Dog doesn't like doghouse!

by Pat
(Leesville, SC)

A stray dog used to sleeping anywhere came to our yard. Feeling sorry for her, we built her a new dog house. Now she sleeps in the cold beside the dog house!

Why won't she sleep inside of it? How can we teach her to do so? Thanks!


Dear Pat,

Thanks for your question! Because you've just recently started caring for this dog, it's impossible to know her history or background. Many things could have happened to her, and it just takes one negative incident for her to dislike a dog house.

She could simply be afraid of going in it, as there is only one door and she could be cornered inside of it. I'm guessing that she's had quite a rough go of it in the past.

A few ideas to get her to associate the dog house with positive things, and thus making her more likely to sleep in it are:

1) Feed her inside of the dog house, and put her water in there.
2) A dog house in itself isn't that much warmer than the outside temperature... fill it with straw or another type of insulation that she can burrow into.
3) Don't ever force her in! It will only reinforce her fear of it.
4) Move the dog house to a spot that will feel more secure - beside a house or shed, as opposed to in the middle of the yard.
5) Don't rush it; if it's cold enough, she will go in. Self-preservation should kick in, as dogs have the instinct to find shelter when needed.

Good luck!

Shannon Pennings

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