Table of Contents
- Make Sure the House is the right Size for Your Dog
- Make the Introduction to the House a Positive Experience
- Make the House feel homier
- Use Food to Lure him In
- Ensure that the Timing is Appropriate
- Give Him Time to Adapt
- Use Rewards and Treats for some Positive Reinforcement
- Consider Getting Your Dog a Companion
So you just got your pooch a new doghouse. But for some reason, your dog isn’t the least bit bothered with it. Worse still, you cannot even get him to set one paw inside it! This scenario is not uncommon with a new doghouse, and many dog owners can attest to that.
Fortunately, there are some ideas you can implement to get him to see his doghouse as a second home so let’s dive right in.
Make Sure the House is the right Size for Your Dog
When it comes to doghouse sizing, it’s not wise to use a one size fits all’ approach because certain variables will always come into play.
These include the dog’s height, weight, breed, your geographical location and more.
While a snug-fitting house will make your dog feel more secure, it should still have enough room for him to stand up, lie down and turn around comfortably.
If you choose to go with a large doghouse, keep in mind that they are not advisable if you stay in a cold area.
This is because there will be poor body heat retention inside the house.
Also, if the winters are long and cold, make sure that you insulate the dog house to keep him warm and comfortable.
Make the Introduction to the House a Positive Experience
When you first introduce your pooch to his new doghouse, it helps to hang around and spend some time with him, while reassuring him that everything is okay.
Do not try to use force to get him in and shut the door after him.
It might feel less of a home and more of a jail cell’.
Your dog might not like his new doghouse because it is too far away from familiar sights, sounds and smells.
If the house is yards away from your house or in a remote location on your yard, your dog might feel like he is being punished or banished.
Consider moving the doghouse closer to your house, so he can feel less anxious and more secure in a familiar environment.
You can add a window so that the enclosed space does not feel so claustrophobic for him.
He also gets to watch things and people coming and going, which could make him feel more reassured that everyone is still there.
Make the House feel homier
Because after all, this is the whole point of a doghouse, right? Make the doghouse an inviting space for your pooch by including familiar objects like his bedding, a blanket with his scent, a favorite toy, his food bowl and anything else he might need to feel right at home.
You could also add an old article of clothing with your scent on it to help curb separation anxiety.
Use Food to Lure him In
If he is completely resistant to getting into the doghouse, consider placing his food bowl at the doorway during his scheduled meal times.
Once he starts eating, inch the food bowl further into the house so that he is left with no choice but to get in to get his food.
Do this a couple of times and before long, he will start associating the house with delicious food and soon enough, he will realize that it is not that bad a place to be after all.
Ensure that the Timing is Appropriate
To be fair, if your pet is used to staying indoors and you are trying to get him to like his doghouse outside at a time of the year when it’s cold outside, you might be expecting too much from him.
Dogs need time to develop a heavy coat and tolerance.
Appropriate timing is essential so choose the right time of the year to move him to the doghouse.
He might be a lot less reluctant.
Give Him Time to Adapt
Have realistic expectations.
For some dogs, that doghouse is an unfamiliar enclosure, and your pet is certainly not going to get used to it overnight.
It will certainly take some persuasion, some time, or even some trickery to get him to adapt.
Some dogs might adapt a lot faster than others, for example, for a dog that has been born and raised in a doghouse.
For this dog, the doghouse could be a bit more representative of a home with security and good memories.
But with a full-time outside dog that has never been in an enclosed space of that kind before, it will take a little longer to adapt to being in the doghouse.
Use Rewards and Treats for some Positive Reinforcement
Offer your dog with rewards and treats after he has successfully spent some time in the doghouse without whining, whimpering or barking at you to let him out.
Pet him, give him some kisses or let him know that he is a good boy and offer a treat immediately after letting him out of the doghouse, so he knows exactly what the treat is for.
Before long, he will associate the doghouse with the likelihood of getting more treats, so he will want to use it more.
Consider Getting Your Dog a Companion
Sometimes, the problem could be as simple as, your dog is just lonely.
This is not far-fetched, seeing as they are pack animals and they like being in the company of other animals of their kind.
If you can (and want to) bring another dog into your home, consider putting them in the same doghouse and see how that turns out.
He could like it a lot better because he has a new friend now in his outdoor home.
Doghouses offer the dog and its owner with a variety of benefits.
But if you have tried all these and you still can’t get him to go in, try and pinpoint the underlying reason why he is so hesitant to use his doghouse and address that directly.
If all else fails, maybe it is time to let him stay where he prefers to stay because we wouldn’t want him to be uncomfortable or unhappy.