indoor phobia

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indoor phobia

This is a discussion on indoor phobia within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I have recently posted on this same issue but it has now become more pronounced and I'm really desperate for some input. My dog is ...

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Old 09-06-2017, 07:32 PM
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indoor phobia

I have recently posted on this same issue but it has now become more pronounced and I'm really desperate for some input. My dog is a 3 year old female pit/lab mix. Very pleasant, docile personality, very quiet - great dog. Suddenly, about 10 days ago she started developing what I can only call an "indoor phobia". She plays happily outside but once inside, she immediately wants to go back out, scratches at the door, pants and docks her tail, obviously fearful. I took her to a vet, blood work came back perfect as has her exam - there seems nothing wrong physically. At first we thought it's only *our* house but we are now staying in a motel in Georgia (running from Hurricane Irma!) and she is exhibiting the same behavior. Great long walk in the Georgia mountains but as soon as we got back, the only place she will *barely* rest is by the door. She also didn't eat much but that could be due to the long car trip. The vet gave me Tradozone to give her as needed and I do but I don't want my dog at ease with me inside the house only when there's a drug in her system.

We had a series of very loud storms recently and it's possible that her fearfulness stems from that (somehow associating indoors with frightening thunder noises)?

Input please? I want my normal dog back
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:45 AM
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I adopted a dog that I usually refer to as 'feral' although in the strictest sense of the word, she was never truly wild. However, for the first 5 years of her life, her prior owner kept her outside with no shelter other than a tree, and most of the time, tied up. When she got loose, she wouldn't come to him, so he would chase her around the yard with a board, or a length of chain and then beat her when he caught her and tied her back up again.

So, this dog was isolated, never really saw that many humans, her owner and sometimes the next door neighbors who would run a hose over the fence to get water to her, and toss her food scraps when she was left alone for 3 or 4 days.
She never saw the inside of a house, or med other dogs, or cats.

She was abandoned when the owner went to move, and she got loose and he couldn't catch her. I ended up with her via a rescue org. They had named her Jaya...and Jaya was a complete mess emotionally and mentally.

I can remember when I brought her home, the click of a light switch put her in a complete panic. She was much more relaxed outside than inside...and still is that way after me owning her for 6 years now.

I finally had to resort to using Prozac with her...she was so stressed at being inside and she would go into full panic mode if I rattled a pan in the kitchen, or if I got up from the recliner. The vet and I put her on the Prozac for about 3 months, then brought her down off the drug. It worked wonders!

The drug doesn't totally stop the anxiety, but it calms the dog's brain down enough so that it can take in things that stress it, and instead of panic all of a sudden, there's a delay and the emotions are not as intense and they recover faster from what ever set them off.

The overall effect was a much calmer dog most of the time. Her stress level dropped a lot...and because she was feeling calm, she associated that feeling with her surroundings. So it helped with both the panic episodes and in stabilizing her through out the day.

Jaya was much more comfortable being inside the house during and after she came off the Prozac. She's been off of it now for about 5 years.

She will still get to feeling a little cooped up after about 5 hours in the house, so I let her out as much as I can when the weather is good. But at least she's not constantly whining and pacing the house like she did before I put her on Prozac.

You might talk to your vet about it. From what I read about it, most dogs don't need to be on the drug forever, and 3 to 5 months can do the job. Again, I think with Jaya, she never had been in a house, and it scared her...but the drug suppressed the fear enough and for long enough, for it to sink into her brain that there was nothing to fear. She felt calm, thus unafraid, to be inside.

I hope you will soon be out of the hotel and back home.

Stormy
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