When you call your dog from outside and he does not come to you or return inside your house, it can be frustrating. Just know that you are not alone, there are plenty of dog owners who face a similar situation when the dog will come to the door but will not come inside the house. It could be that the dog will be on the front stoop and then you open the door to let the dog in. At the time you open the door, the dog runs off. The harder you try to get the dog to come into the house, the more he resists. What are the main reasons for your dog’s frustrating behaviour?
Your Dog is Suffering with a Health Issue
There is no solid link, but most of the time that there is a sudden change in a dog’s behaviour, it may be attributed to an underlying health problem. You may notice that your dog is just lying around in the yard and not moving around much. This can be particularly disconcerting when your dog has been usually active in the past. You may need to get in touch with your dog’s doctor (vet) to find out if you should bring the dog in for the vet to do a medical exam. The vet may ask you certain questions on the phone to try to narrow down what the problem might be.
You will not know what the issue is unless and until you bring the dog to the vet for a physical examination. It could be something as simple as a tick or it could be a more complex problem. The vet will be able to tell you what can be done for the dog for a treatment, and you will be able to have peace of mind knowing that your dog is going to be okay. Anytime your dog’s behaviour changes in an unpredictable manner, it is a good idea to check his health.
Your Dog Needs More Time Outside
If your dog is receiving training in the yard, they are probably getting a lot of positive reinforcement and great experiences as they run around outside. Once inside the house, your dog does not have as much freedom. They must stay in one place (usually) and are restricted as to which rooms that they can go into. When the dog is outside, he can explore and satisfy his sense of smell. Dogs enjoy “reading” all the scents that are in the air and they will cover every square inch of the outside as their territory. Your dog should be outside a minimum of one or two hours each day.
When you bring your dog into the house, you need to try to reinforce the positive experience of your dog being inside the house too. Make sure you have enough chewy and squeaky toys inside to keep your dog entertained. You could fill a Kong with peanut butter and freeze it for your dog to lick. You can also do some mental exercises with your dog and some training to keep him sharp and alert. It is important to show your dog that his time spent indoors is just as much fun as the time he spends outside.
Something is Different Inside the House
If something is suddenly different inside of your home, your dog may have noticed. Maybe you used a household cleaner that has a strong odour that your dog is sensitive to. If there is a new object in the house that the dog is not familiar with, he may not want to be around it. Certain smells or objects can cause your dog stress or anxiety when they come into the home.
What Can you do if Your Dog Will Not Come into Your Home?
Once you have ruled out a health problem or other serious issue that is preventing your dog from coming into your home, then you may need to work with your dog’s training by teaching him recall. A stubborn dog can be taught a recall command, but it does take some time and patience to accomplish this. The very first step is to use a plain command word that your dog will be able to remember easily. Most people use “come” to call their dog to them. You want your dog to understand the word and not become confused with other command words that the dog might have been trained with previously.
The next step is to use an area that is enclosed and have some treats with you. Step back from your dog and then use the recall command. Each time your dog returns to you, give him a tasty treat and then repeat the process. As you move farther away from your dog, he should continue to come to you when called. Keep repeating this process and extending the distance each time your dog comes to you.
Dogs want to please their owners (the alpha) and they will do whatever it takes to do just that. Once you have established that you are alpha, you should be able to do just about anything with your dog. The more time that you spend with your dog, the better. This time is important because it establishes a bond between you and your dog that becomes stronger with the time that you spend with the dog. If your dog will not come into the house, review all the possible reasons and find a suitable solution that works for both of you.