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Grey Who Suddenly Is Afraid To Go Out?


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Our 3 year old female who we adopted in December has suddenly appeared to have become scared about going outside. I am not sure if she is scared or she just does not want to go out. This started a little yesterday afternoon when I went to take her for a walk. Typically I let her out in the back to see if she won't do her business there and then I leash her and we go for a walk. Normally it is my daughter on the weekdays and she just takes her straight out for a walk. But yesterday when I let her in the back yard she ran back and forth between the gates and then finally stood at one shaking. I leashed her, thinking she just wanted to go on her walk but when we left the fenced area she literally dragged me to the front door. I was able to get her to go for a walk and she sniffed around as she normally does. Last night and this morning she went into the back yard no problem and did her business. My daughter walked her this morning with no problem, but when she went to take her out back this afternoon for her afternoon potty break she exhibited the same behavoir, running to the gate and shaking, this time trying to dig out. When I got home at 5, I tried to take her out, and she just did not want to be out there. I tried the back yard, side yard and front yard. I then walked her around the block hoping she would relax and go. She walked but was not interested in sniffing and going potty.

 

We had an issue with our schnoodle the first year after the snow melt when he just would not go potty outside because there was no snow to go on. Could it be the new smells with the ground thawing and the change of terrain? She was fine up until yesterday, that I can tell. We have been without snow now for several days and yesterday and today were unseasonably warm, the gound is softening.

 

She is still eating, drinking, etc. A little panting in the house but I am not sure what temp it needs to be for her to get warm. We haven't unwrapped all the windows yet and it is probably 74 in here with the warm day and no windows to open. We are in Minnesota so we had lots of snow before the thaw (and the windows stay wrapped for another few weeks).

 

Yesterday she was pretty perking and puppyish, besides the back yard episode. Two nights ago she was all excited and raced around the back yard because there was a rabbit on the other side she wanted.

 

 

 

Thanks for any advice,

 

 

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I can only think something might have frightened her and it will take some time to get over that. You might try taking her out in the back yard on the leash, so you are next to her to lend her some courage.

Might also take a walk (by yourself) around the outside of your fence and see if there are any dead animals, etc. there that might be disturbing her.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Thanks for the response, I'll go do another round of the yard on the other side of the fence and see if I can't find something.

 

Late last night she did fine out in the yard. This morning (early daybreak) we were out there and she did ok initially and then looked down the street ( we live on a corner) and got scared. Later, I walked around the yard and took down the grey squirrel baffles hanging over the bird feeders thinking maybe they bothered her. But she looks down the street when she gets scared, like something or someone at another house spooked her. I took her out a little later to see if she would go poo, this time I kept her on the leash in the back and we walked around, but she was scared. We only went in when she settled a bit and wouldn't pull the leash. I did try hiding doggy treats back there too, but she wouldn't sniff them out, she was too preoccupied with her fear.

 

We have a vet appt this afternoon to rule out any illness related factors - thought I would have her checked for ear infection, kennel cough, etc. Just to be sure.

 

This little gal used to love going out and checking out the yard. And she is fairly people friendly too. The only other change I can think of is that now the weather got nicer, the kids are out on the street playing with their bikes and scooters and the neighbors are out doing stuff in their garages or front yard. Maybe one of the kids came riding by and spooked her. They were out yesterday when my daughter took her out and she said that Holly was not to sure about them.

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Is there a possibility that someone walking a dog past your fence that got aggressive when walking by? It sounds like something has spooked her. I think I'd go out with her every time she goes outside in the yard for a while and see if that helps.

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey, Gizmo, Do Bee

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I've got one of those easily spooked girls too aged about 30 months. When she got stung by a wasp last year she remembered the spot on her walk and insisted on crossing the road there for 4 months! She caught her front paw when getting out of her other bed in the living room the other day and is now wary of going in there. It's nerves and if they only kind of just believe that their human owners are able to protect them it must be quite stressful. Consider sending your dog Calming Signals as in the article on Turid Rugass web site.

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Thanks for all the suggestions. We found out at the vet visit that she had a slight ear infection in one of her ears, so got her some meds. That evening she went out in the back yard just fine. We came home from her walk at the nature center today and the neighbor boys (11 and 8 or thereabouts) where out. I think she is skittish when she sees them although at meet and greets she is fine. She also seems to think she needs to go out and greet every neighbor who ventures out of their house and is in their yard. Hopefully that will settle down as they are out more and more and the novelty wears off.

 

No dead animals in the yard, we checked. Although we had a "crime scene" out there this winter and she was very interested in that. I ended up having to scoop all evidence up so she would not get into it.

 

She is never out in the yard by herself, since we do not have a way to go directly out to the fenced yard from the house (no deck yet) we always are out there with her. Most of the winter, before the fence, we walked her out there on a leash so she is used to us being out there with her.

 

Turid Rugass' web site appears to be down, but I did find a utube video. She also has a book it seems. A little less flashy than the dog whisperer....

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I hope the ear medicine gets her entirely back to normal. I think dogs feel vulnerable, and some more than others, when they're not up to par. It makes them more avoidant. Looking for physical problems is always a good idea when there's a behavior change.

Mary with Jumper Jack (2/17/11) and angels Shane (PA's Busta Rime, 12/10/02 - 10/14/16) and Spencer (Dutch Laser, 11/25/00 - 3/29/13).

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  • 1 month later...

Thought I'd post just a quick follow up on how Holly is doing with her fear when going out to the back yard. She has gotten better overall, but still has occasions when she really does not want to be out there. Usually it happens when the neighbor across the street is out in his garage, or the neighbor two doors down is in his back yard. One moment she will be anxious and want back in, and then an hour later when we are out there she is fine. Luckily she is not having potty issues, and the anxiety moments are not that common or long lasting.

 

She does have an icky left ear that does not want to clear up and the vet put her on benadryl (she did animax for 10 days). It helps some but I can't help but wonder if she does not have a food allergy. We switched her to Natural Balance lamb and brown rice and she has been on that for about a month. The vet said the next thing to try is prednisone but I'd rather not go there just yet. She has to go in for her rabies shot in two weeks so I suppose we will be discussing the ear then.

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