Post # 1
We have an indoor/outdoor dog that is kept outdoor when we’re at work. She’s a has never been very vocal but we got 2 different complaints about it on Friday. I’m not sure what do do about it.
Last Wednesday, in the middle of the night, my dog ran inside completely freaked out by something outside. She was barking, scared and shaking. We looked outside and saw an animal but we don’t know what it was. We’re guessing it was a feral cat or raccoon and she was bitten or scratched. The next day, she didn’t want to go outside. When I coaxed her outside outside, she would bark at shadows. I spent half an hour with her trying to get her comfortable outside but eventually had to lock her out for work. The day after, on Friday, she seemed much better but still not normal. Anyways, both of my neighbors left notes about her incessant barking that day.
I was planning on leaving the dog door open tomorrow when I go to work so she can come in if she’s scared. But I don’t know what else to do about her fear barking. Do you guys have any ideas to address the fear or the barking? How do I get her back to normal and fast? I feel bad that she’s bothering the neighbors. Thanks!
Post # 2
lurkingvee : I would definitely leave the dog door open for her. It’s likely that she will start to calm down so long as there aren’t any more incidents.
Post # 3
Leave the dog door open. She’s afraid to be outside right now so of course she’s barking all day, she doesn’t feel comfortable/safe.
She will probably go back to being okay being outside the more distant the incident becomes.
Post # 4
lurkingvee : I agree with PP about leaving the dog door open and see how she goes.
I would also write letters to your neighbours who complained and advise them of the situation and how youre addressing it and ask them to let you know if it doesnt improve. Id i was one of your neighbours id greatly appreciate that and have a lot more patience than if I didn’t hear back.
Post # 5
To help spped up the recovrey from this clearly scary (to her) event, start having everything positive happen outside. This is going to feel super inconvenient to you but it’ll make her happier to be outside.
– Feed all meals outside
– All play time and snuggles are outside
– hide treats for her to sniff out outside – leave her insideand hide a few nice smelly treats (e.g. plain baked chicken) then let her outside to sniff them out. Start by only hiding them close to the door as she figures out the “game”. Once she figures it out you can start hiding them further afield so that she has to move around the yard and use her nose. Right now, if she’s barking at shadows, it means she’s reacting on sight — it’s MUCH better for dogs to engage with the world with their nose (and gives them more confidence). The more you can get her to engage her nose around the yard, the quicker she’ll bounce back.
Post # 6
lurkingvee : I have scaredy dogs, too, but in different ways. I agree with all the PPs. I think leaving the doggie door open is awesome and communicating with your neighbors that you are working on a solution is a good idea, too. One of my dogs was barking at a few small branches from the neighbors tree that blew into our yard. I had to get rid of them or she’d probably never stop. Last night she was barking at my husband’s gloves that he happened to put up high on a shelf. Dorks.
Post # 7
- Wedding: October 2016 - Wedgewood Las Vegas
Just a different perspective….
Have you had her eyesight checked? If she’s barking at shadows it could be she’s having a hard time distinguishing between something really being there or not due to eye sight. A recent scare could be making it worse if she’s losing her eyesight.
Post # 8
lurkingvee : just keep her inside. Some dogs are just happier on the house.
Post # 9
steny03 : I actually meant “barking at shadows” more as a figure of speech. I think she is actually barking more at noise. I appreciate your different perspective though. I’ve actually seen the effects of eyesight loss with an older dog and yet would not have thought of it.
Thanks for all of your advice ladies. I left notes as advised and she is allowed in the house today. I will definitely try doing more positive things with her outside, especially at night. The fear seems to be worse when the sun goes down. She actually started barking at something outside in the middle of the night last night and she was sleeping next to us the entire time :/
Post # 10
lurkingvee : My dog does that sometimes. My Fiance works night shift so she is on high alert when the sun goes down. While she is fine most of the time, she does have “fits” where she runs around and starts to growl/bark at the windows or the door because she heard a slight noise outside. I have found that in those instances it is best to close the blinds/curtains and give her loves when she is stressed. My girl is a pit bull with a pretty mean sounding bark so it’s not fun but she just wants to protect her home.