Afraid to go outside

edited June 2018 in General
Hey, I know I haven't been on here much but I could use some serious advice. for quick background, Nova is a kai ken about 1 3/4 year old. she typically is pretty hesitant to meet new dogs and sometimes aggressive when they get in her face so for the most part we simply avoid dogs on our walks and play a lot with humans which is fine by me. my brother also has a dog, labradoodle and about 60 lbs (nova is 30). typically I don't like them hanging out even though they seem to get along really well. Saturday the dog came over and nova was loving it, they were running around, everything going great. a few hours in nova is hiding by the backdoor wanting to go inside so I let her in not thinking much of it and she scurries inside. I go back to get her after about twenty minutes but shes hiding in her crate and will absolutely not leave it. again not thinking too much of it I just leave her in her crate with the door open and go about the day. eventually I just grab her and bring her outside to hangout and she sits right next to me the entire time and seems anxious but not unlike other times when ive seen her anxious and cuddly. the next morning we go for a walk and shes pretty hesitant at first but once we get about 100 ft from our house she breaks into her normal self. we see another dog on the walk and she tries to start running but pulls up her right hind leg in obvious pain and I carry her home after seeing if she could relatively walk or had a splinter or something. so the vet thinks she probably just has a sprain or something and we have pain meds now BUT she will not go outside and will not go to the bathroom or eat or drink hardly at all. she has peed like once a day the past two days and pooped once only after I noticed that she was actually slowly pooping inside the house simply from not going in two days and she very reluctantly stood in place in the neighbors yard, pooped and walked the couple feet over to me and sat down and just looked at me nervously. the pain seems to not be a huge problem as I initially thought, but I have no idea what happened between her and the other dog. at no point did I hear a yelp or notice anything problematic that day and I was watching pretyy closely. im pretty sure the other dog probably just jumped on her or something and while im obviously not very happy she got hurt im much more concerned with her extreme fear right now? any suggestions or similar experiences people have? I know kai are sensitive but shes never acted like this.

thanks guys


  • Hi Mpucci9,

    I don't know if the below will help you but I recently had a much less severe case of something that may have a parallel with yours. My interpretation was that Nova (nice name btw) has a negative relationship with the outside. Even if it was caused by your brother's dog, Nova has associated that trauma with being outside so the challenge will be to change that association with something positive.

    With that in mind, my situation with my Hokkaido, Mochi was he got a negative association with his food bowl around my wife after he accidentally bit her hand and she yelped. He then became scared of his food bowl if my wife was around(Kind of the opposite of what I'd expect). He wouldn't eat if she was around and would avoid her around meal time. Like I mentioned before, no where near as extreme as what you are facing.

    Here is what we did to change that association,
    - When it was meal time, my wife would add high value treats to the food bowl
    - She would feed Mochi by hand with high value treats in a comfort zone for him near the bowl
    - Not react when he showed negative behavior around her and the bowl (this was the hardest part for her as she was quite upset that he appeared afraid of her)

    I'd suggest in your case to try and expand the safe zone (seems to be the crate) and building that confidence back up by encouraging her with leaving treats in the areas that she doesn't feel save and allowing her to fetch the treats in her own time without any coercion. You may be, via your concern, reinforcing that it is not a safe place. I think it will be quite a bit harder for you due to the toileting concerns.

    I know that it isn't really the same but I hope that helps.
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