Dog Won't Come Inside

A frightened or wary dog may refuse to come inside willingly. This situation is frustrating for you and stressful for your pet. This is a guide about when a dog won't come inside.
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October 9, 2008 Flag
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We have adopted a 2 year old dog that will not come into the house. Every morning she cowers and curls up into a ball and must be carried in. As the day goes on she gets better and will come in and the next morning the same problem. Any solutions to her being so scared?

Mary from Virginia Beach, VA

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October 9, 20080 found this helpful

Try standing inside the door with a treat and call her :) Make sure to give her tons of priase when/if she comes in by herself to get the treat. Soon she will come in on her own hopefully.

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October 9, 20080 found this helpful

maybe if you warm up an old towel and curl it up next to the door as you try to draw her inside she will take to it and feel safe with the warmth of it to lay on and become accustom to start coming in knowing it will be there. just an idea, good luck

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October 9, 20080 found this helpful

Maybe try ringing a bell or shake a fun toy or rawhide/pig ear. If you do the bell, have a treat ready when she comes to the bell. Maybe try cheerios. My dog loved those for training. Different then a dog cookie and cheaper.

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October 9, 20080 found this helpful

Are you having the dog sleep outside at night or does the dog just show fear of entering the house after her morning walk?

I really hope you aren't having the dog sleep outside. That is extremely dangerous for the dog for dozens of reasons. The nicest neighbor will poison your dog for barking or ruining their flowerbeds before they start a neighborhood feud. It also lets any prowlers know that your home is completely unprotected.

If the dog simply won't cross the doorway after being let out for a morning pee; try walking her on the lead in the morning. Make it a long, fun walk and simply bring her directly inside when you come back. Do not tense. Just walk in confidently and she should follow.

If she still tenses, try another door and see if that's the problem for some reason. Don't keep picking her up and carrying her. If you won't walk the dog and let her get the exercise she needs; at least try leaving the door open and putting her favorite food or toys inside the door. Let her come in on her own and don't praise her until she is calm. With the stress you're describing, she might bolt if you give praise too much/too soon. Give praise if you're pretty sure she will enjoy it and not cower or bolt for the door.

I trust you already tried the most basic of offering treats and leaving her food inside and she has turned that down.

Your dog should be getting at least two 30-45 minutes brisk walk/jogging sessions in the am and pm. Letting the dog out is NOT a substitute because the dog is still bored and not getting the exercise both she and you need. The exercise WILL help her drain off nervous energy and she will be much more calm and easily trained.

Active play time is just as important. Buying toys is not a substitute for playing with the dog directly.

Training based on praise is also vital to your dog's comfort level. She needs to have structure and learn what "her job" in the family is. Some dogs will not calm down until they begin to have a purpose. That's particularly true for any of the working breeds, no matter how small they are.

Good luck.

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October 9, 20080 found this helpful

Try leaving the door open and letting her come in on her own. Lay treats coming from outside to inside. Be patient it may take days and always be positive with a upbeat voice. Good look

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October 13, 20080 found this helpful

When I was growing up we had a dog who simply did not want to ever come inside the house whatsoever so we installed a doggie door on the garage door and put a warm, comfy bed and her food and water in the far corner of the garage. She was a Shetland Shelty/Border Collie mix and just liked the great outdoors :-) If coaxing won't work, don't force your baby if she doesn't want to come in. Just make sure she has a safe place with a warm bed to be :-)

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October 13, 20080 found this helpful

My thoughts are that if you recently adopted her and she's already 2, there was probably some sort of abuse where she came from that is associated with going inside of a house. Be patient and talk softly while coaxing her in with a treat or a favorite toy.

One good sign is that she allows you to pick her up and carry her inside.

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October 14, 20080 found this helpful

The only thing I can add to these wonderful suggestions is being eye level if coaxing. Thanks for choosing to adopt! Best wishes, a doggy lovin'friend

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October 14, 20080 found this helpful

I would suggest not putting her outside at night and leaving her there. Maybe something outside is scaring her. Keep her in at night.

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December 29, 20080 found this helpful

I have the exact same problem. Only I have a 9 month old rat terrier who refuses to come inside. At first I thought she was scared of the sliding door but yet she comes in when she feels like it. It's winter now and I can't leave the door open all day for her to decide if she's coming in or not. So I have resorted to a cable leash when she goes out. I have it hooked to the door so if she doesn't want to come in, I can assist her. It's too cold for her to stay out, and she doesn't need frostbite. I wouldn't recommend a doggie door, because you may find more than just your dog coming inside, raccoons, stray cats, neighbor cats, possums, bugs and birds may come inside as well.

I entered my dog into obedience training and my trainer told me that my dog is not scared, although she acts like it, but he said she's 1st class stubborn. Good luck!

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January 22, 2009 Flag
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My American Bull Dog does not want to come inside after his walks. He is walked 2 times daily and then I put him in the back yard. From the backyard he has access through a door to come into the house as well. He spends his day in and out of the house.

He is 5 months old and I have owned him for 5 days now. The previous owner just use to keep him indoors all day and night. Why does my dog not want to come inside after his walks? Do you think I should walk him more often than 2 times daily?

Jessica from Hialeah

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January 22, 20090 found this helpful

Congratulations on your new dog. My son has an American BullDog; a very loving and loyal dog but not the smartest dog I've ever known--this is not a bad thing, however. If you want the dog in, bring him in. If it doesn't matter then let the dog stay out. You are the leader, you decide what the procedure will be. At 5 months the dog is still very immature and has a lot to learn. He has a strong desire to please you so take advantage of that.

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January 23, 20090 found this helpful

Congrats on the dog. Walking twice a day is great; just make sure they're long (30-40 min) walks that are brisk enough for you to break a sweat and get your heart rate up. Dogs do not get exercise sitting in a yard by themselves.

Simply bring the dog inside as the other writer suggested. After only 5 days the new home is still a little different from his previous home. Dogs should NOT be kept "outside" by themselves at any time.

They will annoy neighbors before you hear them and they are prime targets for dog-nappers.

No, that's not a joke. More dogs are stolen than ever run away from boredom.

Make coming inside a fun training exercise and use good treats. You need to let the dog know what is expected of them or they will try to figure it out on their own. When they make the decisions; it's unlikely they will behave as you would prefer. It also leaves the dog mentally under stimulated which will bring on behaviour problems.

Give the dog a definite bed and train him to use it through treats and praise. He'll get the idea very quickly.

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January 23, 20090 found this helpful

Is your walks 1/2 hour at a time or longer? Puppies need a lot of exercise.If you can go 3-4 times a day for a few days to see if that makes a difference.If he was forced to stay in the house day and night with the previous owner he may just want to be outside for awhile. Make him stay inside at night anyway.You are the "pack" leader.We have coyotes here that have killed 4 cats in the neighborhood since last summer. Make sure he can't get out of the yard. DH takes Buddy out 5-6 times a day. Here is Buddy after a long morning walk.

Good Luck GGVi

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January 24, 20090 found this helpful

I think he is just the enjoying the freedom of the outdoors.

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January 26, 20090 found this helpful

I'm no expert, if your Beautiful dog doesn't want in right away, he must want more time outside. I know dogs that love being outside, but you have to be careful so they don't get too cold.

You mentioned walking him, maybe he wants to run?

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