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Acting Strange

652 Views 11 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  rlprlp
Hello. I have two dogs. They are both rescue dogs, and I have had them about 4 years. They were both puppies, but almost adults when they were adopted. They were adopted by myself and my ex-wife, and I kept the dogs when we separated. That was almost a year ago. (You can see details of that if you can look up my posting history on this forum).

One is very shy. I taught her to roll over back when we first got her. She was so good at it, she would even try to get a treat by doing it before being told to (that never worked for her).

The last couple of months, she has stopped rolling over. She simply refuses. She won't even do it for a treat as coveted (and rare, for health reasons) as a bite of barbecued chicken skin. She goes nuts wanting the treat, but she just won't do it.

Her behavior had started to bother me enough to write this post. There are so many details, I wouldn't know what to post. I am happy to answer any questions from anyone who thinks that they can help me figure this out.

Thank you to all who take the time to reply.
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It's always best to rule out a physical reason when a dog starts refusing to do a behavior that they are fluent at. A full physical exam, and possible blood work and x-rays, depending on what the vet thinks, are in order.
Thank you for the suggestions, LeoRose. I feel you deserve a reply.

If there was a true medical problem with one of my dogs, then I would do whatever it takes, and "all bets would be off". Unfortunately, I am a victim of the current pandemic, and I have not worked since March. I just can't afford vet bills right now just because my dog refuses to roll over.

(By the way, she acts perfectly normal physically in every other way.) I hope my explanation shows you that I really do appreciate your reply!
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Sigh... I hear you on vet bills you can't afford. I was flat broke when I had a male cat with a urinary blockage, which is a true emergency, where the chances of him dying without medical intervention were high. Care Credit saved the day, and Bigfoot.

I'd quit asking her to try rolling over in the meanwhile. No point in asking her to do something that she can't do, and frustrating both of you.
It's true, I have been testing her daily, and being pretty pushy about it. ("Come on; roll over! Roll over!...etc.)

I will tone it down to maybe trying just once a week or so. Maybe she'll start doing it again.

In the meantime, any other ideas are appreciated.

EDIT: Does anybody think it may have anything to do with my being home all day every day lately? As I mentioned, I have been on COVID-19 layoff from work since March.
I would just stop asking her completely. Give her a break for several weeks, and if you do try it, keep it really low key, and don't keep insisting if she doesn't do it.
I can try that. Thank you.

I know that "Roll over" is just a trick; strictly for fun. It's not important in life. But I am wondering: Right now, she is just mysteriously refusing to do it. Could she end up forgetting HOW to roll over?
My big dog (probably mostly Giant Schnauzer) has developed stiffness in his back end that makes certain positions somewhat uncomfortable for him - he'd rather lay down than sit, for example, and it'd be mean to ask him to sit up to beg. So I just don't ask for such commands unless I have a really good reason to.

From your pic it looks like both your dogs are pretty big, which means that at age 5+, they might be starting to feel those aches and pains of middle age. It's possible that rolling over just doesn't feel great anymore, even if there's nothing WRONG wrong.
The picture may be a bit misleading. They are 32 and 42 lbs. However, she is the bigger of the two.

That doesn't mean at all that you might be right. I was kind of wonder something like that myself.

Thank you for the thought, parus.
Sure. They're cuties, by the way.

I'm just thinking...I'm heading into middle age myself, and you'd have to either scare me or offer me a very nice bribe to make me, say, do ten burpees, lol. And that's with me knowing the value of exercise.
Like others have suggested, my first thought is physical discomfort. Without seeing a vet, you won't know that for sure. Once you're able to again, I would schedule a vet visit to discuss. It may be as simple as getting your dog on joint supplements to help keep things moving freely.

Your dogs are around 5 years old, I'm guessing? That's considered middle age for even a medium size dog, and they're rescues, to boot, so you have no idea of their parentage or the health history of their ancestors. Bad joints at middle age might be part of their genetic makeup! I'm dealing with the same issue with my rescue dog who turns 5 in July. He's energetic and will run until he bleeds, but he's pretty much middle aged! I'm noticing a bit more stiffness after heavy exercise, takes a bit more time to recover. Much like me, lol!

Is it a huge deal? No, but it takes more thoughtfulness on my part, as well as a plan with my vet to keep his joints healthy for as long as possible!
Thanks, Lillith. Actually, both dogs have an appointment on June 13 for the second half of their annual Lepto treatment. They won't see the vet, but the techs are medical professionals, too. I will ask about this.
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