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 Afraid of the dark?

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Kmanweiss
Teenager
Teenager


Male Join date : 2016-09-01
Location : Pierre, SD

Afraid of the dark? Empty
PostSubject: Afraid of the dark?   Afraid of the dark? EmptyFri Oct 21, 2016 12:26 pm

I highly suspect that my nearly 5 month old husky pup is afraid of the dark. Just looking for some input as to level of concern.

We get in 3-4 walks a day. 2 are during low light hours (early morning, late evening), and the other 1-2 are during daylight hours. Despite mixing up paths we take and the direction we go, he's already got the neighborhood down pat.

Halloween decorations have been entertaining for me. Every new thing near the sidewalk is approached with caution during the day, sniffed, licked, and after that it just gets the daily sniff as we pass by the next day with little other notice. During the low light hours though, that same object is spotted in advance, he takes a more guarded stance, and makes a wide path away from it to avoid it. A house a block away stuck a couch out by the sidewalk (no idea why). During the day, my dog can't get enough of this thing. During low light walks he wants to be on the other side of the road. He's extremely cautious of garbage bags during the morning walk on garbage day also.

The other thing I've noticed is he hates shadowy areas. There are a couple trees that he can't get enough of. He smells, he licks, he tries to chew the bark off. But at night that same tree blocks the streetlight and creates a shadowy area on the sidewalk. All is well till he spots this, then he'll walk right next to me. I'm talking he's pushing his weight into my leg as we approach...I assume for comfort.

Once he's immediately past the object or shaded area, he's right back to his normal self.

My previous dogs have never had a problem with the dark. Rorschach doesn't mind the garage or his outdoor kennel at night. He has no late night trauma that I'm aware of (rescue dog, so there are a couple mystery months). He's never been bothered by fireworks. He actually goes outside during thunderstorms at night and seems to watch the lightning (the other dog prefers the garage during thunderstorms).

Is this a puppy thing? Is it a husky thing? Is it normal? Possible life long character trait? I've heard huskies can have eye problems, could it be an early sign or connected to that? Am I just being paranoid over a honestly mild caution of the unknown? I think my 4 year old would probably react the same way to some of these things.
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TigerCzarina
Teenager
Teenager
TigerCzarina

Female Join date : 2015-09-11
Location : Cincinnati OH

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PostSubject: Re: Afraid of the dark?   Afraid of the dark? EmptyFri Oct 21, 2016 12:58 pm

This is just my experience:

Our rescue is to this day afraid of the dark. She's MUCH better about it, but she still has her moments. Nighttime doesn't bother her, but she doesn't usually like to be in a room by herself if the lights aren't on. When we brought her home, she would cry if the lights got turned off or we left her without a nightlight-and she would refuse to walk into a room if the lights weren't on first. Now she just leaves the room if the lights are out and we aren't there.

Luka, our puppy, on the other hand, seems okay with dark rooms, but he does the same thing as yours with shadows. Something that he sees everyday, say the neighbors grill in their driveway, is fine, but if he sees it at night in the shadow of their pickup, he tenses up, growls, barks, and herds me away from it. Same with trees and such. I think it may be a puppy thing, with their senses developing he might not be as confident in the darker hours with what he does see. Luka is slowly getting better about it...and I know his eyesight is fine because he can see my husband walking Mia all the way down the street from our front window, at night.

Again, that's just my 2 cents, though. I'd say if you're concerned about his eyes, take him to the vet and see if they can spot an issues?
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MiyasMomma
Senior
Senior
MiyasMomma

Female Join date : 2014-06-26
Location : west Texas

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PostSubject: Re: Afraid of the dark?   Afraid of the dark? EmptyFri Oct 21, 2016 1:35 pm

Dave, I have similar experience as Dev, Miya hates it when it is dark and we are not around, always felt it was more of a separation anxiety issue vs being afraid of the dark, so lights stay on if we leave her alone at home, which is rare, lol. Sofie on the other hand is similar to Rory and Dev's Luka. From what I was told from my breeder, puppies, well he is a gsd breeder but assume any dog breed can be this way, are suspect of the dark, they are unsure, senses as Dev mentioned are not fully developed. She still at almost 15 months is suspicious of noise in the dark, it is much better than when she was a younger puppy. The best solution is like Dev mentioned have the vet check Rory's eyes if you feel that may be an issue. Desensitization also will help, build confidence, and act as if the "scary" thing isn't scary, don't coddle as well, no it's ok, just be non emotional to the stimuli that causes the pup concerns. As he ages he should become used to it, confidence will be built and it should be a nothing issue, once he's more mature. Smile
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aljones
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Senior
aljones

Male Join date : 2014-08-18
Location : Terlingua, Texas

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PostSubject: Re: Afraid of the dark?   Afraid of the dark? EmptyFri Oct 21, 2016 3:47 pm

I'll chime in here because I also have an "that's odd" experience - but it's with all three of mine.

My "steps" from the porch to the ground are just a stack of concrete blocks (cinder blocks to some of you.) While the porch itself is lit from light through the patio doors, the blocks aren't - when it's dark out (like no moon) they act as if they can't see the steps until I turn on the porch light.

Avalanche will scan the area - even though it's dark - and I know when he sees movement, normally a rabbit, because I can follow his gaze and see it as well - but I don't understand the hesitation over the steps. They go up and down during the day without a problem but at night it's as if they aren't sure they're there.

And, no mine aren't puppies, they're all in the 5 year old range....
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Huskyluv
Resident Nutritional Bookworm
Huskyluv

Female Join date : 2009-06-23
Location : Huntsville, AL

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PostSubject: Re: Afraid of the dark?   Afraid of the dark? EmptyFri Oct 21, 2016 5:20 pm

My dogs have never had issues in the dark with the exception of the ones who could not see as well. The only dogs that were more nervous at night/low light were the 2 dogs that had minor cataracts. Their vision was not severely affected by any means but was not perfect and they were always more wary in low light/night situations and just fine by day.

If your dog is just a pup they may grow out of it, but perhaps it might be worth getting his eyes looked at. All my dogs with normal vision never acted any different at night versus during the day.

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Afraid of the dark? Summer10
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Kmanweiss
Teenager
Teenager


Male Join date : 2016-09-01
Location : Pierre, SD

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PostSubject: Re: Afraid of the dark?   Afraid of the dark? EmptyWed Oct 26, 2016 11:46 am

After a few incidents, I don't think it's a vision problem. He's been able to spot stuff at night, at a distance, that I simply couldn't without a flashlight. A black cat some 4 houses away, black crickets in the grass from several feet away, etc. His vision seems excellent even at night.

The other thing I've been noticing is how differently he reacts to people at night vs day.

During the day, if he sees someone from a distance, he'll get alert, pay attention to them, and tighten up the leash, but not really pull towards them to hard. You can tell he wants to, but he doesn't. If someone surprises him, he goes full on husky pull in their direction...REALLY HARD. If someone walks out of their garage, or out a door, or steps out of a car he flips out and can't control his need for attention.
At night, if he sees someone from a distance, he'll get alert still and pay attention to them, but won't pull as hard towards them, just watches. If someone surprises him, he tries to run away from them, almost as hard as he pulls towards them during the day.

It's kind of the same way with other dogs. If dogs bark at him from behind a fence or from inside a home, he doesn't care. He might let out a little huff. If he sees a dog, he pulls like mad to get to them. At night, seeing a dog is handled with a lot more caution. If a dog barks at him, he raises his hackles and quickens his pace away from the area.

Its just so odd to me as my previous dogs have always seemed to not care about dark vs light, and some have even seemed more comfortable and easy going at night.

I guess I'll just chock it up to puppy caution or a simple personality quirk. We'll talk to the vet also next time he's in.
Thanks for your input!
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Huskyluv
Resident Nutritional Bookworm
Huskyluv

Female Join date : 2009-06-23
Location : Huntsville, AL

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PostSubject: Re: Afraid of the dark?   Afraid of the dark? EmptyWed Oct 26, 2016 4:35 pm

It may not even be a vision problem so much as a just can't see as well at night kind of deal...sorta like us. I mean, I know I'm more in a heightened state of alert outside in the dark at night simply because I know I can't see things as well and know there's nothing wrong with my vision. Things just look different (less visible) at night. Like a toilet sitting on the curb in the dark is pretty darn intimidating to Dakota but by day, not so much when you can clearly tell what the darn thing is...yep, one of our night walks...true story. lol


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