Old dog, new tricks: what to do about a needy senior dog

My dog is a real sweetheart, honestly one of the best dogs I’ve ever had. Everyone loves him. He’s about 10 years old now and he’s been through a lot: we inherited him from my mother-in-law when she passed away, his brother died a few years before that, he recently had relatively minor surgery, etc.

The issue is he has become incredibly needy. He does not like to be left alone AT ALL; in fact, if you’re in the same room with him there is a good likelihood that he wants to sit on top of you or at least be touching you. He is constantly under foot which is annoying but more importantly potentially dangerous to him or us. I just went to take the trash out and he immediately started whining and barking as if he was being tortured.

Apparently this is not super unusual for older dogs anyway, but I just wonder if there’s anything I can do to help him calm down?

Just because he’s not a cat doesn’t exempt you from providing photographic proof of the existence of said dog. :wink:

How is he with other animals? How might he take a new puppy/younger dog or a kitten?

A thunder shirt might help. Maybe he needs to be on anti-anxiety meds, Ask your vet.

I’m not sure I know how to post images here but if this works, here he is being publicly humiliated by my husband

He loved his bro but he is not too keen on other animals. A friend of the family was here for a while with their cat and they… well, they achieved a tentative peace agreement but I don’t think he liked it.

Have you considered getting him a crate? Maybe put a blanket over it to make it more cave-like but then leave some inches on the bottom open so he can see everything still.

It may take some time with you sitting near the crate with him in it but maybe he will enjoy the tight and calm space.

How are his senses? A friend’s dog became super clingy and it turns out he had gone blind from some type of retinal atrophy. His eyes look totally normal, but he is blind. Navigates the house perfectly, but in a strange environment you can tell.

My mom had a cat like that. We had no indication that it had gone blind until a routine vet exam discovered it. It was an outside cat that “adopted” my mom. She eventually took it in and it never went outside again. It got around the house fine from the get-go, so pretty sure it wasn’t blind then.

Silly cat never said a thing about it…

He looks like he has a lot of schnauzer in him. They are extremely vocal and possessive. I doubt you will change him much with out using torture techniques.

I have a 8 year old rescue dog with the same behavior. Thought about getting a second dog to be her friend, but am weary of this since she growls at every other dog she encounters. At our last vet visit, we discussed it and the vet had 3 suggestions

  1. Apriquil spray, did nothing
  2. Calming dog treats, also did nothing
  3. Thunder shirt: She actually loves this and acts much calmer with this or a doggie sweater on, but did nothing to abate her klingon tendencies.

Since none of these worked, the Vet said the only other suggestion she had was dog prozac. But my instinct says a second pet is probable the best option.

Our 11-going-on-12 year old husky has become increasingly needy these past couple of years. He had dental surgery a few weeks ago, which threw him for a loop in that it took more than a week for the anesthesia effects to leave his system. I know his hearing is a little off. He also has something neurological going on with his hips in that he sometimes needs help going from sitting to standing or vice versa. He has the occasional accident because the signal apparently doesn’t travel quick enough until it’s too late.

Max is my buddy. He hangs near me but not physically on me, as he’s not a cuddler. Right now he’s lying on the floor alongside the couch where I am. He sleeps next to my side of the bed. He’ll go to me first if he’s hungry or wants to take a walk. I think part of the reason is because my husband isn’t very patient sometimes and it scares Max. Dogs can sense stuff like that.