Do you have to drag your beloved pooch into the house after every walk? Or did he master the art of ignoring your existence when you call him indoors from the yard? You are not alone because many dog owners face the same struggle daily. But, a dog walk should be a fun and relaxing experience.
Some may have googled “why my dog refuses to come inside after a walk” many times just to get some answers. So, if you reached this page from the same search, you are in the right place. We’ll share with you some tips to overcome this day-to-day challenge. But first, let’s tackle why dogs say no to coming inside.
Why My Dog Doesn’t Want to Come Inside After Walk?
Your dog’s negative behavior toward your call depends on several factors. Both external and internal elements are to blame for your pet’s reaction. Things like the environment in and out of the home, breed, and past experiences may have influenced their resistance. Let’s check out why dogs don’t want to come inside.
Dogs are bred according to specific characteristics. Hence, they vary in different ways, including instincts. Some dogs are naturally independent because they are meant to be one. For example, the hounds prefer the outdoors because they are a hunting breed. Their undivided focus on their prey may sometimes be mistaken as stubbornness when they refuse to listen to their owners. But that is just how they are naturally. Similarly, guard dogs may also choose to stay outside because they feel the need to guard and protect the home. So, if your dog belongs to a lineage of such breeds, this might be why it refuses to come in.
Not Enough Time Outside
The second possible reason your dog chooses to stay outside despite being called is not having enough time outdoors. Let’s be honest; anyone who has stayed indoors too long would die to get out. Like humans, dogs would long to get their paws on the grass and play as much as possible. And, if you cut it short while they are still enjoying it, they’ll likely refuse to follow your call. So, allow them some time to explore the yard for at least an hour or two. This will give them the satisfaction they long for.
Something’s Bothering Your Dog Inside
Many things can bother your dog indoors. It can be the unfamiliar faces or noises they are not used to. Dogs are sensitive to certain sounds. In fact, according to a study, noise sensitivity is the most common anxiety characteristic in dogs. The arrival of some guests or the sounds from the children playing indoors may affect your dog. It can also be the temperature indoors. Maybe it’s too hot or too cold and prefers fresh air outside. Lastly, having other pets at home, such as a cat, may be another reason your dog doesn’t want to stay inside.
Bad Experience As a Rescue Dog
Most rescued dogs have gone through many bad experiences. Some have never tried to live in a home, while others were punished for getting inside. This could be why you have a foster or rescue who refuses to come inside. In some cases, it could also be trust issues. Some dogs take longer to trust humans due to past traumas. If he wants to stay outside, it can be a sign that you might not have gained his trust yet. So, let him take his time until your dog realizes he is in a safe place.
Change Of Home or Environment
Did you notice your dog suddenly refuses to come home? It could be due to recent changes done inside the house. Maybe it’s the new furniture in the living room or that huge plush toy he got scared of. It can also be new scents he doesn’t like. New household cleaning products, scented candles, and humidifiers may be the culprits. Although they help clean and freshen the home, they may irritate your dog’s nose. Changes in the home may cause stress or anxiety to some dogs, so they decide to stay outside instead.
How to Get Your Dog to Come Inside After Walk
You don’t have to pull your dog’s leash or collar for him to get inside the house. This negative experience will even worsen the situation. Instead, we gathered some tips to entice your dog to come inside with you after spending time outside.
Increase Walk Time
Exhaust your dog’s energy by giving him more time to walk or run outside. If you usually spend an hour, increase it by 30 minutes to an hour or more. Once your dog gets tired, he’ll look forward to his rest indoors and will come inside voluntarily. Additionally, he’ll get more exercise, and so will you.
Do Other Activities Outdoors
Aside from the daily walks around the neighborhood, try playing other games with your dog. Check out open spaces near your place where you can play fetch or frisbee. Although dogs love going for walks because they can see and smell various things, they can get bored too. So, spice things up and add some fun and exciting games.
Use High-Reward Treats
Nothing beats the temptation of your dog’s favorite treat. If he enjoys being outdoors, make getting indoors even more exciting by luring him with his best-loved jerky. However, this can be tricky because he may realize your motives. One study revealed that dogs are smart enough to detect your deception. So, start by offering him his favored snack by the door and slowly progress to giving it to him indoors. Be careful not to close the door immediately so he won’t doubt you.
Give Time In the Yard
Instead of forcing him indoors, give some compromise by allowing him in the fenced yard. In this way, getting home from walks won’t be too awful for him, as he knows he still has some time in the balcony or yard. Make it even more exciting by hiding some treats. So, you’ll channel his mind towards a hunting game instead of the end of his stroll.
Change The Walking Route
Dogs love to explore new places and smell new scents. But if you go through the same walking route every day, they’ll get used to it and lose excitement. Furthermore, they’ll anticipate the end of the walk. So, they know when to stop walking to not get to the door. So, try to be unpredictable so your dog won’t know when the walk will be over.
Do Exciting Activities Indoors
Create a fun atmosphere indoors so your dog will show the same level of interest. Play fun indoor games like giving him a puzzle with treats. This will stimulate his mind and hook him up. You can also play tug-of-war or spend more time together. The key is to make him feel that getting inside means having the same level of fun.
Create Daily Schedule or Routine
Dogs have no idea about the way we measure time. But, they know time is passing through routines. So, if you stick to your daily schedule of bringing them outside for a walk, they’ll know that they’ll experience this again the next day. In this way, they’ll come inside the house with you because this is the routine they got used to. Also, if you have an active pup, try taking him on frequent daily walks.
Break The Bad Associations
Dogs’ have associative memory. This means they remember events based on associations and not the episode itself. See how your dog wags its tail once you get his leash? This is because he associates the leash with going for a walk. So, if your dog’s resistance to getting inside the house is due to a bad associative memory, change it by replacing the negative with positive associations.
Never Punish Your Dog
Punishing your dog for not getting into the home will strain your relationship. Your home should be his safe space. But if you punish him, he’ll gain little reinforcement in the home and would prefer to be outside. Instead of punishing your dog, try positive reinforcement strategies.
The value of obedience training is not just to get your dog to sit or roll over by command. Instead, its importance lies in the safety and well-being of your dog and the people around you. Dogs who go through obedience training will have a good recall. In this way, when you call them, they’ll stop whatever they are doing and follow you. This will be useful when it’s time to go home after a walk and during risky situations.
Pet owners do not need to endure the resistance of dogs to come home after a walk. Once you have figured out the reason for your dog’s behavior, you can start working on correcting them. And with these tips we shared, walking through that door will be like walking through a park.