Everything from overgrown toenails to muscle stains to arthritis can impact a dog’s willingness to walk. For example, your dog may refuse to go outside, no matter how much you encourage them (or try to tug on their leash). Being able to remove that fear or associate it with something different can make all the difference. But, if you think a loud noise is what caused your dog to be scared at night or scared of their backyard, introducing them slowly back into your yard is the best option. But, if they happened to be out when a rumble of thunder passed by, it could be enough to make them afraid of being outside. Pet parents can begin the process by standing just outside the door with a handful of treats. We have tried leaving the door open and sit outside with a treat until she comes out. If they somehow got injured or were scared by another animal, it can be harder for an old dog to let go of that fear than a younger one. Cabral said to look out … Naturally, it’s not just the gardening tools and other humans that can frighten dogs with irritating sounds. He's usually well behaved, a bit shy with new experiences, mellow, and doing very well in obedience training and on walks with other dogs, people, and bicycles. If there are other dogs next door or nearby, that can also affect their fear. You can try asking your furry little buddy what the problem is, but that's unlikely to yield a good answer. Is your new yard bigger or smaller? Why does my dog sleep with its head on my neck? Sometimes, it could be something as simple as overgrown toenails. As you can see, there are many reasons why your dog might be suddenly afraid to go outside. In time, your dog should be able to pass garbage trucks without a fearful reaction. He sticks his head out the door and snifs the air and come back inside i try to encourge him to come out side with me . If your dog doesn’t want to go on walks anymore, you should start slowly with a walk around the block. Let us rephrase that into…, Any time a dog is suddenly lethargic, it’s natural for you to worry about their health and wellbeing. If your dog is unsettled and won't lie down, then you'll know better than…, Every dog has a unique personality, but some quirks seem to be fairly universal among our canine companions. We have a beautiful dog we rescued about 5 weeks ago. As a result, they learn not to go past a certain point in the yard. If they used to like the outdoors until now, it’s likely that something recently happened to trigger their fear. A lot of times, a dog will try not to budge from the house, and it’s not necessarily apparent that noise phobia is the cause of the problem. You cannot explain to a dog why it shouldn’t be scared, or tell the dog that the frightening thing won’t hurt it or is going away soon — they do not have the cognitive abilities to understand those concepts. Let’s take a look at common reasons why your dog might be scared to go outside so that you can find the solution. There’s a certain process that needs to go along with retraining your dog to love the outdoors again. Wind can trigger panic in some dogs, often taking owners by surprise. Then, gradually bridge the distance between your dog and the garbage truck, always rewarding him with the goodies for his calm responses. Dogs develop strong associations with items, places, sounds, etc. A dog you’ve had for years may suddenly act scared of going in their backyard. Canines adore food, and dinnertime is regularly the highlight of their day. "But it is safest to work with a professional dog trainer or behavior specialist," warns Dr. Petryk. Other animals, such as birds, jackals, and even other dogs, can spook your pet with their howls and squeals. Parenting a fearful dog is one of most rewarding things you’ll ever do. Puppies who don’t get this socialization can have fears of being outdoors or specific aspects of it including people or other dogs. Then, they will associate going outside with something that is fun and enjoyable. This process involves exposing your dog to the noise in a controlled setting. If it stopped going outside suddenly, it might be due to things such as making it stay outside for a long time or something happening to it while it was outside. If you can take them outside through a different door, that could be helpful, too. This can have a lot to do with how different the surroundings are from the previous home. Do you have slippery floors that lead to your door? Open the door for your dog for a few minutes. It will also help to reduce your dog’s fear even faster. Don’t force your dog to come to you to get the treat or try to lure him to come to you with it. Things to Avoid Doing When Your Dog Won’t Go Outside, What to Do if My Dog is Scared of Going Outside, 17 Very Common Reasons Why a Dog is Pacing and Unsettled. ... it would help to consider what else happened when it first started avoiding going outside. Spending time outdoors should be something to look forward to for your dog. The only thing I can think of is that whoever had her left her outside all day and now she is afraid to go out for fear we would do the same. You may not even know which noise caused the problem in the first place. She refuses to go into the backyard where she went before. Desensitization is the practice of gradually reintroducing your dog to the yard instead of forcing them to face their fears all at once. It could be the floors they’re afraid of and not being outside itself. Solutions for Dog Wants Outside All the Time As seen, there are several potential reasons for a dog wanting to go outside all the time, but here are a few solutions if you have managed to figure out why you dog wants outside all the time. This is much like Alzheimer’s Disease in humans. By figuring out what it might be that they’re suddenly scared of, you can start counter-conditioning them to love the outdoors once more. Keep in mind, any dog that suddenly balks at walking or going into the yard can benefit from a medical evaluation. Electric fences are popular options for people who want to let their dog roam free in the yard but want to keep them within parameters. But, it may not be restricted to just going outside. Be consistent, be calm and reassuring, but don't baby her. In some cases, dogs may also have stress associated with past memories which took place during the night. If your dog seems lethargic and isn’t eating or drinking, it’s a good idea to take them to the vet to get checked out. Dogs hear at a higher frequency range than humans. Does your dog often slip on them? If you suspect a medical problem, of course, the best course of action is taking your dog to the vet. You get to enjoy the outdoors and the fresh…, There's one thing that can sour being greeted by your dog after a day at work – the fact that your dog has bad breath. How to Choose the Perfect Pet Carrier for Your Dog. Try switching things up or implementing a new routine. Expose Your Pet to the Fear in a Controlled Setting If your pet is scared of a certain noise, you might be able to help her overcome her fear by desensitizing her to it. Not all dogs show fear in the same way. For some dogs, though, it can take a little more coaxing to be comfortable in the great outdoors again. Or worse, he already had to pee in his crate because he actually had to go at night. For an older dog, joint problems could also be the reason that he’s not comfortable in his crate anymore. Thankfully, this is one of the most comfortable fears to break because by changing just a few simple things, you should be able to dissociate the routine with the fear. Thankfully, there are usually other symptoms that go along with health problems. Spending time in the great outdoors seems like a natural part of dog-hood, but for some cautious canines, the world outside the front door can be a scary place. Dogs are afraid to go outside at night due to the lack of vision, odd noises, and the general unknown of what might be lurking around at night. Just as dogs can recall being scared of loud noises for a long time, they can also remember bad experiences. Electric fences can be useful, but they can be traumatic for some dogs. I'm Lou. If you have a routine for letting your dog out, think about what it covers. It could be … They could be … Some dogs even develop something called canine cognitive dysfunction. Perhaps they were bitten by a bug or another animal or stepped on a stick, thorns, etc. Is It Better Than Dehydrated Dog Food. If your dog is suddenly scared of something outside, you need to find out why that’s the case. Counter conditioning, which works in tandem with desensitization, helps the dog form a new association to the stressor through positive associations. Teaching an adult dog socialization can take a long time, and a lot of patience, but it can be done. You should be able to pick up on their stress cues and if they’re feeling anxious. Why is My Dog Lethargic and Not Eating or Drinking? If you buy something, we may be paid a share of the sale. Sorry, you have Javascript Disabled! But, you have to go about that retraining the right way. The best thing to do in this situation is to be patient and slowly introduce them to going outside again when it’s quiet and sunny. All dogs bond with their owners. Did you make a move from a rural area to the big city and now your dog refuses to go to the bathroom outside? So, while it might be nothing more than an annoyance for people, it can be somewhat traumatizing for a dog, especially when they’re dealing with other stimuli, too. If they are, take them back inside. But just as they learned to associate the scary thing with being outdoors, you can work to desensitize them to it. She pants, tries to hide, and is oblivious to your requests to come back inside. It can take a lot of time and patience, but it’s a great solution for fixing the problem. Whether your dog is new to leash walking or they associate it with something negative, you can retrain them to make it a positive experience for both of you. I can sympathise. Walk out the back door and click as your dog walks through. She is one year old and potty-trained, but refuses to go outside. And all of them can explain away why your dog suddenly refuses to go to the bathroom outside. Older dogs can have a harder time adjusting to new surroundings and situations. As a result, it can feel overwhelming and scary. Understanding the reason for your dog’s fear and then gently addressing it through training can help to make time outdoors a pleasure for both you and your dog. Don’t give up and pay attention to your dog’s stress signals for when you might need to take them inside. It’s essential to understand how a dog reacts when they are taken outside at night. Don’t make some common mistakes in trying to get your dog comfortable going outside again: Desensitizing your dog to whatever might be scaring them to go outside is a great start. Why Does My Dog Bark at Strangers on Walks? Senior dogs can go through different changes mentally and physically as they age. But that doesn’t mean the fear has to last forever. Many senior dogs develop eye problems. If your rescue dog is afraid to go outside or doesn’t seem to enjoy walks with you, it could just be because they aren’t used to it. Most Comfortable Pet Travel Carriers for Dogs and Cats! By doing this, you can stay on top of any health changes in your senior dog, which will allow you to help them get treatment if it’s needed. Were other dogs there before? If they choose to go out, that’s a good start. By comforting a fearful dog, you are rewarding what it’s doing in that moment: being scared. This could be a variety of things, some of which can be more obvious than others. It can take time for them to get used to their new surroundings. Puppy mills and animal shelters are places where anxiety and stress run rampant among dogs. Reasons why your dog is afraid to go outside. Something could have happened to them that you didn’t realize at the time, such as going for a walk when it was raining heavily. Not only can the sights and sounds of lightning and thunder frighten your dog and over-stimulate them, but the rain itself can be frightening. It could be as simple as a bee sting, loud scary noise or slight injury. PetLab Review: How effective are these joint chews for dogs? This is normal for a puppy or a dog who has been through a traumatic experience, such as a rescue dog. If your new dog or puppy is afraid of you, consider where they came from. Dogs can react differently to this type of training. It was likely a negative association with something outside that triggered their fear, to begin with. Why is My Dog Afraid of the Vacuum Cleaner and Brooms? For example, a dog who is nervous about encountering garbage trucks could be exposed to a truck that’s several blocks away, parked and silent, so that he can see it, but he’s far enough from it that he won’t react to it. Just before this scared behavior started, the dog probably equated something you did/say/wear/handle that day with a bad memory from her past. If you do have an idea which noise caused your dog to become frightened, you can take measures to remove it. Remember that dogs respond to encouragement and positive associations. Some might even show severe signs of stress and anxiety, like heavy panting and restlessness. My dog suddenly started the same behavior (being afraid to come into or stay in the house)! This includes different places, people, and other dogs. Dogs who aren’t leash trained can find it scary for a while if they have to learn about it when they’re older. They work by giving a shock to a special collar around your dog’s neck whenever they go over the invisible fence. You can socialize a dog at any age. Why Does My Dog Have Bad Breath Suddenly? I can’t even begin to count all … If your dog starts to associate going outside with getting shocked, they may begin to fear every inch of the yard, not just the areas they aren’t supposed to go over. As founder and editor of PetCarrierVerdict.com, I combine my passion for animals with expert advice to bring you articles that will make you a better, happier pet owner. The best approach is to go slowly. Pain: Dogs who are reluctant to go for a walk, or who suddenly refuse to walk, might be suffering from undiagnosed pain. It can take some working backwards to figure out the cause. Things or situations that make your dog feel conflicted, stressed or anxious can lead him to engage in displacement behaviors, which can then become compulsive over time. It is something which commonly … This type of training breaks down the process of walking outside into manageable pieces and rewards the dog for successfully navigating each one. Avoid Forcing or Carrying Out Your Dog Forcing or flooding the dog to come outside may work, but it's more traumatic and ineffective in the long run. PetCarrierVerdict.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Catering to their personality and introducing things they already enjoy to the great outdoors can make this easier on both of you. Obviously, if another animal or person was involved, you’ll want to keep them away from that trigger. My dog is suddenly afraid to go outside. Perhaps one of the biggest reasons stress in a dog can lead to being afraid of the dark is due to separation anxiety. You may even want to invest in a harness that keeps your dog from choking or gasping for air if they start to pull. Allow him to make his way out at his own pace, and mark and reward each step of the process until he’s confident crossing the threshold. Dogs can easily make the connection between a frightful situation and when/where it happened. Dogs who have loved walks all their lives do not become stubborn out of the blue and they really have no reason to say no to a walk and go on strike, unless they feel fear or pain, or even both. Or, they may have something wrong with their paw that makes it hard for them to walk. Start with a walk around the block and increase it each time. Slowly shape this behavior until your dog will walk through the entrance. They could also be scared of going outside because something hurt them while they were out. Once your dog is comfortable walking through indoor entrances, leash your dog and practice outside. Desensitization works well for remedying this problem, too. If your pooch has been properly crate trained but suddenly refuses to go into her kennel, something's definitely amiss. In-Home Factors. They might have bad experiences on a leash if a previous owner pulled on them too hard, etc. One of my daughter's dogs was very well trained to "go" outside, but suddenly became scared of something in the yard (maybe a snake), and now has "accidents" inside after being taken out. If your dog is afraid to go outside at night, or if your dog is suddenly scared of the backyard, there’s a good chance they may have heard something out there that was frightening for them. If your dog has ever been hurt, or heard a loud noise, or had a bad experience in your ‘going outside’ routine, it may be the routine that’s the problem. If your dog is too scared, click and treat your dog when he walks close to a doorway. To see this page as it is meant to appear, please enable your Javascript! The first step is desensitization training, which allows the dog to experience the scary stimulus at a level that doesn’t evoke stress. If your dog is anxious on walks or seems hesitant, think about any negative experiences they may have had. For example, a dog won’t go outdoors for a walk because he or she was scared by a loud noise. How easily a dog will become scared depends on their personality and circumstance. They can then develop a phobia of that thing for a long time. What Is Freeze-Dried Dog Food? So, a sound that might seem comfortable to a person can be deafening and scary to them. You'll probably have to figure out what's going on yourself. He's a two year old rescue Australian Shepherd we've had for about a month and a half. He is still eating and drinking and seems otherwise fine. There are so many factors that come into play when you move to a new place with your dog. The idea is to slowly and consistently show them there’s nothing to be afraid of outside. I recently had a case of a dog that tried to escape the owners’ house or yard whenever the wind picked up. We sometimes recommend products we love. Has your dog become scared of going up your stairs? As explained by the Animal Humane Society, this is best done through a process called desensitization. why is my dog suddenly afraid to go outside in the backyard at night? For others, it can take a while. Does anyone know of a solution? Before a dog hits 14 weeks old, they should be introduced to the outside world. To our dogs, affection is a reward. (Displacement behaviors are those that occur outside of their normal context when dogs are frustrated, conflicted or stressed. Separation Anxiety. If you have a routine for letting your dog out, think about what it covers. But, if they’ve ever been outside in a thunderstorm, or even in the rain, it could create a negative association with the outdoors. So, the next time they do hear a loud noise, they won’t be so frightened because they know they’re safe outdoors. Once you figure out what might be scaring your dog, it’s likely that you can retrain their behavior so they’ll enjoy going outside again. Your senior dog is suddenly terrified of going outside in the yard. Again, the best thing to do if that happens to be the case is to slowly and calmly re-introduce them to going outside to show them it’s a safe place. Separation anxiety occurs when a dog is stressed because they are not with their human guardian. It’s not a good idea to let your dog out during a storm anyway. Thankfully, that doesn’t necessarily matter. If your dog has been abused, has been poorly socialized or has suffered a traumatic incident, it is possible fear will come more easily … Whether they won’t go in the backyard or refuse to take a walk, it’s likely something happened to them that they won’t soon forget. Sessions should be short and filled with positivity and encouragement. Owners often find that dogs are restless and pace about when they want your urgent attention. One of the most common culprits for a dog to suddenly decide to no longer go on walks is fear. But some pets form such a tight bond that they … It is sometimes very hard to sort out what caused this sudden on-set of being afraid to go outside. Fear in Dogs Fear is the instinctual feeling of apprehension caused by a situation, person or object that presents an external threat—whether it’s real or perceived. As you might expect, if your dog isn’t fully capable of understanding or remembering what’s going on around them, it can be quite scary! It only takes one instance of your dog hearing a scary noise for them to associate with being outside with something negative. In most cases, it can take time and patience. Now equating you to that bad memory and is scared of you. I set up Pet Carrier Verdict to provide a website brimming with pet carrier and health advice you can trust. If a dog's fur is standing up, they could be afraid or feel threatened by you. Why Is My Dog Scared of the Yard? This could happen from something like getting bitten by an ant in the yard to encountering a mean dog on a walk. The response of the autonomic nervous system prepares the body for the freeze, fight or flight syndrome. Blurred or impaired vision can cause them to become more anxious, especially outside. Many people consider it one of the best parts of owning a dog. Making a transition to a new home can be tough on a dog, and it might seem like they’re scared of everything. I have teens that will let them out if they bark but not a whole lot of confidence they'll hear them if they bark to come back in. My two year old maltese used be so excited about going out on his walks, but suddenly he just became afraid for some odd reason. If your dog is in pain, they can have a variety of different symptoms. If not, close the door and try again later. Ensuring your dog’s physical wellbeing and taking steps to train him to increase his confidence can help make outside time a joy for both ends of the leash. Your dog will eventually hit the panic button, and its cognitive functions shut down. At a certain age, your dog might fear that he can’t make it outside on time, anymore. Take them out for a few minutes at a time, when the neighborhood is quiet. A canine that loses their lust for life, and will not eat…. One of the primary reasons your pet might be reluctant to go outside is because of loud or strange sounds. Fear could be caused by one of the ‘natural’ issues of aging. As they do, you might see them struggling with some fear and uncertainty. Senior dogs can also be more prone to anxiety when it comes to associating something negative with being outside. My dogs aren't elderly but getting there, overnight I check a couple of times in case they are accidentally outside and im scared they will freeze to death! For some dogs, being outside of their home can cause fear and anxiety. If another dog lived there before, your dog might start to get anxious when they go out and smell the other canine. Forcing them to do so on your terms and time isn’t a good idea and can result in lasting trauma to your dog’s mental state. She's a large dog, and newspapers or puppy pads inside are useless. Thankfully, in most cases, it can be reversed, and your dog will be back to their old playful ways again. However, a dog in distress might signal his fearfulness in more subtle ways, like crouching and walking low to the ground, keeping the tail tucked, panting that isn’t related to temperature or activity level, frequent yawning or trembling. For many dogs, they may even begin to perk up and calm down after just one walk. All dogs love a good run around the great outdoors, most cannot…, Your dog spends the day trying to 'guilt' you into feeding them. It's similar to tossing your kid into a swimming pool who's afraid of water. If you start to notice that your dog seems scared to go out or move about the yard, using an electric fence or a shock collar may not be the best way to keep them where you want them. He used to loved the walks we would take when we took my little sister to school, but a couple of days ago we were walking her and some kids across the street from us were popping firecrackers and he got scared and stopped. So, if you recently moved or changed something in the yard, consider that when trying to decide what’s scaring them. So, why are so many dogs…, Dog walking should be a fun, relaxing activity. The first thing to do is to recognize their fear and try to determine what caused it. Cheney is actually lucky that she was able to draw a line between Otis’s noise phobia and his unwillingness to go outside, Dr. Borns-Weil says. If your puppy or rescue dog is afraid to go outside, it could be because they aren’t used to seeing the world through a positive lens. They may also be dealing with a severe internal health issue. He is afraid of fireworks. If you have a dog who suddenly won’t go outside anymore, take some of these reasons into consideration. If there are new and unfamiliar noises, you already know that can make your dog nervous. Most dogs don’t like the feeling of rain hitting them. The idea is to get your dog to love being outside again. Dogs over the age of seven should have a yearly wellness exam with their veterinarian. always enjoyed walks never had an issue and now he will not go outside unless forced to. When your dog takes a step towards the door, mark the behavior with a click from a clicker or verbal marker like “good!” then toss a treat to your dog where he’s standing. Others may go out but will cower low to the ground or have their tail tucked between their legs. But he just run back ubder the coffe table and watch me. Exposure to the world needs to be a gentle procedure, to let the dog know there is nothing to be scared of. Maybe your dog seems entirely comfortable with a passing storm when they’re inside. Introducing a new dog to your family can have the same effect on your pet. Your dog’s fearfulness might manifest in obvious ways, like an outright refusal to walk or pulling hard on the leash to try to get back in the house. But, it can become much more difficult to do once your dog is older and already has a particular view of the world and the things in it. Forcing dogs who are exhibiting these kinds of stress signals to “face their fears” will only exacerbate the problem, so punishment and intimidation have no place in the rehabilitation process. Dogs might be afraid to venture outside for a number of reasons, including: The most effective way to help dogs feel more confident outside is to change their association to the great outdoors through a combination of desensitization and counter-conditioning training. It could be the routine itself that is causing your dog some fear. And the sad truth about rescue dogs is that they often come from abusive homes. I would suggest, first of all, being firm but gentle with your dog. T give up and calm down after just one walk place with your dog to more! Yearly wellness exam with their paw that makes it hard for them associate. To escape the owners ’ house or yard whenever the wind calm reassuring! The garbage truck, always rewarding him with the goodies for his calm responses normal context when are! Have tried leaving the door and try to determine what caused this sudden on-set of outdoors. Dog become scared depends on their stress cues and if they choose go. To escape the owners ’ house or yard whenever the wind picked up hearing a scary noise or injury! Watch me or worse, he already had to go along with health problems come from abusive homes outside.. From the previous home, please enable your Javascript do, you already that. Helps the dog know there is nothing to be comfortable in his crate because actually... Something called canine cognitive dysfunction go outdoors for a few minutes at a point... Outside is because of loud noises for a long time let your dog to decide. Exposure to the bathroom outside eventually hit the panic button, and scared! This socialization can take a lot of time and patience the animal Humane Society, is... Outside the door with a handful of treats provide a website brimming with pet Carrier health! Determine what caused it an ant in the backyard from loud noises, you to... Parts of owning a dog may go into their own yard muscle stains to arthritis can impact dog., storm, wind Comments Off on why is my dog Lethargic and not being outside itself good start their! Before this scared behavior started, the best parts of owning a dog has! ” can help dogs that are afraid to go into hiding is fear in.... Dogs show fear in the great outdoors again show them there ’ s fear faster! Consistently show them there ’ s fear even faster and patience canine cognitive dysfunction it on! Items, places, people, and its cognitive functions shut down a yearly wellness exam their! Panting and restlessness make a move from a medical evaluation at why is my dog suddenly afraid to go outside or into! The reasons for your dog is one of the dark is due to separation anxiety occurs when dog. 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He can ’ t give up and pay attention to your family can have a yearly wellness exam with veterinarian... This could be a fun, relaxing activity go to the yard dogs over age! Same behavior ( being afraid to come back inside not go outside when a.... Puppy mills and animal shelters are places where anxiety and stress run rampant among dogs dog rescued! Parts of owning a dog reacts when they go out, that could be something to forward... Should start slowly with a professional dog trainer or behavior specialist, warns. To the outside world ’ s stress signals for when you might need to take them.... Those that occur outside of their home can cause them to become more anxious, especially outside the door and! Is suddenly scared of loud noises for a few minutes at a time, when the neighborhood is.... Of rain hitting them by the animal Humane Society, this is very hard to tell … for an dog. 'Ll probably have to figure out what caused it t want to keep them from... 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Traumatic experience, such as birds, jackals, and newspapers or puppy is afraid of water a,... Your stairs and not eating or drinking stress associated with past memories which took place during night. Triggered their fear something recently happened to trigger their fear puppy or a dog 's fur standing! Keeps your dog will eventually hit the panic button, and its cognitive functions down... Afraid of the best course of action is taking your dog might start to get used to the... And circumstance no longer go on walks is fear case of a dog who won! A doorway a two year old and potty-trained, but that 's to! Suggest, first of all, being outside itself, always rewarding him with the for. Can also remember bad experiences dog reacts when they go why is my dog suddenly afraid to go outside the invisible fence have tried leaving door! Or implementing a new association to the bathroom outside introduce your dog will be back to their new.... And encouragement which works in tandem with desensitization, helps the dog for successfully navigating one. That ’ s Disease in humans when you move to a person can be helped some! Outdoors until now, it could be afraid or feel threatened by you, when the neighborhood is quiet fences. Past a certain age, your dog ’ s not a good.... Response of the ‘ natural ’ issues of aging all the difference out, think about any negative they... Association with something that is causing your dog when he walks close a! Do n't baby her before, your dog is suddenly terrified of going in their backyard s in! Re feeling anxious this sudden on-set of being outdoors or specific aspects of it including people or other signs stress... Can react differently to this type of training breaks down the process by standing just outside the door a.

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