It is a wonderful thing to adopt a dog from the shelter, but there is a risk that comes with adopting a dog like that. Because these dogs have already been owned and have gone through various experiences, these dogs come with their own baggage, habits, and behaviors.
This challenge was what faced a couple when they brought a dog home that had a rather disturbing habit… a habit that would scare them and keep them up at night.
Knowing the value of adopting an animal instead of buying one, the couple went to the pound to select a new dog. They found the seemingly perfect dog.
He was affectionate and friendly, but once they got him home, the true colors came out.
They named their new furry friend Jake and he loved his new home. It seemed that as soon as the pound was behind him, he made himself right at home. However, that night Jake showed off his terrifying habit. The couple was horrified when they experienced it.
This was a very unusual habit for a dog to have indeed.
Each night, once everyone had gone to bed, Jake would walk to the couple’s bedroom door and simply stand at their door while they slept. The childproof barricade they had installed did not keep him out of the room as intended and he didn’t sleep in the dog bed in the room next door.
However, there was even more to his habit than they expected.
As if having him come to stand at the door each night wasn’t bad enough, he simply stood there and stared at them while they slept. Night after night Jake stood and stared at his sleeping owners. The couple became concerned that this pointed to some much more serious problems.
The reason for this terrifying behavior, however, will break your heart.
Several weeks passed and nothing had changed. At first they thought that it was simply because he was in a new environment and that it would pass, but now they realized that they needed to treat the problem. Even dogs need sleep, so why did Jake just keep staring at them instead of sleeping? Jake would nap during the day but at night he would again take up his vigil at their bedroom door.
How could they help him to get more sleep?
During the day the couple would allow Jake into their bedroom but not at night. They knew how important it was to make sure that the dog learns to behave correctly and to stay off the furniture. Could this be part of the reason for his habit?
What had his previous owners trained and allowed him to do?
What made Jakes’s habit especially unnerving was the silence. Generally one would expect the dog to whine or bark occasionally, especially if they wanted something, such as food, water, or a treat. Jake, however, seemed to want nothing more than to see them. And he made no sound whatsoever while doing so.
That’s when they came up with a plan to help their dog and put an end to this habit.
The couple decided to install some cameras so that they could see what Jake does for the rest of the night once they are asleep. That night, once they were ready for bed, the couple turned on the cameras so that they would record the rest of Jake’s actions once they fell asleep.
The next day they watched the recorded footage, but instead of giving them answers, what the couple saw just confused and scared them even more.
What the couple saw was Jake continuing his unnerving vigil all through the night. He didn’t move or make a noise all night. For the very brief few moments that he did go to sleep, he still remained in front of their door.
They knew exactly what he did all night, but now they needed to find out just what he wanted.
The couple didn’t know what to do anymore. Still, something needed to be done. As disturbing as his stares were, the real concern for the couple was what his true intentions might be. They had no clue what the dog might be thinking or planning.
When they discovered the root cause of his behavior, neither of them could hold it back any longer.
When they first brought Jake home, the couple assumed this habit was simply because he was still in unfamiliar surroundings, and seeing them somehow gave him comfort. They hoped that once he settled in that the habit would go away.
Despite being happily settled in, the behavior persisted.
The couple discussed other possible solutions to this problem. They had been setting clear rules and boundaries for the dog. Perhaps they should let him into their room at night to sleep. However, they didn’t know if this would stop or aggravate the behavior.
As much as they hated to say it, the couple was also afraid that the dog might snap. What would happen then?
The couple had spent enough nights being stared at, something had to be done. Then they thought of something. They still weren’t comfortable with the idea of letting him into the room at night, but they were tired of being watched from the door.
They decided to simply close the door. If the dog couldn’t watch them, he’d have no reason to stay there. Could it really be that simple?
Unfortunately, it wasn’t that simple. Even though the door was closed, the dog simply stared at the door all night, there was no change in his bizarre behavior. They were desperate now. Could he have stared at his last owners like that too? Where did he pick up such an unsettling habit?
The only thing they knew for certain was that they needed to find a solution, and fast.
Could it perhaps be something to do with his diet? They changed the food and treats that they fed him to different brands. They even changed his bed, thinking that maybe it was simply uncomfortable.
Nothing they did could change Jake’s nighttime habit. The outcome, however, will surprise you.
The couple also considered that perhaps the dog needed more exercise. They decided to take the dog on longer and more regular walks, giving him as much exercise as possible.
By the time the evening came by, Jake seemed exhausted. Surely this would solve the problem.
Worried about the health of their new companion, his owners decided to take their dog to the vet. They hadn’t been told of any out of the ordinary health conditions when they got their dog from the pound, but maybe there was a reason that he was left there in the first place.
What was it that his old owners couldn’t put up with?
Sure enough, the veterinarian found the loyal dog to be perfectly healthy. For his age, he was happy, reactive and obedient. This left his owners absolutely puzzled! If his health wasn’t causing his strange behavior, it didn’t seem likely that they would ever get answers about their beloved dog.
Their last idea was to visit the pound they had received their dog from, but they had no idea the incredible story they would hear when they arrived…
If the vet didn’t have answers, maybe the pound he came from would. And sure enough, they did. When the dog had been left there just a few weeks ago, he came with a heartbreaking story that perfectly explained his odd behavior.
This story will break your heart and could make you cry for this sweet dog.
The dog’s old owners decided that they couldn’t handle the responsibility of having a dog while they were also planning to have a child, so the couple felt it was the right idea to give the dog up when they found out they were expecting.
To save them both from heartbreak, his old owner chose to wait until the middle of the night while his dog was sleeping to pack him up and take him to the pound, but that would prove to be the wrong decision…
Taking his dog to the pound while he was sleeping proved to be absolutely traumatic to the young dog. When he went to sleep that night, he was safe at home and with the owners who he loved dearly.
But, when he woke up the next morning, he was caged in a dog pound surrounded by people and dogs he didn’t know. That change would prove to be more than he could handle…
At the pound, the dog was scared and skittish because he wasn’t used to not being around the people he had grown to love and trust in the past few years.
The workers at the pound knew that the sweet dog would find a new home soon, but hoped that his backstory wouldn’t hinder his new experiences, whatever they may be…
After finding out his tragic backstory, his new owners knew that they had to treat their new dog with more kindness than was shown to him by his previous family. Dogs not only feel some of the same emotions as people, but they might have a similar emotional intelligence level as a toddler, meaning that they understand and react to everything going on around them.
Could this dog ever move on after what his previous owners put him through?
By letting their dog sleep in the bedroom with them, the dog’s owners hoped to show their dog that he did not have to worry about them leaving during the night. Their dog was still reluctant and stared at his owners as they fell asleep, but in the coming days, the dog fell asleep sooner and sooner into the night.
Would his new sleep routine continue or had the trauma he experienced changed this dog for life?
The couple hoped and prayed that the simple gesture of removing the barricade to the bedroom door would help their new dog feel more secure. But would it be enough to build the dog’s trust in humans again? All they could do was wait and see.
Meanwhile, the couple also wanted other pet owners to learn from their strange experiences with their new dog, so they shared the story online.
It wasn’t long before the post about their dog’s strange behavior went viral. The rescued dog’s heartbreaking story touched many hearts, and many Facebook users shared similar experiences. To many dog owners, stories like these serve as evidence that dogs do, in fact, experience complex emotions.
However, in scientific circles, this remains a contentious topic…
While it’s true that dogs have similar brain structures as humans and even share some of the hormonal make-up that is responsible for emotions in humans, dog owners have known that dogs are capable of feelings of love and affection since the beginning. Dogs even produce a hormone called oxytocin – which has been attributed to the sensation of love in humans.
Many people believe that dogs experience feelings, just like humans do!
Despite the evidence, scientists are still reluctant to overstate the range of emotions that dogs can feel. But there is one thing that they mostly agree on: most dogs have the same mental capacity as an average toddler.
So it stands to reason that dogs share similar emotions with their young human counterparts.
As a result of this research, some researchers have concluded that dogs can feel simple emotions. So dogs experience emotions such as joy, anger, and fear. This means that it’s perfectly plausible that a rescue dog would worry about being abandoned again.
But what about the dog of our story? Would he ever learn to trust humans again?
After a few weeks of letting their dog sleep with his owners in their bedroom, they started to see his behavior shift permanently. It can sometimes take a few weeks for dogs to get comfortable in a new routine while they are being trained.
Would this habit change prove to be permanent, despite the previous trauma this dog underwent?
His owners at first worried that sleeping in the same room as their dog would make the dog be less obedient, as they had heard dog trainers say before. But, letting the dog have his own bed on the floor while his owners slept in their bed above him proved to be the best thing for both of them.
The dog would be able to tell if his owners moved in the night, but he could also get the sleep he deserved. Find out below if this habit stuck or if this pup was stuck in his ways…
This change was exactly what the dog needed! He now sleeps soundly in the bedroom of his owners at night and no longer spends hours watching them before he falls asleep.
This story really proves that dogs have incredible emotional intelligence and need love and caring as much as any person or other creature.