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Do Dogs Fake Injuries? 5 Things You Need To Know (2023)

Do Dogs Fake Injuries

You spotted your doggo limping all of a sudden…

Surprisingly enough, they haven’t been injured.

It got you worried.

But also, you wondered…

“Could my dog be faking their injuries?” 

Don’t worry. 

I have all the answers that you need.

Continue reading to learn: 

  • 3 real reasons for this behavior.
  • Proven ways to know if Fido’s faking their injury (#5 is very effective.)
  • 5 surprising things you need to know about dogs faking their injuries (#1 is funny.)
  • And many, many more…

Do dogs fake injuries?

Dogs do fake injuries. That’s because they want your attention or they want some treats. Basically, it’s a canine’s way of getting sympathy on purpose. Through fake injuries, dogs are aware they can get what they want. In some cases, canines will also copy their injured dog parents.

Why do dogs fake injuries?

Dogs fake injuries due to wanting attention. This happens if a pup learns that acting hurt can get them what they want. 

For example…

When your pooch got injured for the first time, you rushed to their side. After that, you gave them comfort. More attention, and even extra treats. 

See? That’s how some fur parents pamper their dogs. 

And since your furry friends are clever enough…

Fido might learn that having injuries make you notice them. 

But this could lead to a problem. 

Like, what if your pup’s truly injured? Then how could you tell the difference? 

You’ll find out in the next section:

How to know if your dog is faking an injury

You’ll know if your dog is faking an injury if they’re still:

But since it can be hard to figure out on your own…

I’ll explain the many ways you can tell if Fido’s okay. 

#1: Switching the part they’re limping on 

Your furry pal is smart. 

But it doesn’t mean their act is flawless. Sometimes, these pups forget where their fake injuries are.

I mean, just listen to this amusing story:

My friend’s dog Lucius likes faking his injury. 

One morning, he was seen limping on his front leg

But later in the afternoon… 

Lucius was limping on his back limb instead. 

Wait, what? Did he just switch his injury’s location? 

I say that’s im-paw-ssible.

In the end, Lucius was taken to the vet. And they found no issues at all. 

Clearly, the pup was just faking it to get some extra treats.

Suggested read: 9 Reasons Why Your Dog Walks Slowly (Dangers & 9 Tips)

#2: Still acts energetically 

If your furry friend’s still acting hyper… 

That’s a hint that they’re not really hurt. 

You see, when dogs are in pain, most of them just want to rest. And they’d rather lie down and sleep all day. Some might even think their dog is being lazy.

So if Fido’s not doing that… 

You can pay attention to their body language. With that, you can confirm if your dog’s really hurt. 

For one, your pup would still wag their tail actively.

But you should pay attention to the direction of their tail. 

Why, you ask? 

Well, when Fidos are anxious… 

Research says:

Dogs tend to wag their tail to the left side of their body 

And as you know, pups can feel that way when they’re injured. 

Thus, if your furry pal’s wagging their tail to the right side of their body…

That means they’re happy like usual. Now, that shows they’re not really in pain.

Aside from this, Fido might still bark like normal. Especially if they’re a vocal type, like Huskies

Now, these are signs that your dog’s not injured at all.

Learn more: 15 Scientific Facts About Your Dog’s Body Language

#3: They can still jump on the bed or sofa with ease

Your Dog Fakes An Injury If They Can Still Jump On The Bed Or Sofa With Ease

Another clear sign is when Fido can still climb your bed. Or get on the sofa with ease. 

I mean, if they’re hurting somewhere…

Your pooch shouldn’t have the strength to do that, right? 

If your dog’s hurt, they might even whine to ask for your help. Almost like they’re saying: 

“Hooman. I’m hurt, can’t you see? Pwease help me climb the bed.” 

So if you have doubts…

Try to invite your furry friend to sit next to you or cuddle. 

Then, watch Fido’s reaction when they need to climb up.

#4: Your dog still plays with their toys

Sometimes, when a pooch is hurt…

They might end up depressed. 

And if that happens, dogs could go through what scientists call: 


It’s a French word that means: losing interest in everything you love. 

As tragic as it sounds…

That’s something that can occur to any pup. Especially if they’re injured too. 

So if your furry pal’s still playing with their toys, that’s a good sign. 

But keep in mind: your dog’s mental health matters too. 

Thus, if you’re worried about Fido, you should take them to the vet.

Read next: Quiz: Is My Dog Depressed? 19 Symptoms (+Tips To Treat It)

#5: Still excited for walks and treats

Does your pooch get jumpy when you say the magic words:

“Walk” and “Treat”

If so, then you can use that to your advantage. 

To find out if your pup’s faking their injury…

Try testing their reaction. And you can do that by saying: 

“Hey buddy, wanna go for a walk?” 

Now, watch your furry friend drop their act. Some pups might even run and grab their collar for you. 

Though, this won’t always work. 

So how about giving your pooch a treat instead? Your doggo might be satisfied with that. 

And after they munch on some snacks…

Fido will magically recover. 

Gee, who knew treats could cure injuries like that?

But jokes aside, you still can’t be certain about your dog. 

In that case, let’s move to the last tip.

#BONUS: Set up a hidden camera to catch them

If your dog’s a talented actor and it’s hard to catch them…

You might want to be sneaky in return. 

By that, I mean you can use a hidden camera

After all, most pups only fake their injury when you’re looking at them. 

So when you’re not around… 

That’s how you’ll know if Fido’s really hurt.

Now, you have to actually leave the house too. As you know, pups have a great sense of smell. So it’s no use hiding from them to spy on their acts. 

Anyways, as soon as you return… 

You can confirm if your dog’s truly injured or not.

Dogs that fake injuries – 5 things you need to know

#1: Your dog’s copying you

Some dogs are the biggest copycats. 

And that means they’ll imitate you too. In fact, experts say your pup can’t help but mirror you.

But how’s this related to Fido’s fake injuries? 

Okay, I have a true story about that. 

You see, a fur dad named Russel got into an accident. 

Now, that resulted in a broken ankle. Due to that, Russel had to walk using crutches. 

And surprisingly…

Russel’s dog whose name is Billy, started limping too. 

Worried, the fur parent wondered what happened to his dog. Thus, Russel took Billy to the animal clinic. 

And the results? Luckily, Billy had no injuries at all.

So what’s going on? 

Well, vets at that clinic had a theory: 

Billy might be copying his fur dad, Russel. After all, Russel still can’t walk properly. But the reason why the dog does this is still unclear. 

What we only know for now is that…

Many Fidos just love imitating their fur parents. And Billy is a good example of that.

You can watch their interesting story here:

#2: Your pooch might need more attention

Truth be told…

There’s no research on this topic yet. But many vets and fur parents agree on 1 idea: 

Fidos fake their injury for attention. 

In that case, you might want to shower your pup with more affection. 

You know, just give them more treats. Headpats. Belly rubs

Anything that would keep Fido happy. 

After all, your dog might just miss spending time with you. Or your pup could also have separation anxiety.

Find out more: Why Does My Dog All Of A Sudden Have (Separation) Anxiety?

#3: Fido needs entertainment

Most dogs love playing. 

So if they’re bored, they might develop unwanted habits. 

While some Fidos tend to chew on furniture

Other pups might fake injuries for fun. After all, they know it gets your attention. 

In that case, try playing with your furry pal. 

But if you’re busy, there’s an answer for that. 

For one, you can play simple games with your dog. 

Or you could buy interactive toys for them. 

Either way, your doggo needs stimulation. Especially if they’re a hyperactive breed

Warning: Too much boredom in dogs can lead to depression. So before it reaches that point, find ways to keep your pup entertained.

Check out also: 17 Brain Games For Dogs To Entertain Your Fur Baby 

#4: Out of jealousy 

Based on a study, there are 80% of reports that says: 

“My dog is acting jealous.” 

But the question is, can your furry friend really feel that way? 

According to Dr. Coren

Yes, your pup can feel jealous. 

So now, you might be wondering… 

“How’s this related to Fido’s fake injuries?” 

Well, there are many stories about jealous doggos. And these jelly Fidos fake injuries to get their fur parent’s attention. 

Just listen to this 1 funny story:

There’s a smart Beagle named Jack. And he has another furry friend named Bumper. 

Now, when Bumper visits Jack at home…

The dramatic Beagle starts limping. Oh no, did they have a fight? 

Not at all. 

The truth is, Jack doesn’t want Bumper to take all the spotlight. 

Plus, the Beagle’s fur parent even says: 

Jack only starts limping when Bumper’s around. Even the vet laughs at the Beagle’s silly acts. 

I guess Jack polished his acting skills since his role in the Titanic. 

Puns aside, there’s 1 more thing you need to know. So let’s carry on.

#5: Fido might have a real injury

Injured Dog

These acting dogs seem like they deserve an Oscar award. 

But let’s hold it right there. 

You see, you should still give Fido the benefit of doubt. 

After all, what if your pup really has an injury? 

In fact, Dr. Pitcairn states: 

The habit of faking injuries starts somewhere. And usually, it’s when your dog actually gets hurt. 

You know, like what I told you in the top part of this article. 

When your pooch got injured for the first time… 

You run to their side in panic. After that, you showered them with more love and care. 

Now, that’s how some pups learn the benefit of having injuries. 

In that case, you have to beware of the real deal. 

So, how could you tell if your dog isn’t faking it anymore? 

You can search for clear signs of stress, such as:

Note: If you still have doubts, it’s best to consult a specialist. After all, dogs tend to hide their pain, Dr. Coren warns.