3 Reasons Why Your Dog Suddenly Refuses to Come Inside

Dog House

Do you have a dog that flat out refuses to come inside the house when play time is over? Many dog owners are finding themselves in a situation when the dog would approach the door but suddenly dash away as soon as you open it. Here are some reasons for this behavior.

Your Dog isn’t Getting Enough Time Outside

Your dog might be getting a lot of reinforcement and positive experiences when they run around the yard. The same cannot be said once they step inside when there could be little to do for your dog. First, make sure your dog is getting enough time to exercise outdoors. There isn’t a golden rule as far as how long your dog should spend outside, but at a minimum, the dog should be allowed outside for at least one or two hours to satisfy his exploratory senses.

In addition to getting an appropriate amount of time outdoors, you should also try to reinforce positive experiences inside the house. For example, you should spend some time doing mental exercises and puzzles with your dog indoors if you haven’t already been doing so. You need to communicate to the dog that they can have just as much fun indoors as they would outside.

A Change in House Environment

The sudden change in behavior may also be due to a change in environment inside the house. Have you changed something in the house recently? Or have you cleaned the house with a household cleaner that doesn’t come with a pleasant smell? Whether its an object or a certain smell, there could be something that is giving your dog anxiety or stress every time he steps into the house.

Your Dog Has a Health Issue

While there doesn’t appear to be any link, a sudden change in behavior among dogs can potentially be due to an underlying health problem. If you see anything different about your dog (e.g. he is acting lethargic in the yard) then it’s worthwhile calling the vet to see if the dog needs to be brought in for a medical examination.

What to Do When Your Dog Won’t Come Inside

If health issues are ruled out as the cause for this sudden change in behavior then it’s time to up your dog’s training by having him properly learn the recall command. Teaching a stubborn dog a recall command will take time and patience.

The first step of training is to come up with a simple command word that the dog will easily remember, such as “come”. This cue should be distinct enough so that the dog won’t mix it up with other command words you may have trained him with in the past. Next, take your dog to an enclosed space with some tasty treats in your pocket.

Take a few steps away from the dog and say the recall command. When the dog returns to you, give him a treat and repeat the above process. Extend the distance from your dog as he gets better and better at coming back to you.

Have a lot of time at home with your dog due to the Covid-19 situation? There's no better time to start this amazing brain training system to eliminate all possible bad behaviors that your dogs may show at some point in their lives.
John at My Pet Child

is the Founder of My Pet Child, where he shares his tips on living with a dog in an apartment.

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