Aged a few years in a few days? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 06-26-2014, 12:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Aged a few years in a few days?

I was gone this weekend and left the pups with the in-laws. My BIL has watched the pups before but at our home. This time it was at their place where they've stayed before but with me there. I trust in-laws in terms of letting the pups out for breaks, food, water etc. They haven't been on their walks.

We built them a 10X16X6ft kennel on the sand for the day and they stayed in the garage at night. They have a huge unfinished yard for breaks...The first night they tried leaving the pups in the kennel but Zeeva sort of freaked out and began breaking the wiring on the fence; she's a beast. They did well enough in the garage at night.

When I saw the pups today it seemed like they'd aged a couple years. I don't know if that makes sense...?

Were they stressed without their 'family' and their 'home'? Will they recover with time? I gave them a hose down with Dawn, brushed them, cleaned their faces, their eyes, ears, checked every inch of their bodies. Everything was fine. But they still didn't look 'refreshed'. They are exhausted and Zeeva has a weird posture when standing. It's sort of hunched and crooked...

Eating and pooing like normal. Zeeva still thumps her tail when I sing to her, and still barks at the neighbor's dogs...Smokey still begs for food and lays in his usual spot. So behavior is normal...

Please don't assume that my in-laws did a poor job. They did their best which in my eyes should've gotten the pups by for a few days. So I'm a little concerned.

Has anyone experienced this after boarding, leaving pups with someone else or having a pet sitter come by?
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Old 06-26-2014, 12:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have experienced something like this in the past. I watched my Mom's Pomeranian at my house a little while back. He has been a family pet and loves me and my husband; BUT while he was at our house without my Mom, his hair fell out and he actually went bald in a few spots, he stopped eating, and lost one pound in a matter of a week (this may not seem like a lot of weight but when you are only 7 pounds to begin with...). Everything seemed to be a big "effort" for him and he acted like a feeble senior dog the entire time we had him. He is only 6 and doesn't normally act like this.

Once he had been home for a few days he resumed his normal day-day behaviour, and acted like himself again.

I think for some animals being away from their families is a really stressful event. This isn't the case with my dog however, I could leave him with a random strange family and as long as they fed him he would be happy
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Old 06-26-2014, 09:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Been there twice. We left our dog Dodger and Daisy w/ our good buddy and their uncle. We went camping . Dodger wouldnt eat and stayed in his cubby hole most of the days. When we got home Jon ,the buddy said he tried Dairy Queen hamburgers and all kinds of goodies and Dodge didn't care.As soon as we got home I called the vet and Dodge went the next day for a visit. Nothing was physically wrong. The vet thought he just missed us and basically his pack structure had changed. So I think Zeeva and Smokey could be going through the same thing. BTW Lucky doesnt want to eat or do much when Im gone and its my husband whose there. ithink dogs really bond and they miss us.
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Old 06-26-2014, 09:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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25 years ago I had a GSD that I left with a friend for the weekend. Just "tie her out on this cable" I said. My pup knew my friend and liked her very much. I was young and stupid and thought my dog would just understand. She ended up breaking the cable tie out and disappearing for the weekend. Thankfully I got her back and another friend who knew dogs well explained to me that the dog definitely does not see it my way. My GSD likely felt abandoned and at risk in this strange place. She freaked and her drive was to get free and get out of there. Ever since I have thought of it that way. If it isn't with a lot of care and time, wherever I drop them somewhere strange, I believe that they feel abandoned and they will move into a threat drive... fight or flight. I prefer having people watch my dogs at my house, but I also find a crate is god's gift, that is their mobile home and, I believe, gives them the security they need to settle in strange places. Glad she was okay and she will gain some of those years back but I am guessing based on what you saw, she was very stressed. But lesson learned.
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Old 06-26-2014, 10:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Reading this thread while on vacation. Now I'm worried sick. Good thing we are heading home today.


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