Why Your Dog is Suddenly Scared to Go for a Walk
Walking is one of the activities that your dog is most excited for in his daily routine so it can be quite concerning if your furry companion is suddenly scared to go for a walk or too scared to step outside. Here are some of the most common reasons for this development.
Loud, Scary Noises from Outside
Your dog might be scared to go for a walk because he recently heard something from outside that’s scary and loud. For example, it could be normal for us but the sound of fireworks or thunderstorms could absolutely freak a dog out. This is likely to be the case if you know your dog is sensitive to sound.
Fearful of Strangers
A dog may also be scared to go for a walk because he is fearful of strangers. For example, your dog may have a phobia of certain people, such as a delivery person or a garbage collector. Your dog may have also experienced something bad from a stranger the last time you took him out for a walk.
The above reasons are two of the most common triggers that may cause a dog to be scared of going for a walk. The bad news is that it will most likely take time to get your dog to enjoy his walks again. The good news is that it is possible to desensitize your dog’s fear, especially if this was a sudden development.
It will take baby steps but you could, for example, take your dog out to a quiet, non-crowded area (close to your home) where he is less likely to become anxious or stressed. Make sure to give him plenty of treats and praise throughout the process. Over time, you could gradually expand his comfort zone until the dog is able to walk with confidence.
Your Dog is Sick or Injured
Fear is not the only reason for dogs that are suddenly scared to go for a walk. It may also be due to an injury or sickness. Your dog might be anxious of going out because of the pain or discomfort he feels whenever he goes for an extended walk. For older dogs, the onset of canine dementia may also trigger this behavior. The senior dog may not be able to recognize his usual surroundings so he is fearful of going for a walk.