My Dog and His Dog House

I just bought a really great dog house for my doggie, but he wants nothing to do with it.  The people at the Pet Store said that all I had to do was put it in the back yard, and like “Field of Dreams”, “he will come”.  It’s not working and I am afraid it will just become filled with spiders and squirrels.  What can I do to get the Welcome Wagon out and have Wolfie happy with his new place?

Dog House Training Tips

We always think that just because we get something called a “dog house”, that our dog will naturally want to go there and hang out.  The question that you must ask yourself is “Why should he?”  Did you make it a place that was fun and comforting for him?  Did you make it his special retreat where he could retire and relax?  Did you even tell him that it was his?

The big thing you must do is to socialize your dog with his new abode, letting him know that it is a fun and safe place that you, as the leader of the pack, have provided for him.  Here are some ideas:
  • Place the dog house in the family room where everyone convenes and shares happy times.  This allows Wolfie to see that “this new thing” is just another object in his natural play area.
  • Put your dog's toys in it.  Put goodies in the dog house and even feed him there.  Play with him around the dog house so that it becomes just another fun place.
  • After a week or so, move the dog house out into the back yard. 
    • Put it someplace where your dog already naturally likes to hang out.  
    • Make sure that you put it where the dog house will not get too hot or be “rained upon” by the lawn sprinklers.  
    • Don’t put it near a spot where there is a lot of street or neighbor noise.  
    • Also, don’t put it “in the farthest reach” of the yard.  This might be construed by Wolfie as being ostracized by the family.  
  • Repeat what you were doing in the family room.  Feed your dog in his new house.  Make sure that his toys are around the house.  If your dog likes to dig, build a digging pit next to it.
  • Make sure that the dog house stays clean and “free of vermin”.  Take a broom and sweep for cobwebs on a weekly basis.  Clean it with a non-toxic cleanser and make sure that it stays dry.
  • Make the dog house part of your outside “play routine”.  As you are playing fetch, get the ball or Frisbee inside his house.  If you like to play “find it”, hide the goodie in his house.  This helps to include the dog house as part of the bonding between you and your dog.
  • If the weather starts to become inclement, bring your dog inside.  Since dog houses are “hard environments”, the noise from thunder can be multiplied and the dog house could even vibrate from the “clapping”.  This could be a terrorizing experience that we don’t want our dogs to deal with. 

Follow these simple steps and we are sure that you can create a great “home away from home” for your dog in the back yard.  It will become a retreat where he can hang out and call his own.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.


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