The time spent in the outdoors is a normal part of being a dog however for some timid dogs, the world beyond the front door may be a frightening area. Knowing the root of your dog’s fear and carefully addressing it via training will help ensure that outdoor activities are enjoyable for both of you and your dog.
One of the primary reasons for dogs to decide that they want to no more take walking is due to fear. Dogs who have enjoyed walks throughout their lives do not suddenly become obstinate from the beginning and have absolutely no reason to refuse walking and then start a strike, until they experience fear or discomfort, or both.
Recognizing Your Dog’s Fear
Your dog’s fearfulness could be obvious such as a complete refusal to walk, or pulling the leash hard in an effort to get back to the home. However, a dog that is in trouble could show his anxiety by displaying more subtle signs that include crouching, walking at a low level with the tail still tucked and painting that’s not connected to activity or temperature such as frequent yawning or shaking. Inducing dogs that exhibit these types of stress-related behaviors to “face their fears” is likely to increase the severity of the issue, and punishment and intimidation are not a good place in the process of rehabilitation.
Why is My Dog Afraid to Go Outside?
Dogs can be scared to go outside due to many reasons, which include:
- New puppy anxiety: Moving to a new place isn’t easy for puppies and that’s why your puppy could slam on the brakes when you go for a walk. Additionally, the uneasy feeling of having a collar and a leash can cause an additional scary experience.
- Dogs who have had negative experiences have a tendency to avoid walking after a frightening incident outdoors. If they are scared by the sound of a garbage truck or encountering an aggressive dog in front of the fence, dogs can make the connection between taking walking and having to face challenging situations.
- Insufficient socialization: Dogs that aren’t exposed to the vital stage of socialization in puppyhood may become afraid to go for walks. To view our world as being a warm environment, puppies must be exposed to new environments, people and things in brief, positive sessions before they reach 14 weeks of age. People who don’t receive this kind of exposure could be overwhelmed by new experiences.
- Never walk on leash adults and adolescents. dogs be rescued from various situations that may not have provided them with the chance to adjust to walking on leashes. Dogs that move from a rural environment to urban environments may be a bit overwhelmed by the noise and the crowds in their surroundings particularly difficult to navigate.
- Pain: Dogs that are hesitant to take walks, or suddenly stop walking may have undiagnosed pain. Anything from swollen toenails to the stains of arthritis to muscle can influence a dog’s desire to walk.
- Fear of electric fences: Teaching dogs to react to electronic containment systems involves a time when the dog is shocked or for some dogs, that feeling is enough to create one where pain occurs. Instead of identifying the pain with a specific boundary, the dogs are able to spread the pain across the entire area.
- Dogs with sensitivity to sound associate a terrifying sound, such as a gunshot or fireworks, to the place they are in when they hear it. This can lead to the dog trying to avoid the place. Certain dogs are sensitive to sound which means that a noise such as the sound of a car’s backfire can be stressful for them too.
How to Help Your Dog
The most effective method to ensure that dogs are more comfortable in the outdoors is to alter their relationship with the outdoors by the combination of desensitization and counterconditioning training.
The first step is to train desensitization which allows dogs to experience the frightening stimulation at a degree that doesn’t cause anxiety. For instance an animal that is scared of encountering garbage trucks might experience a vehicle which is a block away, but parked and quiet in order to observe it, but away enough from it that he doesn’t feel a reaction to it.
Counter conditioning, which operates alongside desensitization, aids the dog to form an association with the stressful event through positive connections. When the garbage truck is an in-between distance and feeding your dog several premium treats whenever you notice the truck, for example, pieces of hot dogs or cheese, to help your dog to connect the terrifying garbage trucks and delightful foods. After that, gradually increase the gap between the dog and garbage trucks, while rewarding him with treats for his calm reactions. When time is up your dog will be able to navigate garbage trucks without fearful reaction.
A process of training known as “shaping” can help dogs who are afraid to venture in their yard. This kind method of instruction breaks the task of walking out into manageable chunks and gives the dog rewards for navigating the path successfully.
Pet owners can start the process by standing outside the doorway with a handful of snacks. If your dog takes an inclination towards the door, record the behaviour with a click with a clicker, or a the use of a verbal marker, such as “good!” then toss treats to your dog in the area where it’s standing. Don’t make your dog be at your side to receive the treat or get him to join you by offering it. Let him find his way at his own pace and then reward him for every step until he’s confident in crossing the threshold.
Why does my dog suddenly not want to go outside?
If your dog gets anxious on walks, or if your dog is afraid to venture out or isn’t interested in going for walks at all this can be physically and emotionally demanding for you both. Anxiety can be caused by a variety of reasons, but some are social isolation separation, aging, and genetic predisposition.