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Hello All:
My male shepherd Smokey has always wanted to stay close to us. Loves to be inside or out, but if any of us are home he would much rather be with us regardless of where. Now he suddenly is spending longer periods of time outside, even at night when it is as cold as 40F. Seems like it started suddenly the morning after I gave him a big porterhouse bone. He doesn't get them often. He is not crying and he is eating, drinking and pooping. Yet something is definitely different.

He recently had his teeth cleaned and the vet told me he had a slightly elevated bilirubin.

Does any of this ring a bell to anyone? Or are these changes more likely to be somewhat similar to senior gsd changes?
Any input would be greatly appreciated. :|
 

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If the vet doesn't find anything wrong, I think it could just be that sometimes a senior dog gets off track of his regular habits and needs more guidance. When my Sting was 8, he suddenly in the middle of the night would start to howl - first I thought he had to go potty, but no, when he was outside, he would look puzzled and then come inside. He would also get stuck in corners. Then he didn't want to sleep in the bedroom on his bed like always. So I started him on the Cholodin supplement which helped and he is still on it:

http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/senior-dog/458945-cholodin-supplement-senior-dogs-sometimes-worth-try.html

But I also got him back on track. When he would howl - I told him to go back to sleep. He had to come into the bedroom to sleep on his bed. He would get a nice treat - his favorite chicken liver freeze dried. For a month, I also closed the bedroom door and then after that I didn't need to. So for your gsd, in addition to the supplement I would bring him back in the house when you want him inside, even if you have to put him on his leash, if he hesitates, turn him in a circle then lead him back inside, but have a good treat waiting for him. Perhaps, you gave him the bone to eat outside - and now he is stuck in that thought pattern. I learned to be firm but gentle and reward. When my Sting had to get back on his regular routine, I noticed that he seemed both calmer and more confident. It was like he was testing the rules and when he found out he had to obey them, then he settled down .
 
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