Dog Refuses To Come Inside After Walk
If you're here, you've probably noticed a habit, where – even after a while outside – your dog won’t budge at your doorstep, refusing to come inside after the walk. Needless to say, this behavior can be really odd for pup parents; wouldn’t a dog want to come inside and rest, especially after getting exercise?
A kibble-bowl full of reasons exist for why your dog might not want to come inside after a walk. In this article, those reasons will be covered for better understanding and context, alongside possible solutions to successfully entice your pup back to the couch.
Causes for Refusing to Come Inside After Walks
One thing to keep in mind is that your dog’s refusal to come back inside after walks could be a combination of several factors, some of which are described below. Without a doubt, it’s hard enough to understand our kids’ emotions at various times, let alone dogs’ emotions when their methods of communication are far more limited.
As a dog owner, it’s best to keep an open mind about what the root cause may be, and stay committed and patient in case you’d like to curb this behavior in your dog.
Your Walk Wasn’t Long Enough
By stepping in your dog's paws to better understand her thought-process, it’s probably not a far stretch to assume that your dog hopes to extend the walk by refusing to come inside. Perhaps dogs believe that by planting themselves onto the ground, they’ll be able to wring out an extra 5 or 10 minutes of fresh air. Particularly if your dog is quite energetic, possibly of working breed origins, and your quota of walks is usually less than 1 hour per day, then this possibility is quite likely.
Since the late 1800s and 1900s, outside dogs have become less and less common, especially as humans concentrate in urbanized cities. Perhaps your dog is tapping into her blue-collar past, hoping to sniff the scents in the breeze or watch squirrels and chipmunks scurry to and fro. Especially after finishing a walk, whetting the tastebuds for how nice the outdoors is, it might be challenging to convince your pup that the indoors is more interesting than the outdoors.
Something Inside the House is Bothersome
It’s also possible that something inside your house is getting on your dog’s nerves. For example, if you’ve been mopping with a smelly disinfectant lately, the house temperature has been too hot or cold, or your kids have gotten a bit too boisterous on summer vacation, your dog might be hoping to catch a break by spending more time outside than usual.
In this case, be a kibble-bit more observant of your dog’s reaction to indoor distractions to gauge if something might be bothering her or him. This might be a long process of experimentation but you'd then be able to rule this cause out, at the very least.
Instincts to be a Guard Dog
Lots of breeds these days, such as doberman pinschers, poodles, and German shepherds, were originally bred to be great guard dogs, spending lots of time outdoors to watch over their masters’ homes.
While this theory might not necessarily explain why your dog won’t come inside after a walk, specifically, it might help to explain their satisfaction at spending just a few extra minutes outdoors.
History of Being a Rescue Dog
Many rescue dogs, until they’ve found their forever homes, haven’t actually spent a lot of time inside normal houses, so they might not feel comfortable coming inside after walks. Similar to the guard dog theory, this reasoning doesn’t hold as much weight, since it doesn’t explain why rescue dogs would only refuse to come inside after dog walks, but it’s another factor that might make a dog’s behavior to confused pup parents.
Solutions for Coming Inside After Walks
Once you've spent some time diagnosing why your dog might be resisting your calls to come inside, you'll be in a much better place to remedy the situation. You can be systematic about this process, pretending it's like a science experiment! Assume a certain cause for the refusal to come inside, test a solution for it, and if it fails then move onto a different hypothesis.
To help in that process, here are some ideas for solving the problem and convincing your pup to come indoors.
Extra Time Spent Dog Walking
In most cases, dogs refuse to come inside after walks simply because they’ve got more energy they’d like to burn. Remember that most dogs need a minimum of 1 or 2 hours of walking, in addition to idle time in backyards, per day; if your daily walks fall under that threshold, and especially if your dog is a working breed, then it makes sense that they’d simply like some more time spent outside.
As an extreme, you can try making your walks 50% or even 100% longer; by experimenting like this, you can really gauge if more walking time is all that’s needed. If so, then it’s a simple fix! – keep pounding the pavement, and you and your pup will be set to go.
Enticing With High-Value Treats
If your pup simply wants to spend more time outside, soaking in the sunrays and sniffing the breeze, then your task is to make the indoor life as enjoyable as the outdoor life.
For example, with some patience, you can use high value treats, such as jerky, and sit near the doorstep, waiting for your dog to come near the door. If you take this challenge on, then stay committed and be patient! It’ll pay dividends if you don’t give up. Even if it takes 20 minutes for your dog to finally get on all 4 paws and start loping over to you, then congrats to you for staying the course – your dog’s behavior will be all the better for it.
Once you’re inside with your dog after the walk, keep going with the positive reinforcement, perhaps playing with their toys or giving your pup attention in other ways.
Compromising With Spending Time In the Backyard or on the Balcony
Rather than an outright standoff, it might be reasonable for your dog and you if there’s a compromise, where your dog soaks in the sun rays from the balcony or backyard.
For most owners if the weather is good enough, it’s perfectly fine for pups to be outdoors as long as the area is fenced and on your property (of course as long as there aren’t predatory animals nearby who could jump the fence). In this case, you can try and entice your pup to at least get off the public sidewalk with the positive reinforcement of high-value treats scattered along the balcony or grassy lawn.
Chances are, they’ll find that to be a perfectly satisfactory compromise, at least remaining outside in the back or frontyard, while you're happy since they're at least off of the sidewalk.
In this article, you’ve learned a few possible reasons why dogs refuse to come back inside after dog walks, alongside some ideas and solutions for remedying the situation. No matter what, with patience, commitment, and positive reinforcement, your dog and dog walker through these odd behaviors in no time at all!