My dog has symptoms of autism and Tourette's syndrome.

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Barked: Fri Oct 26, '12 7:40pm PST 
Milo is six now. He is a good boy and of all my many dogs he has been by far the easiest to train and the smartest overall. He is a Maltese. He never makes eye contact. He shows hardly any affection at all, and what he does show has only been in the last year or so--rarely wags his tail, never gives doggie kisses. He is very sensitive to touch and at night when he's sleeping with us he seems to be very afraid we will roll on him, so he is constantly growling is we move so much as a toe. He also has times when he starts licking his nose and can hardly seem to stop. This seems to occur when he is excited or nervous about something. He does this several times a day and each time can last up to ten minutes. He's the weirdest dog I've ever had. Anyone got any ideas...
Kali earned- her wings- 10/21/14

She's game for- anything that's- fun.
Barked: Fri Oct 26, '12 7:47pm PST 
Are you sure he's just not aloof and independent? Some dogs are just not very affectionate. As for the licking and growling, he could be nervous and insecure. How old was he when you got him?
Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
Barked: Fri Oct 26, '12 8:19pm PST 
Sanka rarely makes eye contact, doesn't show affection, doesn't care for affection, will lay down in the opposite corner of the room and face the wall, rarely wags his tail, doesn't give doggy kisses, would rather lick his paw that play with toys, quickly greets us at the gait then goes and wanders around the yard by himself.

Geeze, I could go on and on about Sanka's weird quirks. He too is the strangest dog I ever met. I just call him special.laugh out loud

I really wouldn't touch base with it as autism though. He interacts just fine. It's just not up to our general human standards.

As for the bed thing, he may just be better with his own doggy bed.


Barked: Fri Oct 26, '12 8:55pm PST 
I had to read this a few times before I could come up with a constructive answer.

You're overthinking it. Have fun with him in ways that he likes, not how yoh wish he'd like and you'll see your relationship improve.

Let's play tug!!
Barked: Fri Oct 26, '12 9:01pm PST 
It's funny you say that, because I just watched a youtube video from a woman named Temple Grandin, and she said something like 'As an autistic person, I have the nervous system of a prey animal. My dominant emotion is anxiety.' I think there are interesting similarities. Animals and autistic people are extra prone to having their cerebral processes hijacked by the emotional/instinctive parts of the brain. Both engage in self-soothing compulsive behaviors. Both thrive on routine and are generally uncomfortable with change. But I really do think that affection can be learned, in humans and animals. I think most of the time it is even desired, but there are roadblocks, like fear, anxiety, and poor social skills. It helps to let the dog come to you, and not to ever initiate contact. Then you can give treats for sniffing you, then touching you with his nose, then letting you gently stroke his side, and so on. It will probably take some time, but the positive conditioned associations with food should help overcome whatever reticence or anxiety is keeping him away.

As far as the growling in bed, it's pretty normal for dogs to try that and see if it's tolerated, and if it's been successful at keeping you from moving, it's no great wonder he keeps doing it. I definitely agree that he should be in his own bed. It's not healthy for any of you to get a crappy night's sleep while letting the dog boss everybody around. If you can't stand to have him far away, put him on a pile of pillows next to the bed.
Dr. Watson

Not a wiener- dawg!
Barked: Sat Oct 27, '12 12:54pm PST 
Have to agree with Zephyr. Sounds as if he is an aloof, somewhat insecure dog. Work on relationship building and accept that he is not going to be a velcro lap dog. Dogs cannot have autism and/or Tourette's syndrome -- check the Merck manual (veterinary resource) for animals.