Have you ever seen a human being float on thin air? I'm guessing you probably haven't. Okay, let's back up a bit and start all over, have you ever asked the question "why does my dog sleep facing the wall?"
Well, you probably have and that's why you're here.
You would agree that both questions are fairly odd and may get your head thinking that something paranormal must be going on. Although, while the former probably isn't something of concern to you (I really hope it's not), the former is and that's why you need to keep reading this post to get the answers and clarity you deserve.
Here are some reasons your dog might be facing the wall, the ceiling, or even a corner:
Depression in dogs is a real thing and its symptoms aren't quite different from those in humans. A depressed dog would show withdrawal from activities it once loved and willfully participated in.
If your dog is depressed, you would notice certain changes in its personality and overall daily activities. There are so many factors that could drive a dog to a state of depression, some of which include a loss of a family member, abuse in the past, or even the loss of another pet.
Your dog constantly facing the wall may be a marker that your dog is depressed. You would however want to look out for other signs of depression such as your dog being too quiet and constantly found staring into space, disruption of normal sleeping pattern, loss of interest in playing and other activities, and loss of appetite which usually results in excessive weight loss.
If you notice signs of depression in your dog, then it might be best to contact a dog behaviorist as therapy would go a long way to help your dog get better.
2. Loss of sight:
Your dog staring blankly at a wall may be a marker that your dog might be developing eye issues, as it is usual for dogs with such conditions to stare at nothing in particular.
Staring into thin air isn't the only sign of loss of sight, others include clumsiness when walking, as your dog would constantly bump into stuffs if it isn't able to see properly, dilated pupils, constant disorientation and blinking less when staring.
Additionally, dogs that suffer from eye ulcer also stare at walls and corners because the ulcer forms a spot in their line of sight that makes them feel they are seeing something. Canine eye ulcer is very painful and causes dogs to constantly rub at their eyes and squint.
If you notice, any of such signs in your dog then contacting a veterinarian as soon as possible would be the best option.
3. Head pressing:
If you notice that your dog is not just facing the wall but also pressing its head against it or any other solid surface, then you might want to consider that your dog is suffering from some medical complications.
There are so many issues that could cause dogs to exhibit head pressing, some of which include liver complications, infection of the nervous system, poison or toxin consumption, brain tumors, metabolic problems, migraine, and even brain tumors.
You might want to contact your local veterinarian to carry out a proper diagnosis.
4. Cognitive dysfunction:
Dogs that have come of age sometimes suffer from cognitive dysfunction and if noticed on time can be properly managed and the process drastically slowed down. Your dog staring blankly at a wall might be a sign of cognitive dysfunction.
Also, your dog constantly bumping into walls, losing its potty training, not responding to its name, and not recognizing familiar faces are also signs to watch out for.
You might want to contact your veterinarian if you believe your dog might be suffering from canine cognitive dysfunction.
5. Attention craving:
Dogs would do anything to get your attention especially if you haven't been giving them this. Your dog staring at the wall might be because it is craving attention and it is used to getting it when it stares blankly at the wall.
Do you always go pat your dog or give it gifts when it sleeping or staring at the wall or a corner? If yes, then you might have unknowingly encouraged this behavior and your dog keeps on doing it because it knows it would get rewarded with attention.
You would want to discontinue this habit by only rewarding your dog when it acts the way you would like it to. Positive reinforcement is the best way to help your dog build new and desirable habits.
I'll be recommending a program at the bottom of this article that teaches behavior-correcting techniques
6. Focal seizure:
A focal seizure is a type of seizure that only affects a single part of the body. Seizures are commonly associated with violent, continuous body movements and shakings.
However, a focal seizure isn't this way and therefore is easy to miss. A dog experiencing partial seizure would be seen acting weird, like chasing its tail staring at thin air, and even pawing at invisible bugs.
Studies have shown that a good way to know if a dog is having a focal seizure is by trying to interrupt it from such activity. If it cannot be interrupted and still acts like it's in a trance then there is a chance it is experiencing a focal seizure.
You might want to contact your local veterinarian for proper diagnosis and professional information on how it can be controlled and possibly avoided.
Other points to consider
Your dog might be starting at the wall because it hears or senses something fascinating, it could be that your dog can hear rats or other pest scurrying around the house. Since dogs have a heightened hearing, these sounds may be too low for you to hear.
Also, some dogs can easily get fascinated by strange and little things. Hence, you would also want to inspect the walls your dog is staring at, as your dog might simply be staring at ants or bugs walking on the walls in which case there is no cause for alarm.
Besides, it is important to first exclude medical issues when you notice your dog staring blankly at the wall or into space, by contacting your veterinarian for accurate and better diagnosis. Once this is done, then you can focus on other options that might be the root of the behavior.
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But can dog owners do it theirselves?
Absolutely! Dogs are known to obey someone they have formed a bond with. And with the proper guide, you will have it easier and quicker for your dog to take training lessons from you than a strange face he's not used to.
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