The subject of canine autism has always been polemical. While some scientists are skeptical about it, others believe that it is possible for a dog to suffer from some sort of autism. Autism in human beings shows itself in the difficulty of coping with day to day interactions and general communication with other people. It starts during childhood and might become more serious with age.
Autism in children is fairly easy to diagnose, while it is very difficult to pinpoint autistic behavior in dogs. This is why we compiled a list of 5 symptoms for you, pet parent, to look out for in your furry best friend. Keep on reading to know more!
1. Display of repetitive behavior
If you have noticed that your dog keeps on repeating certain patterns and behaviors, then there’s a big chance your furry best friend suffers from canine autism. By repetitive behavior, we don’t mean your dog running after his tail or standing in front of the door every morning begging you for a walk. That is pretty usual for dogs. What we mean is that your pooch has a daily routine that he doesn’t sway from, no matter what happens. Of course, having just this symptom doesn’t mean that your dog has autism, it might just mean that he is, you know, a dog.
So, make sure to keep an eye on him, just to see if he exhibits any of the other symptoms on this list.
2. Display of social nervousness and awkwardness
As we all know, dogs are usually friendly, sociable creatures. They like meeting people and (for some breeds) get along with other animals. One dog breed that tends to be like this is the Pitbull lab mix (also known as Labrabull), so, if you are planning on adopting one, make sure to keep an eye on his behavior. A dog that is not sociable is one of telltale signs of canine autism. If your dog is awkward even with you, then you have to watch his behavior closely.
Of course, if you have just adopted your pooch, it is normal for him to be shy around you in the beginning. After all, he’s just getting used to his new environment, and might feel a bit weird during the first days. But, shyness usually wears off, while social awkwardness due to canine autism doesn’t. If, even after a few weeks, your dog is still warry of hanging out around you, it would be better to take him to a veterinarian, since it might be autism.
3. Display of lack of enthusiasm
Dogs are usually playful creatures that have a lot of energy to offer. They are friendly and always enthusiastic, wanting nothing more than to take a walk and play catch. If your dog is not displaying enthusiasm, then he might have canine autism. This usually comes under the form of physical lethargy and could be mistaken for laziness or lack of energy.
This is especially true for usually energetic breeds, such as the Boxador, which is knowing for its high energy level. So, if your dog is always fatigued, you might want to take him to a vet, as it might be a sign of autism.
4. Display of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Behaviors)
Yes, OCD is not something that happens to humans only, it can also affect dogs. If your furry best friend is displaying the type of behavior that could be considered compulsive obsessive, you might want to get him checked out.
Obsessive Compulsive Behavior in dogs shows itself in different ways: your dog might want his toys to stay in a certain place and move them there whenever you misplace them. He might want his food to be placed a certain way, or his dog bed. These are all signs of OCD, and you should take your best friend to a vet, just in case.
5. Display of emotionless
Finally, the 5th symptom of autism in dogs is a lack of emotions. Sure, you can’t read your dog’s emotions, but you can still see them. Dogs with canine autism are difficult to read, because they always have a poker face, and tend not to show if they’re sad, happy, scared, or anything else.
Guest Post by Sarah Zayn from DiamondPup.com