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Mikey changing behaviour

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We rescued Mikey approximately a year ago  - and apart from a few months of initial fear agression, dog fights, an occasional nip etc  Mikey has settled into a routine and has become a nice, if complicated character.

Over the last two months he is changing again.   For no apparent reason he is spending considerable time alone  -  no scraps between the dogs, they still play together for short periods  - usually in the house - not garden.    However Mikey is now spending around 85-90%% of his time outside  - refusing to come into the house other than to eat unless it is raining (he hates the rain)  although last night he even stayed outside in the rain  - just sheltering under the garden table, soaked to the skin.   When I realized he was outside and tried to get him inside - he ran away from me still refusing to come inside.

He has been spending his time in the garden  - or if I do manage to get him indoors he stays by the back door and escapes as soon as it is opened.   He has always been scared of females  (had a bad experience before we got him)  but thinks nothing of climbing and slobbering all over me, showering me with kisses whenever he thinks a lamb's rib is in the offing  -  he has picked up on Marley's wheedling antics that he only does for a rib and enthusiastically (and clumsily) joins in  - so he is not scared of me any more.

Last summer he spent most of his time equally between the garden and house  (they let themselves in and out at will)  but lately will only come inside if he knows there is someting in it for him.  He used to be scared of the dark, would only go out at night if the light was on,  but now lays or sits outside whilst it gets dark  - apparently sniffing the air and listening to the birds settle down.

We are in the process of buying another property with a much larger garden - and I am concerned he will be impossible to corral with the far larger space to run around in.

Should I just accept the fact that he wants to be outside and build him an outside kennel?

 

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Has anything changed recently in the house that could be scaring him ? With his past something even small we wouldn't think about could possibly be triggering him ? Like a change in smell or anything?  

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13 hours ago, BingBlaze n Skyla said:

Has anything changed recently in the house that could be scaring him ? With his past something even small we wouldn't think about could possibly be triggering him ? Like a change in smell or anything?  

Absolutely nothing I can think of.    We are both retired so the dogs have not even noticed Covid, we have not yet started packing any boxes  .............. but typing this I can now think of one thing that has changed  - we have had strangers in our house.     However both dogs have welcomed the change in routine -  like announcing the postman  - however the dogs have never met the strangers -  they are not well mannered enough (too enthusiastic) to be inflicted onto anyone not used to them - Hubby took the prospective purchasers from the front door to the kitchen and garden, whilst the dogs were in the lounge with me,  then came back in and locked and secured the back door (Marley can open it even when locked) whilst I let the dogs out into the garden from the lounge door -  so they never saw anyone  - but obviously knew they were there.  However there has been no-one in the house but us for the last 3 weeks  (hubby in the vulnerable and sheltered category).

I suppose that might qualify ................... although Mikey is happy to meet people on our walks - providing a female does not try and touch him/stroke him when he is on a short lead  - when on his long lunge-lead he avoids strangers of both sexes ................ being far more interested in their dogs.

If it was strangers that has triggered this,  then hopefully he will settle down again  -  but if anything it appears to be getting worse   - especially noticeable when he stayed out in the rain  - when for the last year he would not go out in the rain even to pee unless he was absolutely desperate.   Also he used to come in as soon as the light started to fail, now he is impossible to keep in as it gets dark,  if he is in the house he will suddenly, and for no reason, start jumping at the lounge door, pulling at the handle to let himself out, throwing himself at the glass, and getting very panicky if it is locked, winding himself up so badly I have to let him out to stop him waking hubby  -   (a 30 something kilo panicked, naturally clumsy, dog is not quiet).   He is much larger, heavier, and stronger than Marley ........  I am not sure a double glazed lounge door would hold him during a concerted attack.

Absolutely nothing triggers these 'fits'  I am on the sofa watching the tv or on the computer, Marley is asleep on his bed or the floor and Mikey is usually either on the small sofa  (he claimed it as his own) or in the kitchen - when suddenly he starts  - there has been no movement in the house, no unusual sounds  to set him off.    As soon as I let him outside he lays down and I dont hear from him again  ...................  I just have the devil's own job of getting him back inside when I want to go to bed.    However once he is in and knows it is bedtime he is ok and settles down by the back door  (hubby gets up when I go to bed and he sleeps on the large sofa in the lounge with them   -  they are due for their first walk within an hour or so of my going to bed.  

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How strange , I wish they could talk to us and explain what's going on , you've probably already done this but has he been checked over by a vet also ? 

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6 hours ago, BingBlaze n Skyla said:

How strange , I wish they could talk to us and explain what's going on , you've probably already done this but has he been checked over by a vet also ? 

Our vets are still not seeing people and dogs, - they are still on emergencies only  (PPE propblem I think)   - also whilst they are fantastic vets for illnesses etc  - neither are any good when it comes to behavourial issues   - just suggest a behavourist etc.    However you again have made me think  ................. Marley's old trainer is a dog behavourist  who works with aggressive and problem dogs for our largest rescue centre  - might be worth getting him to actually have a word with him. 

 

Thanks BB&S

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I find this interesting because Luna has gone through something similar. She’s always like being outdoors and she’s not really a people person dog but we realised she was spending more and more time outside, she too was lying in the pouring rain and totally refused to come in on just about every occasion, she would lift her head if she heard her name then just lie down and ignore us. She also started lying down closer and closer to the side gate, her nose almost under the gap, not trying to get out but it looked as though she was trying to get as far from us as possible. I found it very upsetting, she’d come in to eat and then go straight back out and was out all night as far as I could tell. Like you I started wondering about getting her a kennel. I thought she was depressed, still happy to go walks with either one of us though.

I was advised to try more interaction with her, making specific effort to just go out and speak to her, pet her and I even brushed her. She never showed any sign of being unwell thankfully, still ate, although sometimes it was quite late before she came in to eat, no problems with bladder or bowels. This went on for a few weeks and I was on the point of taking her to the vet when she just seemed to turn the corner back again, bit by bit becoming the dog we’d had before. She’ll never be an attention seeking dog but I find she loves being groomed and will lie there for hours if she could, it seems to relax her.

Nothing had changed here, we don’t have many visitors and in any case she’s a typical husky, Mr. Burglar could clear the house and she’s still be snoozing outside lol. Oddly though she will welcome family members when they visit even getting up and being almost interested!

I can’t imagine what’s wrong with Mikey, I do hope he pulls round though because it’s upsetting when they isolate themselves like that. I don’t think I would try to prevent Luna from going outside if that’s what she wants, maybe a kennel might be a good idea but as someone pointed out to me, there’s no guarantee it would be used!


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Thanks L-T   - its helps oddly enough to know that someone else is having/had the same problem.    Mikey does not like being groomed   -  he tolerates it poorly  - is still distrusting of me if I try to groom him   -  he still flinches if I go to stroke his head and neck  - but is fine if I scratch under his chin.     He was moulting when he came to us   -  and has not stopped in the last year  -  if I leave him for a couple of days without grooming he is shedding tufts all over the place.  Today I got two large rakefulls from him  (about two handfulls) before he bolted outside.

To start with I thought he was going to be losing his fur and was concerned about the continuing moult   - but its still as thick as ever   -  and being a short haired, unlike Marley, it is easy to see the thickness of his coat.   He looks in top condition physically.

 

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