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I only walk on carpet

January 11th, 2011, 02:42 PM
I have a 1.5 year old female Chihuahua. I have had her since she was 10 weeks old. We have done our very best to treat her like a dog and not a doll. She walks on her own and doesnít expect/prefer to be carried in a purse, she respects personal space and waits to be invited onto laps, she has been to many different puppy/obedience classes, she has been well socialized with other dogs and people of all shapes and sizes (for her first year she stayed with the dogwalker and her pack while we were at work).

As a result of all of this sheís a pretty well rounded and well behaved dog. Despite all of this she still has a very nervous personality and will often shake or be hesitant in new situations or with people she doesnít feel comfortable with.

However, the one thing I canít seem to shake her of (no pun intended) is her disdain for any flooring that isnít carpet. Our apartment is hardwood and there are a few area rugs around. She will walk on the hardwood surfaces to get from one carpet to the next but she will avoid spending any extended period of time on the wood. Also, if we are walking or visiting someone elseís house she will ALWAYA hesitate (as if willing herself to continue) when there is a change in flooring surface. It can be dark to light, carpet to wood, or any combination you can think of. Its almost as if her little brain canít process what is happening under her feat and so therefore sheís not comfortable with it. At home, though her food and water are located on the hardwood (she eats in the kitchen), she will pick up kibble or chunks of wet food from her dish, carry them over to the area rug in the living room and eat them, and then return for more.

Itís the strangest thing and Iím wondering if anyone else has ever experienced this with a dog?

January 11th, 2011, 03:15 PM
It sounds like she is afraid of slipping on smooth surfaces.
First I would make sure that her nails are evenly trimmed and a proper length. Also snip away any excess fur between the pads that may cause her to slip.
Would she trust the smooth surfaces more if she had some anti-slip leather booties?
Good Luck !

January 11th, 2011, 03:20 PM I never actually considered this. Her nails are trimmed regularly but I haven't trimmed her hair between her toes. I will definitely try this out.

I'm not sure about the booties. I've tried them a few times to help her be able to walk outside when its cold, snowy and salty and she just can't seem to figure them out.

Thanks for the tips!

Dog Dancer
January 11th, 2011, 04:10 PM
I have a 10 year old lab who just in the past year has decided that walking on hardwood floors is dangerous. She doesn't care too much for the tile in the bathroom either. The kitchen is okay because that's where the food is so she'll walk there no problem. :D Our entire house is tile or hardwood flooring! The living room has a large area rug so it's okay, and the hallways have runners to cut down on the pitter patter of doggy feets for the tenants downstairs. Halo will step into the bedroom (which has several area carpets and runners now) and will stand on one carpet then bolt to the next, makes her slip and then it justifies her fears that the floor is dangerous. Right now we have runners everywhere. So, that all said, a friend of mine who is a trainer has told me to put her on a leash and walk her around the bedroom for half an hour at a time (without carpets). No talking, just make her walk on it. Eventually she will learn that it's not going to hurt her unless she causes it. Haven't had time to do that yet though, maybe this weekend coming.

January 12th, 2011, 11:50 AM
My sister's first dog was the same. She wasn't good about keeping his nails trimmed or the hairy feet trimmed so that may have contributed but even when he was trimmed up he still avoided non-carpeted floor.

With one big exception. He wouldn't walk on them going forward but he would walk backwards, if he had to. Every time he came to my house he was fine in the living room and fine in the entry but to get from one to the other, a short space, he would turn and go backwards. Fools that we are we never thought to get a video of this. Sis just lived with it, for nearly 17 years, with the odd extra throw rug where needed.