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Anxiety of indoors

This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Orion Stollar Orion Stollar 1 year, 3 months ago.

  • Author
  • #9566
    Orion Stollar
    Orion Stollar


    A client contacted me about a neutered male dog (don’t know the breed or age yet but an adult) that was found roaming in the desert and was adopted a few months ago. He was probably a “wild” dog and was not kept indoors but it is just the owners speculation.

    The dog is happy and normal outside but when brought into the house, hides, looks quiet and hyper alert, doesn’t want to come out and play with the owners. They tried having him play with a dog outside and then bringing them both in. They played together for 2 minutes and then he went back to the hiding place and wouldn’t come out.

    I wanted to know if anyone had a similar case and how they managed it, and what the prognosis is. I didn’t find information about this certain problem in the literature.



    Ori O. Stollar. M.Sc., DVM.
    Veterinary Behavior Service, Israel.

  • #9619
    Terri Derr
    Terri Derr

    Hi, Ori. I’ve seen a couple of similar cases, and found that time and patience were the best treatment. The more the new owners try to interact with the dog (luring it with treats, forcing it to be petted, etc) the more anxious the dog may become. I would recommend using that other dog as much as you can to increase the outdoor dog’s familiarity with the house. After that, though, it’s all up to the dog.

    Encourage normal interaction between people and dog outdoors, but don’t expect it to translate indoors for a very long time. It can take months before the dog is able to be comfortable in the house, and there’s no way to rush it.

    I tell clients with such dogs that the prognosis is guarded, the treatment is benign neglect, and to enjoy what they have outdoors. Because I’m in Minnesota, I once had owners elect to euthanize their dog because she never adjusted to being indoors, and they were unable to provide enough shelter for her outdoors. That’s extreme, but it can happen.

    Wish I could be more definite, and I really wish I could be more optimistic.

    Good luck!


    Terri Derr                                                                                                                                                                          Veterinary Behavior Options                                                                                                                                         Golden Valley, MN

    Terri A. Derr, DVM
    Veterinary Behavior Options
    Golden Valley, MN 55422

  • #9742
    Orion Stollar
    Orion Stollar

    Sorry for not answering earlier. I didn’t get a notification.
    You were very helpful . Thanks a lot Terri.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by Orion Stollar Orion Stollar.

    Ori O. Stollar. M.Sc., DVM.
    Veterinary Behavior Service, Israel.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by Orion Stollar Orion Stollar.

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