I have come across many dogs that were either rescues or not socialized enough that are afraid of walking on certain surfaces.
The most common surfaces are usually slippery ones, such as laminate, tile, linoleum, or metal, such as manhole covers on the street, vents, etc. Many dog owners just “deal with it,” picking up the little dog that won’t walk cross the kitchen floor, or walking their golden around all the manhole covers in their neighborhood.
But, what if you adopt a rescue dog and your entire house had laminate flooring? This is what happened to my sister, who recently adopted an adorable Pomeranian-Chihuahua mix, Katie. After watching poor Katie for several minutes jump from dog bed to rug to her carrier and then start to whine because she wanted to follow my sister but had run out of “safe” flooring, I thought, this is no way to live.
Understanding Why Your Dog May Be Afraid of Slippery or Hardwood Floors
One of the most important approaches when dealing with sudden fearful or aggressive behaviors in dogs is ruling out medical conditions. According to veterinarian W. Jean Dodds, there appears to be a link between thyroid dysfunction and aberrant behaviors including (but not limited to):
So, it is understandable why often dog behaviorists recommend a vet visit as the first approach in curbing dog behavioral problems. Being fearful of slippery surfaces indeed may be a sign of undetected orthopedic problems. With health conditions ruled out, the dogs problems can be assessed from a behavioral standpoint.
If your dog is living in fear of hardwood floors help is here
SUMMARY: Is your dog afraid of hardwood floors? Dogs who are slipping on smooth surfaces live in fear. So much so, that the dogs’ fear of walking from point A to point B in their homes can affect the way they interact with their families. Learn why dogs are fearful of hardwood floors and get five practical solutions from integrative veterinarian Dr. Julie Buzby.
Are hardwood floors and smooth surfaces fear-inducing for your dog? If this is the case, let’s dig into understanding how a dog’s fear of hardwood floors changes daily routines, lowers confidence, takes a toll on the dog’s body, and clearly impacts quality of life.
Senior and special needs dogs are especiallyprone to slipping
I’m not saying slipping isn’t dangerous for dogs of all ages, but usually young dogs can compensate. If they slip and slide on hardwood floors, they have the balance, the muscle strength, and tendon and ligament function to avoid wiping out.
However, this may not be the case for older dogs. Much like older people, our grey-muzzled companions often lack balance, their reflexes aren’t as sharp, and their muscles are atrophied. This puts these dogs at a real disadvantage in their struggle against gravity.
Additionally, senior dogs have more difficulty going from a lying down to standing position. Slipping during the act of rising compounds the problem by several magnitudes. When these dogs sense that they are falling and try to “catch” themselves, they can be injured in the struggle to stay upright.
Why can’t my dog walk on laminate flooring?
Why is my dog scared of my new floor?
How do I get my dog to walk on a slippery floor?