Can Dogs Fake Being Exhausted?

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Introduction

When we feel exhausted, which many of us often do, it can be very difficult to drag yourself around to get things done. For a lot of people, the only answer is to flop down on the sofa or the bed and either relax or simply go to sleep to try and recharge. 

However, many of us are sometimes quite flippant about exhaustion – we say we are exhausted and even act as though we are - even though we clearly aren’t exhausted in the true sense. We may simply be a little tired or we just cannot be bothered to do what we are supposed to. So, if we can fake being exhausted, can our cunning pooches do the same?

Signs Your Dog May be Faking Exhaustion

Some dogs are naughtier and more cunning than others, and the ones that are become quite adept at faking things. Some dogs regularly fake being asleep when they don’t want to do something or cannot be bothered to get involved. 

In the same way, your pooch can quite easily fake being exhausted. Many dogs will act all tired and floppy when they do not want to do something, but take out a pack of doggy treats and they will suddenly stand to attention without any problem. This is a sure-fire way of knowing whether your pooch is truly dead on its feet (or paws) or is simply faking it.

 Signs that your dog may be faking exhaustion include the ability to suddenly leap up if something good such as a treat or the promise of a walk comes its way. You may also notice that your pooch has its eyes open and actually looks quite alert while refusing to move from the bed, floor, or wherever it is lying. 

If your pooch is truly exhausted it would most likely go to sleep very quickly. However, if your dog is just sitting or lying there and refusing to move but still looks wide awake, the chances are that it is not actually exhausted and simply wants some time to ‘paws’ for thought without the family around. 

Your dog’s body language can also be a giveaway when it comes to working out whether the pooch is faking exhaustion. If your pet is lying down somewhere but its ears are up and it looks generally alert, it probably doesn’t feel exhausted at all. If your dog jumps up when it sees something it likes despite appearing to be totally drained a moment earlier, then it is probably faking it. When dogs are exhausted, they tend to ignore the things that they would normally pay attention to, so if your dog is still attentive then the chances are it is faking exhaustion. 

Body Language

Signs your dog may be faking its exhaustion are:
  • Alert
  • Jumping up
  • Ears up

Other Signs

More clues that your pooch is faking it include:

  • Breaking character when stimuli arrives
  • Slinking off to lie down despite being fine before
  • Opening eyes the instant food is near

History of Canine Intelligence and Cunning

Studies that have been carried out into dog behavior over the years have shown just how intelligent yet cunning dogs can be. Even the best-behaved dog in the world will go through periods where it does not want to do something. When this happens, dogs have been known for faking things such as sleep or exhaustion as a means of getting out of it. Of course, this is not something that is worked out in a calculated way.

Your dog won’t sit there and think ‘I had better act exhausted otherwise they will make me have a bath’. In fact, your dog does not even know what the word exhausted means. However, it does know that when it goes into its basket and curls up, it is generally left alone by its owners.

As a result, when it knows there is something coming its way that it doesn’t like, the dog may go to that ‘safe place’ where it usually gets left alone and lies there as though exhausted. As the owners, we often see our beloved furball lying in the basket and appearing to be tired and just leave well alone – which is exactly what the dog hopes for! 

Science Behind Dogs Faking Exhaustion

Dogs all have different personalities but all breeds are intuitive, intelligent, and have a cunning streak. This is something that we have come to learn over the years through studying the canine species. It is the latter that enables them to fake sleeping and exhaustion when they do not want to do something. 

The fact that your dog will come across as being completely exhausted when you mention something that it does not like doing but then leaps to attention when there is something rewarding on the scene shows just how effectively your dog can fake being exhausted – and just how easily many of us fall for it. 

Looking for the Signs of Fake Exhaustion

One thing you need to bear in mind is that if your dog is showing signs of being exhausted but does not fall asleep, this does not necessarily mean that it is faking it. In some cases, your dog may actually be very tired but just isn't falling asleep right away. There is always that chance that your dog is unwell and that is why it appears to be exhausted. 

Even the weather can make your dog more tired, so although they may not be exhausted in the true sense of the word, they may still feel very tired and may lack energy when it is very hot weather.

You should, therefore, never assume that your dog is faking exhaustion, particularly if it is not normally prone to faking things. Of course, some dogs are pretty naughty and will definitely fake sleep or exhaustion to get out of something. 

However, others that are normally very sensible may have a valid reason for not moving, such as illness. You must never make assumptions and should always check to see if your pet is okay. You can also do a test by wheeling out its favorite treats to see if there is an excited reaction. If your dog leaps up and starts jumping around after the treats, it clearly isn’t tired or unwell!

If your dog does not respond or clearly isn’t faking exhaustion, you need to look a little deeper. First, make sure that it is exhaustion and lack of energy rather than illness. Check your dog for any signs of injury just in case. Leave your dog in peace to try and sleep it off and get some rest.

You should then monitor your pooch for two or three days to see if there is any improvement. If not, you should make an appointment for a checkup with the vet and let them know how your dog has been acting over that period of time. 

How to React if You Think Your Dog is Faking Exhaustion:

  • See if your dog reacts to positive stimuli.
  • Check to ensure there is no injury.
  • Monitor your dog for a few days.
  • See the vet if there is no improvement.

Tell Us About Your Experience with a Dog Faking Exhastion!