Dog Scared To Go Outside? Discover Why And Help Your Pet!

dog scared to go outside

Do you have a dog scared to go outside? If so, you’re not alone. Many dogs become fearful of going outside for a variety of reasons. In this blog post, we will discuss the most common reasons why dogs are scared to go outside and what you can do to help your pet feel more comfortable. We’ll also provide tips on how to make your yard more dog-friendly!

Table of Contents

Why You Should Recognize Your Dogs Fear To Go Outside

Recognizing your dog’s fear is crucial and how you can help them feel more comfortable. Your dog’s anxiety may show up in basic ways, like when he or she refuses to walk or pulls hard on the leash to get back inside the house.

But a dog in trouble or a rescue dog might show his fear in more indirect ways, like kneeling down and strolling low to the ground, preserving the tail tucked, panting even when it’s not hot or active, yawning a lot, or shaking. Forcing pets with these kinds of stress signs to “face their fears” will only make the problem worse, so punishment and intimidation have no place in the rehabilitation process.

dog nervous dog afraid

What Causes Dog’s Fear To Go Outside?

There are many reasons why a dog might be scared to go outside. If you think your dog falls into one of these categories, there are things and products that can help them overcome their fear. With patience and proper behavior modification, you can help your dog enjoy the great outdoors!

They Were Never Properly Introduced To The Outdoors:

If a dog has never been exposed to the great outdoors, it’s no wonder they may be scared of it! It’s important to slowly introduce your dog to the outside world in a positive way. Start by taking them on short walks around the block and gradually increase the length and difficulty of the walks as they become more comfortable.

New Puppy Panic:

Many puppies are absolutely terrified of going outside because they are still getting used to their new surroundings.

When a pet moved to a different home with new family member. She becomes uncomfortable and are scared of what is going outside because of some adjustments such as slippery floor, noise, other dogs in the community. This can make the puppy afraid of almost everything, even the outside areas near her new home.

There are also times called “puppy socialization periods” that last until the puppy is 14 weeks old. If somehow the puppy doesn’t have wonderful experiences in new outdoor places before then, she may always be more scared or uneasy about the sounds and smells of outdoor places as an adult. During their fear periods, puppies may also be exposed to traumatic events outside, which could change how they feel about the outdoors.

It can be helpful to socialize your puppy as much as possible by taking them to dog parks, dog-friendly stores, and on walks around the neighborhood. With time and patience, they will become more comfortable with their new home and routine.

scared of going outside

Bad Experience:

Fearful dogs with bad experience while outdoors (e.g., a rescue dog from being chased by a car or getting into a fight with another animal), it’s understandable that they would be fearful of going outside again. In these cases, you’ll need to help your dog gradually overcome their fear by training.

This means rewarding them for good behavior when they are outdoors (e.g., walking calmly on a leash or staying relaxed in the yard) and ignoring them when they are exhibiting fearful behavior (e.g., cowering, shaking, or hiding).

Inadequate or Improper Socialization:

There are many reasons why your dogs scared to go outside.

Dog’s fear may come from not having enough socialization when they are a puppy. It grow up to be afraid of going for walks. Before they are 14 weeks old, puppies need to be gently introduced to new things, places, and people in short, positive sessions. This helps them see the world as a friendly place. Those who don’t get this kind of experience are more likely to be overwhelmed by new things.

According to certified dog trainer, the most important thing you can do is to helping dogs overcome this fear by letting them feel comfortable and safe in their environment. With patience, you can help your dog overcome their fear and enjoy the great outdoors!

Never Walked On A Leash:

Some get scared when they have to wear a collar or leash, so it’s important to teach your dog how to walk on a leash.

Some people may feel anxious because they don’t know how to use this kind of walking equipment. This might be because your dog hasn’t spent much time on a leash, either because she is a young puppy who has never worn a collar and leash before or because she is an adult dog who has never or rarely been walked on a leash in the past.

In either case, it can be strenuous to use new gear.

Your dog may also dislike her leash or collar if anybody mistreated her while she was on a leash and she couldn’t get away or if she had been given harsh corrections with the leash.

Electric Fenced Yard Phobia:

Since the dog’s receiver collar on dog’s neck often sends a static shock when the dog gets too close to or crosses the fence line, some will be afraid to go outside because they think the collar will shock them.

Most wireless radio fences have a training mode that makes the collar beep or vibrate only when your dog gets close to or crosses the boundary. However this can still bring intense fear to your pet

she's scared slippery floors

Sensitivity To Sound:

Loud noises can scare them, especially if they’re not used to them. Dogs with this fear may tremble, hide, or try to get away from the noise.

Common sounds that might scare a dog include thunderstorms, fireworks, and gun shots.

If your dog is afraid of loud noises, you can help by desensitizing them to the sound. Start by playing the noise at a very low volume while your dog is doing something they enjoy, like eating a treat or playing with a toy.

Every time they hear the noise, they should get something positive in return so that they associate the noise with something good.

Eventually, you can increase the volume of the noise until your dog is no longer afraid.

Some Scary Noise That Can Frighten Dogs And Set Them Off Are:

Barking dogs


Construction sites and equipment

Lightning or thunder

Cars engines that backfire or are loud

Garbage trucks

Snow plow trucks

Injuries And Medical Issues

previous owner car ride

Not all dogs are healthy to go out. Pain in the paws or legs could make a dog hate going outside. These problems can be caused by something as simple as overgrown toenails or a cut on her paw, but they can also be caused by long-term problems that need treatment, like arthritis.

There are other things that could make your female dog less likely to go outside. For example, if your dog has an internal health problem, it might feel tired or sick in general. If your dog has a vision problem, it might be afraid to go outside, especially when it’s dark.

Changes seem to scare older dogs more easily and make them remember their fear longer than they do younger dogs. They can also get diseases like doggie dementia or “sunowners syndrome,” which can make them act strangely even when they are in familiar places.

Senior Dog

As they get older, their bodies and minds can change in different ways. A dog you’ve had for years may all of a sudden be afraid to go outside.

Older dogs are having a hard time getting used to new places and people. So, if you’re trying to figure out what’s scaring them, think about what you’ve moved or changed recently in the yard.

Senior dogs are also more likely to feel anxious if they associate being outside with something bad. If they were hurt or scared by another animal, it might be harder for an older dog to get over that fear than it would be for a younger dog.

Fear could be caused by one of the “normal” things that happen as people age. Many senior dogs develop eye problems. When they are outside, their anxiety can get worse if they can’t see well or if their vision is blurry. Even something called “canine cognitive dysfunction” can happen to some dogs.

This is a lot like what happens to people with Alzheimer’s. As you might expect, it can be scary for your dog if it can’t fully understand or remember what’s going on around it.

Veterinarians should check their health over the age of seven every year. By doing this, you can keep track of any changes in your senior dog’s health and help them get medical care if they need it.

How Can You Tell Your Dog Is Afraid To Go Outside

counter conditioning potty training

We can’t just ask a dog what’s wrong, so it’s important to pay attention to your pet’s stress signals and figure out what makes her upset. This will help you figure out when your dog is scared, so you can eventually desensitize and counter-train her to feel safe around things that scare her.

Dogs usually show us through their body language when they are scared. Some of the ways dogs often show fear are:

  • panting
  • enlarged eyes
  • whale lip licks eye
  • glancing away
  • freezing
  • pacing\ drooling \trembling
  • depression
  • using the toilet to pee or poop
  • pinched ears
  • barking or whining too much
  • not wanting to walk and staying still (pancaking)
  • suddenly stopping in the middle of a walk and refusing to move
  • pulling hard on the leash, maybe in the direction of home Aggression or reactivity
  • crouching
  • tail tucked

How To Help Your Dog

pet scared of going outside

Identify Your Dog’s Triggers 

If your dog doesn’t like going outside, one of the best things you can do is figure out what makes her scared so you can help her get used to them.

If you don’t know what she’s afraid of, it’s harder to help her feel better about going outside.

So, pay close attention to how your dog acts when she sees and hears different things. Watch her body language, and she will probably tell you what is scaring her.

Your Dog Needs To Be Desensitized And Counter-conditioned.

helpful tips

You can help your dog feel better about her triggers by using desensitization and counter-conditioning. Since a dog can’t both like and be afraid of something, adding positive feelings to your dog’s triggers may be all that’s needed to help her get over her fears.

Your dog might not get better after just one day of using these techniques, but the work is well worth it because the changes in how your dog feels about her triggers will last.

Over time, your dog’s behavior and how he or she reacts to the trigger should change. Using training methods that involve positive reinforcement is also a great way to build your dog’s relationship with you and trust in you.

Desensitizing Your Dog To Outdoor Triggers

Dogs are wonderful companions, and most of them love spending time outdoors. However, some dogs can become anxious or stressed in new environments. If your dog is uncomfortable outside, there are a few things you can do to help them feel more confident.

First, start by slowly introducing them to the outdoors. If they seem nervous, try carrying them or holding their leash while you walk around the block. You can also help desensitize them to common outdoor triggers by playing recordings of common sounds, such as traffic or birds chirping. With a little patience and some positive reinforcement, you can help your furry friend enjoy the great outdoors.

Dogs can also pick up on our fears, so if you act like nothing strange is going on, it may help calm your dog down, too.

Over time, playing the recording of the storm louder and longer can help your dog get used to what was once a very scary sound

How To Stop Your Dog from Responding To Triggers

feeding station

Counter-conditioning is another way to change how your dog reacts to scary things. Instead of just getting your dog used to a trigger, pairing it with treats will help your dog feel good about the trigger.

If your dog can’t handle hearing the storm recording without getting upset or scared, playing it softly while your dog eats can help. If her food isn’t enough to keep her attention, giving her lots of small, very tasty treats while the recording plays for a short time is even more effective for most dogs.

Once your dog seems less scared of the trigger, you can slowly increase its volume and length while continuing to pair it with good things, like treats, stuffed Kongs, or even playtime.

Counter-conditions Before Going Outside

If your dog is scared of going outside, anything you do right before you try to take her outside can also make her nervous. In this case, you might want to try to help your dog feel better about getting ready to go outside apart from the things that make her want to go outside.

Change the order of any pre-walk actions (like walking toward your dog’s leash, picking it up, putting it on your dog, or putting on your shoes) to help your dog see them as fun and positive.

As you get ready to take your dog out, look for common signs of stress in her body language. This will help you figure out what you are doing that is making her nervous. Then, try to randomly pair each of these things with a treat a few times a day without taking the dog outside.

Trips Outside Should Be Short And Fun.

pet negative association

One of the best ways to help them be more confident outside is to keep outdoor excursions brief and positive. Dogs are naturally curious creatures, and they’re often most comfortable in familiar surroundings.

Going for a long walk or hike in unfamiliar territory can be overwhelming and may cause your dog to feel anxious or stressed. However, shorter excursions in familiar areas can help your dog feel more confident and relaxed.

Plus, if you make sure to keep things positive by offering treats and praise, your dog will associate going outside with happy experiences. As a result, he’ll be much more likely to want to go on future outings.

Make a treat trail or a row of reward stations with plastic plates (that further make the treats more visible) to help your dog keep moving forward into and out the door on her own. This is a great way to get your dog to move toward something that scares her, like the front door.

This can make it easier for your dog to walk up to and through the door, making her less anxious when she gets outside.

Make Your Dog Exercise Before Going Out

Have you ever noticed that some dogs seem to be totally confident when they’re outside, while others seem apprehensive and even scared? It turns out that there’s a reason for this.

Dogs who have a lot of positive experiences with different types of environments are more likely to be confident when they’re outside.

On the other hand, dogs who haven’t had much exposure to the great outdoors or who have had negative experiences outdoors are more likely to be scared of new environments.

So, how can you help your dog feel more confident about going outside? One way is to make sure that you exercise them at home before you go outside. This will help them burn off any excess energy and also help them get used to the idea of being in new surroundings.

Once they’ve had a chance to calmly explore their own yard, you can take them for a walk around the block. If they’re still feeling nervous, try carrying them or using a harness and leash. With time and patience, you can help your dog overcome their fears and enjoy spending time outdoors.

Keep Triggers Away From Them

dog takes pet

When it comes to keeping your dogs feeling confident about going outside, one of the best things you can do is to keep triggers away from them. This means anything that might make them feel scared or anxious, like other animals or people.

If you live in a busy area, try taking your dog for walks at off-peak times. Also, avoid particular places that tend to set your dog off (like the dog park).

It might take a little extra effort on your part, but by keeping triggers away from your dogs, you’ll help them feel more confident about going outside – and that’s certainly worth it.

Stay Close With Your Dog When Going Out

Have you ever noticed that your dog seems to be more confident when you’re around? It’s not just in your head – studies have shown that dogs are more likely to approach and interact with people and other dogs when their owner is present.

This is because dogs form strong bonds with their owners, and they feel safe and secure when we’re close by. When going out on walks, try keeping your dog close to you at first.

This will help them feel more confident in new environments, and they’ll be more likely to approach other dogs and people. Over time, you can start giving them more freedom to explore, but always be sure to stay close enough that they can come back to you if they need reassurance.

With a little patience and lots of love, you can help your dog build the confidence they need to enjoy a happy and fulfilling life.

Choose A Route That Avoids Their Triggers And Doing This Everyday

Have you ever noticed that dogs sometimes seem hesitant or even scared to go outside? This is because they are picking up on our cues. If we are anxious about something, they will sense that and it will make them feel anxious too. The same is true for if we are feeling confident.

When we are calm and relaxed, they will be too. So, what does this have to do with choosing a route? Avoid certain triggers that make your dog anxious – like loud noises or lots of people.

And the more you do this, the more confident they will feel going outside in general. So next time you take your dog for a walk, try to choose a route that avoids their triggers and see how much more confident they are!

Leash Walking

pet feeding station

One of the best things you can do to help your dog feel more confident is to practice leash manners. This includes walking calmly on a leash, sit and stay while you’re talking to someone, and not to pull or lunge at other dog or people.

This will help your dog feel more confident and relaxed when outside. Also, it will make walks and trips to the park more enjoyable for both of you. And as an added bonus, well-behaved dogs are often welcome in more places than those that aren’t, so practicing leash manners can help expand your dog’s horizons.

If you are looking for a leash, I highly recommend the Regal dog. It has a comfortable grip for you and is made of high-quality materials that won’t break easily.

Invite Your Friends Dogs When Walking With Our Dog Outside

Unless your dog is anxious around other dogs, invite your friends’ dogs to go with you. Walking in a “pack” can help reduce your dog’s fears. A dog’s natural instinct is to protect its pack, so being with other dogs will help your dog feel more secure.

This is especially helpful if you have a small dog that might feel intimidated by larger dogs. Walking in a group can also be a great way to socialize your dog and help them make new friends.

Look For Simple Solution To Solve Your Dogs Problem

The best choice isn’t always the most complicated one.

If your dog is afraid to walk across your slick floor then place a non-slip mat near the door. This will help her feel more confident and make it easier for her to get outside.

If your dog is scared of loud noises, then use a sound machine or white noise app to help drown out the scary sounds. This will make her feel more at ease.

If there are a lot of stairs, help your dog feel more comfortable by putting treats on some of them. Then put her down on the stairs so she can practice going up or down the last few stairs on her own.

Work With Professional Trainer

she's comfortable

Dogs are social creatures, and most of them enjoy going for walks and spending time outside. However, some dogs can be hesitant or even scared to leave the safety of their home. This is often due to a lack of socialization or exposure to different environments.

Fortunately, working with a professional trainer can help dogs feel more confident outside. Trainers can help dogs get used to being around people and other animals, as well as new sights and sounds.

Dogs who work with trainers are less likely to be scared or hesitant when out in the world. So if you want your dog to enjoy all the benefits of a life spent outdoors, consider working with a professional trainer. It could make all the difference in your dog’s confidence level.

Work With An Animal Behaviorist

dog scared

Have you ever seen a dog cowering under a table or behind a couch when someone comes to the door? Or maybe your own dog is afraid of going outside, and you’re not sure why. If your dog is displaying signs of anxiety or fear, it may be time to consult with an animal behaviorist. Working with a behaviorist can help your dog feel more confident and secure in all kinds of situations, including going outside.

A behaviorist will help you understand your dog’s specific fears and needs and develop a plan to address them. This may include help with socialization, desensitization to certain stimuli, and obedience training. With the help of a behaviorist, you can help your dog feel more confident and secure!

Be Your Dog Advocate

One of the best things you can do to help your dog feel more confident is to be a good advocate for them. If your dog is afraid of loud noises, help them by slowly acclimating them to the noise.

Start by playing recordings of the noise at a low volume, and increase the volume gradually over time. Stay with them in new environments until they feel comfortable.

Be their advocate by letting people know that your dog is still getting used to the surroundings and needs some time to adjust. By being patient and helping your dog feel secure, you can help them feel more confident in new situations.

Veterinary Advice: What To Do And What Not To Do

front door counter conditioning


  • Slow down and let your dog get closer to her triggers at her own speed. Use lots of cool treats to show her how proud you are for being brave. This will also help her feel better about her triggers.
  • Have short excursions and gradually increase the length of time you’re gone. This will help your dog get used to being away from home and help build their confidence.
  • If your dog is scared of going outside. Provide plenty of dog love when your dog is behaving well outside. This could include treats, petting, or verbal praise. Finally, avoid forcing your dog to do anything they’re uncomfortable with.
  • If they’re hesitant to approach other people, respect their wishes and give them some space. By following these simple tips, you can help your dog enjoy their time outside and prevent them from feeling overwhelmed or afraid.
  • If your dog is likely to run away, make sure she wears a harness or other item. Use two pieces of equipment, like a martingale collar and a front-clip harness, just in case she gets out of one of them.
  • To get used to going in and out of the door, make a treat trail. As she moves around with less fear and stress, you can give her treats farther apart.
  • Gradually move your dog’s food outside. This is great for pets that are afraid of the backyard.
  • Put some of your dog’s favorite toys or treats outside for it to find. This is a great way to use nose work games to keep your dog’s mind busy and get her to check out a scary place.
  • Play a game you like with your dog outside. Dogs love doing something she enjoys. She will start to have positive associations or good feelings with the environment, which can help lessen her separation anxiety.
  • When your dog gets suddenly afraid or triggered you should desensitize and counter-condition him. By making your dog feel better about things that scare her, you’ll help her become more brave over time.

food motivated golden retriever


  • Do not try to push, pull, or drag your dog closer to her triggers. Do not use hot treats or food as a way to show your dog how proud you are. This will make her feel more anxious. If your dog is displaying signs of anxiety or stress, it’s best to consult with a professional trainer or behaviorist.
  • If your dog acts scared, you should never hurt it. It won’t make her stop doing those things, and she may even start to be afraid of you.
  • Don’t make your dog go outside or face her trigger if she doesn’t want to. Scared pets panics or act mean when scared. Let her move into and out of scary situations at her time. This can keep her from getting hurt or hurting herself.
  • Don’t give your dog too much or “flood” it. Let your dog approach things that scare her at her own pace. Make sure she knows she can always leave something that scares her by walking her away from things she finds scary.


dog scared to go outside

What can we do to help him when he needs to go outside to empty his bladder?

One option is to use a dog door. That way, the dog can choose when to go outside and won’t have to be forced. Another option is to take the dog out on a leash and stay with him until he goes to the bathroom. Praise him and give him a treat.

If your dog is still hesitant to go outside, you can try using a dog stroller or baby carrier. This way, he will be used to being in the outdoors without feeling overwhelmed. Finally, if you need to, you can use an enclosed area like a fenced-in yard or dog park. This will give your dog the chance to explore at his own pace without feeling like he has to go far from home.

What if they are afraid of people or other animals?

pet dog scared to go outside

If your pet is scared of people or other animals, you’ll need to do some extra work to help him feel more comfortable. Start by socializing your pet with as many different people and animals as possible. Take him to parks, pet beaches, doggy daycares, or even just on walks around the neighborhood. The more exposure he has, the less fearful he’ll be.

You can also try desensitization and counter conditioning exercises at home. For example, if your dog is afraid of people, then ask people to come over to your house. As they get more comfortable, you can have the people come closer and closer until they’re able to pet him.

If my pet is afraid to go outside, should I carry him instead?

No, you should not carry your pet if he’s afraid to go outside. This will only make him more anxious and could cause him to panic. If you need to, you can use a stroller or baby carrier. This way, he can get used to being outdoors without feeling overwhelmed.

What can I do while my pet is getting used to being outside?

You can take him on short walks around the neighborhood. Also, let him stop and sniff as much as he wants. As he gets more comfortable, you can start taking him on longer walks and hikes. Finally, make sure to praise him and give him treats whenever he goes outside so that he associates it with positive experiences.

Whenever scared, always remain calm and patient. They can sense when their owners are anxious or angry, and this will only make the situation worse.


pets scared of going outside

Dogs are scared to go outside. Also, anything you do right before you try to take her outside can also make her nervous. In this case, you might want to try to help them feel better about getting ready to go outside.

Change the order of any pre-walk actions (like walking toward your dog’s leash, picking it up, putting it on your pet, or putting on your shoes) to help you see them as fun and positive.

As you get ready to take your pet out, look for common signs of stress in her body language. This will help you figure out what you are doing that is making her nervous. If your dog starts to look nervous, try to do something that will help her feel better, like giving her a treat or playing with her favorite toy.

Finally, praise and treat her when she did something you want her to do. You can do this when walking calmly on a leash or going outside without being scared. This will help her associate good things with going outside. Therefore, making her like do it again.

By following these tips, you can help your dog feel more confident about going outside. Make walks and trips to the park more enjoyable for both of you. So get out there and enjoy the great outdoors with your furry friend

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