Labrador has strange phobia of unusual floor surfaces?

Does anyone has an explanation?
My labrador is in perfect health; no balance problems; he leaps fences and is not timid in any way.

A few years ago when we laid down slate floor tiles on the entire diner and kitchen area he seems  worried about walking on the kitchen area and avoids it or approaches it very gingerly, bowing low as he does so; it's as if he perceives it as a deep hole .
He will, however, totally forget about this fear if he can get to the cat's food but otherwise it is very hard coaxing him onto the tiles in the kitchen only.

My friend's  exterior  landing and staircase has a mottled pattern; he just couldn't walk on it and refused to come down it; he had to be carried.

So, none of this is a problem at all, but I'm just curious to see if anyone has encountered anything similar?

Thanks.

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Re-design7 years ago
Dogs are strange animals at times. Even though you provide for his safety he still is wary of things that to him seem strange. For some reason he doesn't like the slate floor. Maybe he doesn't like the hard or cold surface. Maybe he doesn't like the way his claws click on the floor. There is something about the floor that tips him off that he'd better stay clear. Same thing for the stairs. I've got a border collie that is a healthy, well mannered dog. Very smart and can learn a new trick in minutes, but he is terrified of thunder. And if you open the refrigerator while he's in the kitchen he will run to the other room until you close it. Then he's happy to come back in. I have no idea why he doesn't like the ref. but somewhere in the back of his mind there is something about it that trips that safety trigger and he acts on it. Your dog will cross the floor to get to the cat food because he values the cat food as that much reward and is willing to "take the chance".
NachoMahma7 years ago
. Most dogs will try to avoid slick surfaces - they can't get traction. Some will get used to it, some won't.
FriendOfHumanity (author)  NachoMahma7 years ago
Thanks for the answer. The whole area is covered with this fake slate tile but it's just about a third of it that he avoids.