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Discussion Starter #1
I was bringing my dog out behind my home to allow her to run in this huge field. She loved it and would run back and forth until she tired herself out. One day I took her out and she made a bee line right back to the house. I tried several more times but she would pull me back or lay down not wanting anything to do with the field. I didn’t think much of it. Just thought something spooked her and she would get over it. This weekend I dropped her at this persons home who watches her when I’m away. I dropped her off Saturday morning and picked her up Sunday afternoon. The woman said at first she was perfectly fine. She would let her out in her yard along with her other two dogs. She would run and play with them. We had a little snow Saturday afternoon and the woman said she wanted no part of being outside. She absolutely refused, and she contributed it to the snow. I picked her up and brought her home. There is zero snow left, yet she is refusing to go out. I literally have to drag her to do her business. I tried treats with no luck. She is 14 months old and I am at a loss to understand what’s going on. HELP!!!!
 

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I hope others chime in. I wonder if she's going through a fear stage where they become afraid of many things. I think it might happen about this age....
 

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I discovered my guy hates dead things. If we go into the local pet food store he is very skitish around the treats that are made up of animal components. He normally acts very confident but around that location he is fearful. I didn't completly put 2 and 2 together though until I had run over a deer carcas on the road and part of it was lodged to the under side of the car. After that he was acting the same way around the car as he did in the pet store until we removed the bits from under the car and washed it. We are working on the issue by puting him in situations like in the pet store to get him used to the smells. I usually just go to the point where he starts displaying signs of anxiety and then we just hang out there until he starts to act more chill. I would recommend that if you can bring the dog up to a point when they start to display signs of stress but not full blown anxiety and then hold at that point until it passes and then push on a bit more. I would only do that for 5 -10 minutes and then give them a break. You know your dog better than we do so if you see this not working then I wouldn't force it. With fear a gentle touch is needed in my experience otherwise the stress from being forced will add to the trama. I would maybe consider going to a vet and have a general medical checkup done as well as there might be something else going on. Just one thought have you looked at her paws for any injuries? All the best and I hope you find some answers.
 

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Huge shot in the dark but it could be a negative association with something specific that happened in your field that has now generalized. The snow may or may not mean anything; it could be unrelated to whatever unsettling event occurred. Keep observing how she reacts in different settings, looking for a pattem.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the feedback. As far as forcing I don’t have much choice. I put her leash on and she immediately resists. I have to pull her until she finally starts walking or else I’m dragging her. Her tail is down between her legs so I know she is afraid and very unhappy. But she has to do her business outside, otherwise she will be going in my home. Tonight for instance I just about dragged her for the first few minutes. We finally got to a spot where she seemed a little better and walked normally. Than I made a turn to an area that she always goes and again she pulled back with tail between legs. I had to pull hard to get her to move. I hate doing that but feel there is no other choice. She did all her business and the walk back home was fine. I’m hoping that she finally realizes that whatever it was that scared her is no longer a threat and she goes back to normal. I am taking her to the vet but I truly don’t think there is something physically wrong. Something somewhere spooked her and she must learn to get over it.
 

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A vet visit is a very good idea. Another thought might be a referral to a behaviorist if her fear does not resolve soon by itself. What can happen with your understandable need to force her to move along is that it can reinforces whatever fears are in play. I really sympathize with how hard it is to force her to comply, given how legitimately frightened she appears to be.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
A vet visit is a very good idea. Another thought might be a referral to a behaviorist if her fear does not resolve soon by itself. What can happen with your understandable need to force her to move along is that it can reinforces whatever fears are in play. I really sympathize with how hard it is to force her to comply, given how legitimately frightened she appears to be.
I understand what your saying, but I’m hoping it has the opposite affect. Meaning after making her walk and do her stuff outside she will realize the thing that originally frightened her is no longer a threat. When she does finally walk and go I reward her and show her affection.
 

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I understand what your saying, but I’m hoping it has the opposite affect. Meaning after making her walk and do her stuff outside she will realize the thing that originally frightened her is no longer a threat. When she does finally walk and go I reward her and show her affection.
Good point. It could go that way. Have you noticed improvement using that strategy?
 

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Good point. It could go that way. Have you noticed improvement using that strategy?
Thus just started yesterday. I took her for her last walk of the day about 9:30. She was very reluctant, but once she was done we walked home and she seemed less stressed. I won’t know until tomorrow if this is working. The vet may have some clue if not.
 

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My Jacks went through something similar at 1.5 years old.

We think there was a freak thunderstorm on a Sunday morning when he was home alone (we were at church). Came home to find him crammed in the back of a shut closet. I was actually really creeped out because it literally looked like he had been shoved into the closet and had the doors shut on him.

His issues with gunshots (2 nearby gun clubs) and thunderstorms began at that point.

Became bad enough that he refused to enter rooms with big windows and generally refused to go outside. He'd skirt the edge of the house to do his business and then go running for the house.

It's all connecting the dots for them. Something stupid scares them - and they keep associating things to that trauma.

He did have low thyroid - but thyroid can be a chicken or egg type of thing when you have a super anxious dog. They didn't know if his thyroid numbers were off because he had a sick thyroid, or if they were off because he was so high strung and stressed.

With him I did treat his low thyroid for a few years and I did a lot of taking him outside and sitting out there on the ground while he browsed for 10-30 minutes. I also did a lot of taking him on hikes where he went swimming, etc... and learned to get through his fears because he was having fun. It did take 6-8 months though to work him through all his issues so he became semi NORMAL. <= Am emphasizing that because this is not going to be a drag her outside and fix the problem overnight. It will take time and conditioning to work her through whatever her phobia was. It may take years to work through this if this is a true phobia.

With Jacks he always was sound sensitive, but by the time he was 6+ years old, I both got him worked through a lot of issues + learned how to help him deal with the issues that remained. By the time he was a senior dog, he was sleeping through thunderstorms - something that would have been impossible when he was young.
 

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Mine just turned 9 months old and she has never been fearful. Recently she refuses to go out unless my other two go with her. She will wait by the slider until she sees or hears one of them before going out now. There is and has been nothing different in my yard (checked video tapes), so I think that it's just a fear stage. She is actually careful but brave at the same time (until now).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks. One never knows what may scare them. This morning was a bit better yet she still resisted when I first leashed her and held back first few blocks. Than she seemed ok. Did her business. Time will tell
 
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