Anybody ever hear of a dog being afraid of the dark?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by muttmeister, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    We've been having really horrible weather here for over a week: rain, sleet, slush, snow, blizzard with 60 mph winds, etc. :whiteflag: On the 23rd, I got a phone call about 2 A.M. It was difficult child 2; he was home and knew the power had gone out (I didn't know it; I was asleep!:tongue:). My mother was staying over as she didn't want to get snowed in at her place for Christmas and not be with us. So difficult child was offering his place for us (my heat is electric; his is wood) so she wouldn't get too cold. I told him we were fine and that if it was still off in the morning, we might be over.

    After I hung up I heard this whining sound. It was Tippy: the golden retriever/cocker spaniel. He was beside himself. It was really dark in my house because, in addition to all of the lights being out, I sleep with the shades drawn and besides, it was cloudy so there were no street lights, no moonlight, etc. You couldn't see your hand in front of your face. He wanted up on the bed, but was afraid to jump up so I had to get the flash light so he could make it up onto the bed. Then he got under the covers with me and leaned up against me as tight as he could and shivered and whined as if to say, "Mom, why are the lights out?" I had to laugh. I finally get my kids raised and now I have a neurotic dog!;)

    P.S.: The power was back on about 3 hours later and we've been fine ever since.
  2. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Most likely your dog is just a tad neurotic, but I've had a couple of dogs that started exhibiting fear of the dark due to visual problems--they do get cataracts and retinal problems just like humans do.

    Cocker spaniels are prone to something called 'Progressive Retinal Atrophy' or PRA. That can come on from puppyhood on depending on breed and heredity. If the dog has been fine in the dark previously, I would definitely have a vet take a look at his eyes.
  3. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Well if DF can't find the cookie jar in the dark HE has major problems - could the furry lad find the biscuit can?

    I would be more inclined to think that it had to do with the noise and winds. Dogs are a lot more intune with weather happenings than we are so if there is severe inclement weather happenings - they know it a lot sooner than we do. They also sense tension in humans - so just the fact that your routine was broken by the phone call could have been a trigger.

    Poor thing - I put cotton in Caspers ears when we have thunder storms coming - it helps him a lot.
  4. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I have a few night lights in my house here and there and our power almost never goes out. I think maybe that was the first time he'd ever been in total darkness.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Betsy has been afraid of the dark since puppyhood. In no other way is she "neurotic". This is her only odd quirk. It's the main reason she still sleeps in her crate at 3 yrs of age.......she feels safe in there even in the dark.

    I can't explain Betsy's issue. But maybe your dogs was due to the fact he'd never been in total darkness before. He went to you for reassurance all was well.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    We adopted a puppy named Buddy. She was wicked scared of the dark. We learned later that the people who "fostered" her for the shelter kept her and about 10 other dogs locked in cages for about 18 hours a day or more. Only let them out of "crates" aka medication size dog carriers when they were at home. She hated the crate, cried non-stop in it. Then if the lights went out she had anxiety attacks.

    Mostly because of the fostering. We finally had to re-home her when she started to chase joggers even with intense work with us and a trainer. She now lives with a guy who is single and spends hours a day with just her. They are very happy - I run into them around town. She is much happier now, but has run off 2 girlfriends of his, LOL!
  7. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Our big ol' black lab was petrified of the dark. Even worse if he could see outside and see shadows moving. 100 pounds of pure fear. lol

    Started with him from the day we brought him home. He outgrew it, but it was funny to keep night lights on for the dog.
  8. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    My sweet Miss Molly Doodle was afraid of the dark as she got older. Add in a storm (especially thunderstorm) and she would be so afraid that her teeth would chatter. For her fear of storms I gave her xanax. For her fear of the dark, I kept the tv on all night (for both of us- lol).

  9. Star*

    Star* call 911

    OMG -

    Mutt!? (why don't they make interbangs on computer keyboards?!) ugh.

    SERIOUSLY? :tongue::smug: Illuminating.
  10. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I have a cocker spaniel mix and he is super oober intuitive and reactionary. I think a lot of spaniels are like that. Chester is not afraid of anything actually, but rather just sensitive and neurotic. He is the one who sniffed out my mono, and pawed at my face - I went to the Dr the next day. He just knows things. I betcha your dog just knew something was wrong, and reacted. Poor pumpkin.