My husband and I have 2 huskies, Molly and Sammy. Both will be turning 6 during the first half of this year. We've had Molly since she was 8 weeks. She's the sweetest, greatest dog, but there have been some changes in her that have me worried.
Typically, when the dogs are outside, Molly likes to stay out longer than Sammy. Sammy likes to come in after like 10-20 minutes, then go back outside after another 20 minutes. But, when I want them to come in, they usually do well with responding. If I need some coaxing, I'll say, "do you want a treat?" and their ears will perk up, and they'll come running in. I'll give them a little piece of treat. That was working great up until the weather started to get cold, so maybe like 2 months now. Once the weather turned colder, Molly, especially started to want to stay outside longer, and using "treat" became effective maybe 20% of the time.
Now, over like the past 2 weeks, she REALLY doesn't want to come in, and when we gotta leave the house, like for work, we need her to come inside. So, now it's like I don't really want to let her outside if I am going to need to leave the house within like the next 30 minutes or so.
If you go outside to get her, she'll run away from you all over the yard. It's not a big yard. Fenced in, probably about 60x30. Now, she acted this way periodically last year, so if this was all that was going on, I wouldn't actually be worried - I'd be working on training, but it's this other stuff that started like 2-3 days ago that's freaking me out.
Okay, so the other evening, my husband and I went outside together to get her inside. We weren't mean or yelling or anything, but we were stern, like "Molly, come." We kind of had to corner her until she kind of gave up on bolting past us, and we took her in, but she resisted a bit, which is weird. It was raining and muddy, so we had a little towel to dry off her feet, and she was cowering against the door, shaking and making low whining sounds (the low whining is something she's done ever since we held her when we were visiting her before we could take her home--she does it when she's gotta do something she doesn't want to do, like if you're holding her and she wants to go). When we let her go, she ran upstairs. A little while later, she seemed to be a little better, but she would still kind of not come to us, and still appeared in a somewhat fearful stature, not the perky, high-energy dog she usually is.
This evening is the 3rd time I think....she was outside most of the day. It's raining and very wet, and yet she would lay outside with her nose under the fence gate, like they usually do, or she'd lay on the tiny back porch. It was about 10pm, and I wanted her to come in so I could head upstairs. I went outside and she ran from me, over to the fence and was flat up against it, then she squatted like she was peeing, and then she didn't run from me as I walked over to her, but she was cowering a little. I put the leash on her and she was resisting a little, like she did not want to come in the house at all.
I can't think of anything me or my husband might have done inadvertently to cause her fear or anxiety, nor can I think of anything inside or outside that may have caused this change, like any loud noises or whatever...Sammy has no problems in or out, so whatever it is, he is not sensing it or privy to it, which also makes me think it's not anything outside like an animal, etc.
So, I brought her inside and was trying to get my shoes off and then get a towel to dry her off, and she kept kind of trying to slink away, but she was still leashed. Tail between her legs, shaking, whining. I toweled her off, unleashed her, and said, "okay, go ahead." and she left and I heard her run upstairs. She came back down because the doors were closed and went to her spot between the end of the couch and the wall. I had a little treat, and she came to me for that, but other wise, when I come into the room, she sort of turns her head and tries to avoid me (not always, just briefly after this coming in the house episode stuff).
We're going to try increasing exercise, with walks, dog park, etc. Try reinforcing some training, and so on. Then look into taking her to the vet.
I've already googled this and have read some posts to this exact thing - sudden change, won't come inside, shaking and seeming fearful...- and the responses seem to be things like, fearful of something inside or outside...in pain, cold, a result to some change, etc, but no one has given any responses with the answer for their dogs behavior.
I can't think of anything that has changed or happened. These weren't huskies, so I thought I'd inquire on here if anyone had this issue and figured out the reason, or has any other advice I might not have come across.