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Canine Behavior/Strange behavior change


Our family has a 6 year old spayed female Brittany Spaniel. We have had her for all her life we live in town, we always have and she lately her behavior has been very weird. If you didn't already know, Brittany's are very active and have a lot of energy. She normally has a bunch of energy, loves to cuddle up in bed with me, barks at everything outside, and is just over all a sweet dog. On the 25th my dad and brothers took our dog (Dixie) out to our grandparents and let her run around. She had fun I'm sure, she got a few ticks but she already has been treated with frontline. We had a big bonfire on the 26th. We had our neighbors over and Dixie was outside with us from 3 pm until around 1 am. She just hung out with us and when it was around 1 am she didn't want to come inside. Yesterday and today she has been acting all timid and weird. At night she always cuddles in bed with me and last night and the night before I call her into my room and she won't come in my bed. When she does she acts all scared and just sits on my bed and she won't lie down and get comfortable. She is also pacing, walking around the house and she won't just relax and get comfortable. Normally When she has to pee/poop she always lies by our door to let us know and lately she always goes over to the door and wants to be let out and she doesn't even have to pee/poop. Normally she loves being inside with us so this is weird. Also, she doesn't bark at anything anymore. Yesterday a dog walked by our house and she looked at it and walked away. She always freaks out when a dog walks by so I thought that was strange. Also, yesterday we let her lie outside in our yard on a rope and our neighbor came over. Normally when someone comes over she barks and freaks out and greets the person like runs over to the person. When our neighbor came over Dixie was lying in the yard looking up at the sky. I feel like I don't know her anymore. She seems lost, like she doesn't seem like the same dog we know and love.

We miss our playful dog! Why do you think there is a sudden behavior change? There isn't any trauma that I know of that could of happened to her. The only things that has happened lately is she went out to my grandparents farm to run around (I don't know what happened exactly at the farm because I didn't go with but my dad and brothers didn't say that anything happened) and we had a bonfire.

Hi Kylie -

I recommend taking your pup to the vet to rule out an illness. Frontline, Advantix, etc are great products but nothing is 100% fool proof. Your veterinarian will be able to examine her and run the appropriate tests to rule out if a medical condition is the cause of her behavior change.
Has anything in her environment changed? New people? Pets? Animals in the woods? Diet change? Remember that a dog's nose is way more sensitve than ours so if an animal -(bear, coyote, etc) is now in the area she may be fearful due to an animal scent she may not be familiar with.
I would start with your veterinarian and if she gets a clean bill of health, I am sure there is a trainer in the area who can take a look at your pup's behavior firsthand and help you figure out the best way to proceed to get your sweet girl back.  Good luck!  

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Jennifer Ganser, LMT, ABCDT


For canines I can answer questions related to behavior, obedience training, health and massage therapy (anatomy, health benefits) For equines I can answer questions related to behavior, barn management, health and massage therapy (anatomy, health benefits) I am not a veterinarian and it is not within my scope of practice as a licensed massage therapist or certified dog trainer to diagnose health conditions. Please contact your pet's veterinarian for illness related questions and emergencies.


I am a licensed massage therapist for people, horses, and dogs and a certified dog trainer. I teach group obedience classes as well as private lessons. I also work with horses and help barns establish good management practices.

Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) National Certification Board of Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB)

2009 - graduate of Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy 2010 - certified in canine/feline first aid + CPR by Red Cross 2012 - graduate of Post University equine program 2012 - graduate of Animal Behavior College Obedience program

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