I don't know why but my dog is backing away from me like she's scared. I've never done anything to hurt her and she was acting normal just hours ago.

She's 12 years old and it's night time, could she just not realise it's me since it is dark?

If someone has any idea what's happening please tell me. I'm really worried and want to get her medical attention right away if she needs it.

  • 4
    As the dog is quite old and it is a new behaviour I wouldn't wait to go check with a vet. – Cedric H. May 30 '15 at 7:53
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    @CedricH. is right. sudden change in behavior = trip to the vet. You might see if she still reacts that way with all the lights on to see if it's darkness that's confusing her or if it's something else in the later hours. – jeffaudio May 30 '15 at 13:04

OK, first rule of the internet - the words aren't worth the paper they're printed on. There is good advice on this site, but if you are concerned, there is NO SUBSTITUTE for going to see a vet.

If your pet's behaviour has changed suddenly, this means something is wrong. It might be something small, but only a vet can tell you.

From the example you give though I would guess (And I'm not a vet, I'm just some guy on the internet who also had a dog he cares for):

  • Your dog is worried about something happening. This is usually based on a 'cue-response'. Such as, for example, having eating something (like grass) and feeling a bit uncomfortable passing it.

  • Your dog is having problems with eyesight or sense of smell, and so is having a harder time recognising you.

But basically - you know your dog, and if it's behaviour has changed suddenly, then 'something else' is wrong and if you can't tell what that is - a vet is the person who can.


My dog is in the process of being treated for brain tumor or spinal/brain infection like encephalitis. She gets the same way sometimes from the brain swelling at the frontal lobe... It also causes her eyesight to be off, eyes to bug out and she is off balance. It's best even though you know your dog to proceed with caution because a scared, sick dog will be on the defensive. ER will try to put her down. I chose to go with a neurologist who's doing a CT scan and spinal tap... Good luck to you😢. It is urgent you get help right away. Brain infections can be cured if treated fast enough.

  • I just noticed this was 2 years ago...whoops. Hope it worked out – rese Feb 5 '17 at 1:28

I agree that it might be that your dog is having trouble seeing you or recognizing your scent, thus the reaction. Dogs easily get agitated when they are feeling something off so I recommend that you get your dog examined by a vet as soon as possible.


I TOOK my dog to the vet and after he came home he's acting like he doesn't know me. They drugged him to take X-rays . He winced when I get his belly last night. Then he stood at side of my bed all nite This morning ( 4 am) I saw that he wouldn't or couldn't sit or lie down. 400 dollars later ( the vet) x-rays and visuals.. nothing. He's a pitbull , with two other dogs he's grown up with. Won't go near anyone of us. Would think it was the drugs they used to settle him down for x-rays ,,but he BEGAN to act this way upon taking him to vet. Wouldn't get into truck( which he loves). Stumped. .. gonna wait and see . Very weird. He's not old. Only 6 .

Thank you for sharing your experience! Pets Stack Exchange answers require more context than an interesting anecdote alone can provide; this story-based answer really needs some authoritative references to support it. Please add links to help support the experience you're describing, or this answer might eventually be removed.

  • i have a hard time trying to see what you are answering here. – trond hansen Apr 17 at 5:32

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