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Is my Golden Retriever sad/depressed? Advic needed.

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Clare Coe, Jul 8, 2020.

  1. Clare Coe

    Clare Coe PetForums Newbie

    Jul 8, 2020
    Likes Received:
    Sorry for the long post…

    Our Golden Retriever Pup is 9 months old and I’m concerned she’s not happy. Other pups seem to be so happy/excitable all the time. I love her so much and I hate to think she’s unhappy.

    - She only seems to be excited/happy when there are other dogs or food.
    - She barely wags her tail
    - In the morning she’s not ‘happy’ to see us at all…until we feed her. Most dogs seem to get VERY excited to see their humans.
    - She’s taken to sitting away from us in the day and the evenings, she used to sit with us / on us.
    - If I go out and come back, she's mildly happy for a minute or two but that's it.
    - Less interest in playing

    We have a large garden for her to explore and play in, she has two walks a day, she has her own space in the kitchen (with stair gate). She has proper puppy play time with other dogs/pups roughly 3 times a week which she LOVES. She has frozen kongs, food toys, a feeding mat to keep her stimulated.

    I’ve been thinking about changes in her life:

    - Lockdown - both me and my husband have been around almost 24/7 with her for 2 months. (I've been with her longer.

    - My husband went back to work 3 weeks ago so is now out of the house again during the day. She’s happy to see him when he gets home but soon goes back to seeming mopey.

    - We’ve been decorating the house, so we have been moving furniture around the house - sometimes in her space.

    I’m still at home, as I’m due to have a baby in 2 weeks - so I’m concerned another big change is on the way for her and want to make sure she’s happy. I don’t go out much - maybe an hour every few days so she doesn’t get much time alone - could this be it? Should I make an effort to leave her more?

    I’ve made a real effort to put her space back to normal.

    I feel like it's been a gradual change but the play and not sitting with me/us have been recent.

    Any suggestions about how to lift her from her funk? Is this just her personality?

    Thanks in advance
  2. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

    Jun 24, 2010
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    From what you've said I'd say your bitch is maturing and sounds perfectly content and settled. All dogs are different and some are quite happy to settle on their own unless it's dinner time, walk time or training time.
    Sarah H and Lurcherlad like this.
  3. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

    Jan 5, 2013
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    Maybe she’s just a calm, relaxed dog?

    My Jack is very laid back as well as being quite aloof and not cuddly at all.

    Do you do training with her? That will strengthen the bond.

    When she settles away from you, could it just be she’s finding a cooler part of the house?
    #3 Lurcherlad, Jul 8, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2020
  4. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

    Apr 15, 2009
    Likes Received:
    She sounds exactly like my dog (a bullbreed mix).

    He just prefers his own company in the house. He will come up to my chair for a fuss a couple of times a day, but isnt a cuddly dog (he leaves the room if i sit next to him on the sofa) and everything has to be on his terms.

    It can be hard if you want a dog to be a more central figure in your home life, but sometimes we have to accept their individual natures.

    She sounds like she has a lively and fulfilling life tbh.
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  5. Ian246

    Ian246 PetForums VIP

    Oct 27, 2018
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    As everyone has said, it may just be her nature. Our first dog, a female Lab tended to keep herself to herself (especially in the evenings.) As has been asked, do you do any training or play games with her? Mental stimulation is really important for dogs (like humans), not just physical exercise. What physical exercise does she get? You clearly care for her, but I’m only wondering if she’s just lacking stimulation, perhaps (but I’m really guessing.) The changes you mention may indeed have thrown her out a bit, but it may just be her nature to be calm and relaxed and that’s no bad thing! :)
    Lurcherlad likes this.
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