The dictionary defines psychosis as:
“…a mental disorder characterized by symptoms, such as delusions or hallucinations, that indicate impaired contact with reality.”
Psychologists and psychiatrists may argue indefinitely as to where to draw the line between neurotic and psychotic behaviors, and it is no doubt difficult to discern symptomatic differences at that common junction; but, when one focuses upon the outside extremes of each condition, the differences become obvious, even in dogs.
A neurotic dog may exhibit chronic anxiety, fear, hyperactivity, obsessive behavior, and inappropriate responses to stimuli. Truly psychotic dogs, however, are deranged. Their behavior is acute and unpredictable. It ranges the spectrum from manic highs to deep depression, and tends to be dangerous and destructive to the dog as well as to other animals and humans with which the dog comes into contact.
Many of these behavioral characteristics are so