Our two year old Husky has some sort of odd and inconsistent anxiety about crossing thresholds. Please help.
(turning two this month) was quite skittish when we first got her at four months old. She was being re-homed because the previous owner who bought her from a breeder turned out to be allergic (or so he said, I suspect that he couldn't handle the challenge that is Puppy). We're pretty sure she experienced... something before we got her because she absolutely screamed when picked up. With a lot of gentle practice she's now fine with being lifted and shows no signs of her previous fear.
Fast forward to now and she's an extremely sweet, ultra-high-energy, very curious little dog. Standard husky puppy crazy but not neurotic or high-anxiety at all. Much loved, and we've worked through all the standard puppy behavior problems and really have no issues except this one thing.
So: the door to our porch/backyard is sliding glass and located in our living room. Our dogs are basically allowed to come and go as they please, and they're pretty good about only coming in and out when they have a reason (food, water, temperature regulation).
The problem is that sometimes (but not all the time, which is why this is confusing), Maia asks to come inside and then... won't come in. Just stands there. Occasionally whimpers a bit. When I close the door she's pawing at it again before it's fully shut. Open it again, still won't come in. This happens about 70% of the time she asks to come inside. The other 30% she just enters the house normally. Strangely, if Belle
(her "sister" and idol) comes in, Maia trots right in too.
There are only two ways to get her to come in when she does this. One is to stand at the door and throw a treat into the living room to draw her in. This is totally inadvisable behaviorally as well as unsustainable, and only occasionally effective at that, so after a couple of tries we abandoned this experiment. Second method (that currently works 90% of the time) is to open the door and then go sit on the couch, at which point she kind of delicately pads inside, allowing us to get up and close the door. This is also bad, not just because she's "training" us, but also because it regularly gets into sub-sub-sub-freezing temps here in the winter and leaving the door open is ridiculous.
The times that she just wants us to come outside and play are really obvious because she's ten kinds of fired up. But the rest of the times are totally confusing. We can't figure out what she's afraid of and why she's only afraid of it some of the time. The contents of the living room don't change around. It happens regardless of who opens the door and whether Belle is inside or outside at the time. When going through regular doors she does tend to dart through (on a leash she'll go through behind me then dash through quickly). This makes me think it's "threshold" related but I don't know what to do with that. There's also the part where someone had her before us and we don't know what happened during that time.
Any ideas? Would love to figure out the "why" and a solution would be a bonus. My winter heating bill is bad enough as it is, and we're about to trade out the glass door for the screen door because bug season is coming. Happy to answer any questions if clarifications can help!
(Second pic: Maia stretching in front of the door in question last spring during Mud Season.)