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scared of different floor surfaces

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Ben is just over 13 months old and has been well socilased - I take him everywhere

In the last month or so I have noticed him becoming scared of changes in floor surfaces

1st time I noticed was when I was in a garden centre and I stepped onto some decking (which I dont have and I dont know anyone with) the lead went tight and I looked back to see Ben with his paws planted refusing to budge

I just laughed at him for being a silly boy, dropped the lead and walked on. He whined a bit and paced at the edge then jumped on and followed me


Then again I noticed it on the textured pavment when we were in town (the bobbly bits they put on the floor so blind people know there is a crossing) fair nuff that hurts my feet in soft shoes. I did the same thing and dropped the lead (this is not a new surface for him - he has been in town since he had his shots)


and in obedience class we had to demonstrate that they dont barge throu doors so I went into a different room that had tiled floor - he would not come in - I had to lure him with a treat for every step


and (more!) my b/f's flat has lovely, non slippy, tiles at the bottom of the stairs - a different texture and pretty pattern

he has been up and down there lots of times but the last 5 times he gets to the bottom step and stalls, crys and then creeps down and walks round the edge of the tiles


but in some ways he is more confident

2 weeks ago we were in a park and there was a big old tree leaning over, b/f climbed it and then up climbs Ben right behind him - on a texture he has never been on! that would be more rough then the other things


any idea what is going on here?? I dont think his paws hurt cos he is OK with everything else

and what is the best way to deal with it so I nip it in the bud and dont make him worse??


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I have no idea what is going on, but I can say that the only time Ceana "jumps" is over small side walk drains. She will not step on them, she goes right over. She doesn't seemed scared though. Wish I could give you an answer, but all I can do is think maybe it is a sensativity issue like noise?

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My dog occasionally acts like that - and only started being that way at the end of his second year. There's a bridge near my house, and at the edges there are metal plates (expansion joints?). Buddy sometimes will and sometimes won't walk on them. He will or won't walk into the vet's on the shiny tile floors. For a couple weeks, he decided he couldn't go in the carpeted hall, though the carpeted living room was fine. ::oy::


I try to just matter-of-factly move across whatever it is, using the "don't reinforce the fear" philosophy. It seems to work OK for him. I seem to have gotten him over the major hump of this weird thing. Who knows what's going on in their brains?



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haha I like the Oy


Glad I am not alone - and yup I just noticed ben jump over the bridge ends too

Well the daft wee dog always finds something to keep me smiling and scratching my head


Sweet ceana - I dont think its noise as he is scared before he gets up to it -but thanks

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Usher is forever noticing new floors as he is a service dog. He rolls with the punches. When you walk into Wally world and it's warm there is a little burst of cool air over a little grated surface. You'll probably notice it now- LOL. That was a new one for him as yesterday was warmer for the first time. When he's in an elevator, he lies down. I'm not sure if that's proper SD etiquette, but it hasn't bothered anyone so far.

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We had hardwood floors put down in large areas of our home in 2001 and Lili hasn't been in the front living room ever since! She tries to go too fast and her feet goes faster than her body so she just refuses to walk on the floors. Needless to say we put down an area rug in the family room and carpet runners for her to follow (they have to be taped down because if they move it freaks her out).


Rudi uses it to her advantage and sleeps in the front living room since Lili won't go in there!

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I had an Australian Shepherd several years ago, who I think had a problem with depth perception. She had to sneak up on her food and water bowls and would only walk unafraid on carpet or outside. I could have left prime rib on the floor in the kitchen and she would not have gone in there. When she got old and had a stroke her eyesight became poorer. After that she started being unafraid of the kitchen floor and discovered the wonders of the trash. I guess her vision was so blurry after the stroke that depth perception did not matter.

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Speedy isn't afraid of different surfaces, but whe he is backing up, he will not back from one surface onto another.


If he is backing in the living room and he gets to the edge of the carpet, he will not even put one foot on the bare kitchen floor while moving backwards! Not for anything! He just stops! And vice versa - if he's backing on the bare floor, he won't back onto the carpet - not even one paw!


There must be something about changing surfaces when he can "sense" in some way that I don't perceive. Going forwards, he has no problems with this.


It's not a problem, but it's very interesting.

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I kinda noticed you mentioned slick surfaces a few times... even decking can be slick when wet, to say nothing of tile...

Are you sure that perhaps your Ben didn't tweak something and maybe thinking it 'might' hurt?


I'd start bringing out treats...to help with the 'good things happen here'...

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