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Worried about our dog


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We have a Boxer who is 8 and a half years old. We've had her since she was a pup, and I don't know exactly how long she's done this for (let's say about 3-4 years), but she has some odd behaviour, and it's getting worse. I was hoping people here might be able to shed some light on it.

She's always been a bit "fussy" and a bit slow to respond to commands and stuff. Like... it almost seems like it's out of choice, because she looks at you, and she hears you say stuff, but she doesn't respond for a while (but then I've worked in neurology and dementia so I know that just because it seems that way, doesn't mean they are CHOOSING to not respond, they just can't).

Getting her to go outside and go for a piss is the thing she's always had the biggest problem with. She HATES going outside if it's cold or rainy. Even my dad can't get her to go out for a walk when it's raining, she'll just freeze up and not move. She hates the cold, she shivers and trembles when she's in the house until we put a blanket over her (and then she's fine. I mean, right now, she's got a bed throw over her and she's fast asleep on the couch). Here's a photo I took yesterday for context.


The photo wasn't exactly necessary, I just wanted to demonstrate how cosy we try and make her when she's inside.

So, going back maybe a year. I'd be home alone and having to look after her. Which means I have to find a way of getting her to go outside. It used to be as simple as:
- Going into my brother's room and waking her up, and trying to encourage her to go outside and to come downstairs for a "biscuit", until she lifted her head.
- Going to the bottom of the stairs and calling her for maybe 5-10 minutes.

Then she'd eventually come downstairs. I mean, it was still an insanely drawn-out task for what it SHOULD be, but I'm used to that. But now, she's gotten so much worse. I go into my brother's room to go and wake her up and she won't even lift her head. I can be calling from the bottom of the stairs for half an hour and she won't even show SIGNS of progress (I'll get onto the "signs" in a bit). She'll still be curled up, just how I left her.

Even if I knock on the door and pretend to get all excited, she will bark from upstairs, but she won't come down. I've taken to bringing in the dog treat, waving it in front of her face for a bit and putting it on the floor and leaving the room so I can try and trick her into getting off the bed, but she STILL stays frozen to the bed. Today she was drooling like crazy, but when I tried to put the treat in front of her face she kept turning her head away from it.

And when I go in and try and encourage her to go downstairs for the treat/wee outside, she'll move a bit, like she's readjusting her balance, her head will move a bit, she is about 50/50 looking at me and not looking at me, and she SHAKES LIKE CRAZY. When she's cold she'll shake intermittently, but when I try and get her off the bed she was shaking non-stop. A few days ago, when this happened, she was stood frozen in the door frame, cowering with her tail between her legs (she has a full tail, it's illegal to dock them in Boxers over here), and shaking non-stop.

When she finally starts to go down the stairs, she's totally fine. She walks to and out the door at a normal speed, goes out and goes to the bathroom, and comes back in and has her treat without any signs of fear or hesitancy. It's literally like it's the getting-going that's hard for her.

This is really bothering me. It's like she's actually afraid of getting off the bed and going downstairs. (She is almost as bad, but not quite as bad, if she's on the couch downstairs instead). I'm worried about her and I feel like we should get her help if possible, but my parents just say "oh no, she's just dopey/fussy/whatever", and just brush it off. But I don't think they ever see her in this state, because she's only this bad with me, I think. My parents speculate that she was maybe starved of oxygen at birth because she was the runt of the litter, could that be an explanation for why she's so hesitant and unresponsive? I just wish I knew what she was trying to tell me so I could help her.

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5 hours ago, Toshabi said:

Vets cost money. Sell it to your local Chinese Restraunt and make some kung pow cash

Even though you made me laugh, you're a buuuuuuutt!

I'm no expert in anything biology, but it is also possible for dogs to have mental disorders. Whatever it is, it sounds pretty strange and rather distressing for your poor dog. :(

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2 hours ago, Socketosis said:

Even though you made me laugh, you're a buuuuuuutt!

I'm no expert in anything biology, but it is also possible for dogs to have mental disorders. Whatever it is, it sounds pretty strange and rather distressing for your poor dog. :(

Yeah, she's clearly afraid =/ I've been looking online at types of conditioning that can help to distract the dog and give them grounding, I'm gonna try that from the next time onwards. My dad says Wallis LOVES chorizo, and she'd probably jump straight off the bed if I brought her some of that, but I don't wanna be giving her a heart attack either lol

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Today I was looking after Wallis on my own again. I decided to try and start breaking down any association with me coming in to see her in my brother's room, with thoughts of being put in a stressful situation, so I just went in and said hello a couple of times first. Then I went in with a few pieces of chorizo and just fed them to her over time, while talking about letting her outside in between. She was REALLY excited when she smelled the chorizo, and she followed me almost straight downstairs! So I gave her lots and lots of encouragement for going outside (I do this anyway, but it never seems to make a difference), and then when I went for my job interview she was back on brother's bed, so I covered her up.

Did the same thing when I got back, just went in and cuddled her for a while without talking about going downstairs, and she seemed okay (no shaking, at least), and a bit later on I brought her some more meat and took her out for a walk. She didn't seem at all stressed today! Although after all that salty meat I was a bit worried about taking her out for a long period of time since boxers are susceptible to heart problems as it is (and Wallis has an irregular heartbeat) buuuuuut she was fine. We even jogged for a short while!

Now she's wrapped up on the couch again, waiting for Mum and Dad to come home.

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