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We have a 10 yr old female mutt. She was about 3 months old when we got her and has always been an indoor dog. Very suddenly over the last week she doesn't want to be in the house. Now she refuses to come in the house. As I am typing this, the 2 of us are sitting in my car, in the driveway. I needed something our of the car and she followed me, jumped in the backseat and refuses to get out. Now that she is in the car she, other than refusing to get out, is acting like her usual happy self. Even when she is in the house her behavior is strange. She follows us around the house now even though her MO is to spend the day under my bed sleeping. She would come out if she needed to pee or wants food/water. Mostly she follows my youngest (13) daughter around even though she's been a family pet from day one. Her focus has never been on a single family member. Schatzi is an equal opportunity "just love me and pet me" animal. Her disposition has never been anything other than sweet and loveable. We often say she's a person in a dog suit who is very easy to communicate with. She's been staring intently at invisible things as if something/someone is there, wherever "there" happens to be at that particular time. She has also started panting all the time when in the house. Not heavily, just constantly.
Has there been any changes in the normal everyday routines going on in your household or with your family? Many times just small changes can affect normal behavior especially in senior well adjusted dogs. Change can be frightening to them as they cannot understand why it is happening.
I believe you should have your veterinarian give her a through check-up just to rule out any health problems and be sure to tell them what is going on as you have stated in this message.
Epilepsy is a fairly common problem with senior dogs and some of your statements kinda suggest this may be something to look at.
As dogs age, their dispositions can change as well. I would consult your vet.