Refuses to come inside

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!


Marley has- nothing on me!
Barked: Sun Jan 17, '10 8:49pm PST 
I am a lab mix, my mom got me from the pound two months ago. I am extremely hyperactive. I love being outside ALL the time. My mom however is not used to having dogs who like being outside. I sit by the door like I want back in and when my mom tries to let me in I lay flat down as low as I can get and refuses to come in. My mom thinks I might be afraid to come in, she doesnt know what my other family was like and she thinks they were not very nice to me. Mom has to bribe me by throwing treats in the house so I will have to run in and she can hurry and shut the door. I know this is really upsetting to my mom as she doesnt believe in dogs being outside all the time and Im tearing up the yard. If anyone has any advice for her I know she would be very happy as I know she loves me very much and wants to fix this behavior.
Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
Barked: Mon Jan 18, '10 5:17am PST 
If your dog truly enjoys being outside, why would you take that away from him? If you have a secure yard, why not let him stay out where he enjoys it the most?

He's tearing up the yard from boredom. More exercise or more training or more things to help occupy his mind are needed.

As for getting him into the house, I'd leave the door open and use treats. Once he comes in, I wouldn't slam the door. It's a bit on the cold side to do that now, but think of the house like a giant crate. You wouldn't just coax a dog into a crate with treats, slam the door behind them, and then expect to enjoy going into the crate. You're locking him into a place he's uncomfortable with, so giving him a way out (leaving the door open while training) may help with it.

How does he act when he's inside?

we will dance in- the ring without- words
Barked: Mon Jan 18, '10 6:04am PST 
Is it coming inside or crossing the threashold that is an issue?

I would continue to lure with food and when she does cross the threashold and come inside, make a BIG party, huge jackpot of treats (and you can use kibble from the meal for that, at least 2 minutes of loving and playing and petting and feeding, really big party.

Shane DEC- '08-JAN '12- RIP

In dreams I walk- with you..
Barked: Mon Jan 18, '10 6:50am PST 
After bringing home two different dogs that were afraid of being inside, I found it more effective to skip the party(sorry Asher) and keep it low key. Acknowledge his presence quietly, then go about your business. Paying a lot of attention to them seemed to stress them more and make them race for the door. Once he relaxes you can start doing some lite training inside, keeping it positive, slow and easy. Eventually he'll realize it's OK to be inside and he won't get in trouble for being there.
Weather permitting, Sanka's suggestion of leaving the door open so he can come and go at will also helps.

Edited by author Mon Jan 18, '10 6:53am PST


It's ok to- comfort scared- dogs!
Barked: Wed Jan 20, '10 12:48pm PST 
Teach your dog to target your hand or an object in your hand. Reward with a treat or a ball toss if your dog is into that. When the dog gets really good at targeting you can ask for the behavior while you stand just over the threshold inside of the door and reward the dog by tossing the treat or ball back outside. The dog gets too rewards, one being the opportunity to move away from the space that might be uncomfortable for him. Do this a bunch of times moving further and further into the room so that the dog gets to practice the moving through doorway into house behavior.

At some point in the process add closing the door for a few minutes when the dog is inside then open it up and play some more. Just be sure that you make the targeting a fun game, not a sneaky way to get your dog to come inside. Dogs catch on to this and you lose the value of the exercise.

Marley has- nothing on me!
Barked: Thu Jan 21, '10 10:40am PST 
Thank you for all your feed back. You have all had valid points. I have been leaving him out there for longer periods and he is more than willing to come in when HE is ready. We are still working on coming in when asked because I dont like to leave him out there when Im not home and I dont like being late because he refuses to come in smile We are starting puppy training classes in a few weeks and hopefully he will be learning all kinds of new and exciting things as well as getting the stimulation he needs smile

Roll down the- window!
Barked: Thu Jan 21, '10 10:51am PST 
Woah, just a minute! Just because his previous owners may not have kept him inside doesn't mean that he was treated badly. My dog isn't allowed in my house (it's my mother's house and she's allergic to animals) but he is certainly not being treated badly! Under certain conditions, he's allowed in, but mostly, he is outside. I love him VERY much, and I take him pretty much everywhere I go so he isn't constantly by himself. He's spoiled to death.

Now if Jax has been exhibiting certain behaviors such as being afraid of loud noises and raised hands, then I think you'd be safe to say that he had been treated badly. But you didn't say that, so I assumed you meant the "outside" thing.

Give him some time. He may have been an outside dog and was taught not to go into the house. Try leaving the door open while he's in the yard and see if he won't just decide to come in one day. wink

They call me- Snags!!
Barked: Thu Jan 21, '10 11:37am PST 
That's funny, because we have the same thing here with Toby our Sibe.

He likes to be outside, a LOT... summer in the dead of heat, winter, when it's -20 outside, whenever, he just longs to be outside.. There are birds out there to chase, sticks to chew, cool places to lay, etc, etc... The life of a dog.. As someone else posted, we let him hang out as long as he wants until it's time to go to bed.

When I need to leave for work, I can coax them both in with some cheese, or a treat, so that is just fine. If I don't have cheese or treats... good luck! Toby will come up to the patio door, paw at it, and stand there... stare at me... and at times he just backs up a foot or two, sits on his butt, and continues to stare at me... He will come in when HE is ready, like someone else said.

When he has napped out there, wants water, food, love from us, a walk, he will come to the back door and paw at the glass door in the winter, talk to us through the screen door in the summer, and he comes in instantly.

It's all about learning your dogs habits, their actions, and understanding what they are saying to you... Sometimes it just takes time, but work together!