If your dog has been avoiding certain rooms, in the house, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do about it.
So, why is my dog afraid of certain rooms? Possible reasons why your dog is afraid of certain rooms are that it has separation anxiety and wants to stay where you are, it hears noises in certain rooms, it had bad experiences in a certain room, there are other animals in there or that it thinks you’re going to shut it in there.
Since there are a number of possible reasons why your dog has been avoiding certain rooms, it would help to consider what would make each of them more likely. Once you have a good idea of the main cause, it should become a lot easier to get your dog to stop doing it.
Why your dog is afraid of certain rooms
Below are a number of possible causes and what would make each of them more likely.
The reason why it has been doing it could be that your dog has separation anxiety. This would be more likely if it only avoids going into rooms that you do not stay in and if it tends to stay in the same room that you are in. It would also be more likely if your dog tends to become anxious when you are about to leave it alone.
The cause could be that it hears certain noises in the rooms that it does not like. This would be more likely if you can hear a noise in that room yourself or if the room can be loud at times.
Previous experiences in that room
The cause could also be that your dog had bad previous experiences in that room and it now wants to avoid going in there. This would be more likely if you know that something bad happened to it in that room and if it has been avoiding that room since then.
Another possible cause, is that there are other animals, that stay in that room, that your dog does not like. This would be more likely if you have other animals that are larger than your dog or that tend to annoy it.
Encouraging the behavior
The cause could also be that you have inadvertently encouraged the behavior by rewarding it. If you tend to give your dog things such as extra attention, toys or treats, when it avoids certain rooms, it will encourage it to do it more.
Instead, it would help to try to reward your dog when it goes into the room that it does not like and to avoid rewarding it when it is anxious about going in there.
It thinks you are going to lock it in there
Another possible cause could be that your dog thinks you are planning on locking your dog in there. This would be more likely if you have locked it in the room, that it does not like, in the past.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been avoiding certain rooms.
What else happened when your dog first started being afraid of certain rooms
If your dog did not always do avoid the rooms, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as having a bad experience in that room, a noise starting in that room or because you locked it in there.
What is different when it does not behave that way
If it does go in the room sometimes, it would also help to consider what is different when it does go into the room. For example, if it does it only when a certain animal is in there, it would be more likely that your dog is avoiding that animal.
What to do about your dog being afraid of certain rooms
Below are some options you have when getting your dog to stop going into certain rooms.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
As mentioned above, it could be the case that your dog has learned that it gets rewards for avoiding the room. Instead, it would help to reward it when it goes in the room and to avoid giving it rewards when it does not.
Reduce reasons why it might be anxious
If it seems like your dog might be staying near you due to separation anxiety, it would help to limit possible reasons why it might be doing it. For example, it would help to ensure that it gets fed, given exercise and that it can go outside to pee before leaving it for a long time.
Limit reasons why it might not like the room
It would also help to limit reasons why your dog might not like the room. Ways to do this would be to make the room quieter, cooler and to avoid forcing your dog to stay in there by not locking the door.
If your dog has been being very anxious, it would also be an option to get help from a dog behaviorist. By doing so, you should be able to see why your dog has been doing it and what you can do to get it to stop.