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Thread: Benny won't walk on tiled floor

  1. #1

    Default Benny won't walk on tiled floor

    Some of you may know of my new guys, Benny and Peg. I have had them for probably a month now. Benny is a 9yo kelpie/collie cross. I wonder about his eyesight, but he gets around our bush block, mostly at full pelt, quite OK.

    As of a few days ago, Benny has suddenly decided, more and more, that the tiled floor on our kitchen and lounge is an object of fear to walk across. He can be persuaded by food and sometimes by calling him, but walks as if the floor will collapse under him, or something. He stares very carefully at it and each footfall is done almost as if there is no floor there.

    The kitchen fear started a day or two after the lounge one.

    He can walk across the hallway, same tiles, and in the small dining nook, same tiles. It seems to be better if the room is darker.

    He is very pleased when he manages to get across the floor and I tell him what a good brave boy he is. I am not feigning that: his fear, on whatever basis, is evidently real.

    Then suddenly he will walk across no worries, others times are a real effort, and yet others he will only walk around the edges.

    The tiles are square 300 mm, probably "salmon"..."apricot" coloured, with a closely matching grout. The only change that correlates with the timing is a new pine table in the lounge, and I think even more when I waxed and oiled the table. So I wondered if he was scared of the table or the smell. That would be far more understandable to me. But that does not explain the kitchen. As far as I know he has never slid or fallen on the tiles. Peg has (she is a mad dog!) and has no trouble at all.

    I am able to manage it at present, as I say by cajoling and praise, but I would hate it if it got worse, and I am puzzled and a bit worried about the cause.

    Anyone else seen anything like this?
    Nick Peg n Benny (or is it Peg n Benny n Nick?)

    (nTess, forever in my heart)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    I think he may have tried to do a zoomie on the tiled floor and slipped and hurt himself. Or at least surprised himself.

    Have you tried putting out a lot of mats. I've got slippery floors and I put a lot of bath mats and hall runners and things down for the dog to get some traction on. And also to be less cold when I walk in bare feet.

    Or you can buy him some toddler sox size 00 with the rubber grippy things on the bottom... they probably won't last long but he would have better traction until he rips them off.

  3. #3


    Yeah I mentioned that slipping bit. I have not seen it. I have seen him take a couple of pearlers outside and that has not fazed him at all. Also he will happily walk on the same tiles in other places.

    Peg has had a few really bad slide and crash moments on the tiles and she does not give a toss. She is however completely insane. Benny is a lot more gentle and subtly delicate. Weird.

    I have laid down a couple of mats. Then it gets weird. He walks along the mat, glancing warily at the floor on either side: as you might walk a narrow plank over a big drop.

    I will try the sticky booties, to see if it settles him, or at least to see if it's footing or visual/mental.

    I have realised one thing. For a long time he has tended to put ...wait! the "tail between the legs" in the kitchen and I assumed it was just nerves. But of course he was standing in the middle of a large expanse of tile of exactly the sort that is troubling him. So this may be older than I thought and be deeper rooted.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Redland Bay, Queensland


    My Kuro has a similar problem with Tiles. He walks very gingerly across tiles for fear of slipping. Sometimes he will just freeze on the spot. Also with being a Japanese Spitz, he grows long fur between his pads which needs to be trimmed weekly otherwise the fur hinders his traction. We have bought a rubberised hall runner from Crazy Clarks which they cut to the length you require. Kuro has no problem using the hall runner. The tile area we have is the Laundry which is also where the Dog Door is to access outside. No problem with the rest of the house as the floors are lino.  14

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Rural Western Australia


    My mothers cattle dog did this when she came to stay with me for awhile. The whole place was tiled but it was the bathroom and kitchen tiles that she didnt like. From the minute she saw them she would walk with her legs splayed out and her eyes rolling, it was most peculiar. One day I shut myself and her in the bathroom and I sat on the floor with her with a big bowl of treats, she is a dog that loved food and she soon calmed down and started eating. I did this several times and then progressed to feed her dinner on the tiles. She got over her fear as I think she associated the area with getting treats and getting fed. Didnt have anymore trouble with her.

  6. #6


    Wow guys thanks.

    I am really glad others have seen this.

    OK. Yeah I see treats helping. I just need to do it many times to habituate. Also the hair between the toes is interesting, because Benny has a lot. It was just so sudden.

    Funny thing for me is that this has developed, quite fast, in the last few days.

    I really am taking onboard all ideas and I will try all suggestions. I am at a loss here.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    I have a thick mat that is a bit like cross between a bath mat and a dog bed - that is my dog's place in the kitchen. She is supposed to stay on it when I'm in the kitchen tho sometimes she thinks the back of my knee is where her nose should be.

    When she was a puppy - I'd be washing dishes and standing on a big bath mat and she'd curl up and sleep with her back against my ankles - no stepping back allowed... Didn't matter how many times I sent her to the other mat - she preferred stuck to me mat.

    I dunno if you've ever stepped on some black (hidden) ice or a wet floor eg wet polished terrazzo? The sudden loss of traction is super scary like being tripped up. Hopefully benny will get better balance and confidence with it.

  8. #8


    Yeh I often put down a mat for dog(s). But with these two it takes up a lot of kitchen space so I put them to one side in a passage to the dining/living area.

    I am more and more thinking it's not the floor, but an uncertainty about where he is allowed, indoors, and when. So yeah I hope he learns the rhythm of it all, and that he is allowed anywhere unless told otherwise from time to time, and eases up.

    Watching him outside, as far as I can see there is no physical cause for this. He is very fast on his feet, jumping and running about through the bush with barely a foot wrong.

    Love the story about the mats and which was whose . Been there in house and car. My wife is an inveterate backwards-stepper (never learns) and just has to keep the dogs out from under when she is in the kitchen

    I used to ice-skate and I can still remember learning. One of the most unsteady sensations I have ever had. Walking on marbles would probably be worse, but not much!

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