Strange behavior

Discussion in 'Labrador Chat' started by Christine Tousignant, Nov 25, 2019.

  1. Christine Tousignant

    Christine Tousignant Registered Users

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    Hi All:

    I am new to posting so I hope I am asking this question in the right spot.

    We have a 4 1/2 yr American Chocolate Lab - previously, we had a British Chocolate. Two totally different personalities for sure. Our current guy, Charlie, is the strangest little guy and we want to make sure that there isn't anything wrong or it's not something we're doing wrong.

    First off, he does not eat on a regular basis - actually, he's not really interested in food. We put his food down, he sniffs it and sometimes he eats, other times he just walks away. we feed him very good food so that shouldn't be the issue. And he has his regular vet visits, all his shots and he is in perfect health.

    Lately, it's almost as if he is moody and he just goes off by himself upstairs - or the phone rings and he runs upstairs, when his walk is finished, he runs upstairs. I find he spends way too much time by himself upstairs and if I go up to coax him down to play he will come but once that's finished he goes back upstairs.

    Charlie gets 4 X 30 minute walks everyday and we play with him and his toys as much as we can but he would have us walking him on a 24 hrs basis or letting him outside on a 24 hr basis.

    Is this normal behavior or is something wrong and we're missing it?? My husband thinks he's just too spoiled (which he is) and punishes us when he doesn't get what he wants hahaha I seriously don't know - we never experienced this with our previous lab who always wanted to be with us. Charlie could care less unless he's going to get something out of it.

    Any light you might shed would be so appreciated as we are starting to get concerned.

    Thanks so much.
    Sincerely,
    Christine Tousignant
     
  2. Saffy/isla

    Saffy/isla Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Hi many years ago our first lab wasn't interested in her food and we discovered that we were over feeding her. AS soon as we cut down on portion size she then raced to eat her meals!

    We had been giving her the amount it said on the packet but later released they always advised to much
     
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  3. Christine Tousignant

    Christine Tousignant Registered Users

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    Thanks so much for replying - we feed Charlie 2 times a day and each feeding is 1 cup so I don't think that is the issue. Sometimes he will only eat for me, and right now only my husband can feed him. We would really like to know what is going on in that little head of him. We are always concerned that he will be hungry but people have told us that once he is hungry enough he will eat. He has gone 36 hours without eating once and we got really concerned and hand fed him. Yes, he has our number hahahaha Charlie is 94 lbs so I don't think 2 cups of food a day is too much but then maybe he prefers smaller portions??? Maybe we'll give it a try to see...........

    Thanks again - appreciate your input.
     
  4. J.D

    J.D Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Hi Christine at the risk of offending has the vet said he is over weight. Working/American labs are usually in the 28-32kg range. Obviously there are exceptions to this. Your lab is nearly 43kg so around 10kg(22lbs) overweight.
    Assuming no medical conditions it sounds like he has become very lethargic due to the excess weight. Follow Saffy’s advise and cut down the food. Offer it twice a day and if he doesn’t eat it lift the bowl and don’t offer anything else(including treats) until the next meal. You could also up his exercise and make sure the walks are energetic ones.
     
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  5. Athena

    Athena Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Hi Christine,
    I'm not sure how relevant my response is because Johnny is lab hound mix (3 yo). He weighs 90 lbs and I can see his ribs. Like Charlie, Johnny is kind of indifferent to food. I can count on one hand the number of times he's polished his bowl. He gets three cups of kibble with salmon oil topped with either yogurt, boiled chicken, or mackerel divided into two meals a day. He gets an hour and a half of off leash running around each day but he doesn't spend the entire time running.

    What does your vet say about Charlie's weight? Can you see or feel his ribs? Does he have a waist when you look at his body from above?

    As for going off by himself, since this seems like a behavior change, and seems to come after physical activity, I would make sure the vet knows about this. It's possible Charlie could have some discomfort but this seems unlikely given that he wants to be out playing all the time?
     
  6. Christine Tousignant

    Christine Tousignant Registered Users

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    Hi J.D. - No offense taken :) My husband says that Charlie is slightly overweight - the vet hasn't said anything. Charlie comes from a lineage of BIG boys - his father and grandfather both weighed 90 lbs and they were working / hunting dogs. Charlie is a companion dog so we were expecting him to be a big boy as well. I think you may be right though - I think Charlie is bored. From the get-go Charlie has been a high energy guy and our vet has told us that we will have to not give in to him or we will be exercising him 24 hrs a day. When Charlie was about 1 year old we would bring him to the dog park and let him run with the other for 1 1/2 hrs to expend his energy. He would get in the car, put his head down for 5 minutes and then he was ready to go again. Right now it is winter in Canada and the streets are very icy - we are seniors so the walked become shorter but my husband and I talked about it this morning and we are going to try to up his exercise and we will cut back on the "cookies". Thank you so much for your input - we love Charlie so much and want the best for him
     
  7. Christine Tousignant

    Christine Tousignant Registered Users

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    Hi Athena, thanks so much for responding - every little insight helps and we are grateful. Charlie comes from a lineage of "Big Boys" but I think he may be slightly overweight - we are going to work on that issue for sure. He wouldn't have a lot to lose but there's probably 10 lbs that could come off. This behavior business is something he has just started - it's the beginning of winter here and we've had freezing rain which is not conducive to walks - not only for us seniors but also for doggies who are excited about being out and who pull and then slip on the ice and fall down. We don't want him hurting himself - we are equipped with crampons but he isn't. It's hard to explain to a dog that we can't go for a walk because it's a skating rink outside and they haven't salted the streets yet. He's almost behaving like a spoiled child who doesn't always get his way so he goes off and sulks. We will have to get creative and find other ways to keep him occupied and happy. As for the eating - we have tried everything from putting cheese in his food, to yogurt to broken up liver treats (which he loves) - he is just not that interested. So I think we won't worry about that - everyone is telling me that when he is hungry enough he will eat - so we'll go with that and keep an eye on him. Thanks again - I do so appreciate the input. Have a great day!!
     
  8. Ski-Patroller

    Ski-Patroller Cooper, Terminally Cute Forum Supporter

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    It is not uncommon for some dogs to be free feeders, who only eat what they want, and leave the rest for later. My Malamute did that, but it is certainly less common in Labs.

    Cooper is about 80 lbs, but she is a very tall girl. 24" at the shoulders and even taller in the rear. She gets 2 cups a day, one in the morning and one in the evening. She is a very athletic dog, who loves to run.
     

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