We hear a lot about autism and children but dogs and autism is most likely more rare. Because of this lack of awareness on this subject I wanted to write this post.
A friend of mine has a dog whom we believe has autism. This wasn’t a diagnose that any vet gave this dog but one that we both determined after much time and research. She took her dog to trainers and vets complaining of her dog’s dysfunctional habits and all the vet suggested was to take her to an animal behaviorist.
This dog was a completely normal dog when they adopted her. I can attest to this fact because as her pet sitter I have many videos of her playing to prove this fact. Her only real issue then was she didn’t want to walk on a leash.
Then it seemed overnight she changed. When she came over she would want to go directly to the furthest point in my house and lay down and stay there all day. She would seek seclusion where ever she was. I tried to put up a gate to force her with other dogs and me. She would try to climb behind the tv and wanted no part of socializing.
She would always be looking up at the ceiling as if something was there.
When she went outside she would do the same thing that she did inside. She would find the furthest point in my yard from back door and stay there. It could be 10 degrees and she would not come back in the house. She apparently would rather freeze than be around any dogs or people. I would always have to go outside find her pick her up and carry her back into my house.
It’s not like there was anyone bothering her my dogs are low-keyed all in their own little world. After a lot of research and her owner mentioning that she noticed her changes after some vaccinations we both thought maybe she has autism. There is a lot of data that says children are diagnosed with autism after many vaccinations so why isn’t it possible for the same to be true of dogs.
Symptoms of Dogs With Autism
Dogs with autism may not display any symptoms or the symptoms are very subtle and may not be recognized.
However, some dogs with autism may show some symptoms. The main symptoms of dog autism include:
- Dysfunctional interaction with other dogs or owner
- Restricted behavior, as autistic dogs may only limit themselves to performing only a few moves avoiding new moves and games
- Repetitive actions. Dogs with autism tend to have a routine they like to stick to.
- Apathy and inability to communicate joy, fear or other feelings
- Lack of activity, even if the breed is a high energy dog