Depressed Dog? - Detroit,MI

Updated on January 24, 2012
M.. asks from Detroit, MI
9 answers

Long story short, he was a shop "guard dog" I accquired him about 4 days ago. But the shop is no more, which was his home. His rightful owner is my friend, and he already has a dog at home and his wife is saying "No way" to having another dog. I think he is just letting the dust settle with his wife before he takes him home. They are going through a lot right now, so I dont mind keeping him for as long as they need, which is fine because hes pretty much awesome.
Problem is, hes used to a semi-quiet home and now hes just thrown into to chaos here with the kids. I dont know if I am overthinking this, but he ate once yesterday, about mid morning. Hes not a food begger at all, so when he stalked me last night when I grabbed a snack, around 9pm, I figured he was hungry and put food in his bowl. Its now 5 hours short of being 24 hours since I filled the bowl and he hasnt touched it once. He has been eating fine until now.
Is he depressed? Is he going to start eating? Hes not going to the bathroom as much either.

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answers from Detroit on

it will take awhile for the dog to adjust (we are talking weeks!) The best advice is to take him for walks, play with him, and show him all the love that you can. He will adjust to eveyone really fast!

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Jacksonville on

I am glad you are at paying attention to what is going on with him. Try not to overthink it just yet, though. This is all very new and he is still adjusting. If he seems overwhelmed by the kids and chaos, be sure to provide him with a safe quiet place he can retreat to--one that is totally off limits to the kids (maybe not physically, but rules that they aren't allowed to mess with the dog when he's there). When our pooch has had "too much" she goes to our bedroom and gets on her bed, or into our closet and lies in the back wall behind my husband's shirts. She just... leaves the chaos.
As far as eating... it could be several things. Transitioning to a new living arrangement, or some other things that are also quite logical. You didn't mention the breed, but if it is a working dog (and you said it was a shop guard dog)--then often, they don't feel entitled to eat if they haven't "worked". See if you can find a "job" for it and then offer it food. Our German Shepherd typically will only eat at night, after we go to bed. We "free feed" (leave her food out all the time) and she rarely eats throughout the day. It is usually one meal a day for her, at night, and sometimes she only eats half, or skips the meal altogether. She just isn't a "food junkie". Also, if she hasn't gone on her "rounds" outside (chased some critter off the grass into the woods, or circled the house and stood at attention in the front yard sniffing and listening for 10-15 minutes) before she is "in" for the night... she tends to not eat much.
She ALWAYS eats better if she has had plenty of time outside with the kids during the day, or I have taken her on a good 2 mile walk/run that day. Why? Not necessarily the physical exertion--but, I think, more because she has "earned" her food. She watches the kids like a hawk when they are outside on scooters, bikes, ripsticks, the swing in the yard, rollerblades, or just wandering around....
Can you put a pack on the dog and take it for a walk carrying something (a water bottle, the mail, or just "stuff") on the walk? They sell backpacks for dogs.
Good luck. Such a nice thing to do, taking him in like that. :)

Oh... be sure to use the same chow as the dog was eating before. If you want to switch it, you can do that after the dog gets acclimated to his new home by slowly adding a bit of new kibble in with the old brand (kind of like babies and formula.. add new stuff to the old brand by ratio-- 4:1, then 3:2, then 2:3, then 1:4, then switch all the way).

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Poor baby! A lot of dogs only eat once a day, so I would not worry about that. When we go away my poor little guy only picks for the first 48 hours.
I would say just hug him, love him, cuddle him and pet him. He will adjust.
Just takes time. Give him a big woof from us here in NY. We are dog

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on


This is a stress reaction. Dogs respond to stress in strange ways. Sometimes even persistent yawning (or persistent bottom-licking) is an indication of stress.

The poor guy doesn't know why his life is all turned upside down. He doesn't know what will happen tomorrow, or even in the next hour. He doesn't know whom to look to and trust.

If I were you, I'd give him some TLC. See if he'll sit or lie down beside you, and just stroke him for a while. If he'll go for a walk with you, take him for a short one (be sure to put him on leash!). Ask your children to treat him with care and respect, talking to him quietly (well, for them) until he's used to them. It's as if a new child came into their home who is lost and confused.

It always takes a while for a dog to get used to new surroundings. When we have traveled with our doggies, sometimes it's hours before they'll go to the bathroom in the new place. I think it's because the grass must smell different and they say, "No, I'll just wait until I'm back home, thank you very much." They adapt with time (they have to).

You might call your friend and let him know about all this. Is your friend really going to take back this dog, or are you going to be keeping him? If you think he's pretty much awesome, maybe your home is the right one for him. And if that happens, you'll have to think about getting some schooling with him so he'll get used to accepting you as the "lead dog" and obeying you. Ask a dog trainer about his making the adjustment from shop guard dog to family dog - you don't want him overprotecting you all.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Beaumont on

You are so sweet to give him a home. Just give him some time to adjust. He just doesn't understand what is going on-dogs are pack animals so he's trying to figure out what happened. Just lavish him with love. Our dogs only eat once a day so I'm not too surprised about that part. Take him for a walk, watch tv with the fam. He'll catch on. He's blessed to have a good home to go to....

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

aww poor little guy.. can your friend come visit him? he might be depressed though its hard to say without looking at him. does he wag his tail? come to you? chew/play? or is he just lying there not doing anything? keep the food out and make sure he's at least drinking water. if the behavior continues, i'd call the vet to make sure all's OK with him. good luck,

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answers from Fort Wayne on

maybe make him getting his food fun, aka work for it. Sit, stay, lots of love and hugs, baby him. Yes dogs can have depression. make sure he is drinking water give biscuts let him adjust to his new retired life. make him a burger it is not bad to give people food, we had our dogs on the raw diet and they loved it. give him time he will come around. add some broth to his kibble that may spark his interest also an egg or too lots of protein for him will help. gl and great of you to open your home to this wonderful dog.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Poor dog.
Sure, he's been suddenly thrown into a new environment and his Owner, is gone!
He probably is depressed.
He doesn't know what is going on.

Call a Vet.
Really make sure the dog is not getting dehydrated either.
Is he drinking anything?

Are you feeding him, what his previous Owner used to feed him?
Feed him the same thing.
Your friend, should have probably told you, what the dog eats etc.
Or what treats he likes.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

new surroundings are usually stressful to animals.. i think its just going to take him a while to get used to the fact that the shop is not his home anymore and has to get used to his new house.. i think with time he'll be ok

1 mom found this helpful
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