My dog has a sudden fear to go outside at night when it is dark.

We have no idea what has tramatized her of the dark. I have tried going out with her and she will stand by the door to be let in or else just sit by my feet and shake. She is only 2 years old and we don't think it is a vision problem. We have had her for about 2 months now and this behavior has only been goin on for about 2 weeks now. She is also scared of thunderstorms, but there aren't any loud noises when we send her out.

Asked by Angel on Jul 20th 2009 in Fears & Phobias
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Have you tried taking her on walks in the dark? Make sure that every time you step outside with her that you are the confident one. If you suspect she may get scared, she will, because she senses the fear from you. Try taking her for walks at night, and gaining her confidence that way. Bring her out in your backyard on a leash the first few times to help coax her along. You can also bring treats, too, to encourage her to follow you.

Sergeant answered on 7/20/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Leila had this aswell! What we did is we went out with her until she was done her business. Choose a spot to repetatively go to every night. After 5 days start going to a spot a little closer to the door, every couple days go closer & closer to your door until you're inside again. Praise to no end when she goes outside with you & does her business. Good luck!

Leila answered on 7/20/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Take her out about a half hour before the sun goes down. About the time the sun is on it's way out, make your way home so the last part of your walk is in the dusk/dark. That way she'll be home when it's truly dark, but she might not feel the anxiety so much because she was already outside when the light was changing.
She might be having a late reaction to the 4th of July fireworks that went off in your neighborhood. So many dogs get traumatized by the large fireworks and what neighbors may set off. She may just feel that if she steps outside when she knows those sounds happen, she'll become victim to them.

Member 768404 answered on 7/21/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Clay R.I.P. my handsome boy!!

This is something seen often when the fireworks and thunderstorms are in season. She may have been hearing fireworks that you would not be hearing or even paying attention to. You may want to try feeding her outside to relax her a bit. the worst thing to do is stand there and comfort her, this makes her think that it is ok to act this way. She needs to figure it out on her own or you need to do some distracting like taking her to a different part of the yard or taking her for a potty walk.These things work better then feeding into the problem.We by nature want to nurture but it's not the best thing in this situtation. BEST OF LUCK!!

Clay R.I.P. my handsome boy!! answered on 7/21/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Have her eyes checked. My dog went night blind, but his day vision is still fine. Progressive Retinal Atropy is when the retina does not take in enough light to get an image.
It is a defect in some breeds, like my Entlebucher, Snickers.

Snickers answered on 8/3/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer