Can dogs be retarded in some form similar to humans? It’s quite complex, but the brain is an organ like any other, so it can suffer from illnesses. These conditions are similar to human ones, but with some small differences. Look for behavioral changes to check if your dog has a disability.

Can Dogs Be Retarded?

Some owners notice that their dog learns slower, or takes more time to learn certain things compared to other peers. This, actually doesn’t mean anything. Pets have a different learning curve, and if one needs more time isn’t necessary because he’s mentally challenged.

It is known that dogs can suffer from illnesses of the human world, like depression, psychosis, or anxiety.

Mental Disorders in Dogs

Dogs can suffer from different disorders which affect their daily life, surroundings, and learning skills. These problems are not easy to notice and might be only spotted by caring owners that are always keeping an eye on their puppy.

These conditions can drastically cut the lifespan in some cases if not addressed at the given time. Since most symptoms are really discrete, is vital to be extremely vigilant if your dog has an extreme behavioral change.

Separation Anxiety

Dogs are loyal and excellent companions, thus they don't really like being alone for a long time. This disorder is provoked when the owner leaves the house (doesn’t really matter for how long), causing panic and altered emotions.

It leads to furniture destruction, attacking doors and walls, attempts to escape, and other aggressive behavior inside the house.

Noise Phobias

This disorder affects the sense of hearing, triggered by specific sounds that frighten the animal. They are mostly sharp and strong sounds such as fireworks, storms, and explosions.


Depression in puppies is slightly different from humans, but the symptoms are almost the same. Watching your dog’s behavior is the most simple way to notice if something is wrong. If you’re unsure, you can have them checked by a vet.

If your pet sleeps more than usual, seems tired and lethargic, is less hungry, or even has hair loss, means your dog may be suffering from depression. Pets aren’t suicidal, but sadness can provoke death. It leads the animal to avoid meals and water.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

It’s not only very common in humans, but also in dogs. It often happens after an event that severely affects the pup, causing PTSD. Escape attempts, aggressiveness, and shivering are the most common symptoms.

It also has a pretty straightforward solution: just visit your vet and they will prescribe you some meds to calm your dog.

What to Do if My Dog Has a Mental Illness?

After spotting and being completely secure your dog has some kind of mental condition or disorder, there are some things you can do.

  • Be comprehensive: show affect and love to your dog like you would to any other pup. They may suffer a disorder, but they still need a caring owner.
  • Contacting the vet: depending on the type of disorder your mascot is suffering, you might want to have him checked by a vet. Some meds or tranquilizers can help to deal with the problem and reduce the symptoms.
  • Make routine changes: if you notice your dog has special needs, it may be necessary for you to realize some schedule changes. Some pups need more attention and time than others to cope with the disorder.

Exercises for Mentally Challenged Dogs

There are exercises you can play with your dog to develop their skills, in order to manage their mental health. For example, searching games.

Finding toys, bones or objects can help a dog develop their mental and smell skills. You can combine it with some basic commands that can be learned daily through routines.

Remember not to over-exercise your dog, short and consistent sessions are better than one long session per week. Also, remind you should not have high expectations, and praise their small learnings with treats and cuddles.


Some may seem slower than others, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they suffer from some kind of mental illness. It’s crucial to monitor their behaviors to understand if some kind of disorder is affecting them, and what steps to take next to help.