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Is my dog afraid of the dark?(8 Posts)
We have two dogs and they are in and out of the house all day. One of them particularly LOVES getting being in the house and takes every opportunity to get in. He is 10 years old and a terrier X. Before they go to bed at night, they go outside to do their business. He often has to carried out/dragged out as will pretend not to hear you as he'd prefer to stay curled up on chair.
However once he is outside at night, he won't come in. The other dog does her wee and comes straight in. He stays outside and won't come when called. We initially thought he was just sniffing something interesting but no! We have to go out with a torch and he is almost always just standing under the hedge/in the middle of the grass frozen to the spot. Even when he sees us, and we're calling him, he still stands/sits there - we have to go over to him and touch him - then he runs along in happily. This only happens in the dark. He doesn't have any vision/hearing difficulties as far as I can tell.
The only way we can be sure of avoiding one of us trailing around in the wet grass at night is to put him on the lead to wee. He goes straightaway and runs back in.
This started a few years ago. Can't think of any other reason than he is afraid of the dark? Any ideas/experience of this?
Only slightly... I had a dog that suddenly became afraid of the dark when we moved house. He would howl when left downstairs at night when he was, otherwise, normally a very laid back and well behaved dog.
I realised what was going on when we went away for Christmas one year and at the hosts house we left a lamp on for him because the house was new to him.
He never howled.
When I got home, I got a lightbulb that automatically came on in the dark (this was pre-the-internet-of-things) and he never howled again.
Thanks for replying, so definitely a possibility then!
My dog doesn’t like the dark. He will bark if we leave him in the dark. But now he has a night light on downstairs he’s fine
With our previous dog, we noticed she didn't like using the stairs in the dark as she got older, though she was fine on them with the light on. Humans often find their night vision deteriorates as they get older. I guess the same is probably true of dogs.
In your case, I'd just take DDog out on a lead. Why let him be scared, whatever the reason?
I’m fairly sure my dog is scared of the dark. When I walk her early in the morning at this time of year she’s jumping out her skin at everything. Eyes out on stalks, twirling round and looking over her shoulder.
Thanks folks, so it is a thing! I suppose it took ages for it to dawn on me that he might have become afraid of the dark - and I hadn't really thought of their eyesight deteriorating with age - we do put him on the lead most of the time now.