Why is my Dog Scared of Going Outside?

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

We all know that dogs are fairly active. They love to run around, explore, dig and whatnots. An active dog is a healthy dog I always say but if they suddenly become scared of going outside the house, it could mean a lot of reasons. Since dogs cannot speak for themselves, it is important that as a dog owner that you are able to identify the reasons why your dog does not want to go outside your house. It could also be due to stress or perhaps something outside your house scared them. Whatever the reasons are, it is best that you should investigate and find out.

There are so many reasons why your dog is afraid to go outside your house. Take a look at it on their perspective. Dogs are curious animals and if they are startled or surprised, they will definitely be running back inside your home. Keep also in mind that they have different sensory receptors than us. In fact, they have about 220 million olfactory receptors alone. This means that they can smell almost everything that we humans cannot do. Not only that, they also have ears able to hear sounds at an ultrasonic range so it is very possible that their perception is much more different than ours.

Among the many reasons why dogs are scared to go out of the house may include other dogs barking. If there are dogs fighting outside then it is most likely that they will not go out. If they saw other animals than themselves (especially if it’s bigger than them) then they will definitely not go out of the house. Noises from fire trucks, ambulance, thunder claps, wet or slippery ground and the likes are among the many reasons your dog might not go outside. Understand that when they don’t want to go out of the house, it is simply because they are protecting themselves from the unknown. If you look it on at their perspective then you will understand how and why your dog is acting that way.

What to Do to Help Your Dog

If your dog exhibits this behavior, it is important that you know the right approach. Some owners will expose their dogs to the things that they fear without knowing that this will only affect the dog even worse. Don’t go carrying them outside as well, they will become more scared and stressed. Don’t punish your dogs and let them go outside either. Instead comfort them, make sure that they feel safe and you are there to give them protection.

You can also desensitize your dog. This means that instead of letting your dog go outside the house on their own to face their fears, help them face this by gradually exposing them to what it is that they fear. Guide them and see how they react. Some dogs can overcome their fears easily but some take time. So it is important that you are patient when it comes to helping them overcome their fears.

Counter-conditioning is also a good way to help your dog overcome their fear of going outside. If they fear stepping in the yard, then let them experience that it is fun being in the yard. This will promote a more positive emotion to your dog rather than making them feel that the yard is something to fear.

Of course if these methods don’t work, it is best to take your dog to the vet. This way your dog gets the right diagnosis and proper treatment.