I have a 6 year old, 150 lb. Rottweiler/Shepherd mix. Recently he has started fighting me to go outside after dark. I have to literally carry him up the stairs and shove him outside. He's too heavy for that. Nothing has changed and I do not know why all of a sudden he has started doing this. I have had him for 3 years. What do I do?
By I Nic from Detroit, MI
My 4 year old Doberman started doing the same thing, being afraid of the outside dark a few weeks ago. We had to literally carry her down the stairs to get her outside and then she'd be all shaky and freaked out. This went on for a few weeks and then we found a dead opossum in our back yard (eaten by an owl) and after that she was fine going out again in the dark. Our only guess was she got spooked by the opossum and once it died, she was fine. I know I've been approached by them (shiver) and they aren't friendly at all. (again ick!)
Good luck with your pup.
Try going outside with him before dark and spending some time with him. Dogs are pack animals and like to be with other members of the pack. You are a member of the pack. My dogs like being groomed and fussed over a little before bedtime. Having two dogs also helps.
Also, not to be a doom-sayer, but please have his eyes checked. I speak from experience.
My eight year old Pomeranian, always brave and fearless, started fighting me on going out at night. Every night for three/four weeks was a trial and a fight. I could not understand why she was so reluctant suddenly. Well, finally it stopped, and she started going out again, but at a vet visit I had the surprise of my life when I learned she was totally blind.
The vet said that she was probably going blind during the time going outside at night started bothering her, and that she had fought going out then because everything was scary and dark looking to her, but once she was totally blind, it no longer scared her. I found out she went blind from diabetes too. Another blow.
They can live quite happily, blind, but you never want them to suffer, so better safe than sorry.
I have a dog that won't go out unless I go with her, so that solved the problem. I just go with her. Maybe that will solve your problem.
Is he out there overnight? Perhaps something spooked him in the dark like a quick loud noise. Have you remained out there with your dog after dark while he does his business? Maybe you will learn what it is that makes your dog leary about going outdoors.
Owls will fly at dogs that are out at night, if they think the dog is after the same 'prey' they are after, and it is scary as all get out! I have a small flashing light that I put on my dogs collar when he needs to go out at night. Got it at Auto Zone for $4. Made a 'tie' of some picture hanging wire so I can remove it easily. The owls will leave them alone then.
Do you make your dog stay outside? If so, that is probably why. My two Dobes have no problem going outside for an evening walk because they know they will be right back in the house.
Jennifer Northern Virginia
This is the time of year that coyotes and coy-dogs are ranging, as well as foxes, looking for food for their pups. Your Rottie may have heard a coyote yipping and be spooked by it. My German Shepherd used to yell to come in, when she heard the coyotes yipping. It is pretty eerie. I know you listed your address as Detroit, but I live in a town and the coyotes are walking up and down the sidewalks at night and have been seen across the street from my house in broad daylight!
Thank you all very much. I will try all of that. No I do not leave either one of my dogs out because I know for a fact that we have opossums. I don't know about owls or coyotes, but who know! I have taken him to the vet and he is healthy, just a big chicken. I guess LOL. Thanks again!
Dogs have keen sense and they can detect things we cannot. Do you know about bunchers? Bunchers are people who snatch dogs, puppies, cats, and kittens and sell for cruel experimentation and once they are caught by bunchers, animals are tortured and killed. If your dog is afraid to go outside at night, my guess is there is something you don't know. You never should put your dog outside without watching specially at night. Sorry for my poor English. English is not my native language.
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