Why is my dog suddenly scared of something in the house?

Dogs make wonderful family members. They are playful and energetic with the entire family. So, what should you do if you return home to find your dog scared and hiding in a corner?

If your dog suddenly becomes afraid of something in the house, it can be a very confusing situation for you as a dog owner. 

Unfortunately, you can’t help your dog unless you figure out what’s causing this strange behavior. 

We’ve listed five possible explanations for why this could happen, followed by various solutions to the problem.


Why is My Dog Suddenly Scared of Something in The House? 


Some dogs are friendly when it comes to family and friends. They are frightened, however, when they see unfamiliar faces. The house is like your dog’s territory; they feel safe inside. 

They also become conscious and alert if someone new enters their premises. The best way is to introduce your dog to your friends. 

He will realize that these people will not harm him or your family, making him feel at ease around them. 

However, if someone is unfamiliar to your dog and you do not introduce him, this may cause problems. He is not recognized as a friend by the dog.

This is why it’s important to slowly introduce your dog to other people and continue doing it even after they become used to each other. 

They may attempt to attack the newcomer or, in the worst-case scenario, become terrified of him, triggering the fight or flight response. In some cases, they prefer to run away. 

However, this will have a psychological impact on your dog. To feel safe, the pup will hide in a corner whenever he hears someone enter through the main door.

History of Trauma 

Any trauma that your dog has experienced can scare him even when he is inside the house. 

Dogs are quick learners, and they easily form positive and negative associations with any object based on their prior experience. 

When a dog learns and forms a negative association with something or someone, it can be difficult to unlearn that concept. 

For example, if someone accidentally hits your dog while they are playing, the dog will be terrified of that person. 

If your dog has a history of falling downstairs, he or she will avoid moving around a lot inside the house. 

If the dog is on the ground floor, no matter how hard you try, he will not move an inch up the stairs.

Social Anxiety 

If your dog is afraid at home and not friendly enough, it is because the dog has not been properly socialized. That is why he is aggressive not only to strangers but also to your family.

When someone tries to interact with him, the dog becomes more scared. From the time they are puppies, dogs require socialization. 

This includes socialization with other dogs and humans. Shelter dogs are more prone to social anxiety. 

Some of them are homeless from a young age, while others live in shelters where they are unable to interact appropriately with others. 

Dogs must also be more alert in order to survive in shelters. Their survival skills enable them to be more self-sufficient and less interactive with others. 

When such dogs are adopted, they require time to bond with and trust the family. Try to slowly introduce them to other dogs to help rid your dog of social anxiety.


The fourth possible cause of your being scared inside the house is a fear of darkness. The behavior of your dog will assist you in determining the cause. 

If they are more afraid at night and behave normally during the day, it is most likely due to the darkness. 

Some dogs are fine with the lights turned off at night, but others suddenly develop fear and restlessness. A number of factors could be causing anxiety and fear in your dog in a dark room. 

This behavior can be explained by your dog tripping on a toy at night or injuring himself with the light turned off. 

Now he’s afraid that if he moves around in the room, he won’t be able to see anything and will get hurt again.

Your Dog is Scared of You

If you’ve depleted all other feasibilities and are still stumped, consider our fifth reason. Dogs can be scared of their owners. 

This is possible if your dog was previously owned by someone else. Dogs, like humans, need time to adjust to a new environment. 

It’s also possible that your dog’s attachment to the past is causing this behavior. 

Flashbacks to his previous owner, as well as certain similarities and differences between you two, may cause your dog to flee. 

It is difficult for you to accept that you are the source of your dog’s anxiety. But, for the time being, the best thing you can do is to be patient with your dog. 

If you remain calm, happy, and kind in the presence of your dog, he will begin to connect with you. If you treat your dog harshly, he will form a negative association with you.

What To Do About It 

Socialize him 

Do not abandon your dog in this situation. Pay attention and be supportive along the way. Once you’ve figured out what’s causing your dog’s fear, you can focus on finding a solution. 

If the dog hasn’t been properly socialized, teach him how to interact with family members. Even if your dog makes mistakes during this process, you must remain patient. 

Teach the distinction between good and bad behavior without yelling. Everyone in the family should be affectionate toward the dog. 

If a friend comes over, ask them to bring your dog some treats. Dogs will form a positive association with strangers in this manner. 

This is a time-consuming process, but dogs are extremely friendly and will adapt quickly. Introduce the dog to strangers after he has become comfortable with family and friends. 

Take him for a walk, and he’ll be able to socialize more effectively.

Work on Separation Anxiety

Working on overcoming separation anxiety and implementing proper training is always beneficial. 

For example, if your dog becomes sad or scared when you leave the house for work, you must alter your routine. 

You can effortlessly reach your intention if you remain consistent and dedicated to it. Use these suggestions to help your dog relax when you leave. 

To begin, you must change the door through which you leave for work. Then you’ll have to modify your work schedule. Make no fixed routines, or your dog will notice. 

Third, before you leave, spend 15 minutes playing with your dog. When you pay attention to your dog, he will be both happy and tired. 

You may leave the house once he has had a chance to rest. Avoid any activities that may cause separation anxiety in your dog. 

By sticking to solutions like these, you can help to alleviate your dog’s fear and anxiety while you’re away.

Train Your Dog 

This behavior could be harming your dog’s mental health. As a result, do not postpone treatment. Instead, teach your dog to be patient. 

There are numerous video and guide books available on this subject. You can also book a licensed trainer or seek guidance from your vet. 

As previously stated, there are numerous triggers that can cause your dog to be afraid inside the house. Unfortunately, there is no simple guide for every solution. 

To begin, try to develop a strong bond with your dog. Make him as relaxed as you possibly can. If the dog begins to trust you, he will readily obey your commands. 

If they are afraid at night, make sure their bed is in a secure location. You can move it or keep it near your bed. Never leave your dog alone in a large open area. 

There are plenty of great ways to get started training your dog.


It is normal for your dog to be afraid of a stranger or another animal while out for a walk. However, if your dog is scared even when he is inside the house, this is not a good sign. 

Of course, in this world, your home is considered a safe haven for the dog, and your dog should not feel uncomfortable in his own home. 

During this time, however, your dog requires your love and support. So, work with him to figure out what is causing this behavior and how to resolve it.

Written by Brian Rucker

Brian Rucker has been a dog lover since childhood. He has had his Lab Mix with Hound for over 10+ years now! They enjoy playing outdoors together. Brian loves sharing his knowledge about all things dog on this website. Read more of Brian's articles.