Images of Dementia in Dogs

These videos and photos of my dog with canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD) have prompted thanks from hundreds of dog owners who thought something was little “off” with their dog but didn’t know about the disease.

If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, you should take him or her to the vet right away. CCD is treatable, but there are also other diseases that can cause similar symptoms. You need to know what you and your dog are dealing with.

Video: What Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Can Look Like

This video shows different behaviors that are typical of canine cognitive dysfunction. They include the dog getting stuck behind things; forgetting what she is doing and (poignantly) repeatedly greeting her human after she forgets where she was; getting confused about the door; and circling.

Video: Dog Turning Circles

A video that shows both subtle and more obvious circling behaviors.


Photos: Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Gallery

My little Cricket lived for a long time with dog dementia. Besides the classic standing in corners and staring at walls, she often just stopped in strange positions and zoned out. She especially couldn’t get in dog beds correctly and would stop and rest in very strange positions sometimes.

149 thoughts on “Images of Dementia in Dogs

  1. Thank you for having such a helpful and interesting website. The video with Cricket was wonderful. I appreciate you sharing your experience and helping us learn. The information was REALLY useful.

  2. We have a 16 year old Yorkshire Terrier who also has CCD. Everything you point is so true! I love your website and thanks for sharing:)

      • I adopted a 7 yr. Old yorkie 2 years ago as a rescue, she came to me with a UTI and infected ears, got her spaded and back to good health, she was afraid of most everything, and could not bark, , still not able to cuddle her, but will allow petting, recently is listless and not quite right, stares at floors , walls, leans against couch , has vacant and confused look in eyes. This behavior comes about once or twice a week, could this be dementia.?

        • Roberta, I hope you can get your dog to the vet to ask that question. Only a vet can make a diagnosis, and all the symptoms of dementia can be of other serious medical conditions as well. I have heard of one or two other dogs getting it pretty young, but that’s all I can tell you. (9 sounds young-ish for a Yorkie.) I’m so sorry this is happening, and I hope you can get some help for it.

    • Wow! My 17 yr old bichon jazzy has been going to the hinged side of door when I open it, does the circling and constantly stares in the mirrored closet at me instead of directly at me. Thank you for the insight of what I have been trying to figure out what she was thinking. Love your input!

  3. Hi – I just watched your video of Cricket and it hits home. We have 3 labs, the oldest of whom is only 5 1/2. He exhibits many of the same symptoms as your Cricket. He stands in corners or facing walls for up to 10 minutes. When I call him he no longer comes to me (he was always the 1st to) and when he finally looks up and sees me coming outside to get him, he gets this “OMG I know you, so happy to see you” happy look on his face. He occasionally pees in the house and just generally seems lost. We can engage him in play but he plays alone, not usually with the other 2 labs. It’s truly a sad thing to watch. He paces more, often aimlessly. His appetite is good (he’s a lab LOL). Sometimes if we can’t find him he’s standing underneath our little dining room table. His symptoms came on sort of gradually and he’s being monitored by the vet, especially since he has hypothyroidism. As a dementia nurse, I get it..his behavior is so familiar to me. It’s just so sad watching the other 2 play like they’re ignoring him because I think they are – they just don’t get him. But I get him. He’s my boy and the recognition in his face when he sees me warms my heart.

    • Amy, I’m so very sorry that I missed this comment among the spam months ago. I hope your guy is still doing OK. Dementia nurses are angels, in my book. My mom had Alzheimers. Since you work with humans with dementia, you know that there’s still a soul in there, and I’m glad your lab still knows and loves you. That is so young for it to start up. I’m so sorry.

      • Kathie:

        My lab, Tex, is 12 and has CDD (and has had epilepsy his whole life). He does the laying on the floor barking too. We have learned that in order to get him to stop we actually have to get him to move from where he is laying. It will usually distract him and he stops barking. It DOES mean that we have to physically get up and get him to move. My husband figured this out because he works out of the house and when Tex starts his barking my husband will have to go out and get him to move. That usually stops the problem.

  4. I find myself crying because my Hunter does exactly all the same things as your cricket. He is going to be 13 this year but has shown signs for years. It started with sitting in a hallway staring at the wall like someone was talking to him. Now he is showing signs of bladder issues (ie holding his urine) and getting lost in a room. trying to walk through walls that have been there for years. I’m afraid for a vet to tell me it is time. He is in no pain whatsoever, but I question his quality. He sleeps all day and night.

    • Hi Dana,

      That is really hard, I know. I don’t know what to say except I know how hard it is to watch them drift away. I think you’ll know when it’s time.


      • Eileen, thank you so much for your video & information. Going to the hinge side of the door is exactly what our dog is doing & getting between me & the cabinet & stands on my feet. Our vet wants to do more testing, but we think he has lost his quality of life. We don’t want him to suffer. We feel “it’s time”. He’s almost 14. Is it appropriate to tell the vet we don’t want further testing? All blood chemistries were normal. Thank you.

        • I’m sorry for my late response. Perhaps you have made your decision by now. You are the ones who know best. Your dog is so lucky to be loved and cared for by someone who is taking his needs and quality of life so seriously. Hugs.

  5. Hi there, I stumbled across your website whilst scanning for information on doggie dementia. Our Rottweiler/Border Collie cross who is nearly 11 has, over the past few weeks been getting lost on familiar walks and staring at the wall as well as pacing and circling. He is eating but not as ravenously as before and without any enthusiasm. I have started him on Aktivait to help his brain function but no improvement as yet (he’s only on day 4 though) His joints are causing him some discomfort and any walks are very slow. Only wags his tail when he sees another dog, no greetings for me though which is sad. I did the quality of life questionnaire on the link which is an excellent measurement of how things are at any time. Today we scored 9 ‘yesses’ so will monitor things periodically with that tool. I can only thank you for providing a place to share stories with people going through the same with their beloved pet and will keep in touch. I will also send a photo through for your gallery. Blessings Barbaraxx

    • Hi Barbara,
      So sorry your guy is showing some signs. Please do keep in touch. And definitely send a photo for the gallery; would love to seen him. Best wishes to you and your beloved boy.

  6. I ran across this website looking for information on doggy dementia. We have a 14 yr old rescue that is showing many signs of doggy dementia. We have only had her for almost 3 yrs so we are guessing on her age. Her symptoms are worse around the late evening which is very similar to sundowners for humans. She is so sweet and will miss her when she is gone. I am the only one that can get her to do things and can love on her!

    • Betsey, I’m glad she has you as an anchor. I don’t know if you have considered it, but Anipryl does help some dogs. Someone just commented about their very good experience on the “Symptoms and Treatment” page. Good luck to you and your dear sweet girl.

  7. Thank you for your site. My Jack Russell of (only) 15 has been on a steady cognitive decline for the past year and some months. I have been treating him with Anipryl for 3 months and wish I had heard of it a year ago, when it may have done more good.
    Now I am at the point of the Quality of Life decisions, and its impossible with dementia. My guy can’t easily find his way out of the fridge and the wall, but when he hears the other dog excited for suppertime-he’s right there. But I know that all his noisy yawning means frustration. Among other ques that lead me to think his life is more frustrating for him, but it really is so hard to let them go.

    • It sure is hard, Jeni. I wish you well with a hard decision. Sounds like you have given your guy a great life. Best wishes.

  8. Hi there,

    I noticed my 14 year old cocker spaniel/eskie mix, Emma, is doing some things that she never did before. She sleeps during the day, isolated – she goes downstairs and does not like to sleep on her chair upstairs with us like she used to. She often wanders aimlessly at night – she has her sleep cycle mixed up. In the afternoons when she wakes up, she sometimes will pace the house non-stop. She also has a look of confusion when she sees me sometimes. She does, however have great mobility, knows exactly when supper is, and loves going for walks with our younger dog, Alice. She still loves being pet, but not for long. She will be 15 in June, and I feel so sad that she may be confused about her surroundings or who we are at times. The other thing she does once in a while is pee on her doggy pillow – something that greatly upsets her as she NEVER ever had accidents in the house before and potty trained so quickly as a pup. We are never mad at her, I think it just upsets he to know she made the mistake on her bed. Emma is such a love, I can’t imagine her not being around. It’s hard to see my beautiful girl get so old, knowing she won’t be around forever.

    Thank you for your website and the information.

    • Hi Hilary,

      So sorry I missed your comment before. I hope Emma is doing OK. This is a very tough disease to deal with. But I want you to know that even though my little dog had a pretty advanced case, I always felt like she was “in there.” Sounds like Emma is still strongly herself, even with the symptoms going on.

      Take care.


  9. Hello, we have Maggie, our 12 yr old chocolate lab. She has always been a “groaner” in her personality ever since she was a puppy. What we do have now though is the staring at nothing, sleeping all the time. Pacing back and forth from living room to bedroom. Not sure what she is doing. Then we get the non-stop whining and crying. It’s heartbreaking to set there and listen to her. We honestly don’t know what direction to go. When do we decide when is it not fair to her? She has both hips diagnosed 3 years ago with dysplasia and arthritis along with lower vertebrae arthritis. Is this too much? We have 3 other large breed dogs that play very well together. Maggie has really lost interest in this too.

    • Hi Kim, I’m sorry, that sounds so hard. Both for Maggie and for you and your family. Have you talked to your vet about medications for the dementia? Also something for joint pain? It is very very hard to euthanize a dog that is still pretty physically fit, but I personally do not think it is inhumane if the dog is not capable of enjoying life anymore. Good luck, whatever you decide. I’ll be thinking of you.

  10. My 13 year old Lab Poppy has dementia. Otherwise strong and healthy, she barks ALL night, digs holes in walls when i’m at work and is generally doing everything on ‘the list’. I haven’t had more than 5 hours unbroken sleep for over 18 months, I am dead on my feet and hardly functioning. My daughter is now being disturbed too. I used to be able to quite her for a time, but it is now incessant at night. She still wants to go for a walk and is eating well, and appears happy, loving and alert at a lot of times.We have tried Xanax that just freaked her out, she has been on Amitriiptiline for 5 weeks, that has really done nothing. Our wonderful Vet said we have to consider our quality of life too. How do I make the decision to put an otherwise healthy dog to sleep.

    • Lorraine, that’s the hardest question any of us faces with our dogs I think. My little Cricket was more physically well than any other dog I have ever had euthanized, though she was more frail than your Poppy. You sound like the most caring dog caretaker imaginable. Poppy is so lucky to have you looking after her. I can’t tell you what to do, but I wouldn’t fault you for letting her go, given what you describe. It’s not a sin that she still feels good sometimes. It will just mean that you have saved her some future suffering.

      That’s my point of view and others may disagree. I commend you for taking such loving care of Poppy.

    • We to have a 17 year old Westie that gradually has developed this disease and does everything cricket is doing, he weighs 17.5 lbs from 19 a year ago and our vet. Said it was ok to put him on Benadryl 25 mg. and this calms his anxiety all night, said we could do this every 8-12 hrs. If need be during the day, but we don’t cause he is calm and collected during day, only at early evening the big anxiety begins even if constantly erasure him we are around, look up Benadryl for dogs and it tells you all about it, it has been a life saver for us but we know someday in the near future we have to let go, really is so sad, we have him since he was 6 wks. Old. Wish u lots of luck

  11. Thank you for your supportive words. My life revolves around this mad mutt. She’s a great love of my life. We oaid a small fortune to bring her with us from the UK to New Zealand 7 years ago. Everyone says to me ‘you’ll know when the time is right’ – thst may be the case if the dog is in pain and suffering, we feel empowered by our ability to ease their pain and help them pass with dignity. But with dementia, you just don’t know. At 2 a.m in the morning I feel she is lost to us, then come ‘actual’ time to get up she is smiley, and waggy and wanting her breakfast. So hard. But we can see a continued decline. I guess we just have to bide our time, keep watching her closely and if my poor tired body can keep up, just see how it goes. Thankfully we have a wonderfully supportive vet. Sometimes I actually wish it was cancer, then the decidion, though tough, would be thst much easier.

    • I hear you about that. I don’t think the dog always “tells you” either. You just have to go ahead and make the decision at some point. Bless you for your love and care for your Poppy.

  12. Thank you for all this wonderful and useful information! My cocker Maggie is 15 and has begun to pant incessantly and wander around the house, almost cyclical, wanting to go into all the bedrooms (never had an interest in that before) and staring at doors and walls, all the while panting and being very anxious. She doesn’t sleep much…Her appetite is good, she drinks water, but is really not as wiggly and friendly as she used to be. I am speaking with my very caring vet about CCD this afternoon and possibly beginning some medication. It is nice to know there are others who are dealing with this and can offer support and advice. My Maggie is my best friend and I love her so much–it is very difficult watching her act this way.

    • Hi Meg,
      I’m so sorry Maggie is showing those symptoms. I do know how hard it is to watch a dog act that way. I’m glad you have a good vet and are speaking with them. I hope you can get her some help. Good luck with the meds, and thanks for writing.

  13. Our Doxie, Sally, was 14 years old. My husband and I had to make the devasting decision two days ago. She was everything to us. We are seniors too. With no children at home anymore or other distractions, we considered her needs first at all times. In those years, she never spent a night without us. She had all the love one could give. And she returned that love, always. A year ago she started showing signs of dementia. As the year progressed it only got worse. She would get lost in the house, stared at walls, would walk into chairs, getting stuck not knowing know how to get out. She began peeing in the house, became hard of hearing, not knowing where to find her food bowls anymore, so I had to take her to them. I would get up with her in the middle of the night where she roamed for hours. I would pick her up, hold her, and tried to make her anxiety less. That did not seem to help.The worse was she followed my constantly, would cry when I left the house, even to the mailbox. Her anxiety of separation was advancing. My husband and I did not know what to do. We both had so much love for her.
    She did not have cancer or other diseases. We put her on medication, no change. She was progressing further as time went. We knew it would only worsen. Dementia is a terrible disease to watch progress.
    We finally came to the decision it was time for us to let her go and not be confused anymore.
    On June 23, 2015, we spoke to our friend, the veterinary who had treated her for 14 years. Without our Sally Girl. Although she could not make the decision for us, she agreed it would not improve. She told us, every now and then a special dog, a friend to everyone with only love to give. We have been so lucky to have her. We left, crying, both of us. We made the decision it was her time. We made an appointment for that night when the office was closed. Dr. Ricci, Stephanie, the tech that Sally loved, stayed with us through the process, for Sally. At the end I have never seen her so Beautiful.
    We are still devastated, having a difficult time without her. A very difficult time.
    The problem with Dementia is a difficult disease. Especially when no other health issues exist.
    My heart goes out to anyone with the similar situation with the difficult decision.
    I am so sorry for them. It’s a personal one only the owners of their loved ones can make. So sorry.
    I now know what the term, a Heavy Heart means. It took my breath away the days before and still does.
    It has only been two days and we are still devastated. Sally will always have our heartfelt love.

    I thank you for your help. I am so glad to have found your website.
    I hope this helps others with the same decision. Our love goes with them.

    • Jorgette, I am so sorry you had to make this decision. As you say, it is terribly hard. I just think on how lucky Sally was to have you not only for her whole life, but to generously make this decision when her life got so unpleasant. I think it is the very hardest when the dog doesn’t have any obvious physical problems. But the brain is part of our bodies, and her problems were physical too, just in a different way.

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. I think it will help others. Take care.

  14. Oh Jorgette , I am crying as Inwrite this. I am so sorry for your loss. Going through the exact same thing with my beloved Lab Poppy. I know the decision is near, life is very hard with her at the moment. The medication worked for a ehile but seems to have stopped working. Dementia is a terrible thing. I hope you pain eases as time passes.

    • Lorraine, I am so sorry you face the same disorders with Poppy as we did with Sally. As Cricket’s owner said brain disorders are part of the body and shown it a different way. That comforted me. I am glad you shared your story about Poppy. I am sure your response helps others . I am so sorry you face the same as we did. So sorry.

  15. Something told me tonight to research if dogs could have dementia and came across your site. I have a little terrier mixed breed, got her at 5 weeks old, she is now almost 18 years old. She has all the symptoms as Jorgette ‘s Sally except My Alli is blind and can;t hear which makes it double hard for her.I have been trying to make the awful decision for weeks now and after I read all the letters others wrote I see I’m not alone.With tears running down my face after I read Jorgettes letter I know now what I must do. It’s just so heart breaking to see Alli the way she is and to have to make this decision is so painful. Thank you for your site. P.S. I also have a cat who is 23 plus years old and has the same symptoms as Alli ,she is also blind so I guess cats can have dementia too…

    • Bless you, Maggie. How difficult it must be to say goodbye to a dog who has been part of your life for 18 years. I can tell how much you love her. And yes, cats can get dementia too. There is less research about it, but they are trying drug treatments for them just like for dogs. Thinking of you and Alli.

  16. Hi
    My little girl was diagnosed with doggie dementia last friday. I took her to the vet as she got stuck behind the toilet and it’s the fist time she had done anything like this.
    She’ll be 11 in February, looking back she started to get a little distant with my nephew a few months ago, not to the point where she doesn’t go to him, in fact last weekend she still went upstairs to bed with him, but she stopped playing and licking his face. He mentioned it a couple of times but I just said she was getting older. It’s only been the past couple of days that she’s starting messing in the house and getting lost. I took her to the vet and she said she looked as though she was arthritic, which would explain the shorter walks and she looked as though she was having a phantom pregnancy as she was producing milk. She doesn’t appear to have seasons anymore but she does still go through the phantom pregnancies.
    The vet thought it could be hormonal and gave me some anti biotics in case she had an infection and some pain relief for her arthritis (although she’s never shown signs of pain)
    when I got her home, she started showing the signs like standing at the hinged side of the door and pacing. It came on so suddenly. When I called the vet back she said it sounded like dementia. I went back yesterday to pick up some medication for her and today is her second day on it. I’m praying that it works, I want my happy little girl back. I can’t bear to see her looking so lost and miserable.
    I feel so guilty for telling her off when I thought she was being naughty, not realising he was poorly 🙁

    • Hi Tascha,

      Yes, that does sound like very fast development of symptoms. I hope they can reverse quickly too.

      I think everybody does things now and then they regret with their dogs. I hope you can forgive yourself. You are taking wonderful care of her. I wish you and your dog best of luck and many happy times to come.

  17. I have a bichon named Tucker who is 8 1/2. I have noticed odd behaviors on him for the past year or so. We have a doggie door and many times he will sit outside the doggie door before coming back in the house, and he’ll sit there facing the house for 10-15 minutes. It will also find him sitting in odd places in the house, doing nothing but just sitting there. He will still come when I call him, however there are times that even if I’m looking at him and calling him he’ll just stare back at me and tip his head, and then eventually will slowly come to me. The other thing that is different is he’s always slept on the bed with me, but now prefers to sleep under our bed. He is very easily startled, and will run and hide if our other dogs cough. He will still play tug-of-war sometimes with our other bichon, however he does not play with our cockapoo anymore.

    Could these be signs or early signs of dementia? We had a bearded collie who had dementia that was diagnosed, but his symptoms were completely different than Tuckers, so I’m not sure.

    • It does sound like it, Dena. But most of the symptoms of dementia can also be symptoms of other neurological problems too. I hope you can talk to your vet about Tucker. It does seem early at age 8 1/2.

  18. Hi. So glad I’ve found this site. My collie max (13 years young) is starting to show the signs of dementia. The vets have been prescribing meds for arthritis for the past 3 months. Nothing seemed to work. He has had 2 seizures in that time which is what has prompted me to research further. He is otherwise a fit and healthy dog, but has just deteriorated over the past couple of months. I’m just waiting for his blood results tomorrow then hopefully I can get him started on propentofylline and that will help him. He seems to be at the early stages so no messing in the house or getting stuck behind furniture yet but he shows all of the other signs. I just hope I’ve found it in time and it’s at a stage where something can be done about it. It’s just me and max at home and he is my world. I don’t know how I’ll cope without him when the time comes but I know I’ve given him the best life I possibly could since picking him up as an 8 week old puppy. He’s still a puppy in my eyes. Love to all.

    • Hi Chris,

      So glad you’ve found us, too. I can tell how close you are to sweet Max. Good luck on the bloodwork and I hope you can get some pharmaceutical help. Sounds like you are doing all the right things.

  19. I found your site while searching the web for ideas on how to he out 15 year old Golden. I was shocked and amazed at how similar your descriptions were. Ginger does all of this.

    However, she has also stopped eating and barely drinking. I learned to fill several water bowls (50/50 with pedialyte ) around the house versus the one spot a water bowl has always been.

    We just started her on Senilife and are in hopes we can bring her back, cognitively, for as long as possible.

    Thank you!!!!

    • Dear Deanna,

      I’m sorry for my delayed response. I do hope your Ginger has come back. Several water bowls is a great idea. I hope the Senilife makes a difference. Thanks for writing. Thinking of you and Ginger.

  20. I’m so glad I came across your website.
    I adopted my dog 7 years ago. He was already old in age, but he is now 14 and I am now 24.
    He kept me up all night just wandering. He has other signs going on. I figured it was old age, but feel it has be dementia too. Out of curiosity seeing if dogs do get it too, I came across your website.
    My dog has all the signs especially the circling, not sleeping at night, the dog bowl problem and now with having trouble with his own bed. He seems to fall off of it. Or not know how to even stay on it or get in.
    Thank you for creating this page.
    I love my dog so much he’s my best friend. I even have copper tattooed near my heart with a cartoon version of him above it.

  21. Hi
    Sad as the condition is, it is so good to realise that some of the behaviours I see are “normal”. Pacing, getting stuck in furniture staring at corners etc.
    My westie Kizzie is 16 on Monday, arthritis, deaf, heart murmur and westie lung but still stuffing her face. She is getting older more quickly now, the biggest problem is that she doesn’t go to sleep when she is tired or even sit down. After a while sniffing and exploring becomes stumbling and bumping into furniture until I block her into her bed so that she eventually goes to sleep for a couple of hours, then she is alert again.
    I am going to vets tomorrow to have her pain meds reviewed in case it is a discomfort problem, and blood pressure urinary infection checks, but I think she just forgets to rest ???
    Whoever decided a dog’s lifespan had a sick sense of humour but, whilst I know she wont go on forever or even a lot longer, as long as her ears are forward, her stomach is full, arthritis is managed and we can establish a sleep routine, I take comfort from the info you have provided and that this is probably more distressing for me than it is for her.
    If it helps anyone else, the sleep cycle management has at least stopped her being up all night, I try periods of activity during the day, even if it is just finding food ( doesn’t do toys anymore), trip in the car or short sniff out in a field for 5 -10 minutes, then an awake period until 10 or 11 pm so she stopped being up all night and now sleeps when I do.
    Any early rising for a pee is dealt with by roll of builder’s plastic carpet protector (you can also get the stick down temporary kind) put down in the hall, easier than to keep cleaning the carpets, it can be taken up if you have guests or during the day and usually the sound of her walking on it wakes me up so I can get her out in time anyway.
    I love her to bits , the thought of losing her is as unbearable as it is inevitable , she deserves the extra care for the pleasure she has given me all these years, I also owe her the right choice, at the right time
    Thanks for letting me know I am not going through this alone.

    • Hi Liz, I really do think that it’s harder on us, unless the dog is anxious or in pain. But the standing around kind of thing, although distressing for us to watch, I think is just the “new normal” for them. I love how you have worked some simple enrichment into her life; great job with the schedule. Also like your carpet protector idea. Thanks for sharing your tips, and I hope you and Kizzie can continue to enjoy each other.

    • Hi Liz, My 14 year old girlie, Goldie has all the symptoms and it is very distressing for us human parents to see them that way. I am so glad I found this website too. Goldie is, I think beyond help now with meds but , like you, i think it’s important to try and establish a regular routine for her; enrich her “world” as much as we can by short walks (she still has and interest in sniffing every lampost, blade of grass etc) I’m lucky that Goldie sleeps through most of the night. On the occassions she wakes in the night, I move her downstairs to the kitchen and hall where her bed is (she sleeps with us normally) and I “Goldie-proof” the kitchen/hall so she can’t hurt herself or get stuck behind anything. We keep the floors covered with newspaper for any accidents. I usually find her sleeping on the floor and then just gently move her to her bed cos she can’t work out how to go in it herself 🙁
      I know i’m going have to make the decision soon. My family keep telling me I’m cruel keeping her going like I am but they don’t see her all every day like my husband and I do. It is indeed very difficult to judge when enough is enough when they have no other physical problems. I just hope I do the right thing for her

      • I have faith that you will know Linda and, if you need a reality check, the questionaire on the website was handy for me. There were some negative indicators I had not thought of, and some activities I was worried about that were put into perspective.
        Kizzie has had a slight bounce back on vivitonin but I just see that as a day at a time thing, knowing how important those good days are I will enjoy a few more as a bonus but no unrelealistic expectations.
        Goldie sounds well protected and loved, the fact that you are researching and thinking about it means you also have the rational side keeping her needs at the forefront. That is all your girl would ask for.

  22. My Sherloch a 14 yr old Pomeranian has started to stare in corners and just act strange. Barking for no reason, won’t sit still like he used to but paces instead. I didn’t think to much of some of it until he stood at the door to go out and when I opened the door he wouldn’t go out it. I was talking to my college age daughter and she said right away he has doggie dementia. Watched your video and seems she is right. So I want to thank you on behalf of Sherloch for your help. Now I can take her to the vet and have a knowledgeable conversation to help Sherloch enjoy his golden years, instead of seeming lost and staring into walls. All the best to your baby as well

  23. I have a rescue shtz Tzu who is 3 years oldd,she had a liver shunt and is on medication,but she has every sign of dementia,up wanting to go out all night but just standing looking about her,staring at the wall,iss this not very young for dementia,we love her to bits,we will do anything for her she had such a bad start in life.

  24. I have a 16 year old Lhasa Apso mix named Bugs……he’s got CCD and its pathetic to see my once hyper playful and bouncy pet losing his balance and falling asleep wherever he falls. He loves his bone, picks it up and doesn’t know what to do with it…..we usually find it in his water bowl. Your article and videos have been very helpful and it has given me strength to deal with Bugs. Urinating and defecating all over the house is one of the issues we deal with and we just can’t get angry because he’s unaware that he’s made a mistake.
    We love Bugs and will surely miss him when he passes.

    • I can tell you love him and it’s good you are so patient with him. (I know it can be hard with the messes!) I’m glad the articles and videos have helped. I hope Bugs still has some good times left with you.

    • I may have a remedy for your dog messes in the house …..what I do with my dog Domino is I anticipate when he has to go to bathroom to relieve himself ….I put him outside before he has a chance to do any messes in the house ….I do this on a regular hourly basis and I watch him outside to see if he does his duties and let him back in the house when he wants to Come in….. my theory is he would rather do his duties outdoors rather than in the house ,….so you must take control of when he has to go out and not leave it up to him……do this on a regular basis … works for my dog and I hope it works for your loving pet… consistent…….my Domino has dementia and I’m so happy to see the site… was just so helpful and caring to read the love we all have for our pets…..our dogs are a gift from God to us and we must take care of them as best we can …..thank you for the site and I hope recommendation will help someone…. are dogs love us more than we will ever know ….

  25. Reading through your blog has brought me some unexpected comfort. My dog’s mental capacity has regressed a lot over the past two years. Life is becoming more difficult for him and me, especially over the past few months. Today, he had a seizure. I’ve been considering euthanasia recently as his quality of life seems to have diminished quite a lot and I feel that this seizure is the unfortunate sign that I have been waiting for. I will be monitoring his seizure activity for now, but I am trying to prepare myself for the worst. These past couple months have been very tough as my grandma just passed away last month and now I am having to deal with the high probability of my best four legged friend passing away soon. He is 14 years old and I am 23 years old – we have been together since he was 11 weeks old and I was 9 years old… A lot has happened between then and now and of course, I’ve always known that this day would come. No one can prepare you for how difficult that day will be, though.

    • Oh my, Sarah, I can only try to imagine how hard this must be. I’m so sorry your dear friend may be failing. I’m glad you have found a little comfort here. Hugs.

  26. Hi There, came across your page, think im hoping for an opinion and support I guess.
    My 10 yr old Yorkshire terrier seems to be suffering from dementia. It got so bad so fast ive had to set her up in a play pen as she just urinates everywhere and my 9 month old son is crawling around. Shes slept with me for ten years but she destroyed my bed clothes so I couldnt do it anymore.
    She seems to have no enthusiasm for anything even walks , very little recognition for me shes disorientated, wobbly, shes circling incessantly. In the pen she presses her face up like she cant figure out how to get out.
    Its distressing me horribly to see her like that, im starting to wonder if I would be kinder to let her go but what if shes in there somewhere….
    How long do you hold onto hope, when can you truely say to yourself, its time now, weve done all we could ‘??? Itd be best for her. Im finding I cant make the call, the vet said its up to me, im in a state over it ?

    • You are asking the hardest question, Kim. Did you see the resources on the page called When to Say Goodbye? The book I have linked there and the Villalobos Quality of Life Scale are both good for helping you look at all sides of the issue. My own book has a whole chapter on this subject as well. I’m sorry for what you are going through. I hope you can get a little comfort from the other stories in the comments. Take care.

  27. Jean Gemmell on January 17, 2016 at 7:46 pm said:

    Toby, my little Jack Russell will be 21 years old this year I’m crying as I type this as he is so far ‘gone’ in his brain that there is nothing to be done to help him. He has nearly all the syptoms of this horrible condition BUT he’s still a very healthy little ‘furrybutt’ as my son Steven called him when we got him from the dog pound so many many years ago. I know it’s time to helps him pass but I just cannot do it. It’s SO difficult being with him now as there is no recognition, tail wagging ( we always said he worked by batteries as his tail wagged non-stop even when he was being reprimanded his tail was wagging on the floor) absolutely nothing. To be honest it’s really hard work every single day! He has really lived way beyond what he should have but how do I let go of a little dog who doesn’t want to let go of me…’s heartbreaking!
    Reply ↓

  28. We have an 11yr old cairn terrier with increasing traits of dementia behaviour on a daily basis. He has always been an independent dog but his separation anxiety is now so strong he is jumping up to sit on our jpknee, follows our every pace and sits on our feet. He’s wetting in the house, scared to go outside and always hiding in small spaces including the washing machine which he’s miraculously figured out how to open. He still loves his walks and his appetite seems good but he’s getting thinner and thinner. He’s been to the vets but she’s said there’s not much they can do. We have two small children including a new born baby and looking after our dog is getting harder each day. We just don’t know what to do…

  29. This is such an informative site. My Mariposa(a huskey/shiba inu mix) just turned 13 in January and she is starting to have momentary lapses where she seems disoriented. When I ask her if she wants to go out and she is in my bedroom she sometimes goes to the corner of my room towards where my TV is and seems to just look around. Most times she comes right out but it’s these few times she doesn’t that has me concerned. Most times when comes back in from outside she does so as always but once in a while when she comes inside from potty time she will wander off to the far side of the family room and just stand there. I was wondering if it it was something like this. Her annual physical time is due right about now so I think it’s time to talk to the vet about this.

    • Hi Shelley,

      Good idea to talk to the vet. I hope Mariposa (what a beautiful name for a dog!) still has many good times ahead with you.

  30. thank you – your website was just what I needed to see
    thats a perfect match on all those behaviors for my little dog Maisy
    I am beginning to think she doesn’t recognise me much, but loves a pat from that nice stranger in the house ….until I go to the loo when she wedges her self in between the toilet and the wall – its kind of sweet and many of the behaviours are endearing but good to know what I am dealing with xx

    • Hi Min, I’m glad you found the site helpful. Be sure and talk to your vet about Maisy so you can get a certain diagnosis. There are some medications that help some dogs. Take care. Maisy sounds like a cutie!

  31. hi Eileen, thank you so much for this website, we have a 12 year old patterdale and we have noticed in the past 6 months his behaviour changing. whinning for no reason when he is sat inbetween me and my husband, pacing, circling, staring into space, and trying to get into small spaces like he is trying to hide,jumpy when we try to comfort him and very very restless at night, tonight he is having a bad night and i have had to sleep downstairs with him because my husband is up for work. it is so heartbreaking to see brandy like this i have had him since he was 2. he always seems to look like he is sad and i am beginning to question myself is he happy ? are we doing enough for him ? am looking at his little face now and he just looks so lost and confused. i wish i could just click my fingers and it be happening to me instead. we are going to take him to the vets and see what his opinion is and what he would think is best for brandy, i am really hoping that we can find a treatment that will help him. reading some of the stories on here and what other people are going through is somewhat comforting to know that i am not going through this alone and am so greatful that i came across your site, it was very helpful and informative.

  32. I just found your site tonight when I thought to research doggy dementia because of some concerns I have about my little man Hans. He’s a 10 1/2 year old doxie who has had me concerned recently because in the past 3-4 weeks he’s had me thinking that he was going blind and deaf all of a sudden; but I’ve noticed that he appears to be able to see and hear fine one minute then all of a sudden it’s like he can’t. It’s just been the past week that I’m seeing him behave strangely, wandering around the house aimlessly, sitting and staring at nothing, or he’ll sit in the middle of the living room or patio and start barking and barking for no reason. He rarely greets me when I come home anymore, nor will he come when I call him. He’s always been a bit of a “whiny wiener”, but lately it’s gotten worse. He startles easily, and is getting aggressive towards his brother and sister (not litter mates) doxies, snapping and growling at them without reason. He seems to be afraid of me, if I lean down to pet him, he winces or scuttles back away from me, which makes me feel awful.
    He’s an IVDD survivor, just a year ago he was learning how to walk again after having gone down in his hind legs in late January. He spent 3 months in strict crate rest to let his spine heal; not only that but just two weeks after he went down he began to suffer gastric distress and an X-Ray showed that he had a foreign object in his abdomen so he had to have emergency abdominal surgery to remove a piece of broken glass. Then just one week after having graduated from crate rest, he reinjured his back and had to go back in the crate. Although he wasn’t paralyzed from the reinjury, he appeared to have suffered more neurological damage because since then he’s weak in the hind end and has some trouble walking correctly.
    Poor guy went thru hell and back yet returned to his normal happy little self! It hurts me to think that he’s not feeling well again and he can’t tell me what’s wrong. I am taking him to the vet on Thursday so I can maybe get some kind of idea what is going on. After all I have read hear, and the behaviors he’s displaying, I’m afraid that it could be CCD.
    I can’t afford to have any expensive testing done as I am disabled and having two more seniors with medical issues; I’m hoping that the vet can make at least a possible diagnosis of whatever is going on just by what I’ve observed. I just want to know what I can possibly do to help him feel better. Please wish us luck.
    My little loveys are my life now that my human kids are grown, and I want to make sure that all of them live their golden years feeling loved and happy the very best I can.

  33. Thank you so much for all your help and information, it has really helped me and will help my dog Mr Chips. He is 14 and displaying a lot of these symptoms. All best wishes to you x

  34. Dear Eileen,

    My 13.5 year old Shiba Inu Banzai has led a healthy and active life. We’ve had him since he was a puppy. He has recently had trouble walking and has accidents in the house. (this breed is very quick to housebreak) He also has some hearing loss, odd way of standing, unsteady gait, stares into mirrors. We’ve also notice he touches us more to get our attention. We’ve tested and x rayed. No arthritis, no injuries, exceptional urinalysis and blood work results. Healthy as a horse. Good appetite and still gets up for chase me and other games (albeit in slow motion and in the house, not outside so much). Our vet concludes dementia and prescribed low dose of Amitryptyline. Frankly Parkinsons is in my family and I’ve seen it manifest in my Mom and Uncle. Banzai shows some of the same symptoms. Beyond the scrip what other treatment options are there? We love him dearly and want him to be comfortable in the time that remains. Thanks


    • Hi Larry, I love Shibas! They are such cool dogs. Did you really mean Amitryptyline or Anipryl? Both are prescribed, but Anipryl is the one that is specifically for dementia and is also used in Parkinsons in humans. I’m not making any suggestions; just clarifying. On the Treatments page on this website, I include all of the treatments that have shown in studies that they may help. I have more information about them in my book, but it’s the same list. Also in the book I have hints for taking care of a dog with dementia. There are lots in the comments here as well. Good luck. It sounds like you are doing a great job with him and I hope he has plenty of good times left.

      • I’m going to stop the meds and get your book and take advantage of this site. . My wife is out of town and works in Pharma, not happy about this decision. I was just on the phone with relatives and they were pushing back as well. Big question …was this a hasty diagnosis? Side effects of these drugs can be nasty. Is this really just old age? Is there a better way? … Need need to answer these first. Thanks

        • Larry, please don’t change any meds without consulting the vet. There are valid reasons to prescribe either of those meds. I was just trying to clarify because of the similarity in the names.

  35. Hi my name is sandy. I have a shih tzu which is 16 going on seventeen years old. A lot of times he goes to the gate I have in the living room area and just stares for long periods of time without moving as if there is a very interesting show going on, until I tap him then he’s himself. He couldn’t walk due to arthritis, so I retrained him to go inside on wee wee pads. He learned that right away. His vet put him on novox and he’s able to walk. The only time he runs and jumps is when I come back in the house whether I’m gone 5 hours or 1 minute to get the mail. Whenever I leave he is always waiting in the same spot as close to the door as he can get until I come through it. I’ve had Noah since he was 8 weeks old we’re inseparable. He doesn’t play anymore but he loves his beds. I’m just concerned about his staring so. He also does this in the middle of the night. When I go to the bathroom I see him staring. So I leave him, eventually he’ll come to bed. Also he yawns at me when I pick him up. Feeding time he’s his happy jumpy self. I only take him out when the weather is nice now. Can anyone tell me what he is trying to tell me???

    • Dear Sandy, Noah may not be trying to tell you anything. If he has dementia (and I’m not diagnosing him, just mentioning the possibility), he may just zone out sometimes. My little Cricket did that and I finally realized that probably for her, it wasn’t uncomfortable or scary. She was just drifting off sometimes. I think it bothered me more than it did her. Can you take Noah to the vet and describe these things? You could fill out the symptoms list and take it with you. Good luck. Sounds like Noah still has good times.

  36. Thanks very much for sharing this knowledge – your pictures spoke volumes! They were perfect to let me relax about CCD as a possible diagnosis.

    • I’m so glad the site helped. I hope you can get an “official” diagnosis for you dog, since there are some other conditions that have overlapping symptoms. Thanks for the comment.

  37. Thank you so much for this information! A few of my by beloved pomeranians (11 year old, and 12 year old) were showing some odd behaviors (howling, staring at the wall, hiding at night on the floor instead of where he used to sleep on my bed ( actually my pillow 🙂 his whole life, delayed reaction when I talk to him even tho he seems to be looking right at me) So sad, and it scares me. Now I understand what is going on with them. The vet has checked them out and they are physically healthy. I have a 15 and 17 year old pom as well, and they are both as alert as puppies. Unusual to me the younger guys are showing these signs. Your content here is so helpful, thank you again for this information!

    • I’m glad it was helpful. Your dogs are adorable! Please spread the word about dementia in dogs since there are some helpful interventions. I hope things go well for you and your seniors.

  38. My ten year old pug, Jiggs, clearly has dementia, though not as yet diagnosed. His back legs do not work very well due to a stroke three years ago, and he sometimes does not make it out the dog door in time to relieve himself, but he still seems happy and very determined to get to us despite the three other dogs in the house. He gets my attention, then I’m supposed to follow him and help with whatever he couldn’t do or get on his own, though now, we often stop because he’s forgotten what he wanted. I keep a very close eye on him and he seems happy, he still even plays with the mastiff puppy, who is very gentle with him. Mr.Jiggs crawled into my heart at 8 weeks old and the love I have for him is so great it hurts my chest.
    My question is – should I crate him when I leave the house? It gets over 90 degrees in the summer and he goes in and out and I’ve had to bring him inside many times. I’m worried he’ll forget to come in and suffer heat stroke or worse. I guess I’ve answered my own question.
    I didn’t know dementia was something dogs could get. Thank you for your site, I’ve signed up for the newsletter and will buy the book after I get my car fixed. Not many people understand the great love we can have for our furry babies. Thank you,

    • Hi Kate,

      I’m sorry about your worry about Jiggs. It sounds like his bond with you is still very strong though. IT sounds like a good idea to prevent Jiggs from staying out when it is too hot. If he is used to a crate, that would be perfect. If not, perhaps you can gate him into a kitchen or bathroom. Take care!

  39. I wonder if you can help me I have a terrier cross and he has just recently started to lay down and stare at his hind legs when we distract him from this for a while he will go straight back to it some times he will just ignore us when we call him. Any info you can give would be very helpful.
    Thanks Andrew

    • Andrew, I’m sorry, but I don’t think we can help much here. I hope you can see your vet about that. There are lots of mental and physical conditions that can cause behavior changes in dogs and I think someone needs to see your dog in person to help. Try to take a video, because your dog will probably not do it while at the vet’s. Take care,

  40. My baby girl will be 20 years old in December, she remembers me but has all the symptoms of doggie dimentia. She still eats and drinks and goes to the bathroom. She’s been showing signs for about 2 years, just lately it’s gotten worse. She’s almost blind and can hear a little. I pick her up everyday and talk i.n her ear and kiss her and hold her close. I have to let her go, it is time. It hurts so bad to lose my precious sweet baby. Love your dogs, the 19 years I’ve had her will never be enough❤️

  41. My Knuckles is a 12-year-old pug. I’m so worried about him. For a while now he has been sleeping almost all the time. Now he will sometimes stand in the middle of the floor for a long time with his head down. And he will sometimes walk around confused, walking behind the sofa where he never has before. He will stare upwards at what I don’t know. He is sometimes unresponsive, even for treats! Other things, too.

    • Hi Laura,

      I hope you can see your vet about this. There are several conditions in older dogs that can cause some or all of these symptoms. Good luck. It’s hard to see our older dogs do these odd things.

  42. oh my… I am facing this tough decision with 2 babies. A 15 year old rescue miniature poodle and a 14 year old standard poodle. The standard is blind and suffers from Addison’s. He barks incessantly. Get’s lost in corners, does not know if it is day or night and literally keeps us awake. It is as though we have a 2 year old we are constantly watching. He has fallen in the pool and gets stuck in corners and barks. So we cannot leave him alone. Lately we have been giving him 3mgs of Meletonin to sleep. Basically, so we can all get some sleep.
    The miniature cant hear and is losing his eye sight, he has only four teeth and I have to cut up his food. He also has gum disease and wanders around lost constantly. He will find me and then start looking for me again. I just don’t know how much longer my husband and I can do this. I have a heart condition and also a special needs adult child who requires a lot of supervision.

  43. I have looked at your site several times! I am so worried about 16 year old cocker (17 in 5 months) Not only is he suffering from CCD, he has large hard knots along his spine (feels disfigured) and in his pelvic and hip area. I want to give him “rest”, but my husband says he is waiting until he appears to be in pain or becomes immobile. I just don’t know what to do – I just hate to see him wasting mentally and physically.

    • Hi Judy,

      I’m so sorry you are going through this with your cocker. How about a vet visit? A vet could give you both an idea of whether your dog is in pain or discomfort. Would your husband respond to that? I’m so sorry for the pain you must have in your heart about this.

  44. I have an 8 year old english springer ! Lately every so often I come home from work I work graves and if I leave the room I will come back out he is sitting and starring at a wall ! Not pressing his head just starring! Why does he do that? Is he lacking attention maybe cause I’ve been working alot of hours lately! Is he feeling attention neglect? He’s not realllythat old .

    • Debi,

      It sounds like a vet visit is in order. The thing is, there are so many possibilities for these mental oddities that can happen to dogs, not just dementia. But that is a symptom I would discuss with a vet. Good luck.

  45. About a year ago Tank my 15 year old pug suffered what looked like a stroke. He just suddenly fell over, looked very confused, and just couldn’t get himself back up. We took him to the vet immediately but she said she could not tell if he had a stroke. We came home with no answers. He has since lost 8 of this 24 pounds and is just skin and bones although he still eats as much as he always did. He is now blind and deaf. He no longer plays with our 8 year old pug nor seeks attention from us. He sleeps all day except for the occasional wake up where he walks in a tight circle until his back legs give out, them he continues to drag himself in the cirle until he falls. He may do this 3 or 4 times in a row then goes back to sleep. He sometimes will get up and go on what we call a walkabout. He will walk from our family room through the kitchen then the dining room and back to the family room. We hear him walking into walls and such and have found him stuck near a planter on the floor that he just stares blankly at. He barks a lot at night and most times will mess his crate. If I try to touch him, he jumps. It breaks my heart to see him like this. My mind tells me its his time, he has no quality of life left, but my heart wants my baby with me longer. I’m so torn. I have just lost my 2 granddogs, Mia & Petey, in the last 2 months, one due to heart issues, one to CCD. My son’s house is so empty without them. I’m lost, I don’t know what to do.

    • Suz, I’m so sorry. Please know that there are lot of people here who know what you are going through. I hope you can make a decision you can be at peace with. Hugs.

  46. Our little furbaby Duke who is a Maltese is turning 20 next month and is both deaf and blind, has a heart condition but is generally still such a happy chap, this last weekend he had a really bad weekend, stopped eating and drinking very little, spoke to our vet who advised me when I would know it is time, my husband said to give him one more day as it had been really cold and maybe he was just feeling it as he also suffers with a curved spine. I prepared myself and cried all weekend but I do not want him to suffer, low and behold we come home on Monday and he is his old self and eating and drinking and barking and bouncing…he also stares long periods at walls and wanders around but know i think I understand the cause of this. Last night however he was groaning and sniffing at doors and wandering the bedrooms, is he in pain, my heart is once again torn in what to do , how can i make a descision like this when he has such good days.. He means the world to us and I cannot imagine not coming home to him ☹️

    • Many of us have gone through that up and down. Sorry for the delay in publishing your comment. I hope Duke is still with you and having good days.

  47. My dog is 16 & has shown every sign you mentioned, plus the jumping when touched at times. On top of that i’m getting over having a stroke, she started about a month before i had it. I was afraid for her while in the hospital (2wks) but my neighbor let her out, and could tell she was getting bad. But the way i look at , while i’m getting stroke….i get to spend time with her. Thank you so much for the videos!

    • Hi Sissy,
      I hope your recovery goes well and you enjoy your time with your senior girl. Glad the videos were helpful. Take care.

  48. These videos and photos hit so close to home. My border collie does circles all day and get stuck around furniture when could get out but he can’t process the situation. Its,so hard to watch. He seems unstable too. I was glad to find this page because it comforts what I was thinking. To see another dog do what mine is doing was helpful. Thank you so much.

    • I’m glad the videos were helpful, Gay. There are a lot of people here who have gone through what you are with your dog. Hugs.

  49. Thank you for your video its exactly what my 19 year old Scooter is doing, he has had a bad week, stuck more often but u still feel he has a quality of life, still looks forward to his treats, when dogs are your family it’s hard to watch them go through what my grandfather went through. But as long as he’s not suffering or in pain I plan on just (baby) dog proofing my house, thank you for sharing crickets story I’ve read several if the comments people have left over the years and it’s more then the video that’s helping people it’s having someone understand that’s helping people, thank you, love to all those dog lovers, Kristy & Scooter?

    • Congratulations and keeping Scooter so well cared for 19 years! Wow! I can tell how very much you love him. I’m glad you have enjoyed the comments here–lots of people who love their dogs so much.

      In case you are interested in more, I have a lot of tips in my book for making the house safe for a dog with dementia.

  50. Pingback: Cranberry & Your Pet’s Urinary Health—Miracle Berry or Just a Fad? – Lovin My Pup

  51. We have an eight year old English Springer Spaniel the sporting dog. She is starting to stare at everything. This has come on so sudden. Within the last few days and now she is peeing in the house something she has never done. I’m so worried about her. She’s acting so out of touch. She’s anxious but does sleep but only at night. She is my best friend she’s the sweetest little girl. Can dementia come on at this age? She’s going to the vet as soon as we can get an appointment.

  52. We were adopted by our rescue lurcher / greyhound Jed (not sure of the breed) in September 2014 after he had been in a rescue centre of 7 years. He has always had behavioural issues (which is why he had not found a home for so long) then but now has been diagnosed with CCD. He will be 10 in March 2017. I work from home so can be with him all day to comfort him but the nights are difficult. He has ‘accidents’ (which I don’t mind cleaning up) even though we leave a light and radio on to make things as normal as possible. I want to do the best for Jed. The Vet has put him on drugs to help and they seem to be effective at the moment. Is there anything else I can do?

  53. We took in a stray daschund. He goes to this one corner in my kids room and stares, sometimes for hours. He also licks the wall. I am not sure how old he is but he is definitely not a puppy! What is the deal is he bored, does he miss his freedom? please help!!

  54. I adopted Daisy (rat terrier) when she was 12 and had a few signs of CCD. She’s now 13 and displaying many more signs of CCD. I mentioned it to my vet but because Daisy is nearly impossible to get drugs into (I don’t know what happened to her in the past, but you can’t touch her mouth [sends her into a panic], and she chews everything very carefully so there’s no hiding pills unless they’re tiny) we decided not to try to medicate her. I hadn’t realized circling was a symptom until I saw your video. She doesn’t circle like Cricket circled, but whenever we go out to potty at night, she’ll start sniffing, take a few steps, sniff, take more steps, then start walking quickly in a circle around me as though she’s forgotten why we’re out there and it makes her really nervous. Eventually she’ll do her business, but she makes a bunch of circles around me before she does. Thank you for this website! The videos and pictures have been very helpful.

  55. Aww so heartbreaking watching this. ? my little girl is 13 this year & not sure if it’s dementia but she has started walking into the glass door. She’s done it three times now in the last 2 weeks. She’s restless at night & seems to get internal gas a lot. I’m worried so will be taking her for a checkup asap.

  56. I have a 16 year old shitzu that is blind n she puts her self up against walls n just stays ther n also in corners n also stuck in between furniture what do u think we should do out her down in which I’m not for cause I don’t think she is suffering correct me if I’m wrong please

    • Be sure and talk to your vet. But you can mix water into her food for every meal. That’s what I did when my little Cricket forgot how to drink water. If your vet says it’s safe, you can elevate her water bowl.

      Good luck with her and take care.

    • Talk to your vet about treatment. Set up your house to keep things safe for her. My book has a lot of recommendations, and there are hints in the comments here as well. I know it’s hard. Good luck.

  57. Thank you so much for your wonderful videos of Cricket, it has helped me tremendously, perhaps it can be related to people that are going through this that there are some Vets. That say to try Benadryl especially at night when their anxiety starts, it has really worked on our beloved 17 year old Westie (Frisky) and to be sure I looked it up under Benadryl for dogs and it was said this is safe and much less side affects and the site tells you exactly how much to administer every 8-12 hrs. Depending on the lbs. of a dog. Frisky would pace and pace, cry and moan for hours at night, started given him 25 mg. at night only for his 17.5 lbs., he gets in his bed after 20-30 min. Totally calmed, and relaxed, sleeps all night, up at 7-8 am for outside outing, his morning snacks and water. He is ok during day but not as active as I would like but he is calm but with all of Crikets symptoms. Again thanks so much for your kindness and videos, Irma Mittermeier.

    • Thanks for your kind words. I hope things go well with Frisky. Just a reminder to all reading: be sure you check with your vet before giving your dog any supplement or over-the-counter drug.

  58. Hi there my dog Jake is 16 years old jack russel/terrier he sleeps during the day then walks round the table in my living room nearly constantly he looks bewildered at times and sometimes wets on the floor at nght from around 6pm until 10pm he needs to wee its like a habit every day please could you tell me what this could be and if it can be treated.

    Thank You

  59. This may have been addressed here but I am going to ask again. Do you think it is possible that a “thunder jacket” or something like it might be helpful for my little schnoodle that has dementia? She is also nearly blind. I have heard that it can bring a sense of security to animals. Thoughts?

    • There have been some studies and it hasn’t been proven to work. It does seem to help for some dogs, but if you try it you need to know your dog’s body language. You need to be able to tell the difference between a dog who is relaxed and one who has shut down because the garment is uncomfortable. Good luck with your schnoodle.

  60. My year-and-a-half all of the sudden she just looks up in the air on both sides constantly like something is after her she’s never done it before until the other day what could it possibly be she is a fila

    • There are so many things that could be that we probably shouldn’t speculate over the internet. I hope you can take her to your vet. Good luck and I hope you get an answer.

  61. My dog is only 3 yrs old. She is playful and happy but sometimes when your not playing with her she will drop her head and look at the wall but not all the time.

  62. O my!!! One picture is worth a thousand words! My little chihuahua has been doing this for months. He doesn’t react to someone at the door. He wanders through my legs when I am walking. At least now I understand why his behavior is like it is! Thank you for a great explanation.

  63. Hello,
    My Frenchie whom I rescued at age 4 (vet approximated for the rescue agency-was from a puppy mill around here in Northern Ohio. She is almost 9 now) has been seemingly “a little off” for a few weeks. She has always loved her many beds and has always scratched at them, or as I call it “fluffing” her bed. Now she does not seem to like ot lay on them much, and prefers to lie in the mat below my feet in the kitchen. She used to love for me to sit with her on her bed after dinner in the kitchen on the floor, but now as I sit there, she will not come over ot join me ever. I feel as though she doesn’t want me to even caress her much of the time and I f feel so lost. She appears to look lost wand vacant in her eyes when she looks at me. She also stares off into space at times as well. I am crying as I type this, but I guess we’ll be off to the vet on Monday to find out what I can [possibly do. Thanks for all you have herein.

    • So glad you have a vet appointment and I hope it is something transitory and treatable. I am not a vet but there are a lot of conditions that can send a dog a little “off.” I hope all goes well.

  64. Our Sasha is the sweetest girl, a petite German Short haired pointer that is 17, has her 18th Birthday in Sept. has always been in great health up until the last 6 months. Have tried acupuncture, shots, lazor treatments (we wanted to give every possible treatment to our girl) She just stays up all Niigata walks aimlessly , I have to stay up with her She gets

    caught under furniture, I am constantly following her worried she is going to hurt herself. No more tail wagging or recognizing myself or my husband, no hugs or cuddling She will get herself jammed against a closet and cry out. I will immediately run and comfort her I guess she is scared. We can’t leave her alone I can’t bring myself to put her down. She still has an appitite She has been a wonderful girl and the sweetest dog I have ever known We rescued her from a family that was relocating over seas. Tears are flowing as I write this. What to do about this Heartbroken Patti
    No medication seems to help she is on 4 different pills. Am I being selfish keeping her in this world

    • I’m so sorry, Patti. Have you looked at the Quality of Life index? I have it linked on the “When to Say Goodbye” page. I know that sounds kind of cold and clinical, but it can be helpful to see a vet’s idea of how to look at a pet’s quality of life. My heart goes out to you. A lot of us here are familiar with what you are going through. Take care.

  65. Your website is so very helpful to us right now. We have a 14 year old Brittany rescue mix who is showing signs of dementia. We have taken her to the vet twice in the past few months for intestinal issues and an ear infection and both times were so traumatic (muzzled and very aggressive to tech and vet) that we have decided not to put her through it again. She was always a sweet girl who loved everyone. She now sleeps about 22 hours per day, is anxious and startles easily, digs a lot on her bed, not very interested in food, occasionally stumbles, and moans quite a bit while sleeping. The best part of her day is waking up to a walk where she seems her old self for a brief period of time. As a former hospice social worker, I firmly believe in one’s quality of life, however it seems to be such a difficult decision to make for our girl, Sushi. Thank you again for your insightful comments.

    • Hi Kendra,

      Thanks for your kind words. I’m so sorry things are hard for Sushi and you are having to look at that hard decision. Since you are a social worker I want to make sure that you saw this document, which is a quality of life assessment for animals. Perhaps it can help. Quality of Life Scale.

      Please know that I am familiar with the kind of pain you have, and so are a lot of other people who have commented here. Take care.

  66. My Jenny Lyn is 11 1/2 lab. Last February her brother passed and health and mental health has drastically gone down hill. First health wise, no interest in food or water, then sleepy all the time. That got better after few months now she is acting weird. She sleeps a lot but wakes up staring at nothing and barks very loud, she was never a barker. She can’t see well so can’t tell if water is in bowl. The last few weeks she lies under the dining table, she never did that before. It is sad to see her like this.

    • I’m so sorry about Jenny Lyn, Georgene. Have you talked to your vet about her changes? There are medications that possibly could help. I know how sad it is to see a beloved dog failing. Hugs to you.

  67. My little mini doxie, Zoey, is only 4 yrs old, and within the last year has had 3 episodes having some of the symptoms shown in the video, and spoken about in comments posted. All of a sudden she’ Go to this one spot in the apartment, sit down and not move. She stares off into space. When I approached her to try and find out what was wrong she just looked at me as if she was scared and started backing away from me. She wouldn’t come to me, didn’t want her treat(which is never an issue!) I took her outside to see if she would walk with me, but immediately she ran back into the house, back to the same spot, laid down, and stared off again. This lasted for several hours, then all of a sudden she was up and moving acting as if nothing happened. I have caught her sitting in the hallway just staring. Like I said it has only been within the last year, and it’s months between each episode. We are going to take her to the vet, but they want us to capture the next episode on video for them first. In your research, and communication with others, have you ever heard of younger dogs getting dementia? Thanks for hosting such a great site! Very informative and you show such kindness and support to those who post.

    • Hi Barbara,
      Sorry for the delay–I have been sick. I have not run across any research about younger dogs getting dementia, but a few people have mentioned it here and in personal messages to me. I certainly don’t think it’s impossible. But there are other conditions that can also cause some of these symptoms. I’m glad you are taking Zoey to the vet. Let us know what you find out if you’d like. I hope things go well for you.

  68. Hi Barbara
    It’s half past midnight and my 12 year old dog, Harry, jumped off my bed where he sleeps, some hours ago and has just been standing and staring out into the hallway. I’ve tried to just go to sleep and let him do what he wants to do but I can’t. He has done this in the past but not for some years now. So I’ve been looking on my IPad and came across your site.
    It is really bad weather outside – thick snow and freezing – so I haven’t taken him out for 2 days. Do you think this could affect him? He is a Parson Russell who lives his walks.
    He has always been a very anxious dog and I have tried so many things and spoken to behavioural experts but nobody has ever suggested dementia. Do vets do a blood test for it?
    Bit desperate and want to sleep!

    • Hi Sheila,

      I’m so sorry for my delay in answering. There is as of yet no blood test for dementia that I know of. Vets do what is known as a “diagnosis of exclusion.” In other words, they consider all the symptoms and rule out other things that could cause those symptoms. For instance, some of the symptoms of dementia are the same as for vestibular disease, liver problems, brain tumors, and even tickborne illnesses. So perhaps you could make a list of any symptoms that are out of the ordinary and take them to your vet? Here’s a link to my own list of symptoms here on the site.

      Good luck. I know how distressing it is when there is something off with your dear dog and you can’t fix it or even figure out what it is.

      Take care,


  69. I am so happy to have found your site. We have a 15 year old Shiba Inu, named Sadie. She was diagnosed with CCD one year ago and we are currently struggling with the reality that it may be time to say goodbye. The information, videos and photos you provided are, strangely enough, a comfort to me right now. I have been feeling guilty for even considering ending her life as she still “functions.” But, reading your article about euthanizing Cricket, really helped me understand that, while Sadie may seem to be functioning, her quality of life is poor. Thank you for sharing your journey with your little fur baby.

    • Dear Delanie,
      I’m so glad the site was helpful. I understand how just a bit of support from others going through this can help. Hugs to you.


  70. Brilliant! Thank you so much for sharing this! My 13 year old “Schnug” ( schnauzer/pug) is going through this and I didn’t know what was going on until I saw this video. He is doing exactly the same things that Miss Cricket is doing. I am relieved that it is just age related! He’s old, I’m old, and I guess we just have to look out for one another.

    • Dear Lisa,
      Yes, we aging folks of all species need to look out for one another! Do check with your vet about your Schnug, since there are a few other conditions that can cause these behaviors. Like you, though, I do hope it’s age-related. It can get to be a challenge to deal with, but it’s better than the other options. Take care.


  71. We have a 17-year-old Jack Russel and your website has opened our eyes to what is going on with Bernard.
    He’s been exhibiting symptoms for some months now and we didn’t realize what was the problem!!
    We had never come across this condition before and when my daughter first suggested it I just dismissed it with a chuckle not thinking it through. However, as it played on my mind a did a search and came across your website!
    Wow! and thank you.

    We now need to pay more attention to Bernard and try to work out what his quality of life is and perhaps make that decision that we know we don’t want to make.

    Thank You..

    • You are welcome, Paul. I hope you talk to your vet, too. There are some interventions that can help, depending on the stage. Take care.

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