What to do if your dog is scared of going outside? Find Out Here

Puppy Panic and Improper Socialization

What to do if your dog is scared of going outside?

Puppy panic and improper socialization are the root cause for many fears that dogs have of the outdoors.

Some puppies that have recently gone to a new home with a new family are very stressed about all the changes happening in their lives. This can manifest by the pup showing fear of just about everything, including the outdoor spaces near her new house.

Additionally, there are chunks of time referred to as puppy socialization periods that last until puppies are 14 weeks old. If the puppy doesn’t have enough positive experiences in new outdoor places before then, she may always be more fearful or uneasy about the sounds and smells of outdoor environments as an adult. Pups may also experience traumatic events outside during their ultra-sensitive fear periods that may negatively impact how they view the outdoors.

Dogs who are older than this socialization window can definitely continue to have positive socialization experiences. But counter-conditioning dogs once they are already fearful of something will take more time and effort than working to properly socialize young puppies.

Why Are Some Dogs Afraid of Going Outside?

What to do if your dog is scared of going outside?

Dogs who are scared of going outside are not trying to be difficult – pooches usually have an excellent reason, in their mind, about why they don’t want to go outdoors anymore.

Below, we’ll discuss some common reasons dogs are scared of going outside. Figuring out which category your dog falls into can help you set her up to feel braver when venturing outdoors. This can make desensitizing and counter-conditioning your pet to her triggers easier.

Tips for Making Your Dog Love the Yard

The following tips are a mix of desensitization and counterconditioning meant to help your dog overcome his fears. If your dog does not show signs of improvement in the first week or two, or if the behavior worsens, consider consulting with a veterinary behaviorist or certified applied animal behaviorist (CAAB).

Help! My Dog is an Agoraphobic! What to do when your dog is afraid to go outside.