Max the Retriever cross loves to be with his family in their house, but sometimes they need him to stay out in the yard, like when dog- allergic friends and family are over, or when no one is going to be home for several hours to let him out. Because they have a very secure yard and have provided him a nice dog house to get out of the rain, wind or cold weather, his family figures he should be fine outside. But Max won't use his doghouse. When his family puts him outside, even when it starts raining, Max just sits out in the rain, looking like a drowned rat, shunning his doghouse, what gives? Why can’t Max figure out that his dog house would keep him warm and dry? What does his family have to do to convince him to use his home?
Some dogs automatically take to their dog house, treating it like a den and happily diving on in and making a comfy nest in there. Others need a little more convincing to understand that a dog house is not doggy jail or a black hole about to gobble them up!
Before training your dog to use his dog house, make sure it is the right size for your dog. Your dog should be able to easily walk in and turn around. Put a favorite blanket or dog bed in the dog house, or fill the dog house with straw to create a comfortable resting place. Using food and a favorite toy to reinforce using the dog house is advised. You can also use clicker training, especially if your dog is familiar with using a clicker, to reinforce the dog house and its use. Introduce the dog house to your dog when the weather is good. Although this may sound counterintuitive, you do not want distractions or to feel rushed or stressed while teaching your dog to go in and out of his dog house. Never punish your dog for not using the dog house or try to force him into the dog house, as this will create a negative association.
Rocko likes the dog house we built for him. He will go in if I'm out there at the house with him, but if he's out in the yard by himself he will not go in it. How can I get him to use it when I'm not around or when the weather is bad?
Hello, I suggest leaving something wonderful I'm the dog house for him. You may need to physically attach it to the inside of the dog house with a chew proof piece of string so that he has to be in the dog house to chew on it. A food stuffed kong is one option. A hollow cow long bone stuffed with his food. An automatic treat dispensing device like Auto Trainer or Pet Tutor. Those thing will help him feel at ease in the house so that he will be willing to go in when the weather is bad Many dogs do not spend time in a dog house when the weather is fine though because they want to be able to better view or protect the yard and the dog house prevents them from seeing out. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My new live in boyfriend is extremely allergic to my dog, we have gotten the dog used to sticking mist of his body in the heated dog house but he just won’t get in all the way. He keeps his back legs outside.... I’ve done it all, soup bone in the house so far back he’d HAVE to go in all the way, he won’t do it. Now what
Hello Shannon, What's the weather like where you are? If the weather outside is nice, pup probably won't be motivated to go inside the dog house either way. If pup still won't go in despite cold or rainy weather, it probably is a fear issue. Honestly, the type of dog house you are using could be the issue. Without knowing more specifics I can't offer too much guidance. Making the dog house warmer, adding rewards like the bone you mentioned inside the dog house, and pup having a reason to retreat to the dog house are all factors to getting pup to use the dog house. If pup has a doggie friend, having the other dog spend some time in the dog house could help build your dogs confidence. Try putting a bone into the dog house for another, bolder dog to go into the house and chew on. You can even tie the bone to the back of the dog house so that is can only be chewed by a dog who is staying in the dog house. Be careful how you tie the bone, you want to tie it so that the string isn't where the dog can easily get to to also chew on and potentially ingest though. Check out this article for additional things you can try. Not every dog responds to the same methods unfortunately, which is why Wag includes three methods for most articles. You may have to try a few different things before you find what works for your pup. Practice each method for at least three days before trying something else though. https://www.centralparkpaws.net/dog-houses/train-dog-use-doghouse/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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