Dog Pretends To Be Sick So His Family Will Stay Home With Him

Sometimes, dogs will surprise us with what they will do to get our attention. Take Sullivan (or “Sully” as he’s known). He discovered that by “fake coughing” he could get his human mom and dad to stay home with him.

Kennady Longhurst and her husband is Alex Salsberry love their dog Sully. They dote on their Border Collie mix and he loves them back, so much so that he’s willing to pretend to be sick!

Kennady recently revealed that she came home from lunch and noticed Sully was making “this weird combination of coughing, choking, clearing his throat sound.” Worried that Sully might be really sick she called Alex, who came home right away.

dog fake coughs

“I immediately freaked out and started googling dog CPR,” Longhurst told BuzzFeed News. But she said Sully went back to acting “completely normal” and was “wagging his tail and running around acting like himself, besides this weird cough”.

Alex decided to take the afternoon off work anyway, and stay with Sully and although Sully would occasionally cough, he behaved normally.

The cough appeared to go away that night. But the following morning when Alex was getting ready to go to work, Sully started to cough again. Alex decided to work from home that day and the two, being worried that Sully might have come down with something, took him to the vet for a check up. But the tests didn’t find anything wrong with him.

What was going on?

The vet gave them some antibiotics just in case Sully had an infection, even though he didn’t have any other symptoms except for this cough. Then they monitored him for the next few days, but thankfully the cough did not come back. When they checked back with the vet, he told them that sometimes dogs will pretend to be sick or limp in order to get attention or treats.

“We’re pretty sure he knows that we know he was faking it. So he is just a naughty faker who wanted some extra attention, and boy did he get it,” Kennady said. “We baby him so much he probably learned that if he acted weird or different someone would spend the day with him.”

Kennady tweeted about it and many people tweeted back that their pets had tried similar acting routines.

It’s certainly more than likely that Sully picked up that coughing made his humans worry and give him more attention and therefore learned that the behavior gets him more hugs, cuddles and time with them. I’d say that’s more smart than naughty, wouldn’t you?

Since the vet visit, Sully hasn’t coughed again. Maybe he realized that the visit to the vet wasn’t quite worth the extra attention? In any event, Kennady, Alex and Sully are happily back to their daily routines and have a newfound respect for Sully’s smarts.

Have you caught your pet faking something to get your attention? Share this cute story with your friends and family!

Disclosure: This post may include affiliate links.