Some dogs may feign illness or injury to garner extra attention from their owners. While genuine signs of distress should be taken seriously, it’s not uncommon for crafty canines to adopt minor symptoms like coughing or limping to receive more affection.
Dr. Richard Pitcairn, a respected veterinarian and author, explains that this behavior often starts with a genuine issue, but the owner’s response reinforces it even after the problem resolves.
For example, if a dog coughs and receives immediate comforting attention, they learn to associate coughing with affection.
Dogs cannot mimic certain symptoms like fevers or diarrhea, so most faker-Fidos tend to exhibit symptoms they can control, such as limping or sneezing. However, it’s important to consult a vet if your dog shows signs of illness or injury, as they may be experiencing genuine discomfort.
Remember, dogs, like humans, can experience minor setbacks during recovery. If your vet can’t find any sign of the previous ailment, it may indicate that your dog was feigning.
If you suspect your dog is putting on an act, consider factors like recent life changes or increased time away from them. Providing dedicated attention through activities like walks or cuddle sessions can help address any underlying motives for their behavior. This reaffirms their importance in your life and may resolve the feigned illness or injury.