Sorry to say that my ageing male golden retriever (Ben) is showing more signs of senility. He's very nearly 14 and is, generally speaking, pretty healthy (if you discount the cataracts, failing hearing and arthritis). Besides that he appears to be happy, eats well and is generally calm and friendly - he's a lovely dog. He also has quite a turn of speed on him when he puts his mind to it!
He is on medications for his arthritis (vet prescribed along with a 'natural' joint supplement) - these help him a lot and signs of stiffness are, as a result, kept to a tolerable minimum.
For a few months now he has occasionally pawed at the carpet, doors, barked at nothing, ended up staring into corners for no reason (and barking), etc - basically the signs of senility that I've read about elsewhere (incidentally, I'm using the word 'senile' as a general term for behaviour changes due to old age - apparently dogs don't really go 'senile' in the same way that humans do - the biological mechanisms are different). He sometimes also just sits and pants and stares at you yet seems excited and happy. He has seen the vet about all this, but to no avail (well, they can't cure it in people so I guess I shouldn't really expect a cure for dogs). I should point out that whenever he does any of the above he doesn't appear distressed - if you approach him he'll wag his tail, insist on having his back rubbed and generally appear extremely happy. He also has a bit of a mischievous twinkle in his eye!
He is on Cholodin, a 'natural' product that I saw recommended here for ageing dogs - it apparently helps the brain functions a bit so the dog has less 'senile moments'. I'm not sure if it's working that well though!
Ben's latest 'trick' (which he has been doing with increasing regularity for the past week or so) is to wake up my wife and myself during the night by pawing at the bedroom door at some random hour - curiously enough he also paws at this door very occasionally during the day, even though we're not in there! There is another door opposite the bedroom which he will also sometimes paw at during the night.
Once let into the bedroom he will generally settle down, although he will still occasionally fidget and/or paw at the carpet. Overall this is causing my wife and myself to have many bad nights - we'll soon go mad from sleep deprivation!
We have thought of putting him into another room in the house overnight, but he's so used to being near us at night (the hall where he sleeps is just outside the bedroom) that we wonder if putting him in another room will distress him (he's a fairly 'sensitive' dog). He would also then be out of earshot and we like to know that we can hear him if he has any kind of a problem.
We have two other dogs - both male, one is nine months old, the other coming up to two years old. The two year old sleeps in the hall with Ben, the youngster sleeps in the kitchen (if I also let him into the hall overnight then he'd end up playing with the two year old all night - not a good idea!).
Any thoughts please re Ben's 'senility'? Any ideas how my wife and myself can get a decent night's sleep?