How to Persuade a Dog to Use a Doghouse

Persuade Fido to use his doghouse by leaving food inside.

Persuade Fido to use his doghouse by leaving food inside.

Now that you've made up with your husband and allowed him to come out of the doghouse, you've tried moving Fido in. But for some reason your pooch stubbornly refuses to use it. Fortunately, you can persuade Fido to view it as his second home.

A Homey Environment

Persuade Fido to use his doghouse by making it a cozy, inviting environment. Include his familiar bedding, pillows, favorite toys and your husband's old dress shoe that Fido so enjoys gnawing on. To prevent separation anxiety, include an old t-shirt with your scent still on it, which will help him feel safe. If you live in an area with cold winters, insulate the doghouse to help keep it warm during colder months. If the temperature of the doghouse isn't comfortable for your furry best friend, you can't blame him for preferring to stay in your home with its central heating and air conditioning.

Rewards

When your pooch manages to spend long periods of time in the doghouse without barking, whining or whimpering to come inside your home, always give him positive reinforcement afterwards. You might pet him and say "Good boy," while giving him a favorite treat and other forms of TLC. Offer the rewards immediately upon seeing him, such as the morning after he's spend the night in the doghouse, so he understands what the reward is for. He might deduce that the more he uses the doghouse, the greater the likelihood of additional treats, rewards, new toys, kisses and love, so he'll be eager to use it more.

Food

Feed your pooch inside the doghouse during his scheduled meal times. If he initially refuses to go inside the doghouse to eat his food, leave the bowl outside the entrance until he begins to eat. Once he begins eating outside the doghouse, slowly inch the food bowl through the entrance until the hungry pup has no alternative but to step inside for the tasty food. Scatter some dog bones inside the doghouse as an additional enticement. Fido will form a pleasant association between the doghouse and delicious food, so he'll be less resistant to hanging out there.

Location

Fido might not like using the doghouse because it's too far away from you and his normal surroundings. If you've placed the doghouse several yards away from your home and the sounds, sights, smells that make him feel secure, he might feel threatened and resist using it. He may also think he's being banished, punished or sent away, which can cause him anxiety and fear. Move the doghouse closer to your house so he remains in a familiar environment where he feels safe.

 

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