Any insight into dog's fear?
One of our dogs, a 2 year old female chocolate lab, seems to have developed a bit of an odd fear. She seems to be afraid of a certain doorway...
The doorway in question leads into a small, semi-dark hallway connecting my husband's office (where she sleeps and spends her evenings relaxing with my husband) and the kitchen/family room area, where she also spends a fair amount of time. This hallway is about 12 feet long, with a bathroom on the left and pantry and closet on the right. She is allowed into all of these rooms, and to my knowledge, has never been traumatized about going into this room or that one or been injured by a closing door. All of the floor is tiled, with the office having a different color tile and a slightly different elevation (about 1 1/2" higher) than the hallway and kitchen. (Could this elevation difference be a problem for her? She does have a bit of a knee issue, but gets around pretty well, and seems to have no trouble climbing our other stairs.)
The behavior we've seen is mostly from the office into the hallway. She'll hesitate in the office doorway and needs to be coaxed through into the hallway. Turning on the hallway light doesn't seem to matter, so I don't think it's a fear of the dark. My husband thinks closing the bathroom door may help, though she sometimes wanders into the bathroom to be petted while Hubby uses the facilities.
If she's playing with our other dog (5 y.o. male Aussie), she'll pass through more easily, sometimes not hesitating at all.
Can anyone think of any reason why she may do this? And more importantly, what we can do to help her overcome her fear?