Do older dogs tend to be grumpy?

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While the “Grumpy Old Men” stereotype holds true for people, it also seems to hold a grain of truth when it comes to dogs. All of the potential reasons an elderly person might be grumpy in old age are also fitting for elderly dogs.

If a person or dog has aches and pains, it’s understandable that they may not be as happy to begin with. Add to this stress the possibility of hearing or vision loss, and the frustration is only increased. These ailments are aggravating for humans and canines alike.

A person or dog who has lived a long time comes to hold certain expectations of how the world works and how others should behave in response. They may be valid expectations for their needs, but less valid for younger individuals. It’s not uncommon that older people and aging dogs put a premium on peace and quiet, because they have mellowed over time and would like to rest.

A young child or dog is understandably not going to put the same type of value on peace and quiet and might put it instead on play. If a young dog is too active when an older dog is trying to sleep, the older dog will probably growl and be aggressive. This could be interpreted as grumpiness by onlookers.

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