Dogs are often referred to as man’s best friend, but anyone with a dog knows that they are much more than that. When you have a dog as your family pet they truly become an extension of your family, and as a result will often be treated as nothing short of an actual member of the family.
While “the dog house” may be a common expression, it certainly isn’t typically a real place on the property that is separate from the main house. The dog’s house is the family’s house, and so when there is something wrong that is causing the dog to not feel comfortable in the family home then that could cause discomfort not only for the dog, but for much of the family.
Dog’s experience fear and anxiety just like people do, and there are many reasons why dogs will begin to react to different household objects, people, or other animals in negative ways. However, there are times when it can occur that a dog will begin to have an adverse reaction to a place that he or she may have once been quite comfortable, and when this happens it is typically not a reaction to that place but instead a reaction to an external factor that may simply appear to look like a reaction to that place.
This is often the case when a dog starts to react in fear to a place that is their home. While there are several factors that may need to be considered in this situation, a sudden fear of one’s home is not something that could be considered normal in any situation and so therefore should always be investigated more fully.
Dogs may not be able to speak directly, but that doesn’t mean they can’t communicate. If your dog is experiencing some level of fear or discomfort then they are probably going to start exhibiting some level of symptomology that will be somewhat obvious. Some of the most common symptoms of fear will typically include:
- Using the bathroom in the house
- Restlessness, including the inability to calm down, constantly walking in circles
- Barking without reason
- Chewing on household goods, including furniture, shoes, books, and other items
Here are some factors that should be considered if your dog suddenly begins to show a fear of your house, whether the inside of your house, members of your house, or anything directly associated with your house that can be considered a sudden change in your pets behavior.
Why is my dog afraid of the house?
If your dog is showing the signs of fear and anxiety while inside of your home, then the first question to ask would be why your animal may be reacting this way. There are a few things that you ought to start considering right away. For example, it may be helpful to ask yourself the following questions:
- Are there any recent changes that you’ve made to your household that could be alarming your dog? This could include something like the addition of a new child or a new pet, or even a change in the way that you have your furniture arranged.
- Is there a change in the lighting in your house that could be making it difficult for your dog to see? As dogs age sometimes their eye sight will begin to go, and sometimes this is such a gradual change that you don’t actually notice it until something happens and your dog becomes startled by something quite common place, like something within your household.
- Is there a high pitch noise that your dog is hearing? Sometimes when you introduce a new piece of technology into your home it could give off a very high pitch sound that could cause your dog to experience discomfort, and this could look a lot like fear. The sound will be similar to a dog whistle, which means it is something that you may not hear, but will be very uncomfortable to your dog. If you have recently purchased a new TV or stereo system and your dog is reacting poorly this could be the answer.
Understanding exactly why your dog is experiencing fear in your home will take some time, as you will need to work slowly with your dog and watch your dog careful to see where exactly in the house it is that your dog starts to act up. Sometimes it is not the act of being in the house itself that will trigger a dog to act up, but instead it is the act of being in the house alone that causes the dog to experience fear. This is ia different sort of issue that is equally challenging to deal with in many ways.
Below are some common reasons why dogs become afraid of the house.
Encouraging the behavior
It might be the case that your dog has learned that the behavior is rewarded. If you tend to give your dog things such as toys, treats or extra attention, when it becomes afraid, it will teach your dog that it is right to be afraid. Instead, it would help to avoid rewarding it when it becomes afraid and to reward it when it is not.
A bad experience
The cause could also be that your dog had a bad experience in the house. This would be more likely if your dog has started being afraid suddenly after an event that might have scared it such as someone being aggressive towards it.
Something causing it to be anxious
It could also be the case that something has been causing your dog to be anxious. This would be more likely if your dog tends to get afraid more at a certain time such as when there are loud noises inside. It could also be due to things such as getting a new pet that your dog does not like.
What to do about my dog being afraid of the house?
Below are some things you can do in order to get your dog to stop being afraid of the house.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
As mentioned above, it might be the case that your dog has learned that the behavior is rewarded. Instead, it would help to reward your dog when it is calm and to try to avoid giving it rewards when it is afraid. When your dog does start being afraid, it would help to wait for it to calm down and then to reward it when it is calm.
Limit reasons why it might be anxious
It would also help to limit reasons why your dog might get anxious in the home. Ways to do so could include letting your dog pee, eat and get exercise before you leave it at home for a long time. It would also likely help to allow your dog to stay in a quiet part of the house.
If you cannot figure out why your dog has been being afraid of the house and you cannot get it to stop, it would help to get help from a dog behaviorist in your area. By doing so, you should be able to get expert help tailored towards your particular dog and to see how to deal with the behavior.
Why is my dog afraid of the living room?
There could be a lot of different reasons as to why your dog is afraid of the living room, but as this is typically one of the most commonly used rooms of the house the inability of your four-legged companion to calm down with you on the couch is likely a great inconvenience for your family. When your dog is fearful of being inside of your home the dog is going to continuously be anxious, restless and unhappy when he or she could be calm and relaxed.
The reasons as to why your dog is likely afraid of the living room really comes down to the fact that this is the room of the house where things are happening. As a result, things are happening that are going to scare the dog, such as:
- Loud noises from the kids playing / the TV blaring
- The TV or stereo system emitting a high-pitched background noise at all-times that the device is on
- Issues with lighting that may make is difficult for your dog to see, especially if your dog is older and could be dealing with issues of age-related blindness or cataracts.
Dogs are incredibly loyal animals, and when they are unable to become calm it is usually because they are anxious or fearful due to uneasiness regarding something to do with the people they love. If your dog is uneasy in the living room then it may be time to look around and see if there are things that you can clean up and clear out and spruce up a little bit so that it can be more clear for them to be able to grow more comfortable.
Why is my dog afraid of doorways?
If your dog is suddenly afraid of a particular doorway in your home then it could be due to a negative encounter, having walked into the door or having had some sort of negative experience in that doorway. Another reason that your dog could be fearful of a particular doorway could be due to something in that area, like an odor, a shadow that makes it hard to see, or even a bug or another animal that may have startled your dog and may be preventing them from wanting to enter.
Why is my dog afraid of the kitchen?
Many dogs are scared of the kitchen because they have been trained to stay out of the kitchen. If you have an adopted dog then you may be witnessing the effects of a dog that has been trained to never enter a kitchen, rather than a dog that is showing fear for no reason.
Other reasons that a dog may express fear of a kitchen could be that the dog has experienced negative reactions from trying to get food while in the kitchen, or has even been punished for begging, and as a result has grown a fear of being in the kitchen.
Why is my dog suddenly afraid of my room?
When a dog has a sudden change in reaction to a certain room in the house then it is certainly worth poking around and looking into what may be lurking around the corners.
Sometimes you will find that there are outbreaks of insects or other issues that are causing the dog unease, and that could be the root of the problem. In other situations, a foul odor could be to blame, such as from laundry.
Other problems that could be causing issues with leading a dog to suddenly express a fear of a bedroom could be as a result of injury, such as if your dog as jumped off the bed and hurt himself, he may now be fearful of the room as he no longer feels welcome in the room altogether.