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Seasonal "fear" of going outside to pee

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Hello All~


I haven't been on in a bit but as usual .. something new, or I should say, a behavior has reoccurred and I can't figure it out on my own!

Quick summary .... we rescued Zoee 4 years ago from bad owners. She had 2 broken front legs from leaping out of a car on the 2nd floor of a parking garage on Halloween (25' down). We got her right after the casts came off. She had been crated up to 8 hours a day and had chewed most of her hip and tail fur off.

She came to our country home to live with our Australian/Blue Heeler mix, male, 3 years her senior, Racer.

It has been a roller coaster of fun, tears, fun, confusion, fun, more tears, $2500 emergency surgery when she ate a corn cob that became lodged in her intestines, more fun, and more confusion.
So, last spring Zoee started (out of the blue) not wanting to go out in the morning to pee. Nothing changed, other than the season & daylight savings. She has always been up and gone out with Racer at 5:30 AM, no problems, Done her business then come in to eat. So again this spring, I get up to let them out and she refuses, tries to run from me or go upstairs. If I wiggle her leash and she sees it she will sometimes just run outside like nothing is wrong, but other days she won;t let me near her. I let her be and go about my morning but then it is 50/50 chance she will poop in the bathroom (on the bath mat, she is a lady afterall!). I seriously am baffled. This will happen until she decides it is all fine again and goes out on her own accord. Once she is outside, everything is fine and she pees.

I don't know if she is smelling something (animals? coming out of hibernation). Racer isn;t bothered at all.

Any ideas?

Thanks! Amy

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That's weird, but there must be something different in the environment that you're not aware of but that she is that frightens her.


You might try some desensitization and counter-conditioning with her. Use very high reward treats to coax her out and keep rewarding frequently when she's outside. Hopefully it'll help her to overcome her fear of whatever it is she's sensing.


Best wishes to both of you.

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