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Dogs afraid of the dark?


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How common is it for dogs to be fearful of being in a dark room at night?

 

When we were sitting last week for the puppy next door, the owners finally told us she was afraid of the dark and they usually left a night light on for her. :huh: I figured that out after the first night, since she would nod off almost as soon as I turned on a light.

 

Also, Bo/Pepper, the BC/Aussie mix we had for a few days in March/April had the same issue. When I would turn on the night light, he would calm down and sleep soundly for the rest of the night.

 

They were both crated at night, but that didn't appear to be the issue since they fell asleep as soon as there was a little light in the room. Both were about a year old so I didn't think it was a vision problem. Is this a puppy/young dog thing and do they outgrow it? I don't remember Scooter being afraid of dark places (or much of anything else for that matter). Just wondering for future reference when we get our new pup. :)

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My BC is afraid of the dark or was anyways. At about 6 months of age she started wetting her crate at night and freaking out some for no reason. We accidently left a light on over the sink and life was back to normal and no more accidents and she slept through the night.

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I have always kept a night light on through out my house due to DH having night blindness. I never thought about how this affected the dogs untill one night about 3am and I woke to a dog, Skip, laying on my face shaking like a leaf. When I got him off of me I realized the electricity had gone off. He was upset till I got up and got the hurricane lamp lit, then he was fine. Jackson didn't react one way or the other, but Skip is terrified. I don't know if it is actually the dark or just that something is different.

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When Jody goes out for his last potty break of the evening he doesn't like to venture outside the lighted area of the yard unless I go with him into the dark and scary corners. I don't like those spots either since I was bitten by a copperhead a couple years ago walking in a dark area at night We always take our long walk before dark and stay in the lit up parts or take a flashlight along now.

 

When there are power outages I have always worried that a cat, kid or dog would knock over a candle or lantern. Lately we have brought in our solar path lights to use instead. They work great and no worries about fire.

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My nearly eighteen years old dog Maggie likes me to bring a flashlight to take her potty at night but that's it. I hate lights at night so that may affect the dogs. Can't help ya there.

 

I do know in general it is very easy to shape dogs to our own expectations so pay close attention to your own behavior of this is something you find inconvenient.

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I always have a night light on. Old dog Bear runs into things in the dark (not afraid, just doesn't have the sense to stay in one spot). Meg gets more on edge in the dark and jumps at every little noise.

 

None of us like being outside in the dark. I don't know if its because they sense that I'm uneasy or if they are just uneasy too, but the dogs are always on high alert if our evening walk is not time right and we aren't home before dark.

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My deaf dog has never shown any concerns about being in the dark in the house. He used to be terribly shadowed obsessed and I think being in total darkness helped him calm himself.

Now he has an obsession with imaginary flies and being in the dark helps there too.

 

Loki did get quite badly injured by a pack of coyotes that attacked him in our farmyard in May. It happened just at sunset. Now he insists on coming in about an hour before the sun sets. He wont go out to potty with the others during the night (the old bladders need out about 4am) and he quite happily waits until it's fully daylight.

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