Afraid of the dark? Help Please


  • @Quercus:

    Are you going out with her? And if you are, what do you do while you are out there? Have you tried taking her out in the yard on her leash, and 'pretending' it is a walk?

    I will try that tomorrow…I am outside with her in the mornings...I try to walk out away from the deck where the other two are so she comes over, but she refuses to leave the door..it sounds like the leash may be worth a try...durring the day she doesn't have any problem going in the yard...she has already claimed a "Special Place" to do all her buisness....I just can't seem to get her to go out to it in the morning.


  • @tanza:

    And another thing to always keep in mind with dogs that have a problem with the dark is "are they having eye problems". One of the first signs of PRA is night blindness

    Good to know… I have not had her eyes checked since she was a little one... I was waiting untill 1 year (December) but I will certainly keep that in mind as well and make sure I have her eyes looked at this winter.


  • Jazzy is afraid of the dark. Of course, we have 1/2 acre that butts up against the forest wherein live coyotes, bears, and at least one cougar – We've had coyotes just outside the fence in broad daylight.--so maybe her fear is justified, LOL.

    She's become far braver now that Keoki is here and the two of them often bolt out into the darkness at night. But usually she stops at the edge of the deck and peers out for a while before venturing out to pee and she never pees at night outside the reach of the porch light.


  • I am starting to feel better about her reactions to the dark…I have to say one great thing about this community is that it helps you to not feel so alone with what you and your B are going through...I have a porch light on one side of the house in the back...I think I will change it out for a motion sendor light so I can leave the switch on (it's in the garage or I would just turn it on when I get up in the morning) and see if that will help Zai feel more comfortable.... One thing with these dogs, when they are unhappy or a little afraid their faces sure show it...it almost breaks my heart that she looks so nervous sitting there on the porch looking at the other dogs running around in the dark.... So a light and a leash it is for now. 🙂 we will see how that works the next couple of days.


  • @renaultf1:

    That is really interesting and I wondered about that with Ru. She has mild PPM, and just CERF'd fine, but I wondered whether the PPM could affect her sight in that way.

    PPM rarely effects vision… so that should not be a concern... even my almost 17yr old who had LOTS of PPM, even visable to the naked eye, never had vision problems (at least not till very old age that he is now, but not due to PPM)


  • @tanza:

    PPM rarely effects vision… so that should not be a concern... even my almost 17yr old who had LOTS of PPM, even visable to the naked eye, never had vision problems (at least not till very old age that he is now, but not due to PPM)

    Great! Thanks, I've been wondering about that. Probably should have asked the ophthalmologist, but I totally forgot about it when Ru was having her eyes checked…I was just happy to hear that she was clear of PRA so far.


  • Yes, PRA usually doesn't show up till over the age of 5, however sometimes it can begin earlier. I do know of one boy that showed the first signs at 3yrs.


  • We have a dog door, fenced yard, mine have always been independent and able to go out anytime to do their business. About 6 weeks ago Topper started refusing to go out, I only realized it when he soiled the house for the first time in over 10 years. (He will be 13 Oct.1) I realized that the other 2 were going in and out, but Topper wasn't. I started taking him out briefly just in the front yard or across the street morning and at night, and my husband took him out a couple of times during the day. He loves to walk in the neighborhood, but at night or dark-morning, he only wanted to just do his business and run right home. I have no idea what caused his change in behavior, I was very happy to see him going out the dog door this very afternoon!

    Something may have frightened Zaire while she was out at night, if so you will have to use a lot of positive reinforcement and hopefully, like Topper, she will start to feel safe again out there.

    Motion lights may help, I have devices called "Pup-lights" that are like the human 'headlights' but they hang under the collar and light the way for the dog, designed for those who run or bike with dogs after dark. We use ours mainly at the dog park and Eddie loves it, runs like a maniac with all the other dogs following him and his 'headlight'.

    I'd bet something spooked her and now she needs a change, walks out front for awhile, then you going out with her in the yard on a leash and learning she is safe there at night.

    Good luck!

    Anne in Tampa


  • Remember as they age the eye sight goes… all of mine at home right now are over the age of 14... only the 14yr old will go out without outdoor lights...

    I would guess it is the dark that is spooking her... and not something that spooked her.... I put in energy efficient "bulbs" and leave them on when it gets dark... as not only do the need to potty more with elder age (like a puppy) but they do not see as well.... I can live with the added expense of the lights being on... for their comfort... at least for now....


  • So I went out and purchased two other posts for my ground lighting timer last night. So now the lights automatically come on in the morning also. I got the kids up today and put Zaire on a leash and took her out back with with me to her spot. She went right away. I let her off the leash once she was done and she stayed right with me untill I went back into the house. I then gave her breakfast and opened the back door and went outside. When she was done eating she came out to the door and saw that I was out in the yard. She cam out and did her after breakfast buisness. I am thinking that she really just wants to have a little light out in the yard to see what she is doing. I am going to try tomorrow to just take her out without a leash, but with the lights on and see if she seems more comfortable. I just want to thank you all again for your knowledge and willingness to share experiences….it is such a benefit to everyone that we have this community. 🙂

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