I do?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Booga's Avatar
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    My dog is depressed, what can I do?

    I adopted my dog 3 1/2 months ago from a family friend. He hasn't seen the dog since I adopted him. He wanted to come up and see the dog one more time before he makes his final move away from here. My dog seemed very happy to see him and they spent about an hour together.
    Now he's left and my dog is noticeably depressed. He was anxious for a while at first, now he's depressed.
    Is there anything I can do to help my Booga?

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    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
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    Yes! Get him back into his normal activities, play with him, walk him, practice your NILIF, reward him for good behaviors with a stuffed KONG, and lastly don't feel sorry for him. He'll only move on as quickly as you do.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Booga's Avatar
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    I just took him for a little walk. I'm recovering from surgery so my options are limited. I'll stuff his Kong, Thanks!!

  5. #4
    Junior Member Diggie's Avatar
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    Wink

    I am no expert, but keeping your dog on a regular schedule might help a lot. Maybe a short walk, a quick play session, TV, or something like that that your doggie loves to do at the same time every day. It should help the bond between you two so that he looks forward to seeing you each day instead of his previous owner. Good luck!

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    Senior Member Booga's Avatar
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    I've done everything as normal and a couple extra 'treats'. He was fine for a while, now depressed again.
    I'll let him sleep tonight and tomorrow morning we'll go for our usual walk. Hopefully he'll be better.
    Thanks.

  7. #6
    Senior Member mistyinca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booga View Post
    I've done everything as normal and a couple extra 'treats'. He was fine for a while, now depressed again.
    I'll let him sleep tonight and tomorrow morning we'll go for our usual walk. Hopefully he'll be better.
    Thanks.
    You said you're recovering from surgery. Maybe he's really just depressed because you're not 100% yet. Probably when you've recovered and can get back into your routine with him things will work themselves out...
    See Chloe's Dogster page

    In loving memory of Squeakers 10/16/2006. She will be always loved, but never forgotten.

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    Be careful to not praise him for his depression. If you "poor baby" him, he'll think the way he is acting is what you want. Instead, treat him like you normally do. Since you are not up to snuff physically, find things to reward him for - like sitting on command.

    Be assured that he will come around. The longest time I ever had a foster dog be depressed after leaving their owner was 1 week, and that was highly unusual. But she slowly became interested in the household activity, and showed no signs of depression at all.

    One thing this should tell you - your dog is capable of tightly bonding with his person - which is now you. That's a good thing. Don't worry. Be happy. And do consider that part of the dog's reaction could be about signals you're giving off because of your physical problems. I've had dogs that seemed sad when I was sad, hovered over me when I was sick, and of course, wagged and danced around when I was happy and laughing.

    Aren't dogs wonderful???

  9. #8
    Senior Member Booga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogAdvocat View Post
    Aren't dogs wonderful???
    Yes they are. I've been reading "The Complete Idiots Guide to Positive Dog Training" and it says never to reinforce a behavior you DON'T want, so I never reinforced the depression. I kept trying to get his mind on something else. He seems better this morning. Pretty much back to his old self. I'll try to walk him this morning since that's his fav thing to do.
    Thanks for all the advice!!

  10. #9
    Super Moderator cshellenberger's Avatar
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    Booga, remember that training can tire a dog out too. Use that great book and work on some extra 'tricks' he can do! Getting his mind on something else is the quickest way to get him out of his depression.
    Carla
    "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control" Proverbs 29:11

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