Change in behavior - 9 month female - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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Change in behavior - 9 month female

Hi guys, I need help understanding Zoes change in behavior. She's 9 months old and for the past week or so she's gotten way more mellow.
We feed her 2 times a day, dry food in the morning and wet and dry mix at dinner. She has stopped eating her morning meal but will eat her dinner although she's showing a decreased interest in meals overall.
Also she's not as active and playful as she used to be, she acts pretty bored.
We keep her indoor training daily and walks but she is overall acting very mellow.
Is this normal as she grows? Should I take her to the vet to see if something else is up?
Thank you so much for your time and help!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 09:53 AM
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in my limited experience I tend to see an uptick in activity, not less. Each dog is unique, though. If in doubt have the pup checked by a vet. Is you pup intact?

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 10:07 AM
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Is she having a heat cycle? My girl had her first one at 11 months old and that was pretty much the only time she has shown that unusual decrease in her normal behavior. I would say it's not really normal for it to be that sudden, is she displaying any other signs of being uncomfortable, scratching, loose stools, limping etc? I would pay close attention to signs like that and take her to the vet
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 10:17 AM
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I'd guess heat cycle also if she's intact....I've had 2 that lost their appetite during heat...I believe it's related to hormones and they don't feel very good.......some aren't affected at all.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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She is not intact. Stools are fine and also no change in her walking. It's really odd her sudden change in behavior. She sleeps most of the day, not interested in her toys..
She used to be much more active and playful! Even with other dogs, she would go nuts playing, now she still plays but not as excitedly as before. I'm lost at what to think and what to do...
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 11:01 AM
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Unexplainable changes in behavoir = vet visit, maybe have blood work up to ensure all is good.

Eta, check with your breeders as well, they may have seen similar behavoir in their lines.
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Last edited by Nigel; 03-16-2019 at 11:05 AM.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-17-2019, 05:14 PM
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There's no way to tell online if your dog is fine or not, only a vet can tell you that. But my female had a very similar change in behavior at 9 months. She abruptly stopped eating ravenously, often eating only 1 meal a day and leaving the other. She stopped playing with dogs she'd known and played with her whole life, and she became much more aloof with people in general. I noticed for her the change coincided with the end of her last BIG growth spurt. And though she's intact, she did not come into heat for the 1st time until she was 14 months old so it wasn't influenced by that.

At the same time, while she liked playing fetch, she'd previously only played fetch when her and I were alone, preferring to play with other dogs instead if they were around. At 9 months she decided fetch was more fun than playing with other dogs, and she became almost frantic in protecting her ball from them. For her it was just a phase, no health issues. At 2 she is no longer frantic about her ball, but she does still prefer fetch to wrestling ~90% of the time, and she's much more selective about who she'll play with.

I did also notice a huge change in her energy level, but I think at least part of that was because she was acting so differently. Hopefully the changes you're seeing is also just a phase, but it wouldn't hurt to get confirmation of that from your vet!

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 12:42 AM
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When was she altered and where? Lethargy is not good. It usually means something like a serious infection. Could be anything.


Sometimes, a spay may have been incomplete, and any material left behind can deteriorate and cause a sick dog with symptoms kind of like pyometra. Have you taken her temperature?


But it could be anything. New strain of distemper out there. Parvo. Lepto. Pano. Could be a twisted stomach (bloat) or intestine. Yeah, I wouldn't wait until tomorrow, I would get the pup to the vet today. There is just no way for us to diagnose a dog that is having a marked change in behavior.


Checking temperature can give you information. Checking for dehydration. Checking the gums for refill. The more information you can give whoever you are taking her to the better, including when she had her last shots, and spay surgery, preventatives (flea/tick/heartworm), etc.

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