My dog is acting VERY scared

Dlondon95

For the past month, my 8 year Jack Russel, Skippy, has been acting VERY scared of me and my family. He is usually happy and loves attention from everyone, but now, he wants nothing to do with anyone, and when we try to pet him or pick him up, he just yips and looks terrified as if we just beat the living tar out of him! When I take him to my Grandparents, who he loves to go visit, he acts fine and is happy to see them. He only shows scared behavior at home. He used to sleep with either me or my mom, but now he just sits in the hall between our two rooms "watching". It seems like he never sleeps at night.

I really hate seeing him like this

Note: We did have him to the vet about 3 weeks ago because his ear smelled funny. He ended up having an inner ear infection that we treated and it was fine within a week, but he is still acting this way.

Right now, he is showing a lot of signs of dog dementia.

Has anyone else had an experience like this before?
 

jerilovesfrogs

sorry to hear this. was he acting like this before the vet? of after? if the latter, maybe he is just mad that he had to go? idk. i'm just throwing that out. I hope he acts normal again soon
 

Dlondon95

He was acting like this before the vet. We checked him all out when we saw the behavior and that's how we noticed something was wrong with his ear. I hope he gets back to normal soon too
 

Aquarist

Best wishes for your pup!

Ken
 

psalm18.2

What did the vet suggest in dealing with new behavior?
 

Dlondon95

Thanks Ken.

Psalm: The vet told us that the behavior was likely due to the ear infection and that when the infection went away, he would be back to normal. We are going to call sometime this week and make him another appointment.
 

psalm18.2

Maybe he relates the ear pain and meds you had to give him as fear. Maybe he thinks the medicine caused the pain and is weary of you and your mom? Does he get lost in the house, soil the floor, act strange? I just read about dog dementia. Never heard of before.
 

gremlin

I actually had a similar incident with one of my past dogs. Bandit (a husky mix) would always lay out in the playroom and watch me in the kitchen. She was not allowed in the living room (the only room with carpet) and she knew it and never went in there. She would always come into the kitchen directly from the playroom. To do so, she had to pass between the stove and the fridge. One day, I went to get her from the back yard and brought her in the house - she refused to walk into the kitchen. She actually laid down on the ground and would not go through the doorway. When I dropped the leash and walked into the kitchen and called her, she went around through the living room instead (the three rooms are all connected all around - it makes a circle...). She would cringe and back up when I tried to get her to walk between the fridge and the stove - no matter which direction I approached. Even her favorite treat would not entice her through that "tunnel of terror". The only thing I could figure, was that something scared her just as she was passing the fridge. She seemed to be more afraid of the fridge than anything else. Every once in a while, our fridge will make a loud popping sound. We were told it is normal. It isn't super loud, but it is a sudden, startling, sound. I think the fridge made that noise just as she was walking by it and it scared her. It took several weeks before she finally would walk anywhere close to the fridge again.

It is possible that something scared your pup. Try to pinpoint the exact day/time that he started to be afraid. See if there is a specific spot in the house that he is the most afraid of. You say you and your family - how many people? Any youngsters that may have accidentally injured him when they tried to pick him up? Does he show fear of all of you? or just some of you? Does he show fear only at home, or does he show fear of you when you are outside or at your Grandparent's? When he sleeps "with" you, is he in the bed with you? Is it possible that he got kicked or rolled over on when you or your Mom were asleep?
Trying to narrow down a specific time or place when the behavior occurs can help to figure out what may be causing it. Once you know what is causing it, you can try to fix it.
 

Dlondon95

I don't think it was the meds. He actually seemed to enjoy when he got them. I guess he liked his ear massaged.

That sound a lot like he is acting, but it is throughout the whole house. There's no one spot that he acts more scared. He usually sleeps in our beds, but now if I pick him up and sit him on the bed, or any other piece of furniture, he tenses up and just freaks out. I don't remember anything that could have scared or hurt him.

I just don't understand how he could have turned like this in a matter of days. He used to love attention. He's very protective of my family (me, my mom, and my dad), but especially me. I can't even have him out when I have friends over cause he will bite them. He's a real mama's boy too, when he's acting normal.
 

gremlin

Sounds like something may have scared him. Was there some time when he was left alone in the house right before you noticed the fear? It is possible that something spooked him when you weren't home. Does he behave normally with you away from the house? If he acts normally with you away from the house, then I would suggest running through obedience training exercises with him. Take him to a park or something, with lots of his favorite treats, and have him do all his "tricks" - sit, down, stay, come, sit up, shake hands, roll over, - whatever he has learned. Teach him a new trick or two if you want. Try to keep it as positive as possible. Then, when he is completely "normal" at a park, move the training sessions to your front yard. If that is too much, then try just up and down the street. Slowly move a bit closer to the house until he is acting normal in your yard, on your porch, all around the outside of the house. Then, slowly, work in the front doorway, then on into the house. Start the sessions outside, and have him "heel" as you walk up to the door, and then away. Then into the house and right back out again. It may take some time, but he should eventually re-learn that the house is safe.
 

psalm18.2

Could the ear infection be causing vertigo? That would make a dog nuts and afraid of heights I think.
 

Shine

Sometimes pain makes animals act oddly. Its almost as if they think you or something around them is externally causing it. And being creatures of habit, once they begin a behaviour sometimes it takes a while to return to normal.

I'd start with the vet and see if there is still an ongoing infection. When I first got a pair of kittens several years ago both had ear mites. I got that dealt with, but one continued to act skittish and jumpy, especially with anything regarding noise. I took her back in, and it turned out that the mites were gone, but she had a yeast infection in them :-\ So the kitten that had once been the 'fearless leader' of the pair became the nervous coward, and the previously timid one became more bold. It took a looong time before they reversed roles again. Probably at least a year.
 

Dlondon95

A little update.

We FINALLY got him to the vet tonight. Earlier this week, his ear started bothering him again. We got more treatments for that.

We told the vet how he has been acting and the vet said that it was a classic case of when a dog has a bad disk in their neck. It bothers him to move quickly and was causing him to yip! He gave us some pain meds and muscle relaxers for him to sleep at night. He said if it doesn't help within 2 weeks, we should bring him back and they will sedate him and do a full body x-ray and workup.

I'm so glad we know what is wrong. I gave him his meds about 2 hours ago and he is asleep on the floor right now. I honestly haven't seen him sleep in a month. He would just sit in the hall at night staring at the floor, wide awake.
 

psalm18.2

Poor little guy.
 

gremlin

I'm glad he is able to sleep now. That's good. Hopefully he will go back to normal behavior once he is feeling better.
 

TxMommie

What about "doggie stairs" for Getting on the bed at night? Jumping might hurt
 

Tigerlily

How is he doing?
 

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